Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

Coming soon: Eben’s ‘Big Box O’ Freedom’

Update: It’s here

Some big ideas don’t take long to begin to implement. Less than a month ago (on 15 February 2011), the New York Times introduced us to Columbia law professor Eben Moglen and his proposed Freedom Box.

The Freedom Box logo

The Freedom Box logo: good gnus?
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As described in this article, the Freedom Box initiative aims to give each internet user a personal server, permitting the restoration of real privacy and taking power out of the hands of the few enormous enterprises that now control the chokepoints of the internet. Why this is necessary is addressed in a previous essay I wrote on the subject of the U.S. government’s proposed internet “kill switch,” although I had never imagined, on suggesting the decentralization of internet services, that such an idea could be so rapidly adopted.

While it is true that any attempt to apply a “kill switch” would almost certainly result in defeat and disaster for those responsible, it is also true that precluding the idea altogether offers many advantages. Reactive remedies are almost never as comprehensive or efficient as proactive prevention; thus, the Freedom Box offers a commendable alternative that will, I expect, be of great interest to anyone who believes in online freedom.


As of 1 April 2015, the Freedom Box Foundation has released Version 0.3. Download links and documentation are available through its homepage, and more information is on its “Learn” page.

Originally published in March 2011 as a review of the Freedom Box Foundation’s homepage.

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