[Freedombox-discuss] How do we encourage public adoption of Freedom Box

Stefan Monnier monnier at IRO.UMontreal.CA
Tue Jul 3 01:50:27 BST 2018

> I wonder weather Eben Moglen uses FreedomBox and what does he think of it.
> I also wonder why FreedomBox is all about self-hosting, but it does not
> host itself.


> itself and does not rely on Debian infrastructure for everything.

I also think the project would benefit from including packages which
aren't packaged in Debian: lots of web services are very painful to
package for Debian, so those who are tend to be those that are rather
old and don't change much any more.

This is not a criticism of Debian since in most cases the problem is in
the lack of support from upstream which uses lots and lots of unclearly
labeled libraries, which change very often with poor backward
compatibility, ...

So those "non-Debian packages" would need to be packaged differently
(maybe via something like Docker).  IIUC this is considered out of scope
for FreedomBox, sadly.

> Relying on Debian infrastructure, from the technical point of view, is
> not much different than relying on Google infrastructure.

Not at all: while the source of the software is centralized (Debian's
servers), each FreedomBox works completely independently from Debian's
infrastructure (except maybe for a few minor details like the
debian.pool.ntp.org servers).

For example, your FreedomBox can work just fine on an intranet with no
connection to any part of the Internet.  None of the data managed by
your FreedomBox is exposed to Debian's servers, ...

It's technically *very* different from using Google services.

> Who can guaranty that one day Microsoft will not acquire Debian as it
> acquired Ubuntu and GitHub?

[ I don't think Microsoft acquired Ubuntu (yet), except maybe on an
  April's fool.  ]

Even if Microsoft ever acquires Debian (which probably wouldn't make
much commercial sense and would encounter various difficulties, but is
admittedly theoretically possible) that won't directly give them access
to any information about your FreedomBox and the the data of yours it
manages.  Of course, they could theoretically then install package
updates which introduce backdoors and whatnot, but there'd be a fair bit
of time for the FreedomBox project to fork or to switch to another
provider before that happens.


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