There have been many bright spots for the right to repair and our group of pro-repair IT and information security professionals in the last year. Our experts fanned out to support right to repair legislation in states as far flung as Massachusetts, Maryland, Colorado and Nevada. And then, of course, there were the victories in recent months: Colorado’s wheelchair right to repair was signed into law in June followed shortly by New York’s Digital Fair Repair Act, which has passed the New York legislature and awaits a signature by Governor Hochul. (*Ahem*)
In the midst of all that, our intrepid group landed some important kudos from one of the most important organizations fighting for a free, fair and equitable Internet: The Free Software Foundation. FSF named SecuRepairs the winner of its Award for Projects of Social Benefit for 2021. The award was announced in March and awarded at FSF’s LibrePlanet conference. The official plaque arrived in the mail last week. Take a look!
Free software and repair: closely connected
The Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented to a project or team responsible for “applying free software, or the ideas of the free software movement, to intentionally and significantly benefit society,” according to FSF.
On presenting the award to SecureRepairs, FSF executive director Zoë Kooyman stated, “The right to repair movement is closely connected with the free software movement. Both strive to put the most important parts of our technical lives under the control of users rather than corporations, and I’m delighted to see SecuRepairs conferred with this award.”
Specifically, FSF highlighted SecuRepairs work speaking out on the public’s need to control devices they own; providing expert testimony from security professionals; and combatting misinformation from hostile device manufacturers.
A group effort
It’s always great to have your work recognized and I’m thankful for the Free Software Foundation for singling out SecuRepairs for its Social Benefit award. This is a win for all SecuRepairs members. You have lent your support and – in many cases – your time and expertise to helping promote the idea of a legal right to repair. Take a second now and give yourself a pat on the back for supporting SecuRepairs.
I would especially like to give a shout-out to SecuRepairs members who have gone the extra mile in the last couple years by representing the group at hearings and/or helping to prepare testimony, articles and other material explaining that right to repair laws don’t pose a cybersecurity risk, or otherwise debunking bad-faith arguments by manufacturers and lobbyists. Special thanks goes out to: Joe Grand (@joegrand); Jon Callas (@joncallas); Gary McGraw (@cigitalgem); Tarah Wheeler (@tarah); Ming Chow (@0xmchow); Billy Rios (@xssniper); Avi Rubin (@avirubin); Owen Rubel (@owen_rubel); Richard Forno and Craig Smith.
A special thanks goes out, as well, to SecuRepairs member Sick Codes (@sickcodes) who has done tremendous work in the last year, via his research on proprietary platforms like John Deere, to promote the ethos of right to repair, while also underscoring the abysmal security practices of the same manufacturers that are using security as an excuse to lock out owners and independent repair professionals from being able to conduct basic repair and maintenance.
The great year we had in 2021 has carried into 2022, and 2023 looks to be even more promising. And with that – gold record in hand – allow me to sing a song of praise that I wrote for just this occasion… (runs for exit) 😛
IT or Infosec pro? Join us!
In the meantime, if you’re an information security or IT professional who is reading this and would like to join our ranks and get more involved in the fight for the right to repair, sign up now, or email me directly at: paul (at) securepair (dot) org.
Congrats to everyone!