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Freedom Box Foundation Wants Plug Servers For All

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the plud-privacy dept.

Open Source 225

An anonymous reader writes "From the NYTimes.com article: 'A Columbia law professor in Manhattan, Eben Moglen, [is] putting together a shopping list to rebuild the Internet — this time, without governments and big companies able to watch every twitch of our fingers. ... Put free software into the little plug server in the wall, and you would have a Freedom Box that would decentralize information and power, Mr. Moglen said. This month, he created the Freedom Box Foundation to organize the software.'"

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Hip Hip Hurray ! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35225292)

Take the power back to the people.

"Running a server" in violation of AUP (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225294)

"Once everyone is getting them, they will cost $29." -- Eben Moglen

And then everyone will get to watch their Internet bills double or triple as the ISP discovers that they're "running a server" in violation of the ISP's acceptable use policy and "helpfully" upgrades their service to business class.

Re:"Running a server" in violation of AUP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35225346)

You can run a server with any ISP, but you can't use this server for BUSINESS if you have a residential plan. If you have a personal server to access to your file at home from school or job, its ok, but if you have a server for massive file distribution, you need an business plan.

Re:"Running a server" in violation of AUP (5, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225388)

You can run a server with any ISP, but you can't use this server for BUSINESS if you have a residential plan

That's not what the acceptable use policies that I've read state. From Comcast Xfinity Internet AUP [comcast.com] :

prohibited uses and activities include, but are not limited to, using the Service, Customer Equipment, or the Comcast Equipment, either individually or in combination with one another, to: [...] use or run dedicated, stand-alone equipment or servers from the Premises that provide network content or any other services to anyone outside of your Premises local area network (“Premises LAN”), also commonly referred to as public services or servers. Examples of prohibited equipment and servers include, but are not limited to, e-mail, Web hosting, file sharing, and proxy services and servers;

From Verizon DSL and FiOS Internet AUP [verizon.net] :

You also may not exceed the bandwidth usage limitations that Verizon may establish from time to time for the Service, or use the Service to host any type of server.

Re:"Running a server" in violation of AUP (1)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225428)

So, it'll cost $70 instead of $30. At least that's what I pay.

A bit of a bummer, yes, but far better than if the difference between consumer and business class was 10:10 instead of 2.3:1.

Re:"Running a server" in violation of AUP (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225434)

So you can't update WoW?

Re:"Running a server" in violation of AUP (1)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225494)

The key word is dedicated. So just use your file server to also stream music to your house and you're fine.

Re:"Running a server" in violation of AUP (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35225470)

You only quoted one sentence, but I read the entire paragraph of the Verizon AUP and it's entirely clear they're talking about commercial servers.

Re:"Running a server" in violation of AUP (3, Informative)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225544)

Well, FCC rules trump their contract. Their recent net neutrality findings [fcc.gov] , which were broadly criticized here, won't allow ISPs to discriminate against servers:

Rule 1: Transparency
A person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service shall publicly disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access services sufficient for consumers to make informed choices regarding use of such services and for content, application, service, and device providers to develop, market, and maintain Internet offerings.
Rule 2: No Blocking
A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management.
A person engaged in the provision of mobile broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block consumers from accessing lawful websites, subject to reasonable network management; nor shall such person block applications that compete with the provider’s voice or video telephony services, subject to reasonable network management.
Rule 3: No Unreasonable Discrimination
A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic over a consumer’s broadband Internet access service. Reasonable network management shall not constitute unreasonable discrimination.

Powers delegated by Congress to the FCC (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225790)

Well, FCC rules trump their contract. Their recent net neutrality findings, which were broadly criticized here, won't allow ISPs to discriminate against servers

Provided that enforcing these rules on U.S. soil is within the powers delegated by Congress to the FCC. Otherwise, state law freedom of contract allows ISPs to discriminate all they want.

Re:Powers delegated by Congress to the FCC (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225818)

You haven't read the document which was conveniently linked, have you? The federal legal justification is covered in detail.

