Christine Peterson coined the term “open source” in 1998.
Coalescing around the ideal of software freedom, over the past 20 years the open source community has come to thrive, enjoying wild success and permanently changing the technology landscape. But the world has also changed in the past two decades. It’s time for open source to evolve to meet the magnitude and complexity of today’s social, political and technological challenges.
Today, the same open source software that enriches the commons and powers innovation also plays a critical role in mass surveillance, anti-immigrant violence, protester suppression, racist policing, the deployment of cruel and inhumane weapons, and other human rights abuses all over the world.
We want to do something about this misuse of our software. But as developers we don’t seem to have any recourse, no way to prevent our work from being used to harm others.
We are creating ways to empower developers, giving us the freedom and agency to ensure that our work is being used for social good and in service of human rights.
We are building tools to enforce fair, ethical, and community-minded terms for those who benefit from or are affected by our work.
We are united in our conviction that software freedom must always be in service of human freedom.