Wednesday, June 29, 2016 - 12:52

In 2009 and 2013 respectively US companies Intel and AMD began inserting malicious code into their CPUs. On Intel processors this code was inserted into the Intel Management Engine Firmware. This allowed for a malicious program to be run on a low power secondary processor independent of the main CPU. One of the malicious features added was advertised as allowing remote access to the machine. On the surface it seemed to be for the purpose of hiding a backdoor in plain sight. While convenient for administering systems this proprietary component posed a significant security threat. Such functionality has been around at the OS level for a very long time. The big difference was it could be added or removed at the users whim and you didn't have to trust the CPU to honor your requests.

Unfortunately this functionality has been rolled out in such a way that it can not be properly audited, disabled, or removed. Because Intel has refused to release the source code to this component and has signed the code we have an incomplete picture of this malicious software that runs on nearly all modern computing devices. Thanks to revelations about other privacy invasive malicious activities by the US government particularly in relation to gag orders it would be inconceivable that a backdoor has not been installed in every CPU designed by US companies. We know similar functionality exists in both Intel and AMD CPUs too. This basically means every modern desktop and laptop computer on the market.

This has been a known and somewhat hidden issue for quite some time. Unfortunately developing a CPU is no simple matter. What these features demonstrate is the critical importance of having a complete set of source available for every component. To that end we've been working. To date we have the sources for many critical components including wireless and with the development of a new line-up of ARM based hardware we can add CPUs to that list. However having a prototype is not the same thing as being able to get backdoor-free hardware. For that there must be sufficient demand and resources to initiate manufacturing. For that we need your help. To get involved check out our Crowd Funding Campaign.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - 21:57

LibrePlanet is an annual conference for free software enthusiasts. LibrePlanet brings together software developers, policy experts, activists and computer users to learn skills, share accomplishments and face challenges to software freedom.

This year, the theme of LibrePlanet is "Fork the System." Organized around the theme "Fork the System", the conference's sessions will examine how free software creates the opportunity of a new path for its users, allows developers to fight the restrictions of a system dominated by proprietary software by creating free replacements, and is the foundation of a philosophy of freedom, sharing, and change.We hope to see you at LibrePlanet 2015, March 21-22 in Cambridge, MA.

Register now to join us at MIT Cambridge, Massachusetts for LibrePlanet 2016 March 19-20!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - 15:55

Hosted by the Free State Project, a movement to attract 20,000 liberty activists to one state, Liberty Forum is New Hampshire's premier liberty­ oriented conference. Over the past nine years, the conference has developed a reputation for attracting distinguished speakers from across the globe to discuss pro­-freedom topics. This year's keynote is Edward Snowden.

Liberty Forum provides attendees the opportunity to discover more about New Hampshire during the winter time. It also provides a taste of the many benefits of socializing, networking, and working with a dedicated group of like­-minded people. Attending Liberty Forum is oftentimes the "clincher" to becoming an FSP participant.

Some of the topics of the past have included: 3D printing, asset forfeiture, cryptography, computer security, whistle blowing, free software activism, counter surveillance, anonymity on the internet, and anonymous digital currencies.

The event will be held Feb 18th - 21st, 2016 at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH.

Stop by our table and check out some of the technology that'll help enable you to protect more of your privacy, freedom, and civil rights online.

Register for Liberty Forum 2016 now!.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - 21:50


The Software Freedom Conservancy needs 750 Supporters to continue its basic community services & 2,500 to avoid hibernating its enforcement efforts! While we regularly call on people to donate to such organization it's particularly important this year that we get people to donate specifically to the Software Freedom Conservancy. You see for supporting the enforcement of the GPL against virtualisation giant VMware important corporate funding from a variety of large companies was pulled. Not only has important funding been pulled, but the Conservancy has been kicked from conferences, bullied, and blocked from attending others. This is a direct attack on the very free software we all depend on:

“We have lost committed general funding from companies explicitly because of our enforcement work. Continuing this work without individual support is no longer possible,” the SFC blogged.

The Conservancy threw its financial backing behind Linux kernel maintainer Christopher Hellwig’s suit against VMware in March.