FCC doesn't interpret the law; the courts do. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225844)

The federal legal justification is covered in detail.

What the FCC thinks is its legal justification is covered in detail. Whether the courts will agree is another matter entirely.

Re:FCC doesn't interpret the law; the courts do. (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226000)

Well, since most ISPs also use FCC rules in order to convey their Internet services over public and private rights of way [fcc.gov] (riding along with services which are indisputably covered by FCC regulation, such as cable TV and telephone) without cost, the ISPs are caught in a dilemma - if the FCC can't regulate the Internet, then the ISPs will have to negotiate with a million different local government and private entities in order to carry Internet services over those rights of way. Somehow, I think they would like that even less.

Re:"Running a server" in violation of AUP (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225920)

Doesn't look like those rules would actually prevent the ISP's from having a "no servers" rule for residential clients.

Those rules WILL make sure that if there's a server on the net, YOU will be able to access it. But there's nothing there that prevents an ISP from saying "no, you can't run a server on our service without paying commercial rates"...

Note that "reasonable network management" is a remarkably open-ended phrase. A good lawyer should be able to justify pretty much anything under it.

Re:"Running a server" in violation of AUP (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225576)

Has anyone ever been tried for running a home server ?

Re:"Running a server" in violation of AUP (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225678)

Tried? It's a business contract, violation means dissolution of the contract, possibly with financial penalties. No trial is going to be involved.

Re:"Running a server" in violation of AUP (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225708)

"Tried"? As in, jury of your peers and a judge deciding the right and wrong? Umm, no. You're confusing a commercial enterprise with the legal system. One is a bunch of cronies appointed by a corrupt government to rule your life and adheres to a legal code designed to fuck you, the individual, over. The other is, err, well at least they have to fuck you over in front of a bunch of your clueless neighbors.

"Cut off", as in, company sends a letter saying you aren't a customer and thanks to regulated monopoly laws you are Internetless for life unless you sacrifice your firstborn on their doorstep in an elaborate ritual that involves money? Yes.

"Surcharged", as in, company sends a letter saying you are in violation of the AUP and you are retroactively upgraded to a commercial account for the last two years of service at an extra $100 a month, pay it or lose access? Yes.

Re:"Running a server" in violation of AUP (2)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225586)

The bad part of this is that many multi player games, even console ones turn your computer/console into a server. Same thing for sharing linux ISO's on bittorrent. Same for using ssh to remotely access your files from work.

Re:"Running a server" in violation of AUP (1)

linuxpyro (680927) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225852)

Just about all ISPs have something like this to cover themselves. In truth, if you don't use a lot of bandwidth or let your service get compromised or off anything illegal they really don't seem to care. So if you plan to run a Web-based business off of your home cable connection (which I'm not sure I'd recommend anyway), you may have a problem. But if you're just hosting cat pictures, you're probably fine.

Speakeasy allows servers (1)

ODBOL (197239) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225900)

I use Speakeasy DSL service, in spite of the fact that it has less capacity than cable, because they don't have nastiness in the license. In particular, they allow servers. I run an HTTP server as a symbolic act, to share material with a few friends, and to test things (there's not enough capacity to use the server for anything substantially public). Speakeasy also allows me to share my connection (I run a free unprotected hotspot), and even offers to split the monthly bill between me and any neighbors I share with.

Re:"Running a server" in violation of AUP (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225992)

Any ISP offering "internet service" and refusing servers is guilty of false advertising. IP is a peer to peer protocol, all peers are equivalent. If I cannot run a server, I am not a peer, and I do not have internet access.

Re:"Running a server" in violation of AUP (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225436)

>>>You can run a server with any ISP

It sucks when people (like me) go-out and look things up, doesn't it? VERIZON DSL Terms of Service -

"You may not exceed the bandwidth usage limitations that Verizon may establish from time to time for the Service, or use the Service to host any type of server. Violation of this section may result in bandwidth restrictions on your Service or suspension or termination of your Service."

