What is FreedomBox? And when can I have one?

On wednesday 7. of November I gave a talk at EPFSUG in Brussels about FreedomBox.

EPFSUG is an interest group of Free Software users working inside the European Parliament.

The FreedomBox is a project to help non-geeks care about their personal privacy when online, same ways as geeks have practiced for a decade or more.

The goal is a small, cheap physical box looking like and operating like an internet gateway or wifi router many are accustomed to nowadays - but with three additions:

  • Easy and intuitive to setup and personalize for non-geeks
  • Offers routines to help you protect your privacy
  • Offers routines to let you help others in need of privacy

"Privacy" is commonly mistaken as "secrecy": Privacy is to keep you in control of your information - you can then use that control to keep secrets from others or to share with others as you like.

Talking about personal privacy in the European Parliament can seem a bit of a stretch. It is not a home but a (huge) office space, where it is perhaps less obvious that you should treat some information as personal, or that you are even allowed to do so.

Try watch the videos, and if you have questions then please don't hesitate to get in touch with me about them.

At the EPFSUG meeting was also a presentation by an emplyee who had succesfully installed and used Free Software at the internal network of the Parliament, but then later told that it wasn't allowed - because the IT staff need to be in control of your computer activities at the place!

The head of IT services at the Parliament attended the meeting and gave a short improvised talk at the end, expressing positive interest in behalf of the established IT services at the place towards our grassroots activities - and even praising explicitly EPFSUG as being the ideal place for all EU citizens to ask questions about Free Software in relation to the European Parliament. See for yourself in the video of Giancarlo!

Thanks a lot especially to Erik Josefsson for making this event reality!

Slides, sources and videos from the event.