ISOC-NY Event: Eben Moglen ‘Freedom in the Cloud’ – 2/5/2010

Eben Moglen, Professor of Law and Legal History at Columbia University, and founder, Director-Counsel and Chairman of the Software Freedom Law Center, spoke about “Freedom in the Cloud: Software Freedom, Privacy and Security for Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing” on Friday, February 5, 2010.




Video is below:

Everyone wants a piece of you these days: Google, Facebook, Flickr, Apple, AT&T, Bing. They’ll give you free e-mail, free photo storage, free web hosting, even a free date. They just want to listen in. And you can’t wait to let them. They’ll store your stuff, they’ll organize your photos, they’ll keep track of your appointments, as long as they can watch. It all goes into the “Cloud.”

How we got here is quite a scary story. But nowhere near as scary as getting out again. Eben Moglen, a Professor of Law and Legal History at Columbia University and the founding director of the Software Freedom Law Center, warned you about privacy and the cloud before. At a public meeting of the Internet Society of New York on February 5, Moglen asked you to consider how much worse things have become since then and explain what you can do to reclaim your freedom in the era of Web 2.0.

ogv | ipod | stills | youtube

ogv | ipod | stills | youtube


  1. Comment by anonNo Gravatar

    I hope this will be recorded and published like the previous talk? The rapid release of the recording last time was superb.

  2. Comment by jolyNo Gravatar

    We do plan to put it out live. It will be archived.

  3. Comment by Michael NelsonNo Gravatar

    I’ll certainly be tuning into the live Webcast. Eben is AMAZING–and a great speaker. Will there be a way for remote participants to submit questions? What’s the Twitter hashtag?

  4. Comment by jolyNo Gravatar

    There is a livestream chatroom, and we’ll do our best to fwd questions. As far as hashtags go: #moglen and #cloud ??

  5. Pingback by · Moglen to speak on “Freedom in the Cloud” this Friday

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  6. Comment by AleNo Gravatar


    Given the subject matter, I can only hope you’ll also be listening on, right? 😉


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    […] Law Incubator & Clinic, the event is open to the public. More information is available on the ISOC-NY site, including links to the flyer and handbill, and Webcast for those who can’t make it to NYC on […]

  9. Comment by Daniel ClarkNo Gravatar

    I find it ironic that this is being broadcast in a format that I can not watch because I run a free software operating system, Trisquel, and refuse to install nonfree software on my machine such as Adobe Flash. The ISOC used to be very good at running their own free software, but the current ISOC-NY site seems to mostly consist of interfaces to nonfree web 2.0 cloud services many of which use nonfree formats such as Flash. Hopefully someone will make the talk available in Ogg Theora after it is complete, perhaps using – and hopefully Eben’s talk will have an effect on ISOC-NY leadership.

  10. Comment by Osama KhalidNo Gravatar

    I totally agree with Daniel. Format does, usually, matter for people who’re interested in this talk (and probably other talks as well).

  11. Comment by jolyNo Gravatar

    You will find it already posted in ogg above, ogv is coming. We have always posted free software related events in open formats. Unfortunately our streaming provider only utilizes flash. If you could educate us to an alternative free (as in no cost) provider utilizing a free (as in freedom) method we’ll be happy to investigate.


  12. Comment by Jan WedekindNo Gravatar

    Insightful talk about web services with spying as a business model. Made me realise how many bugging devices I am carrying around while using the internet. If you aren’t using something like NoScript or EasyPrivacy, the following companies already now that you have read my comment: Quantserve, ShareThis, WordPress, Google, Gravatar, …. I apologize for Gravatar. That’s my fault.

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  14. Comment by anonNo Gravatar

    Are people coalescing around Eben’s proposed project? Is there a project page?

  15. Comment by Ben AsselstineNo Gravatar

    Still waiting for the .ogv video!

  16. Comment by jolyNo Gravatar

    @anon – I’ve opened a provisional project page:

    @Ben – ogv is encoding right now – it’ll be tomorrow Monday 2/8 before it’s uploaded.

  17. Comment by Ben AsselstineNo Gravatar

    the links to the audio ogg files seem to have disappeared. what gives?

  18. Comment by jolyNo Gravatar

    I added html 5 markup, seems to to have not worked – I’ve taken it out.

    Presentation: ogg ; Q&A ogg

  19. Comment by Ben AsselstineNo Gravatar

    The links next to the mp3 versions disappeared. What the links point to is still there.

  20. Comment by Ben AsselstineNo Gravatar

    and now they’re back. Thanks!

  21. Comment by jolyNo Gravatar

    Apologies for website probs today – I’ve moved the vids over to the punkcast server:

    ogv video:

    Presentation: ogv ; Q&A: ogv

    and YouTube coming soon!

  22. Comment by J.B. Nicholson-OwensNo Gravatar

    What is the license for these recordings? I hope they may be shared at least verbatim and non-commercially, but it would be great if they may be built upon so long as one shares alike.


  23. Comment by jolyNo Gravatar

    As part of a Jan 7 2010 Churchill Club forum What’s Next with the Internet: Vint Cerf Looks Ahead, Vint noted the need for intercloud communication protocols, and remarked that individual devices – ‘cloudlets’ – might themselves make use of such protocols

  24. Comment by jolyNo Gravatar

    @J.B. They’re released under the GFDL

  25. Comment by Jan WedekindNo Gravatar

    Cloudlets sounds good. I imagine something like distributed hosting of profiles encrypted with GNUPG so that only your friends can read them.

  26. Comment by MatthewNo Gravatar

    joly — that is some forward-thinking by using HTML5 multimedia tags. Quick correction, your tags are not working, probably because you enclosed the links within the tags.

  27. Comment by MatthewNo Gravatar

    In the Q&A video, there is a web link to that is 404

  28. Comment by JolyNo Gravatar

    Thanks for feedback, Matthew! should now work.

    I believe the problem in the html5 was caused by the fact that I didn’t have the entire ‘Video’ statement on one line and thus WordPress was throwing in spurious linebreak code. Try it now. What browser?

  29. Comment by jolyNo Gravatar

    Ah. I checked it in FF 3.5 and I see what you mean. I’ve moved the audio links outside as you suggest.

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  37. Comment by RobbyNo Gravatar

    And here’s a step in the right direction, the beginnings of a decentralized social networking package:

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  48. Comment by Jörg WittenbergerNo Gravatar

    Ten years ago I hade a similar vision.
    Since I’ve been coding…

    Find the code under GPL at
    rr visit one of the nodes of the network running on a Sheeva Plug here:

  49. Comment by jolyNo Gravatar

    At the recent Debian Conference in NYC Eben Moglen gave a follow-up to this talk, addressing specifically the role of developers. His theme “How We Can Be the Silver Lining of the Cloud“.

    Download: ogv

    Moglen plans a third presentation at Open World Forum in Paris on September 30.

  50. Pingback by Anonymous


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  58. Comment by dxoNo Gravatar

    Very stimulating. I got here via the recent NY Times article. :)

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