[Freedombox-discuss] Is / Is Not

James Vasile james at hackervisions.org
Tue May 31 14:23:09 UTC 2011

Some time back, I solicited views on what the FreedomBox should be.  I
assembled those views and passed them to Eben Moglen, who refined it
into something manageable and coherent.  Then we let the TAC take a
turn.  The below is the result, a concise statement of what the
FreedomBox is.  I'm publishing it here for another round of public

Best regards,

# The FreedomBox...

## Generally
* Is a software stack, for multiple kinds of hardware.
* Is especially valuable software in plug computers.
* Is Free as in Freedom.
* Is a Debian-based project.  Is not a Debian distribution.
* Is targeted at specific hardware but is not limited to that hardware.
* Is flexible about hardware.
* Is optimized for a specific hardware configuration.
* Is not an X server.
* Is not a device with a screen, keyboard or pointer.
* Is not an outdoor device.
* Is easy for ordinary people to use.

## Target Audience
* Is designed for everybody-- hackers, students, reporters, teachers, families, etc.
* Is personal but not single user.

## Services
* Is a torrent client and can use TOR for that purpose.
* Is a web server.
* Is a web proxy.
* Is an email server.
* Is a print server.
* Is a file server (NAS).
* Is a drop box.
* Is a streamer of media files, but does not necessarily connect directly to your TV.
* Is VPN capable, both for you and for people behind large government firewalls.
* Is an instant messaging server.
* Is a VOIP server.
* Is an eternity server.
* Is a photo album and gallery.
* Is a TOR node.
* Is able to save a live video stream feed from your phone via bluetooth, wifi or internet.

## Facilitates secure, anonymous and private chat and messaging
* Is an encrypting relay for email.
* Is the nerve center of your distributed social network.
* Is a platform for federated social networking.
* Is a platform for distributed collaboration.

## Security and Reliability
* Is smart about of knowing who to trust and how much to trust them.
* Is not a tamper-proof machine.
* Is thoroughly and automatically tested.

## Connectivity and Interoperability
* Is able to Communicate securely, privately and anonymously with other FreedomBoxes and devices.
* Is dedicated to producing state of the art mesh networking and routing solutions to replace local ISP services when disrupted.
* Is capable of detecting and tunneling around non-neutral networks.
* Is your router, both wireless and wired.

## Data Backup
* Is your encrypted backup server.
* Is capable of storing backups on other FreedomBoxes, local storage or on third party servers.
* Is recoverable by strength of your social network in addition to the usual methods (passphrase or keys).

## Is A Good Net Citizen.
* Is capable of detecting intrusion on its downstream LAN (e.g. looks for bot-shaped packets/traffic).
* Is a filter for ads and other unwanted content.
* Is a tool for collaborative SPAM filtering.

## Improves Your Network Experience
* Is a guard for your privacy and can strip identifying information from your web browsing,
* Is capable of filtering out advertising from web browsing and email.
* Is a device that protects against spyware.

## Hardware
* Is portable, not mobile.
* Is not a cellphone.
* Is usually connected to the public internet.  
* Is capable of talking to cellphones and using their radios.
* Is not a battery or solar powered device, but can be powered by either.
* Is operable via cellphone application.
* Is operable via remote or local computer.
* Is capable of talking with a GPS, but is not a GPS.

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