Bonum Certa Men Certa

Experiencing 15 Years of LibrePlanet Celebration Firsthand as a Volunteer: 2023 - Charting the Course

Article by Marcia K Wilbur

LibrePlanet logo

Welcome from LibrePlanet 2023!

This year, LibrePlanet was hybrid with on-site and online options from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

It was a breezy and chilly weekend outside. The Boston St. Patty's day parade was scheduled around the corner for Sunday. What a great time to be in Boston!

Although I wanted to be there earlier, 9ish was time for me to come in from being out in the cold, for the 15-year celebration -- Free Software Foundation's LibrePlanet.

Charting the Course was the theme. We were on board!

Event: Office party

My intention was to attend the office party early in the evening. However, I ended up on the wrong Franklin Street and was late. As I arrived, Craig was at the front and directed me to the refreshments and a contact, Illan, who would use me if there was a need.

Several people registered at the FSF offices for the conference starting the next day. The office party was a lot of mingling, talk about USENET, signal, privacy, makerspaces and much much more. The snacks were fresh and there was a variety of beverages including wine.

As the office party and evening came to a close, we were so entertained with lively conversation, we did not even realize the party was ending. I always recommend this party as a great meet and greet opportunity for free software enthusiasts. Again, this was a welcoming environment with no known issues. It was a great time!

Logistics and Venue

Parking was convenient and there was a driver with a cart to take you right to registration and the event!

The venue was comfortable and the event was welcoming!

Upon arrival at the convention center, a friendly security officer approached me, "Are you here for the tech event?"


He gave information about parking and the area. He mentioned the cart would be ready to take me up to the event. This was very pleasant.

The cart driver was very friendly and drove right up to registration.

There at registration, Craig greeted participants with a warm and welcoming smile. For this event, I was a volunteer at registration.

I was glad to be there.

Hallway Track

In between sessions and during lunch or just roaming around, we found ourselves in the hallway drinking coffee, discussing privacy, surveillance, Internet of things, AI/ML ethics, disaster recovery, and copyleft. Some discussions were about the state of healthcare, gaming and food!

The hallway track was a comfortable area to freely discuss interesting topics, share stories and meet peers.

Coffee was hot, always fresh and hot coffee was available throughout the entire event.

All required bill of materials were available: sugar, half and half, oat milk, milk, etc.

Bowls of fruit were lined up near the coffee station. The fruit was fresh and I appreciated the snack as my own snack, a yogurt from the hotel, burst in my sweater pocket during the journey!

There were areas to sit, eat, converse and work on your laptop.

GNU Press set up on the other side of Room 4. Past LibrePlanet swag as well as current swag was available. At any given time you could find people in legacy t-shirts (happy hacking) or FSF hoodies.

Oh, volunteers were given a free t-shirt - so we match. Let's do this! The volunteer at the shop smiled and looked in a box for the tee. The shirt was wrapped with my name printed on the label. I thought, cool. Very organized.

Registration Desk

We sat and assisted participants, speakers and attendees. The process was efficient and smooth.

"Which color lanyard?"

Green = Yes, photos are ok Yellow = Ask me first, please Red = No pictures

I remember this from past LibrePlanet but for some reason, assisting attendees this time, I gained a deeper appreciation of the respect for each individual's privacy consideration.

There were some familiar faces passing through registration, and a lot of new acquaintances to be made!


During volunteer training we went over the safe space policy. The language seemed much better than other codes of CONduct.

I saw no safety issues, I witnessed none and I felt not only safe there, but welcome!

We were prepared with protocols for any potential safety issues, but I was there for the Friday party, the Saturday event and Sunday morning with 0 issues.

Big Blue Button

We used bbb for presentations where the presenter spoke from a distance. This technology allows us to gain insight and information from all over the world. I attended the Libre Software in Africa and the JShelter presentation done in this manner.

A combination of IRC and IRL questions were taken during the Q and A portion. Again, this gave ample opportunity for free communication during this hybrid event.

Some Presentations

Opening Keynote

The keynote speaker on Saturday was Erin Rose Glass. She spoke about Education and the Future of Software Freedom.

Some of the topics discussed focused on data privacy, surveillance and education technology. She informed attendees about some of the darker truths to educational technology tools and companies. The presentation will be found here (soon).

The speaker understood the 4 freedom factors and applied these during the talk. Spoiler alert, she asked the audience to think about the pivoting moment leading to your decision to take the free software path.

The information discussed included remote proctors, turnitin tool used to check for copyright violations, and learning management tracking (SCORM and more).

Having worked in the field of education and with a focus in privacy matters, I found this keynote not only informative but also inspiring!

A practical demonstration of least authority services via free software

Sean O'Brien and Mikalai Birukou

This presentation about 3NWeb use cases including encrypted and storage is definitely worth watching for any privacy-minded individuals.

Life 0.01 - Free software for the end times

Kevin Shockey

Kevin Shockey has insight and traveled from Puerto Rico to discuss the "survival stack". After Hurricane Maria his efforts are focused on food shortages, disaster survival and climate.