Re:"Running a server" in violation of AUP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35225408)

i thought the point was to build a new internet of meshed wireless devices...without using the current internet...similar to how all the people downloading the same torrent form a network of computers. you are linked to your neighbors who are linked to their neighbors and so and so forth. i imagine the topology would look very similar to the topology of a social network...

Distributed net; distributed admin = Real Freedom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35225472)

Now combine that idea with free software and the Distributed Administration Network [slashdot.org] , and you have end-to-end freedom.

Re:Distributed net; distributed admin = Real Freed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35225626)

Dude. That like recursively blows my mind.

Re:Distributed net; distributed admin = Real Freed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35225632)

not sure why you want to include DAN. i don't want nobody but me administering my 'freedombox'...that's the whole point!

Re:Distributed net; distributed admin = Real Freed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226094)

Not on your box, but on the ones you access.
Imagine internet, computers, and software, all with no singular points of control.

Re:"Running a server" in violation of AUP (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225680)

Routing on any large scale mesh like that would be hell. Perhaps some form of offload, though... for large but not latency-sensitive files. Distributed cacheing, each node with a store, passing pieces between them by wireless.

Time to end the AUP (0)

bobs666 (146801) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225484)

The problem is the Internet is fancy TV. At least until you want to pay for both ends. I guess you can use face book, as long as that lasts or gets to slow to use when we neglect 'Net Neutrality'.

What we need are many ISP's that's called Capitalism. What we have are 1 or 2 ISP's that Feudalism. The way to make this happen is to define and allow roof top routers that by pass the last mile as we know it. 4G speeds seem adequate to me. If you want a hard line Its your money and there control over what packets you get. Just do not take away my access to the Town Square. You remember the Town Square, where our government was born.

And we can then pick ISP's with out evil restrictions. IMHO The Web was designed for people to publish not just for TV.

Re:Time to end the AUP (2)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225638)

What we need are many ISP's that's called Capitalism. What we have are 1 or 2 ISP's that Feudalism.

You're wrong on so many points. First, depending on the market, there might be dozens of ISPs in any given area. Second, it all depends on the market, which is free-market capitalism.

So quit your bitching or go start your own competing ISP [dialupusa.com] . It's not that hard to do.

Re:Time to end the AUP (2)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225766)

For dial-up, sure.

For anything approaching useful speeds? Give me a break. The government regulates access to the poles, and in return for exclusive access to said poles the power company, telephone company, and cable company are bound by regulation to take government money and charge as much as they like, as long as enough of that money ends up in the pockets of the regulators.

Re:Time to end the AUP (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225864)

I'm afraid I have to call bullshit on that. Sure there are several ISPs here, but they all use the same ISP to sell them the bandwidth, meaning that you end up paying more for the same service. You're likely to get better customer service, but at the end of the day you should, you're paying a lot more for service. Around here we've got Hughesnet, Comcast, Qwest and Clear. That's it. At this point any other ISP is going to have to contract with Qwest to provide service.

And around here the link you put forward isn't available, which is the problem, there are good ISPs out there, just not in this region because Qwest has the regional monopoly over DSL service.

In practice, which is why I called bullshit, you don't ever have more than 4 choices that are legitimately separate. And from my list you can pretty much strike Hughes and clear for not being sufficient.

Re:"Running a server" in violation of AUP (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225524)

The costs may keep rising just because people got the taste for movies now. Running Apache and a decentralized social networking app for a few dozen friends will produce way less traffic than streaming 2-4 hours of decent-quality video every night. What do people put there? Text is nothing. 10 photos a day = 10 * 200 KiB * 25 friends = 50 MiB. I think Internet can handle this.

The Slashdot effect (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225820)

Text is nothing. [...] 25 friends

Tell that to someone who just got tens of thousands of hits after having been linked from the front page of a site like Slashdot.org.

