[Freedombox-discuss] Cory Doctorow's fictional FreedomBox helps us visualize it

John Gilmore gnu at toad.com
Wed Apr 13 11:17:59 UTC 2011

It seems that once you follow a genius, you often find that other
geniuses had already thought about that topic.

Science fiction writer Cory Doctorow wrote a kids' book called Little
Brother, whose plot revolves around high-school kids successfully
culture-jamming against the Department of Homeland Security after it
runs amok and starts kidnapping San Francisco residents into secret
prisons.  Lots of cool tech tricks are described, which frequently
really work in the real world.  One of them is a software distro
called ParanoidLinux that runs on discarded zero-cost Microsoft XBox
gaming hardware, creating an encrypted overlay network called Xnet.
I'll let you read the story without saying more.  ParanoidLinux is
definitely one man's vision of solid Freedom Box software, useful
when your government is trying to spy out and suppress anybody who
disagrees with what it's doing.  It's well worth reading that section.

Cory offers all his books for free public downloads under a CC
license.  He makes money when people buy his books; but he gets more
readers when people download and share them, and he wants both money
and readers, so he does both.  Get Little Brother in dozens of online
formats (or printed copies) here:


Search the online format for ParanoidLinux, then start reading...
and if and when you get hooked, go back and start from the beginning.
When you're done, give the book or file to a kid you know.


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