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Freedombone is a self-hosted home server configuration which can be installed onto any computer capable of running Debian Jessie. If you have an old laptop or netbook which you can leave turned on then you can use Freedombone to provide your own internet services, such as blogging, wiki, email, chat and social networking and have independence from the well known internet companies.

"With the increasing move of our computing to cloud infrastructures, we give up the control of our computing to the managers of those infrastructures. Our terminals (laptops, desktops) might now be running entirely on Free Software, but this is increasingly irrelevant given that most of what actually matters gets executed on a remote closed system that we don’t control. The Free Software community needs to work to help users keep the control of all their computing, by developing suitable alternatives and facilitating their deployment." – Lucas Nussbaum

Today everyone is concerned about privacy on the internet. At the same time there's a problem with the companies who have traditionally provided most of the web services. The people running those companies may be well-intentioned - as in the famous motto "don't be evil" - but the advertising based business model which currently dominates, combined with an increasing level of political pressure to insert backdoors means that it is usually impossible for companies operating within both their own business models and the framework of national laws to provide you with services which don't intentionally leak your private communications to advertisers, insurers or governments.


Another problem is the precariousness of the terms of service. Except in rare cases such terms are not easy to read, so many people end up clicking through terms which if explained more clearly they would never agree to. Over the past decade many internet users have had the unpleasant experience of having their blogs, videos or other web content inexplicably removed, typically due to some ill-defined terms of service violation or a false accusation of copyright infringement.

You can bypass all of these dilemmas and take back ownership of your internet content with Freedombone. Originally based upon the Beaglebone Black, Freedombone is a small and cheap home server which enables you to use email, have your own web site and do social networking without any built-in spying and without having to agree to any legal terms of service other than those of your ISP. It provides independence and security in an era where those things are in short supply.

"The deepest problem is that the system architecture that has evolved in recent years holds masses of information on many people with no intelligence value, but with vast potential for political abuse." – Ross Anderson

Freedombone is an example of the internet as it was supposed to be: a network of peers, rather than a small number of gigantic server farms with everyone connecting to them. Even if they're well run, centralised server farms become a conspicuous target for all kinds of nefariousness and in any future wars they're bound to be amongst the first facilities to receive the "shock and awe" treatment. If a robust information society is desirable then excessive centralisation of control over information should be avoided.


An emphasis of the Freedombone project is the protection of private communications from indiscriminate mass surveillance, otherwise known as "bulk intercept" or "warrantless wiretapping". With only a few exceptions data entering and leaving the system is encrypted using settings recommended by bettercrypto.org. Stored emails are encrypted such that only someone knowing your GPG password can read them and a GPG key is created automatically if you don't already have one. The system is firewalled with only the necessary ports being opened. Exclusively free software is used so that all of it can potentially be security audited and proprietary repositories are disabled by default. There are still numerous security problems with the internet in general and software always contains bugs, but a best attempt has been made to ensure that the Freedombone is at least more secure than average. A limitation is that this system will not protect you from metadata analysis, although it is hoped that new types of email system may be able to do that in future.

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