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Open Doubts About the ‘Internet in a Box’

Posted on Jun 29, 2012
re:publica 2012 (CC BY 2.0)

Lawyer and geek Eben Moglen has long championed free software.

The open-source “FreedomBox” promises “turnkey” privacy, anonymity and security while surfing the Internet. But development problems may ensure it never escapes the feverish dreams of open Internet advocates.

Development has moved slowly. Free software champion Eben Moglen proposed the idea publicly in early 2010. No version exists yet for public use.

In a mailing, Nick Daly, one of the project’s main developers, announced a beta release of the technology for the year-end. He hopes the ambitious release date will inspire developers to rally to include all of the capabilities on the project’s wish list: a user-friendly package of encryption, anonymizing and filtering tools required to make private browsing and communication a reality for a public accustomed to the sleek experiences offered by professional products.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly

Wired’s Threat Level:

... Everybody involved in the project knows that for FreedomBox to become reality, it must be as easy to use as possible.

“The infrastructure is there, but to make it happen, we still need to do the step of making it usable to end users,” [James] Vasile said in a phone interview.

… If the developers can’t figure that out, FreedomBox will never break from the geek-world to a broader audience. That is going to be the biggest challenge and the programmers are well aware of it.

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