Re:The Slashdot effect (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225874)

Well, may be we should pay a bit more so that providers can cache upstream as well as downstream. Yeah, sure, the current TOS are pretty unfriendly, but cable people are agnostic about the content in the end of the day. If most of their customers show an appetite for upstream, they will start packaging and selling upstream.

Re:"Running a server" in violation of AUP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35226004)

in a peer to peer network who is the server and who is the client?

Re:"Running a server" in violation of AUP (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226068)

Or ISPs amend their TOS stating that those boxes are "a clear and present danger to their infrastructure", and automatically ban accounts running them. Detecting them would be a cat and mouse game, but generally in a game of cat and mouse, the cat wins.

Is it really rebuilding or using alternative tech? (2)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225318)

Why rebuild the Internet? Just call this Internet 3. The Internet was built with redundancy in mind. This sounds like it would be the ultimate redundant solution. My question would be how to prevent an attacker from taking out a multitude of nodes from a single point. Or, how hard will it be to return your node to the network after it has been brought down by an attack?

Re:Is it really rebuilding or using alternative te (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35225358)

Yes, this would be a security nightmare. Anarchy is fun!

wifi plus raid (2)

Weezul (52464) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225328)

I just want a small wifi router with a built in raid array. :(

Re:wifi plus raid (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35225458)

Asus RT-N16 with tomato usb or ddwrt will do what you need.
it can take upto 2 usb hard drives and is gigabit multiband with n. and costs 100 bux or so.

How do plug computers rebuild the internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35225330)

Wouldn't network devices be more useful in building a network? I love small ARM systems and have a couple myself, but they're all attached to the same old internet as the laptops and desktop PCs.

Diaspora, Decentralized DNS, whatnot (2)

aBaldrich (1692238) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225334)

A one-man effort is not going to work; and if it is, it will certainly take way more than one year to build a free open network.
You need lots of intelligente people working hard, and once they have the design, they need an important amount of money; not just 500k.

Re:Diaspora, Decentralized DNS, whatnot (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225490)

He's selling a product, if 500k is enough to get production going and start generating revenue then it could very well be enough to start a revolution. Not saying it's going to happen, and certainly not saying it's going to change the internet this year (which isn't what he said anyway), but with 500k (AKA 2 experienced engineers and 4 college grads working for a year) he could conceivably have the hardware and software to beta status and ready to sell to early adopters (which is what he said).

Re:Diaspora, Decentralized DNS, whatnot (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35225554)

Hopefully it will fail as spectacularly as the once upon-a-time one-man effort to write a 80386 kernel for fun. God knows that didn't go anywhere after being announced!

Re:Diaspora, Decentralized DNS, whatnot (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226066)

Difference being that back then, people gave a damn.

I'm not that old, and yet I've already lost that "spark" that made hacking fun. The need to pay bills by entertaining increasingly dumber clients has taken all the joy out of computing. 15 years ago I would have pooped out these self-assembling network plugs over a few sleepless nights of furious coding and soldering. Today,

consumes all the neural budget I'm willing to commit.

Between that and the endless stream of idiots with "the next billion-dollar idea", I can't help but show indifference at the idea of yet another network filled with the same people. It has gotten so ridiculous that the idea of a moneyless society seems more realistic than a decent internet.

Some men are more capable than others (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225562)

And this man is special.

Re:Diaspora, Decentralized DNS, whatnot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35225798)

you're right. creating and selling the hardware/software bundles should be fast. creating the network of users will take the most time. however, they could get a leg-up and start building the network now, virtually, using the existing internet. i'm talking about creating software that runs in the background on a computer that attempts to connect to other computers in my Internet IP range. this connection attempt will be successful if that computer is running the same software (and firewall holes have been made). once connection is made, all connected computers are part of a VPN, except, in this case, the P in VPN stands for Public instead of Private.

sort of like a file-sharing network, but with it's own Distributed DNS and encrypted communications.

the hardware version would look for the wifi signal of a nearby 'freedombox' instead of 'nearby' Internet computers.

