[Freedombox-discuss] Minimal spec for NAS?

Sam Hartman hartmans at debian.org
Thu Jun 2 23:45:57 UTC 2011

>>>>> "Tony" == Tony Godshall <togo at of.net> writes:

    Tony> On Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 12:29 PM, Sam Hartman <hartmans at debian.org> wrote:
    >>>>>>> "Tony" == Tony Godshall <togo at of.net> writes:
    >>    Tony> IMHO at a minimum a freedombox should offer to
    >> share *the    Tony> stuff you wish to share*,
    >> Agreed.  I think the point in the example is that there was a
    >> presumption that by plugging in a disk you wanted to share that
    >> disk by default to the local network.

    Tony> Say for example the local network is on unencrypted wifi.  You
    Tony> really want that to be the default?  I could see the default
    Tony> being a listing of the directories and files with a "share"
    Tony> button by each one, and if you click "share" it would give you
    Tony> the option of "local network - no protection" or "share with
    Tony> world - no protection" or "share with world - encrypted".
Certainly, this is also a reasonable approach to consider.

    >> That seems like a usability question in terms of default
    >> configuration.
    >>    Tony> not everything you have, and it    Tony>
    >> should offer to share it through an encrypted and
    >> I tend to disagree with this.
    >> Anonymity is really expensive and has lots of
    >> implications.  It should be available, but should not be the
    >> default.

    Tony> If the primary purpose is for there to be an easy to use box
    Tony> that protects freedom of speech, then I don't understand why
    Tony> you think those who publish through it should be easily
    Tony> identified.  But perhaps I misunderstand you or the purpose of
    Tony> freedombox.

I have a lot of responses to this.
The first is that I don't think the primary purpose is to protect
freedom of speech.
At least in the debconf presentation, the primary purpose seemed to be
to gain the maximum protection afforded by law while maintaining control
of information.
Those purposes are related to freedom of speech certainly and compatible
with it, but not entirely the same.

However, even assuming that protecting freedom of speech is the primary
purpose, I still don't think anonymous is the right default. First, to
be successful, the freedom box needs to be usable; it will not be usable
if anonymous communication is the default.
I'm happy to go into why that's true at a social and technical level if
you think it useful to have that discussion.

Second, I suspect that most people exercising their freedom of speech
want to identify that speech. Providing people with their own servers so
Facebook, Google and the like cannot take down their comments are
probably as important as providing people with tools like anonymous

Also, I view the freedom box as something we want everyone to use. That
means it's going to compete with traditional network access
routers/CPEs. We want to push people towards freedom-preserving
activities: we want to make things like running their own servers,
distributed rather than central interactions, anonymous communication
and quality free software available to them.  But we also want to meet
enough of their initial expectations that they use our product.

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