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Eben Moglen Calls To Free the Cloud 173

paxcoder writes "You have been informed about Diaspora, a (to-be) distributed free social network. What you may not have known is that it was inspired by an excellent talk by Eben Moglen called 'Freedom in the Cloud.' But it doesn't stop there. At Debconf 10 this month, Moglen went further, and shared his vision of a free, private, and secure Net architecture relying on ('for lack of a better term') freedom boxes — low-price, ultra-small, plug it into the wall personal servers. He believes they will catch on since they will eventually cost less than a router, provide more functionality and freedom to the user, and even help your friends bypass any censorship by encrypting and routing their traffic. Since hardware is being taken care of, we are called to assemble the software stack. The title of this sequel talk is How We Can Be the Silver Lining of the Cloud."
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Eben Moglen Calls To Free the Cloud

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 15, 2010 @06:31PM (#33259136)
    That's one of the dumbest things that I've ever read here.
  • Transcript (Score:5, Informative)

    by PrecambrianRabbit ( 1834412 ) on Sunday August 15, 2010 @06:40PM (#33259166)
    For people who hate watching video as much as I do, here's a transcript: []
  • by _Knots ( 165356 ) on Sunday August 15, 2010 @06:43PM (#33259174)

    > and users can move freely between them.

    The proprietary world has yet to invent a mechanism for that, and it's been a known problem for a long while (decades). Data "liberation" is challenging and, even if you don't think that is a problem, cross-realm authentication is all but nonexistent. They have little incentive to provide these things unless people demand them, and by and large people don't. (And before you bring up LiveJournal's OpenID protocol, I've two things to say: 1) it's not worthy of the trust placed in it because not all parties srongly authenticate each other, and 2) note that commercial OpenID providers do not, and fundamentally cannot by nature of the beast, make it easy to transition from an identity rooted at one to an identity rooted at another.)

    The only truly distributed bring-your-identity-with-you schemes out there have come from the open, usually academic, world: PGP, SPKI/SDSI, E rights, the Petname system and protocol, and so on. Similarly, shared, secure-against-the-owner storage is not something social network companies have huge incentives to produce, but it exists in open research: TAHOE-LAFS exists and Diaspora has made vague promises to being similarly secure.

  • by mrogers ( 85392 ) on Sunday August 15, 2010 @06:50PM (#33259208)

    Someone please just tell me: are they nailing down a protocol spec first so that we can all do our own interoperable implementations, or at least all contribute code, and so not have the time wasting nightmare that was the Freenet project?

    They've done better than that: they've written the code, bundled it into a convenient cross-platform installer, documented everything, and ported a ton of apps to run on top of it, including BitTorrent clients, web servers, anonymous email and IRC. It's all free as in speech and free as in beer, and there's a supportive community of developers and users.

    Yeah, I know, I couldn't believe it either. It's called I2P. []

  • Re:Transcript (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lennie ( 16154 ) on Sunday August 15, 2010 @07:14PM (#33259300)

    The idea is to have a small box, which does not use a lot of power. Which you can use to securely communicate with your friends in a distributed fashion, without someone else having the logs they can analyze and sell to companies, like Facebook is doing.

    A small server which is simple to use, easy to update (most people shouldn't need to admin their own box) and backup. It will hold your data, and possible your friends (you keep my backup, I keep yours, encrypted ofcourse, think: duplicity ).

  • by Xamusk ( 702162 ) on Sunday August 15, 2010 @08:41PM (#33259766)
    I think there's more trouble facing the early adopters. For example, even the hardware isn't all that good to start with. The "modern replacement" of SheevaPlug (mentioned in "hardware is being taken care of") isn't all that good. In fact, this new version, the GuruPlug, suffers greatly of an lack of thermal design. This causes the plug to overheat and start rebooting, until the embedded power supply fails (also because of heat dissipation problems). As a result, to use one of those, the user must also mod the hardware, which creates all sorts of trouble. The manufacturer doesn't even care about it, and keep selling it for those naive enough (like me) to think that the manufacturer should take care of those problems before even starting to sell a product.
  • Re:I for one... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 15, 2010 @10:10PM (#33260188)
    Before consumer device that the consumer did not control, "root" actually referred to taking over someone else's device that you were not supposed to control.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 16, 2010 @07:33AM (#33262164)

    They've announced on their website that they have, in fact, fixed it. New models ship with an internal fan, and older model owners can get a "free fix (for a nominal shipping fee)".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 16, 2010 @08:04AM (#33262264)

    Actually, my order of a guruplug was delayed because they are modifying it for those heat problems, so they actually care.
    That and the company offers you *for FREE* the modification pieces if you have a deficient one...

  • by LingNoi ( 1066278 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @10:08AM (#33263056)

    If you put a + at the end of a url you can see the statistics and where it links to like so.. []

    In this case it's going to: []

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.