He forgot something (2, Insightful)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225338)

Wires. That requires an external provider, either a private monopoly or the government. And of course that lets them tap the wire.

Re:He forgot something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35225372)

This box needs to be part of a wireless mesh network.

Re:He forgot something (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225420)

How, using technology available as of this month, can a pure wireless mesh network independent of the regulated Internet reach from Los Angeles to Tokyo, or even from Los Angeles to New York for that matter?

Re:He forgot something (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35225582)

"How, using technology available as of this month, can a pure wireless mesh network independent of the regulated Internet reach from Los Angeles to Tokyo, or even from Los Angeles to New York for that matter?"

Well, we have line of sight from Alaska to Russia so I'm sure we can work something out. Let me send an email to Sarah P. I'll get back to you :)

Re:He forgot something (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225700)

It could run an offload, though. Distributed cache. If your neighbour or your neighbour has what you want, you can get it from him. If not, ask nodes you can reach via the internet. Freenet does something like that, though with anti-tracking measures that will make all but the most paranoid of people feel safe.

Re:He forgot something (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225744)

With line of sight, people have achieved 173 mile range with consumer hardware and recycled sat dishes. The driving distance is about 2777 miles, so you could probably make it in less than 20 hops, even if you had to detour substantially to reach places where people live.

Add in some batshit crazy geeks with pro hardware and you could get some decent throughput.

Crossing oceans directly isn't likely to happen, but if you don't mind latency, it is probably achievable with pro-grade equipment and some wacky route planning. Just nobody bothers when you have cable already laid.

Re:He forgot something (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225788)

Amateur radio bands could do this. Of course, everybody has to get licensed. You could conceivably petition the FCC and similar organizations to open up a slot on say the 700 mHz band. You could do very low power mesh radio and get under the radar of the EMS spectrum licensing issues.

None of these are terribly practical for very large scale systems, but it isn't technically impossible.

Re:He forgot something (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226018)

How, using technology available as of this month, can a pure wireless mesh network independent of the regulated Internet reach from Los Angeles to Tokyo, or even from Los Angeles to New York for that matter?

How does the mesh network leap tall buildings, mighty rivers? How does it leap four blocks down the suburban street or a single mile of country road?

Re:He forgot something (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225382)

Even if you get your last mile via some mesh wifi setup, it still all going through a trunk line at *some* point. One way or another, it's all eventually going to the Man.

Revolution (2, Insightful)

eddy (18759) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225500)

If you're part of a revolution, being able to communicate digitally with your local peers is just as important as being able to communicate with someone at the other end of the world. Cheap plugs that build/connect a wireless mesh network could achieve that goal. I feel like most people in this thread aren't thinking big enough. The revolution isn't happening in the outback, think "central and crowded". The main problem might be getting one plug to cover enough area that it network can form at all, but should be a solvable problem. They'd also have to be configurable enough to be resilient to any cheap/directed attack (so not using a hard-coded frequency, whatever)

Re:He forgot something (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225748)

There are very few places left in the world that are more than a mile from the next habitable place. Mesh to mesh will let you jump pretty much any national boundary, and you'll get stuck only when you reach the ocean.

Re:He forgot something (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225426)

It's not about getting rid of ISPs, it's about getting rid of Facebook and the like. It's not about tapping the wire, it's about querying the Facebook DB.

If you know about Diaspora, that's the kind of thing he wants to see people running on these wallwarts.

Large-scale NAT (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225536)

We're out of IPv4 addresses, and not all ISPs yet offer IPv6. Good luck getting other people's Diaspora nodes to connect to your Diaspora node if your neighborhood is 250 customers behind one public IPv4 address [wikipedia.org] .

Re:He forgot something (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225548)

That's what you get for using your real name, pictures, and information on sites like Facebook.

