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Hardware that Respects Your Freedom. Who Controls Your Hardware?

Craig Topham

June 25, 2023 1:00-1:25 PM

Location: FMH Room 230

Once you've torn down, hacked, and reassembled your hardware, how can you be certain the software running on your device works for you and no one else? The only way to be sure is if the hardware functions on 100% free and open source software. My talk will describe working through the process of evaluating a device based on the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) "Respects Your Freedom" (RYF) certification program. As a copyright and licensing associate for the FSF, it's my duty to evaluate devices for our RYF program. I will detail the steps (based on our certification requirements) individuals can take to evaluate their own device and be certain that it works entirely under their command. Any hackers out there who share this desire of complete control over their hardware will enjoy this talk. Because I will be talking about a free service the FSF provides to the community, I want to be clear that the FSF does not sell any devices and, once certified, the RYF mark is free to be used for a specific device. The RYF certification program encourages the creation and sale only of hardware that will both do as much as possible to respect the user's freedom and their privacy, and ensure that they have control over their device.