[Freedombox-discuss] In-the-cloud infrastructure and business involvement (was: distributed DNS)
On Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 11:46 AM, <bertagaz at ptitcanardnoir.org> wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 11:06:36PM +0000, Bjarni R?nar Einarsson wrote:
> > On Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 9:26 PM, Clint Adams <clint at debian.org> wrote:
> > > Personally, I think the only centralized infrastructure the
> > > FreedomBoxes should need is the distribution of software security
> > > updates, and that anything else should be regarded as a stopgap
> > > measure as we move toward proper decentralization.
> > I agree that that would be wonderful! And it's a worthy goal, and
> > to work towards. But I also don't think it is at all realistic given the
> > tools we have to work with today and more importantly, I really don't
> > it's a good idea to throw out the entire existing set of Internet
> > and standards because they aren't compatible with this goal.
> No one talks to leave the standards or Internet Protocol, but to build
> smart privacy enhanced solutions on top of them, and replace the existing
> infrastructure where it sucks when that's possible.
I was responding to Clint's desire to need no cloud-based infrastructure
aside from software updates. That will never happen if you want the boxes to
be able to communicate with the existing Internet - at the very least there
will be traditional DNS involved, and probably some e-mail helpers and
proxies as well, XMPP servers, pubsubhubbub, etc. etc. Hopefully none of
those will be centralized in the sense that everyone goes through the same
provider and people have no choice, but help from the cloud will be needed.
The common refrain of "your geekier friends will help you" is avoiding the
issue, IMO. Not everybody has technical friends. And not everybody wants to
rely on favors and goodwill for their Internet connectivity. :-P
This was moglen's talk, to say that the FOSS community did build the
> Internet (at some point), in a direction without having some of its
> challenges in mind (privacy, fast development and everyday usage from
> billions of people, gov interests in controlling internet...). And that
> the FOSS community have the brains and capacity to overthrow this facts by
> developing tools with this challenges in mind, such as the freedombox.
Moglen explicitly talked about using existing infrastructure, such as
dynamic DNS, which is what prompted this discussion in the first place - the
question of whether using existing providers was acceptable or not.
"Room for business" is a bit vague. Do you mean having people doing
> business on top of the freedombox? Having business participating in
> freedombox's infrastructure?
I mean explicitly founding a business to help FreedomBox users. Like
founding a mail relay provider which promises to anonymize and discard logs
and do it's best to not end up on spam black-lists (so FB users can reliably
*send* e-mail), or a DNS provider that gives you a super-cheap name, but
also promises to delegate it to whichever DNS servers you choose (so you can
switch providers at will). Or a privacy-friendly IPv6 VPN service. Or an
all-in-one virtual ISP which provides all these and more in one easy
package. There are many, many services which could be provided from the
cloud which could make FreedomBoxes much more powerful and viable in the
Obviously no such ventures would or should be guaranteed business, and none
should be granted exclusive or even preferred status - but if the project is
openly hostile to such efforts and *only* wants to work with non-profit
community efforts, then that's a pretty important thing to know up-front,
I personally won't give my private data to companies, it's far less
> reliable to what we intend to build with the freedombox.
Companies that require you to give them your data and sacrifice privacy and
freedom would obviously not be compatible with the project. That should go
without saying. My point is, it is entirely possible to at least *imagine* a
service provider who does all the right things. What then?
One possible strategy for FreedomBox would be to encourage such things. The
diametric opposite would be to just assume that money always corrupts and
businesses simply can't be trusted.
I'm cautiously on the pro-business side, but I understand others may feel
differently. Or maybe people just don't see the need and it's too early for
this discussion? It's food for thought anyway. :-)
Bjarni R. Einarsson
The Beanstalks Project ehf.
Making personal web-pages fly: http://pagekite.net/
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