Software Freedom Day logoToday, 15th September, is Software Freedom Day, an annual worldwide event to promote the role that free and open source technology can play in the modern world, where our everyday lives are increasingly dependent upon technology. At the time of writing, there are over 200 teams in 60 countries putting on events of which the closest to us in Bristol is being organised by the Herefordshire LUG.

Free and open source software gives you, the user, access to the source code. This ensures that you can know (or get checked) what exactly a piece of software will do. It avoids nasty surprises, spyware and all kinds of problems that we can’t be absolutely sure are avoided in closed software. Proprietary software keeps the source code locked away from public scrutiny, meaning that there is no way to know exactly what the software actually does and no way to trust it to safeguard your human rights. Transparent technologies are about ensuring you can trust the results and operation of your technology.

As an increasing proportion of the world’s population starts using technology, getting online and developing the next major life-changing event of the future (such as the birth of the internet was for many of us), it is vital to ensure open, transparent and sustainable approaches are considered best practice. This is important to a future where technology empowers everyone equally, where knowledge is forever and where our basic human freedoms are strengthened – not hampered – by technology.

Software Freedom Day is a global celebration of why transparent and sustainable technologies are now more important than ever.

NB: This post originally appeared on the Bristol Wireless blog.