Freedom Box: Cyberspace for You and Me

While the internet has been very important in recent protest movements in Tunisia and Egypt, the internet is also vulnerable to central control, as when the Egyptian government all but shut down the internet within Egypt. We need an online world that’s genuinely free. Eben Moglen, a professor at Columbia Law School, has been advocating the need for a Freedom Box, a little server you could plug-in to a wall socket that would allow us to conduct online business outside the confines of Facebook, Google, and the rest. Here’s a New York Times story about Moglen and his idea. Here’s Moglen’s Freedom Box Foundation, and here’s the Kickstarter project that’s getting it funded. If you want to volunteer to work on the Freedom Box or follow the work, go to this wiki at debian.org.

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  1. #1 by Charlie Keil on March 1, 2011 - 4:10 pm

    I think it’s important to establish this alternate web system, just to keep the “big web” open and honest. If there is no alternative, “Big Money” or “corpstate” or “big brother” or whatever you want to call the current incarnation of “the powers that be” will sell “web power” or “cloud clout” or whatever to the highest bidder.

    Ironically the altweb won’t have to be used much, probably won’t be used, once it exists.
    Similarly the GOOD (Global Organization Of Democracies) once established and functioning well in tandem with the ICC (International Criminal Court) will probably shrink or disappear as quickly as the necessary UN reforms are made. But the UN reforms will never come about unless a GOOD exists and grows influential in proportion to UN failures!
    Does this make sense?

    • #2 by kubla on March 1, 2011 - 4:21 pm

      At first blush, yes, it makes sense. But I’m not sure I believe in the case of the altweb. Once that exists, who knows how the cyberverse will look and function.

  2. #3 by Charlie Keil on March 3, 2011 - 9:09 am

    Guess we need to keep trying every peaceful approach possible to the Great Transition. And to resilience/diversity.
    Any time we’re dependent on monocrop agriculture, or monotheism, or one insurance company that’s “too big to fail”, or one web, or one inadequate “world government” like the UN, some dictator or hacker or “rogue state” or TearHerWrist or even Old Mother Nature Herself can get to the “off” switch and mess up co-evolution for short or long stretches of time.

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