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[Freedombox-discuss] What is Freedombox? (Was: CAs and cipher suites for cautious servers like FreedomBox)

Quoting Petter Reinholdtsen (2013-09-14 09:13:07)
> [cgw993 at aol.com]
> > Sorry for the basic question but is Freedombox considered to be a 
> > collection of hardware or software or is it the name of the project 
> > itself?
> It is a project and a vision to create a home server allowing its 
> users privacy and securicy for its data and communcation.  Part of the 
> project os to integrate or build the software needed for this, and 
> part of the project is to find/create a useful hardware platform to 
> make it easy for non techincal people to get access to the Freedombox 
> solution.

I agree with above, but am converned with the high risk of 
misinterpreting the "build the software needed" part:

I believe strongly that the FreedomBox should not contain any code 
written specifically for FreedomBox.  FreedomBox should consist only of 
code already in common use among geeks.

Reason is, that the target users are non-geeks who are not expected to 
be capable of understanding the code, e.g. notice if it misbehaves.  
Essentially, a FreedomBox is a server with *no* administrator and no 
eyeballs on the code.

As a concrete example, it worries me if a GUI is invented and promoted 
as being the "Front End for Freedom Plug UI".  That might seem 
compelling to deploy on FreedomBox, but wait a minute: when promoted so 
directly at the FreedomBox project, it conversely means it is less 
likely that other related projects, e.g. emdebian router projects or 
Debian-based phone projects or whatever, would consider reusing same 
tool for *their* projects, thereby enhancing the quality assurance 
inherent in Free Software through the logic of "given enough eyeballs, 
all bugs are shallow".

Given *few* enough *geeky* eyeballs, all bugs are still lurking.

We shall eat our own dogfood. We shall only ship to our non-geek friends 
what we use and trust ourselves, and only those parts that are boring to 
us because they just work correctly all the time.

> > Q #2 - Would it be essentially impossible or completely impractical 
> > for the freedombox to contain only free software, the firmware, 
> > drivers, algorithms, code, everything free? The device cannot be 
> > secured if it contains any non free software(code, firmware, 
> > libraries, anything) right?
> It is an expressed goal of the project to find a hardware platform 
> without any non-free parts.

Yes.  It has also been emphasized that FreedomBox is not tied to a 
single piece of hardware but a certain _kind_ of hardware.

Even if us developers work mostly on one or a few specific hardware 
boards now, that only means it is easier for us to develop that way - 
over time we expect more devices to emerge on the market that fits the 
criteria of running Debian, being cheap, low-power and silent, and 
preferrably being Open Hardware.

NB! I speak for myself here, as enthusiasticly involved developer.

 - 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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