Saturday, December 5, 2015 - 18:21


Are you in Southern California? Here is your chance to check us out in person. We'll be attending the Southern California [GNU]Linux Expo January 21-24, 2016 at the Pasadena Convention Center. We'll be bringing along a sizeable portion of our online catalog and showing off the latest in free software tech. From 100% free routers, wifi cards, and computers to privacy enhancing hardware.

As the first-of-the-year [GNU]Linux and Free Software expo in North America, SCALE 14x expects to host more than 100 exhibitors this year, along with nearly 130 sessions, tutorials, and special events.

Register now with coupon code THINK for 40% off and don't forget to book a hotel room if you need one!

Saturday, December 5, 2015 - 17:52


Are you giving your loved ones tech gifts that control them, or enabling there freedom?

Electronics are popular gifts, but people often overlook the restrictions that manufacturers slip under the wrapping paper. From remote deletion of files to harsh rules about copying and sharing, some gifts take more than they give. The good news is that there are ethical companies making better devices that your loved ones can enjoy with freedom and privacy.

Check out the Free Software Foundation's giving guide to smarter gifts and get a 5% - 7% promotional discount.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 22:02


We're looking to hire a web developer with Drupal and Ubercart experience. The primary job will entail upgrading our site from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7. If your experienced with the LAMP stack, SSL, Apache, Ubercart, Drupal, etc send us your resume.

We're preferably looking for someone in New Jersey in/near the Flemington, NJ 08822 area. Experience with theming and a thorough ability to diagnose migration issues is essential to the project.

If you think this position is right for you email us your resume in PDF or ODT to jobs at thinkpenguin.com for consideration with compensation requirements, current location, and where you found this job posting. Please send us a brief introductory letter as well. No recruiters please.

Future web development work is readily available if we find the right candidate. We plan to make an attempt at overhauling the site upon successful completion of the upgrade to Drupal 7.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 - 17:28

Feb 17, 2016 Update:

Please help us publicize this news by up-voting a news story submission on Slashdot here: http://slashdot.org/submission/5574003/tp-link-confirms-wifi-freedom-is-... and if you have the funds consider contributing financially here: https://gofundme.com/save_wifi_round_2

(in regards to the United States) We got confirmation today from one of the largest router manufacturer that they have begun locking router firmware down due to recent FCC rule changes. This is exactly what the Save Wifi campaign participants had been arguing would happen for the past several months. Despite the FCC unequivocally denying that this was there intention it was irrelevant to the outcome and response of manufacturers to the new rules. The competitiveness of the market and costs of compliance means the only real solution for manufactures to comply is the lock down of there router's firmware. The TP-Link rep went on to say that all future routers would be locked down as a direct result of the rule changes.

These rules are bad and already hindering user freedom. The FCC has pulled a fast one and we need to fight back. This is a major security and privacy threat which will lead to even buggier and more insecure wireless hardware. A legal campaign to end this nonsense will require significantly more funding and criticism. Unfortunately the major players on fighting this are burning out. Christopher Waid, of ThinkPenguin, Dave Taht, of BufferBloat, Eric Schultz, Josh Gay of the FSF, and others just don't have the time or resources to keep fighting this. Don't let this be the end.

The Save Wifi campaign needs major financial help if we're going to put an end to this. Please donate to the effort at: https://funds.gofundme.com/dashboard/save_wifi_round_2 . Please see www.SaveWIfi.org for updates.

Read more about what TP-Link had to say here:

http://ml.ninux.org/pipermail/battlemesh/2016-February/004379.html




The FCC (USA), Canada, and Europe are attempting to force new rules on manufacturers that will require them to lock down our computing devices. Everything with a modern wireless chip in it is likely to be affected. We have been campaigning for the FCC to abandon these rule changes and this is the current status:

The FCC comment period is over. The FCC has now responded to our communities criticisms and concerns. Unfortunately the answer was to essentially ignore our concerns and say they care. Eric (a participant in the Save Wifi coalition) has written a detailed post here.

