[Freedombox-discuss] Raining on the parade

Brian Drake Brian at drakewolf.net
Tue Jun 26 22:39:28 UTC 2012

Excellent points all around - and I too want to thank Sandy for bringing up
the conversation.  In repudiation to the author's words about
electronic dystopia, I believe in the power of the Freedom Box as a leveler
of the field.  If conversations and content can be shared without

You can have a wifi shared connection via TOR over cell networks on the
latest android devices - it's not a cheap piece of kit today - but in just
a few years time these are going to be *everywhere*.  Cellular; and in
particular 'smart phone' devices are barnstorming through every county in
the world.  TOR has already released the
Included is secure chat and a browser.

So - my opinion - is we focus efforts on a destination for these already
mobile folks: node based social networks; web-based tools for publishing
their news blurbs to things like twitter; blogs; and even facebook - make
it reasonably secure, peer to peer, distributed; Downloadable to a USB or
other offline storage if possible; and erasable with a lighter or teeth.

Distributed social networks like Friendica  <http://friendica.com/>and
eventually Diaspora will eventually fill this purpose; and <startup-plug
alert> I'm taking steps <http://node.net/> to help that along.*  But pure
cloud solutions don't go far enough towards true freedom.

The key and fundamental choke-point of the cellular system is the expense
and centralization (thus 'official' control) of the antenna tower.  The
hardest thing in the freedom box goal-set is the last-mile mesh network -
and it's the one most suitable for a separate; *in the field*; bit of kit.
 Something the handheld, roving nodes can latch onto as a primary data and
power source; perhaps even a connection 'sharer'  (10 cell-phones gather
round...)  I'm gonna have to look more into what Mr Taht is doing I think.

I've got a couple of different arm plugs; old, new, and purchased with
other's 'storage-to-cloud <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonido>' software
enabled.  And I'm dying for someone to complete an official 'freedom box'
on one / any of these devices.  (Thanks - by the way - for the
 I've got my own contributions coming with the stuff I've learned
installing Friendica and Tor but I'm still testing, tweaking, learning.

But what I *really* think will cause real change is a
 * Multi ethernet (2 min enables chains) for reliable/private inter-node
physical mesh; laptop or local server connectivity, and uplink.
 * Multi- usb (for charging & data) - centerpiece for a cafe tabletop.
 * Moderately powerful wifi AP that is more than happy to mesh with its
buddy on the other side of the square; or at least the next cafe table
over.  Dual antenna if possible with optional 'can-tennas'.
 * Powered by anything - AC generator; wall wart; solar panel; whatever.
 Build in a battery for bonus points.
 * A button to toggle
(no wireless)
 * A quickly removable microSD card for the occasional police raid - holds
the swap files & databases - runs only as an dumb-access and charging point
without a data card.
 * A decently fast web-style interface to... whatever... I'm biased towards
distributed social networking with anonymous/one-use email as a
backstop.  Blogs
and authenticated email are a good candidate as well but I find they are
better at a larger scale; a larger or more permanent audience... and that
pain point is solved in better ways than a glorified news-publishing
antenna in a bar, cafe, or living room.

This isn't a $100 plug computer/wall-wort - not yet anyway.  Educated
Guesstimate: $250-500 for a manufacturer to produce - if we keep the number
of ports down and eliminate things like HDMI & audio..  I've had
conversations with the sales team at Global Scale
 and they claim that they can build a custom box like
but we'd have to provide the software to drive it and a few hundred+
committed orders.  And I agree - it looks a LOT like a router.

PS for pure 'sexy' I've always pictured this thing to be a smoky
translucent grey plastic cube.  Multi-color LED's shine from the interior
indicating the usual: traffic, signal strength etc. 'Stealth' button is
obvious; SD card slot is not.

* Yes I'm hoping to make a living off related work to the Freedom box; I'll
market and sell the devices (with shipping included) if the community
allows me to do so.  I really like that hide-in-plain-sight sticker idea.
 But, until we have prototype software packages and those conversations
around licensing happen...
My team is tiny and working multiple jobs.  But, what resources I have are
dedicated to the furthering the freedom box and all it's earth
changing capability.

Brian Drake
Austin Texas
Schedule a Meeting:  http://tungle.me/briandrake

On Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 12:36 PM, Ted Smith <tedks at riseup.net> wrote:

> On Tue, 2012-06-26 at 10:27 -0700, Jonathan Wilkes wrote:
> >
> > 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.
> >
> Tor traffic is designed to be identical to HTTPS, and can even be
> obfuscated further to resist DPI attacks.
> > 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.
> >
> At the same time, ordinary facebook users reposted a modern-day chain
> letter when Facebook had it's IPO asserting that since facebook was now
> "public" they had to post a status containing legalese to retain
> "ownership" of their facebook content.
> So obviously some people care, but they care more about the network
> Facebook has built that allows them to have interactions with people
> they know, and they don't know what actions will make them more or less
> private.
> >
> --
> Sent from Ubuntu
> _______________________________________________
> Freedombox-discuss mailing list
> Freedombox-discuss at lists.alioth.debian.org
> http://lists.alioth.debian.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/freedombox-discuss
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