Re:He forgot something (2)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225440)

> that lets them tap the wire.

Hence the encryption.

Re:He forgot something (1)

tramusen (1993360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225448)

Was thinking the same thing. This would be interesting as a mesh network node that did not require an ISP connection, though that creates additional problems. Such as a lack of nodes. Even with the ISP requirement, this is still a cool idea. Not for the form factor, that has been done. For the simplicity. It has the potential to make these capabilities MUCH more accessible to the average person. I still remember trying to get wifi drivers hacked together for Linux just 10 years ago, now so many distributions have out-of-the-box wireless. That makes Linux much more appealing, much more usable for the non-techie. This is kind of like that advancement, but for specialized servers. (At least as I read it, and I hope I read it correctly.) This is in some ways like TOR+VoIP+automated off-site backups+more for the common man. Even with the problems and limitations, that is a pretty awesome goal.

Re:He forgot something (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225628)

"Wires. That requires an external provider, either a private monopoly or the government. And of course that lets them tap the wire."

I had to re-read the article to find that crucial piece of information as I was expecting SOME sort of explanation in that regard--instead, completely missing. WTF? I was expecting something along the lines of data transfer using the electrical grid (even so, shutting off the grid would achieve the same thing--disruption), but no...not a single word in the article discusses data transfer.

Unless they have some alternative means of data transfer, that is to say something NOT using any existing hardware, this is all a bunch of bullshit. Complete, total bullshit.

Remember the monitor on the wall in the 1984 movie "1984"-- that archaic, snowy CRT tube that watched your every move, with some greasy gnome at the other end? Considering this is all bullshit, what other purpose could it have? Freedom Box? Really?

encryption? (1)

MasaMuneCyrus (779918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225828)

Since everyone's going to be hosting the internet on their own little wall plug dongle, couldn't you just make them all encrypt the traffic? At least you could encrypt it up to the final wall plug which sends it to whatever sever it's going to; in that case, it wouldn't be possible to see the original source of the traffic, just that whatever traffic that was ended up being sent to the server by whatever node in whatever house.

err. what. (2)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225350)

What the hell do these wall plugs attempt to achieve?

Re:err. what. (1)

Lundse (1036754) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225550)

Freedom.

Or, in more detail, the possibility for everyone on the planet to join a communications network able to run any and all software and services - dirt cheap, outside the surveillance or control of any agent, regardless of their power or legal standing.

Sort of a hobby project of Moglen's it appears...

Re:err. what. (4, Informative)

sjvn (11568) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225564)

Here's my fuller story on what Moglen and company have in mind:

Freedom Box: Freeing the Internet one Server at a time
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/networking/freedom-box-freeing-the-internet-one-server-at-a-time/698 [zdnet.com]

The short version is that the idea is to make it possible for you to use the Internet as freely and privately as possible no matter what restrictions governments, businesses or ISPs have in mind.

It still won't help if your government does an Egypt and pulls the plug, but short of that, it has real possibilities.

Steven

Uh, what? (2)

astern (1823792) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225362)

How will this stop whatever local govt exists from compelling the ILEC to give optical tap access?

It won't.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225734)

Encryption can defeat that. The government could still send the police in to sieze the box with the keys on, but doing so is not very stealthy.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225822)

A different article talked about peer to peer mesh OTA networking. It would be challenging (but not impossible) for big government to stomp on that. But certainly not as easy as intervening at the ILEC.

Rebuild the Internet... how exactly? (1)

yotto (590067) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225368)

The article (I read it! Okay, I skimmed) is light on details.

How exactly is putting a server in your house rebuilding the Internet?

How would one of these in every house in Egypt have kept them from turning off their Internet access?

