Foundation Aims to Distribute Free Web Privacy Software

By Fahmida Y. Rashid  |  Posted 2011-02-17 Print this article Print


In a recent speech at Debconf, a Debian Linux conference, Moglen told the developers, "That's your iPhone. Make the Freedom Box."

The Freedom Box Foundation is not about hardware, however. "We don't want to be in the hardware business, just software," Moglen said. The hardware is not important, since it's the software that will make privacy and security possible online, he said.

People have plenty of devices lying around that are not that old, but are already not as powerful or as capable as what is currently in stores. Routers are a perfect example, since a brand-new router has more capabilities than a router from a few years ago, according to Moglen. There is plenty of cheap hardware available, and it doesn't make sense to specify specific hardware when they don't work in all countries, he said. It's easier to get different types of hardware in China and North Korea than here in the United States, he said.

"If you tell a kid that if he can talk to anyone without worrying about censors, he will get whatever hardware he needs," Moglen said.

The goal of the Freedom Box Foundation is to get the free software developed and distributed, he said.

As free software, the foundation would be able to get the "most bang" for the "least cost" and achieve "widest distribution" in the "shortest time," Moglen said.

Moglen declined to mention who the technical leaders of the project are, but said he will be announcing them "soon." He did say they "will be names that are famous in free software and open source IT," the people everyone knows as being the "genius" of some major company, he promised.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech at George Washington University about Internet and human liberty on Feb. 15. In her speech, she criticized foreign governments that followed their citizens online, collected identifying information before arresting activists and punished people for communicating with the wrong people.

"People want her to mean it," he said. America has to stand for Internet freedom, he said. "If we mean Internet freedom, we have to do it," he said.


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