On February 18 2012 the Internet Society’s New York Chapter (ISOC-NY) participated in the first ever FreedomBox Hackfest, held at the Columbia School of Law in New York City. The FreedomBox is an initiative “to create a network of personal servers to protect privacy during daily life, maintain beachheads of free network access during times of political instability, and open lines of communication during natural disasters.” The project is a direct consequence of the “Freedom in the Cloud” talk that Eben Moglen gave two years, almost to the day, earlier for ISOC-NY.
One foundational issue is the question of how the FreedomBoxes will identify themselves, discover their peers, and know which ones to trust. In our our first video we see a pair of presentations, one by Nic Daley, another by Isaac Wilder, that explore the problem.
ISOC-NY President David Solomonoff took the opportunity to sit down for an with FreedomBox Executive Director James Vasile to get some background on the project.
A contingent from the The Free Network Foundation was present at the hackfest and, indeed, a prototype of their “Freedom Tower” was in operation to provide participants with connectivity. An FNF based local mesh network, combined with FreedomBox distribution, can be the foundation of powerful community-based autonomous systems. David Solomonoff talked to Isaac Wilder and Marcus Eagan to find out more about the organization, and their forthcoming pilot project in Detroit.