Libor Polčák

JShelter presentation used Big Blue Button. Libor Polčák discussed fingerprinting prevention, limitations of rich Web APIs, and browsers. JShelter fingerprinting report and other feedback can be used by future security research.

Libre Software in Africa

Benson Muite

Benson Muite discussed localization and the need great translation. There is a contest available here.

What I gained from this presentation was a potential need for documentation efforts further using po and .pot files or some other portable object.

There was much much more to be seen at the conference and the videos will soon be available here.

More Information

From the FSF...

Day 1: Day 2:

List of presentations:

Also: Experience the fifteen years of LibrePlanet celebration firsthand as a volunteer



Overall, this event is in the top 5 conferences I ever attended and, they put me to work! I truly enjoyed the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere and sincerely hope the FSF will maintain charting the course in this direction!

I want to thank the staff, presenters, participants and volunteers for contributing to this event in providing an enjoyable experience!

See you next year!

"With a little perseverance you can get things done."

--Corey Hart

Recent Techrights' Posts

In the Pacific (Mostly Islands Around Oceania) GNU/Linux Grew a Lot
Microsoft cannot compete fairly
David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) Realises What He Should Have Decades Ago
seeing that DHH is moving away from Apple is kind of a big deal
Reinvigorating the Voice of GNU/Linux Users (Not Companies Whose Chiefs Don't Even Use GNU/Linux!)
Scott Ruecker has just announced his return
"Tech" in the Context of Even Bigger Issues
"Tech" (or technology) activism is important; but there's a bigger picture
A Decade of In-Depth Coverage of Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO)
The world needs transparency and sunlight
Delayed Series About Dr. Richard Stallman
A lot of the attacks on him boil down to petty things
Hopefully Not Sunset for StatCounter
We hope that StatCounter will be back soon.
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 26, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, May 26, 2024
Links 27/05/2024: Self-Publishing, Patent Monopolies, and Armed Conflicts
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/05/2024: Tethering Connection and PFAs
Links for the day
Imagine Canada Enabling Rapists to Harass Their (Rape) Victims
This analogy is applicable because abusers are empowered against the abused
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting My Old "Tweets"
This was basically an act of vandalism no better and no worse than UEFI restricted boot
Links 26/05/2024: Google 'Search' Morphing Into Disinformation Factory, Discussion of Maze of the Prison Industrial Complex
Links for the day
A Toast to Tux Machines
Food ready for the party, no photos yet...
IBM/Red Hat Failing to Meet Its WARN Obligations in NC (STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA), or Perhaps It's Constantly Delaying the Layoffs
IBM isn't named even once
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 25, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, May 25, 2024
GNU/Linux in Greenland
The sharp increases for GNU/Linux started last summer
The Sheer Absurdity of the EPO's Career System Explained by EPO Staff
"Staff representation has previously pointed this out to management, and the career system has been the reason for several industrial actions and litigation cases initiated by SUEPO."
[Meme] Productivity Champ Nellie Simon: It Takes Me 3+ Weeks to Write 6 Paragraphs
Congrats to Nellie Simon!
It Took EPO Management 3+ Weeks to Respond to a Letter About an Urgent Problem (Defunding of EPO Staff)
The funny thing about it is that Nellie Simon expects examiners to work day and night (which is illegal) while she herself takes 3+ weeks to write a 1-page letter
Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) in The Hague Taking Action to Rectify Cuts to Families of Workers
they "are active in challenging this measure via the legal system"
Links 25/05/2024: Microsoft Adds More DRM (Screenshot Blocking), Another Microsoft Outage Takes Down Everything
Links for the day
Gemini Links 25/05/2024: "Bill Smugs" and OpenBSD Mirror Over Tor / I2P
Links for the day
Microsoft #1 in Gaming Layoffs, Laid Off Workers Receive Another Insult From Microsoft
Many of them never chose to work for Microsoft
In New Caledonia Windows is Now Below 30% (It Used to be Over 90%)
Microsoft's Windows absolutely collapsing and the measures are relatively stable
Forget About India's and Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons and Armament Race, They Need to Abscond Windows and Microsoft (Security Swiss Cheese)
Both countries would be wise to remove Windows as soon as possible, irrespective of the local party politics
statCounter: GNU/Linux Rose From 0.2% to Over 3% in Pakistan
GNU/Linux "proper" (i.e. not ChromeOS) has the lion's share
Red tape: farmer concerns eerily similar to Debian suicide cluster deaths
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Galway street artists support social media concerns
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 25/05/2024: Section 230 and Right of Publicity Violations by Microsoft (Which Attacks Performance Artists)
Links for the day
[Meme] No Microsoft
For fun!
Microsoft Windows Falls to New Lows in Poland
It may mean people delete Windows from relatively new PC
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: An Introduction
The campaign of coercion (or worse) started in 2021
The "D" in Debian Stands for Dictatorship That Extends to Censorship at DNS Level
Of course the registrar, which charged for domains until 2025, just went along with it
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Getting Stacked by Microsoft
it lets Microsoft write policies
The Parasitic Nature of Microsoft Contracts
Stop feeding the beast
Gemini Links 25/05/2024: Emacs Windows 2000 Screenshots and Little Languages
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 24, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, May 24, 2024