Despite this loss the Save Wifi coalition is not dead. We will be working to renew our efforts after the new year. Hopefully with a little bit of fund raising, re-grouping, and further attacks on these disturbing changes we'll be in more of a position to get a proper resolution to the problem.

In the mean time please see here for some of what is going on in Europe:

https://blog.tohojo.dk/2015/10/the-new-wifi-regulations-in-europe.html

For those looking to get what may be one of the last 100% free software wireless routers please check out our router here. We also have another new wireless routing device that's been designed to protect users privacy by routing traffic connected to it through a privacy friendly VPN provider.

For more information on the US rules read this comprehensive blog post on the issue by one of the Save Wifi coalition participants. It is the most detailed, accurate, and thorough explanation of our concerns.

--- old info ----


On the tail of the FCC Canada and Europe are attempting to force new rules on manufacturers that will require them to lock down our computing devices. Everything with a modern wireless chip in it is likely to be affected. No longer will you be able to run the operating system of your choice- or even determine if there is a rogue software running on it. Even installing third party software could become an issue if the manufacturer or government doesn't authorize it. With these rules the government is treading on dangerous ground and compromising our security, privacy, and freedom. By locking up devices only the manufacturer, foreign and domestic government(s), and criminal organizations will be in a position to load third party software onto the devices we own. These entities have repeatedly shown a willingness to comprise all of our security and it needs to stop.

For more information about what is happening in Europe and to get involved in stopping these rule changes check out:

https://juliareda.eu/2015/10/dear-european-governments-dont-endanger-fre...

We will also be working on campaigns for Europe and Canada as part of the Save Wifi coalition here:

www.savewifi.org

The US has also passed rules which are compromising our ability to provide users systems under which the users are in control. There is an open comment period to tell the FCC (United States) why they shouldn't pass a new set of proposed rules which will take these restrictions even farther. The initial period to say "no thanks" to the FCC is open until October 9th. After which there is a 'reply' comment period that is open until November 9, 2015.

Our 100% free/libre user-owned and controlled routers are still available. However the time to buy may be running out. And remember these rules aren't just going to stop users from buying freedom respecting routers. They'll likely hinder *all* devices with a wifi chip in them from running free software- or even just third party operating systems.

For more information on the US rules read this comprehensive blog post on the issue by one of the Save Wifi coalition participants.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 22:36

Can't make it to Boston? Come join us in celebrating the Free Software Foundation's 30th birthday in Columbus, Ohio. The event will be held alongside the Ohio [GNU]/Linux Fest. ThinkPenguin will be sponsoring the party!

Ohio [GNU]/Linux Fest will be held October 2nd and 3rd, 9:00AM - 8:00PM at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, E-Pod Rooms, 400 North High Street Columbus, OH 43215.

On October 3rd at 8:00PM the FSF 30th Birthday party at the Hyatt Regency Columbus, Franklin Ballrooms, 350 North High Street Columbus, OH 43215 will begin.

There will be two full days of Free Software talks to be concluded with a celebration of the accomplishments of the Free Software Foundation 30th year. Live video stream of Richard Stallman's address will be enjoyed after 8PM in the Hyatt Franklin Ballrooms as well as birthday cake!

RSVP here by registering for the Ohio GNU/Linux Fest (registration is free)

Thursday, September 10, 2015 - 20:43


Law enforcement fearmongering has given a New Hampshire library cold feet about running a Tor relay—even though the software helps support privacy and intellectual freedom.

Library Freedom Project and the Tor Project are working together on an ambitious plan to bring Tor relays to libraries across the country. But just a few weeks after they announced that the site of the pilot location—Kilton Library in Lebanon, New Hampshire—the library got a call from their local police department, at the encouragement of the Boston office of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The police warned them, falsely, that Tor's primary use is to aid and abet criminal activity. Due to the fearmongering of these law enforcement agencies, the library took its relay offline.

Kilton Library's Board of Trustees will vote on September 15 whether to bring the relay back online.

Sign the petition to let the library board know there's public support behind this important privacy-enhancing project:

https://act.eff.org/action/support-tor-and-intellectual-freedom-in-libra...