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[Freedombox-discuss] don't write code - user-friendly configuration

On Sun, Sep 5, 2010 at 5:07 PM, bertagaz <bertagaz at ptitcanardnoir.org>wrote:

> One thing that is important when thinking about building a "better" and
> secure network is users learning how it works, or at least pros and cons
> of choices they will have to make when choosing how to communicate.
Devices that does all the configuration "transparently" usually don't help
> a lot in that, and I think there's more benefits to have a good translated
> documentation rather than hiding everything to users.

Although I commend your basic sentiment - it would be nice if people took
some time to think about what they are doing, I think that is generally the
wrong attitude when trying to build something to improve the security and
privacy of the average netizen.

Making a device harder to use won't educate people, it will just limit how
many people you can reach.

> And finally, I don't understand how freedombox could fight the "evil
> cloud" and also propose to use it. Maybe freedombox could have a plugin
> architecture so that people willing to use such services could write their
> own, but I don't think this project should put any effort in providing the
> software to use them.

Not all cloud services are the same.  To take a extreme example, the routers
that carry your packets live "in the cloud", and obviously you aren't going
to stop using them.  People mustn't forget that the reason we are using the
Internet in the first place is because we want to communicate. If we are all
completely anonymous and untrackable, then that also means nobody can talk
to us.

The problem with "the evil cloud" is people are today giving third parties a
vast amount of private, personal information, without really having any good
reason to trust those third parties - and in fact, they have many reasons
not to. Fundamentally, that is why most of us are on this list.

People use these cloud services because it is easy, and because they want to
communicate, and because they don't see any alternatives.

So if you want to fix that, you have to make an alternative that is also
easy and, most importantly, allows people to easily communicate.

I personally think if you completely ignore "the cloud" and refuse to
cooperate with today's web, today's DNS and everything else people are
familiar with (all of which require at least a little bit of "in the cloud"
infrastructure), then you won't achieve any of your other goals.  The trick
is to use the cloud, but get the balance right so people's independence and
privacy are protected.  We all agree that the balance is wrong today, but
there is no need to throw the baby out with the bath-water.

Bjarni R. Einarsson

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