Who is the FreedomBox Foundation?
The FreedomBox Foundation was started by Eben Moglen and staff from the Software Freedom Law Center as an organizational home for the various community development efforts that are already out there building freedom box systems. Learn more about our project.
Are you a non-profit?
We are a Delaware nonprofit corporation in the process of applying for 501(c)(3) federal nonprofit recognition from the IRS. This means that some contributions will be tax-deductible in the USA, if and when our application with the IRS is approved.
Where is FreedomBox?
All over the globe. We have participants in dozens of countries and speaking many languages!
What is the Foundation's role in the freedom box community?
The FreedomBox Foundation was created to serve three main purposes in the community:
When will I be able to buy a FreedomBox?
We don't know yet. But all around us, we can see that it needs to be soon.
What is to be done with the Kickstarter funding?
The biggest part of the work is getting a team together with solid integration and technical and user experience design skills so that we can start coming together on general design ideas and road maps. Getting the team in place is our biggest challenge right now. But as we've all seen, there are so many different places to start and so many different angles, it is easy to get stymied and lose momentum. So the Kickstarter goal is to get the foundation enough resources to enable it to start filling that role.
Basically, we need some dedicated time from people and some support activity to help them out; so there is that technical team, the legal work overhead for doing things like building the foundation, organizing local hack days and mini-conferences, some design and press, the usual.
How will the funds help the FreedomBox project get started?
There are a lot of people who have expressed interest in the project, and even more firm commitments of time and effort, but it is too easy for all of that to keep in a holding pattern with everyone thinking that they will move after person X has moved or milestone X has been reached. Raising this money enable us to get some full time support and will shake up a lot of people who have been interested, but who are not yet convinced that now is the right time.
What is your development road map?
We will publish an initial general outline when we announce the Foundation's technical leadership, which we intend to do very soon. This outline will present a list of development priorities we feel are most important for encouraging real-world hardware and software uptake and for laying the infrastructure groundwork necessary to build additional functionality as the project matures.
We expect that the initial outline will be amended and refined in consultation with the community.
Debian is an association of individuals who have made common cause to create a free GNU/Linux operating system.
Debian is a completely open volunteer organization, with an intense focus on freedom.
Debian has very strong technical infrastructure.
Debian is the root of a very rich ecosystem of derivatives.
Debian is very international.
Debian runs on the most architectures.
Eventually, almost all Free Software gets packaged for Debian.
Why Free Software?
Publishing our efforts as Free Software allows people to have greater trust in the security of their software because they know that anybody can inspect it for errors and vulnerabilities. Moreover, it allows us to widely share our advances with more people by allowing our work to be incorporated into other projects. And finally, this project is about enabling people to control the technology they use in their daily lives. To the extent that technology isn't free, then neither are they.
Will technology a, b, or c be used to do x, y, or z?
The specific software components used to achieve our shared goals will be hammered out over the coming months. Once we release the initial outline, we will refine and amend it in consultation with the public. We will also solicit proposals asking the community how different technologies and architectures can be used to achieve the road map goals.
What are your immediate plans?
As mentioned above, our first steps are to provide for the project's technical leadership, and release a road map of development priorities, which we hope to do very soon. From there, we will launch a series of local hack days and mini conferences to help organize and support all the developers interested in working on the project.
What if I want to develop in a different direction?
Please do! A lot of great ideas and viable technologies will not make it into an early release of the FreedomBox. We expect much valuable work to mature in development branches across the net. That work will end up in later releases or will help other projects pursuing goals similar to ours.
A strong ecosystem will involve a variety of development efforts exploring a variety of directions. One of the FreedomBox's goals will be to develop modular infrastructure to ease assembling those efforts into different configurations.
Who is your target user?
Among the project's goals is wide distribution of the FreedomBox, and so the target user is the average consumer. If you can use a smart phone, you should be able to use a FreedomBox.
When can I buy a FreedomBox?
The answer to this question will depend on a lot of factors that are not yet known. We need to nail down resources, staffing, and technical requirements before we can give a real answer to this question. If we build software that can run on a wide variety of architectures and devices, as we plan to do, you may very well own a freedombox already, or buy one soon for another purpose.
Are you going to replace Facebook/Twitter/Flicker/etc?
Not right now. The centralized systems of surveillance and control underlying current social networking tools have a firm grip on millions of people around the world. Even with the best software and the best hardware, shifting how people communicate is a large task and will take time. The Foundation was started because the longer that we do nothing, that harder it becomes.
How can I help?
As we assemble dedicated staffing over the coming weeks, there will be many opportunities to get involved. For now, you can donate via Kickstarter, join the discussion, work on user-interface designs, develop free software technologies that protect privacy, or prepare boxes for testing the coming images and builds.
If your company makes technology relevant to our efforts, there are yet more ways to help. Contact us about donating engineering resources, funding, sourcing hardware or any other way you might contribute to our efforts.
How do I keep up with project developments?
We maintain a list of our many channels of communication. Come join the discussion!
How do I contact the project?
There are a variety of email addresses you can use. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com all work. Right now they all go to one mailbox checked by two volunteers, so please give us time to respond. As this project staffs up, each function and email address will be taken over by a person more dedicated and qualified to respond.