I am going out on a limb and assuming there's more here than a wall socket computer involved. Are these things supposed to talk to each other and build their own network? How will that cross oceans, little alone continents, little alone states, little alone... (etc)

Re:Rebuild the Internet... how exactly? (3, Informative)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225446)

Having seen some of Eben's lectures, I recall his angle is that the problem is that companies/government agencies control the servers, and thus control your data and data on you. He want's people to run their own email/document/media/social networking services on platforms that network with each other rather than monolithic, centrally controlled servers (be they in private or public hands). The idea is not some much a different 'network', that's still in the hands of ISPs, but a different, decentralized approach to services that handle personal data etc.

Re:Rebuild the Internet... how exactly? (1)

kyuubiunl (1747574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225464)

Well, if it's IP over Power capable, it would indeed cross oceans and continents if distributed evenly enough in a short enough span

The plan (5, Funny)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225374)

  1. Make a bunch of tiny servers.
  2. ???
  3. Freedom!

Re:The plan (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225390)

2. encrypt everything.

For some small value of freedom.

Re:The plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35225558)

Cut power. The encrypted channel is now broken.

Encrypted messages do nobody any good if NO parties can read them. "For some small value of freedom" indeed.

Re:The plan (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225636)

The thing about controlling the population with bread and circuses is that if you take away the circuses people get pissed. If things are already so bad that the government is cutting power, you're going to have protestors on the street with or without Facebook and Twitter to help organize.

Re:The plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35225896)

You actually got that wrong. It's

1: Make a bunch of tiny servers.

2: Market them as somehow creating a free internet.

3: Profit!

Just wifi? (1)

jasno (124830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225378)

I hope they're planning a modular approach for the communication links. Simply relying on one wireless technology leaves you vulnerable to very easily implemented(by govt or private operator) jamming.

Something like hardwired connections, longwave/shortwave links, or even optical mixed-in with the wifi approach would make the system much more robust.

Freedom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35225392)

First 25 posts, no brilliant 'freedom fries' snark. Selective jingoism sensitivity. Typical moonbats.

Default Deny security -- OH PRETTY PLEASE!!! (1)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225400)

This looks like a good time to plug the Default Deny security model, as this server might adopt a new Operating System.

If a default deny environment, programs are never trusted, and the OS keeps them within the capabilities they are provided at runtime. This makes it possible to run untrusted code in a secure manner.

Such a system would be MUCH more secure in the long run.

It's also known as Capability bases security, principle of least privilege, etc.

Re:Default Deny security -- OH PRETTY PLEASE!!! (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225566)

This looks like a good time to plug the Default Deny security model

OLPC and Android already do this: an application has only those capabilities specified in its installer. But a thorough implementation of default deny tempts manufacturers to deny the capabilities "start programs whose digital signature lacks a certificate chain to the device manufacturer" and "assign additional capabilities", even to the owner of a product.

How will they communicate? (3, Insightful)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225422)

There will need to be some other way for them to network than through ISPs. They are the bottleneck. Perhaps, some sort of mesh network?

Otherwise, Your ISP takes exception to a server running on your domestic network - despite the fact that a large amount of people on /. do just that. Even if they allow that, they can limit what goes across their wires - in times of emergency perhaps no encrypted traffic or HTTPS.

You are going to either have to live in high density housing or figure out how to fit microwave relays all over the suburbs.

Re:How will they communicate? (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225488)

I don't have anything to test with, but if you are doing NATing and forwarding, are there any ports that show up as open when you port scan the device?

Re:How will they communicate? (1)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225732)

Somebody has to move to a land of the free.

Seriously, I'll never move to US or anywhere else with as much anti-freedom clauses in the standard contracts as they have. As long as I don't run a business from my server, my ISP lets me do whatever I like, and I doubt they'd really care unless I was making a lot.

They'll just overheat and brick (2)

freshdressed (1863944) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225444)

I have about 5 of the guru and sheeva plugs, they all eventually brick from bad power supplies or shutdown and when they overheat.

Re:They'll just overheat and brick (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225750)

So everyone says, at least about the Guru. Severe overheating issues.

Re:They'll just overheat and brick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35225848)

Buy a $5 power supply. You'll probably even be able to fit it in the original enclosure.

