[Freedombox-discuss] Raining on the parade

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 26 17:27:26 UTC 2012

----- Original Message -----
> From: Elena ``of Valhalla'' <elena.valhalla at gmail.com>
> To: freedombox-discuss at lists.alioth.debian.org
> Cc: 
> Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 4:45 AM
> Subject: Re: [Freedombox-discuss] Raining on the parade
> On 2012-06-25 at 21:10:12 +0200, Markus Sabadello wrote:
>>  On Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 10:45 AM, Michiel de Jong 
> <michiel at unhosted.org>wrote:
>>  > > On 06/24/2012 11:07 PM, Sandy Harris wrote:
>>  > >> [Hostile] regimes [would] stomp rather firmly on
>>  > >> anyone they caught with a Box?
>>  > that's actually a valid point i think.
>>  Yes this is also what someone from the W3C told me a few days ago. He
>>  said that the FreedomBox was overall a really bad idea and that hardcore
>>  activists would never use it, precisely for this reason. Not sure if I 
> share
>>  this opinion though :)
> one way to solve this problem is by making the freedombox useful 
> also for non-activists 
>>  Yes definitely.. The FreedomBox was born out of Eben Moglen's vision to
>>  liberate
>>  us from the centralized Facebooks, Googles, etc. It is about having data
>>  under
>>  our control, and about decentralized communication. My understanding is
>>  that the
>>  use case of political activism is of course important, but just a subset of
>>  the
>>  FreedomBox idea.
> this. If everybody who has an use for a computer also has an use for 
> a freedombox (e.g. to share his pictures with friends, or any 
> other harmlessi activity) it is something useful in itself.
> If these tasks are done using strong cryptography (to stop 
> the hackers) then an activist can use it knowing that it won't  
> attract any more attention from the auctorities than using facebook 
> or twitter does right now (except it will be safer for him).

The activists are the ones sending data with a tor fingerprint.  The
Everybodies are the ones doing what they were already doing--
going to Facebook and Twitter.

There's no way out of this problem without educating people about
privacy.  For the average user, nearly everything they do on the web
is supported by the hypothesis that the data they provide about
themselves is worth more than the services provided to them.  The
users know this and react by misjudging the value of their data--
almost a direct quote from a Facebook member, "they know I click
'like' on pictures of animals with captions on them."  And I don't think
any of us can convince such users that doing so is dangerous without
knowing more about what Facebook and Google do with their data
(which is hidden), or making every user do a research project on
privacy so that they have the skills to understand that Moglen's
speeches aren't hyperbole.


> -- 
> Elena ``of Valhalla''
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