Brussels / 2 & 3 February 2019


Creating a Computing Revolution: from Personal Computers to Personal Servers

The rise of cloud computing in the 2010’s accelerated a process that had been going on since the dot-com boom: the centralization of the internet. In February 2010, Eben Moglen predicted the wide-scale data-mining brought about by the centralization of our network infrastructure and launched the FreedomBox project. In the eight years since, FreedomBox has become a device that can decentralize the web one box at a time. Join this session to learn about FreedomBox’s approach to decentralization and the importance of three elements of its design: hardware neutrality, software freedom, and user interface.

In this 15-minute session, I will lecture for the full 15 minutes. I will discuss the FreedomBox project, the role of hardware neutrality in the FreedomBox project, and the role of user interface in the FreedomBox project.

FreedomBox is an immensely flexible and secure private server system that builds freedom into the internet by empowering regular people to host their own internet services, like encrypted messengers, a VoIP server, websites, VPN, a metasearch engine, and much more. To that end, it couples a free software system with always-on, inexpensive, and power-efficient hardware about the size of a pocket dictionary. The hardware is a single-board computer that costs about 60 USD and offers the computing power of a smart phone in a case about the size of a deck of cards. The software is a 100% free and open source system available for download at no cost preloaded with many useful apps and tools designed to protect your freedom, privacy, and user rights. These private servers are designed to create and protect freedom on the internet using a bundle of software packed inside one small, inexpensive box: a FreedomBox.


Danny Haidar