Putting a proper heatsink on the guruplug, if you want both GigE ports, is a bit harder to fit, though.

The "Freedom Box" isn't going to solve the problem (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225482)

singlehandedly, anyway.

It's a teensy tiny computer. By itself, it does nothing.

Nothing I've seen in this vision explicitly addresses the real freedom value proposition, and the real risk of the Internet as we know it: connectivity. In principle, connectivity and communications should be independent of governmental or commercial interference. And yet, at this point, Freedom Boxen talking to other Freedom Boxen is simply assumed.

To be blunt, that's assuming away the real hard work. Computers independent of "Trusted Computing" and backdoors are old hat, thanks to the libre software movement. Networks independent of the same interference are where the work really needs to be done.

The real risks to Freedom are in the net, not in the nodes. That's the part of the equation really controlled by the Powers That Be. And subversive communication has always been the real threat to oppression. Samizdat isn't about typewriters and printing presses, it's about distribution and dissemination.

So, Mr. Moglen, what are we doing about allowing our Freedom Boxes to communicate without the permission of those who think they can control us? Pay particular attention to width of coverage (i.e., how many nodes a particular Freedom Box can talk to, directly or indirectly), undetectability, and confidentiality.

Do it again (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225618)

You want to decentralize the Internet?

Break up the big telcos and ISPs.

It's as simple as 1...2...Net Neutrality!

Internet layer 2? (1)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225770)

It may be nice that, if every house has one of these, the devices created a wireless or powerline ad-hoc network which would then be out of reach of any government agency for a kind of kill switch short of cutting power. Kind of like what OLPC envisioned. It'd be interesting to see the latency/hops in this kind of network. And before "OMG H@X" comes up, it shouldn't be any different than your already-conencted computer/router...

"Do you want some Freedom Fries with that?" (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225786)

"Or a complete Freedom Menu? We are forbidden by law from offering a free Freedom Toy with the Freedom Menus for the kids, but for a ridiculously small surcharge, you get the Freedom Toys. But please note that the Freedom Menu Toys are not in fact free so we are not violating the law."

First step in starting some wacky software campaign . . . choose a non-wacky sounding name . . . Freedom Box?

I'm sold (1)

Orgasmatron (8103) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225836)

I'll take two.

Need a fixed IP address (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225856)

Sure, I've wanted something like that for years. The problem is that we all need a fixed IP address so we can get to our server from anywhere, and so email can be sent directly to it P-to-P, and so our little OSS distributed facebook profile can be linked from outside (i.e. from our friends FB server).

Really rebuilding the Internet (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225934)

Proposed solution would not rebuild the Net, it would work over it. What would be cool is if these boxes had Ethernet over power lines built in with intelligent peering. Everyone on the same leg of a electrical circuit automatically peers with others and it builds a network. Tricky part would be a "backbone" to connect segments not on the same electrical circuit that won't connect...and do so not using the Internet (or wireless)...and be able to do so with the hardware limitations of a plug in server.

Everyone in an apartment building or with close neighbors could plug in a server and connect into the "grid," it really would bypass the Net. And speeds would be pretty darn good if the peer was close to you. Backbones, that's the killer weak spot.

The new birdboxes (1)

biodata (1981610) | more than 3 years ago | (#35225964)

If they came in a watertight box covered in solar panels and talked up a wireless mesh they could double as roofs for birdboxes and we could all have actually free internet as well as more places for birds to nest

Topology (1)

zrbyte (1666979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35226056)

This is all fascinating. I even listened in to one of his lectures and things like Diaspora have always been appealing to me. However, what he actually proposes is changing the very topology of the net, changing the whole client server relationship and buildup, which kind of "evolved" as the internet grew. If this structure, topology can be changed in a... more peer to peer oriented fashion it would be an accomplishment equal to creating the internet itself. This gets those geek nerves pulsing doesn't it?
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