Transitioning to a new more secure GnuPG key

I am transitioning GnuPG keys from an old 1024-bit key to a new 4096-bit key, because 1024 bit are uncomfortably close to what can be cracked. The old key will continue to be valid for some time, but I prefer all new correspondence to be encrypted in the new key, and will be making all signatures going forward with the new key. If you have signed my old key, I would appreciate signatures on my new key as well, provided that your signing policy permits that without re-authenticating me. The old key, which I am transitional away from, is: pub … Continue reading

Dark Mail as Next-Generation Email to Stop Spying

The people from Lavabit and SilentCircle announced their Dark Mail Alliance which is going to develop a new end-to-end encrypted protocol to better secure email. Since, the media reports about this were scarce on details, I watched the recording of their presentation and will summarize what is interesting to me below,  in case it might also be interesting to you. They call their new Dark Mail system peer to peer. The end-to-end encryption should be integrated into the protocol and keys should be generated on the users device without any interaction by the users so it will be as easy … Continue reading

First F-Droid Workshop to Happen Soon in Berlin

If you always wanted to learn how to include new apps into the F-Droid Free Software app repository for Android, then the first F-Droid Workshop is for you. There the F-Droid developers themselves will show you how to do it. When? Saturday the 3rd of August, 2PM – 5PM Where? IN-Berlin (OSM) Who? Daniel Martí and Torsten Grote (F-Droid developer) F-Droid is a project that aims to provide Free Software applications for Android via a repository system, much like most of the GNU/Linux distributions distribute packages. This differs very much from the Google Play approach since the client and server … Continue reading

Meine Einschätzung der NSA Mitarbeit an Android für ZEIT ONLINE

Gestern Abend erhielt ich eine E-Mail von einem ZEIT ONLINE Redakteur, der mich um eine Einschätzung zu der Mitarbeit der NSA an Android bat und fragte, ob es möglich sei, dass die NSA Hintertürchen eingebaut habe. Der Artikel dazu wurde mittlerweile veröffentlicht und zitiert mich teilweise. Aus Transparenzgründen und zur Steigerung der allgemeinen Medienkompetenz, gebe ich hier mal meine vollständige hastig zusammen getippte Einschätzung wieder: Prinzipiell ist es natürlich möglich, dass die NSA Hintertüren in den Code von Android eingebaut hat. Vor einiger Zeit gab es ja den Fall, dass das FBI Hintertüren in den OpenBSD Code eingebaut haben sollte. … Continue reading

CyanogenMod removes tracking opt-out, reverses decision, but still uses Google Analytics

The most successful and best managed version of Android CyanogenMod is gathering data from users for statistical purposes. The statistics are public and users have the chance to opt-out of being counted. On March 31st this changed. The founder of the CyanogenMod initiative Steve Kondik removed the opt-out feature from the source code (commit). He explained his reasons in the commit message: Not having an accurate count of how many people are using CM is painful. I am making an executive decision to remove the opt-out and always turn stats on. The data is anonymized and there is nothing evil … Continue reading

Android SDK is now proprietary, Replicant to the rescue

I just noticed that the Android SDK is now non-free software. If you go to https://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html#download and click on one of the files, you are presented with lengthy “Terms and Conditions” which for example say: In order to use the SDK, you must first agree to this License Agreement. You may not use the SDK if you do not accept this License Agreement. This sentence alone already violates freedom 0, the freedom to use the program for any purpose without restrictions. Today, the truly Free Software version of Android called Replicant came to the rescue and released a free (as … Continue reading

Compiling KDE Kontact from Source

I’m running Debian Sid, because I like to have a rolling distribution with the latest and greatest software as soon as it is released. Unfortunately, the KDE packagers in Debian lack (wo)men power and still ship 4 year old KDE PIM packages. Using their experimental KDE repository does not help. Since I have multiple annoying issues with Kontact 4.4.11 and because I need it functional for work, I decided to take a rather extreme step: Compiling it myself from the source code repositories. Turns out that it isn’t all that difficult. I documented the process below for those who want … Continue reading

Paying for Free Software

I would like to be able to pay for more Free Software. Usually people think the great thing about Free Software is that it is free as in free beer. They often neglect the fact that it is free as in free speech. This is probably because they rarely or never make use of this freedom. But since many freedoms benefit us only indirectly, it is still worth fighting for them. I don’t publish a newspaper, still I and society as a whole benefit clearly from having freedom of press. Software freedom is important to me and I refuse to … Continue reading

First Experiences Installing the New Kolab 3.0

The Kolab Groupware Solution lets you synchronize your contacts and calenders over multiple devices and easily share them selectively with other users. It is a 100% Free Software and historically close to the KDE community, but you can also use it with a multitude of different clients such as Thunderbird. Ever since the first alpha version of the brand new Kolab 3.0 Groupware Solution was released, I wanted to give it a try. The new features and especially the freshly skinned webclient based on Roundcube got me excited. I’m still running an old Kolab 2.2 server on Debian for personal … Continue reading

Updating Custom Versions of Android Easily

FSFE’s Phone Liberation Workshops (or Android Install Parties) are just taking off. People usually have to learn how to flash their devices because there’s no over the air update that easily updates the operating system. The Free Software initiative OTA Update Center is planning to change this. It will notify you of updates and allow you to apply the update with a click. No more manual flashing procedures necessary. Even though their source code is on github and the app was added to F-Droid, you can still not use it with most ROMs, because the ROM needs to support OTA … Continue reading