Bastien Guerry

Computers and freedom

From GNU Emacs to, LibrePlanet 2022

See the LibrePlanet 2022 page.

Who am I?

Bastien Guerry, 44yo, Free Software developer and hacktivist (bzg).

I am a GNU Emacs user since 1998 and a contributor since ~2006.

My day job is "head of the Free Software unit" within the French Inter-Ministerial Directorate for Digital Affairs.

Our mission is to convince public administrations and agencies to use more Free Software, to publish their source code under a free software license and to attract people in the administration who can help reach these two goals.

I want to convince you how this job is important for the Free Software movement in general.

As a Free Software hacktivist

  • I first promoted Open Access within my lab
  • We started Move Commons with some friends
  • I worked for One Laptop Per Child
  • I worked for Wikimedia France
  • I contributed to
  • I launched (now defunct)
  • I started

"From counterculture to cyberculture", Fred Turner (2012)

There is a myth about the Internet revolution, one of self-organizing individuals building a free culture. Fundamental rights always evolve thanks to a cultural change within existing institutions.

What I concluded: it is important to educate and convince political parties about free software and to promote a cultural change within public administrations, because it is the best way to defend software freedom as a fundamental right.

Free software history

  • 1970-1983: Prehistory
  • 1983-1991: History
  • 1991-1998: Build the system
  • 1998-2010: Conquer the market
  • 2010-2020: Enter tech giants
  • 2020-2030: Enter public administrations


  • Public money, public code
  • Administrations are stable institutions
  • Administrations serve the "public interest"
  • Public sector rules favor diversity

The technical and legal fights are not enough!

Let's fight for a cultural change where it matters most.

What we do in the Free Software unit

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