[Freedombox-discuss] Freedombox Interface Design And Development

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 30 20:42:24 UTC 2014

On 04/30/2014 06:04 AM, Lockwood Michael wrote:
> Hay Both
> Thanks for the responses.
> I am of course as confused as ever.
> My poorly informed understanding was that Debian for Freedombox would aim to encapsulate the likes of TOR, Diaspora, Some sort of Encrypted Currently Exchange and so on, and aim to build a Decentralised Alternative. If not this could you give me a little more info ?
> Is anybody aware of any papers that might help me in terms of Freedombox and Decentralisation in general?
> The whole Decentralisation of Personal Data Movement 'If indeed there is one?' and the Necessary Interface for Mass Participation is something that excites me.

Hi Mick,

There are two projects which come to mind:


It is for self-hosting, and it targets the Raspberry Pi.  The main dev 
there has a plan to make it possible to host Tor hidden services using 
Arkos, but I'm not sure how close he is to that goal.  Anyway, it has a 
nice plug-in system so it's possible someone else can come along and 
make that happen.  It looks to be under pretty heavy development at the 
moment.  And like Freedombox it is free software.


This is more of a secure foundation upon which decentralized social 
network tools may be built. The API looks now to be fairly stable so 
maybe the kinds of tools you're looking for could get built on top of 
that.  Furthermore, there is a nice bibliography at this site, and they 
have published many papers on topics about how best to do 
censorship-resistant searching, publishing, etc.

Btw-- I'm not sure Diaspora is a good example of a decentralized 
alternative.  It's federated, not developed by security specialists, and 
seems to have lost much of its momentum over the last year. Alternatives 
like Briar and others are still under heavy development.  Secure 
decentralized social networking is difficult.

If you meant to say "encrypted currency exchange", you might ask at the 
Bitcoin forum.  There are a ton of cryptocurrencies being developed 
daily-- I'm sure there are people working on this.  Just be careful-- 
cryptocurrencies tend to attract more scam artists than any other 
category of free software project, for obvious reasons.

Anyway if these or any other projects interest you, just try installing 
and see what happens.  (Maybe wait on Gnunet, as it's fairly tricky to 
install atm.)  Especially after the Snowden leaks there are many, many 
people interested creating the exact same thing that excites you.  Just 
find a community you are comfortable with and use your skills to help 
them as much as your time permits.

Finally, I'd discourage you from trying to participate here.  One of the 
active developers has professed to be a bully in this thread.  I don't 
know if that's serious or an inside joke, but no healthy free software 
community would leave you wondering.


> Is there anyone on this list with a similar interest I can discuss further with ???
> All The Best
> Mick
> Mick Lockwood
> Lecturer In Digital Design  |  School of Art and Design
> HT105, Centenary Building, University of Salford, Salford M3 6EQ
> t: +44 (0) 161 295 4879
> m.g.lockwood at salford.ac.uk  | www.salford.ac.uk/art-design
> ________________________________________
> From: Freedombox-discuss [freedombox-discuss-bounces+m.g.lockwood=salford.ac.uk at lists.alioth.debian.org] on behalf of Jonas Smedegaard [dr at jones.dk]
> Sent: 25 April 2014 22:37
> To: freedombox-discuss at lists.alioth.debian.org
> Subject: Re: [Freedombox-discuss] Freedombox Interface Design And Development
> Hi Luka,
> Quoting Luka Marčetić (2014-04-25 21:34:33)
>> I too once thought one of the main features -- nay, *the* main feature
>> of FB is that it offered decentralization.
>> However, when I argued this (at the time, I think stated as one of the
>> goals, but since removed) back in 2010, Jonas Smedegaard et al were
>> disagreeing.
> I guess you mean this (and surrounding thread):
> http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/freedombox-discuss/2010-October/000166.html
> Not sure what it is exactly you say that we disagree on.
>> Since then (and because of that), I've lost track of the project,
> Right - seems this was your (until now) last post to this list:
> http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/freedombox-discuss/2011-March/000937.html
> My response to that last mail shows what rude asshole I am.  But also it
> hints at what actually needs done for FreedomBox to progress: Someone
> needs to package those inventions floating around out there - and
> maintain those packages.
> Noone responded to that email.  I believe those particular projects have
> not yet entered Debian, which means it will probably take several years
> more before those exciting projects stabilize to a point usable for
> non-techies like FreedomBox users.
>   - Jonas
> --
>   * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
>   * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/
>   [x] quote me freely  [ ] ask before reusing  [ ] keep private
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