Wow. Thanks to everybody who showed up in New York to hack on the FreedomBox and other projects. This event was a bit of an experiment. Instead of doing a FreedomBox Hackfest, we opened the event to other projects that share our goals of private, free communication. We were lucky enough to get developers who work on Guardian, Access, Tor, CryptoCat, Commotion Wireless, EFF, TrackMeNot and other initiatives. The resulting cross-pollination of skills and ideas pushed all of these projects forward with speed and focus!
While all the projects hit impressive milestones this week, it was FreedomBox that had the most activity. Here's what we did:
Boruch Baum, Daniel Howe and James Vasile worked on validating the regexes in freedombox-privoxy. That package is much closer to stable now. Boruch and Daniel did the heavy lifting. They took a problem that had, frankly, stymied us, and put in the attention and research to get it moving again.
Ariel and James brainstormed the user experience on first boot. Ariel made a series of slides detailing requirements in this area, which means we now have a roadmap for first boot.
Bryan Newbold hacked a configuration management solution into Plinth so now the front end can talk to the system. He and James are making a demo module for documentation.
Nick Daly added a command-line interface to FreedomBuddy. This interface can be used to query the FreedomBuddy service, and will be pushed to the public repository by the end of the week, with the next weekly image. The interface currently depends on the HTTP(S) interface, which is a limitation that will soon be removed.
Nick and Simo Sorce began implementing a self-configuring OpenVPN system using the FreedomBuddy's command-line interface. That will also be available by the end of the week.
Nick internationalized the FreedomBox UI with help from several other folks. Work will be completed in the next few weeks to support Python's standard approach to internationalization, GetText.
Pablo Arcuri started internationalizing FreedomBuddy to include a Spanish translation. It may soon also have a Farsi translation.
Nick and Nadim Kobeissi considered, and ultimately rejected, including CryptoCat on the default FreedomBox image, because of its reliance on PHP. Nadim is building a CryptoCat 2.0 that will be based on XMPP. When that is ready, we'll integrate it as FreedomBox's secure chat solution.
James explored browser fingerprint munging in freedombox-privoxy using advice from Eva Galperin. He concluded that this is a task better left to a browser plugin and might start speccing that plugin.
James discussed thread modeling methodologies with Matt Hollingsworth and started nudging FreedomBuddy toward a more defined and explicit threat model.
This hackfest was an unqualified success. Big thanks to our partners, ISC (especially Ray Short), OpenITP and ISOC-NY for pooling resources to pull it off! Thanks also to Elizabeth Boylan, who managed logistics and never once complained about our disorganization. Ian Sullivan worked his usual behind-the-scenes magic. Dragana Kaurin organized the people and the reporting and stipends. And Willie Theaker provided key support in arranging for people, food and supplies to always be in the right place at the right time.