[Freedombox-discuss] Rouge Freedomboxes and government intervention

Ted Smith teddks at gmail.com
Tue Jun 21 18:58:42 UTC 2011

On Tue, 2011-06-21 at 19:43 +0200, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
> On 11-06-21 at 11:56am, Anthony Papillion wrote:
> > Hi Everyone,
> > 
> > I've been following the discussion here on the list and one thing I've 
> > not seen a lot of discussion about is government intervention. Since 
> > the Freedombox will be open source and use a peer to peer methodology, 
> > what's stopping a hostile government from running their own 
> > 'Freedombox Honeypots' and targeting/locating users for arrest?
> "FreedomBox for Freedom Fighters" certainly need more thought in that 
> area.  Not realistic for a first release of FreedomBox IMO.
> "FreedomBox for consumers" need no special anti-government design, just 
> the core implicit anti-centralized-logging design.

I would think that the concept of software users as "consumers" would be
antithetical to the concept of the FreedomBox. The goal of the
FreedomBox project seems, to me, to be to return control over people's
social networks, email, calendars, etc., to the people -- to lift them
into being autonomous agents rather than wide-mouthed consumers, waiting
for the Mama Bird of Facebook to regurgitate status updates for them.

See also: <http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html#Consumer>

But furthermore, if the "FreedomBox for non-activist but equally
autonomous agents" is to actually deliver on its promises of security,
it needs to be secure against the same threat model. Sure, this threat
model doesn't require the FB design to obfuscate the fact that the
individual is running a FB, but it does require end-to-end crypto
authenticated using a real certification system (i.e. not the SSL
mafia). Otherwise, it is just as feasible for ISPs or black-hat hackers
to sniff people's personal information over the wire and sell it to the
highest bidder. And that's only one angle on this huge landscape.
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