ISubuntu is a project of ISOC-NY to create a Linux live CD, based on Ubuntu Linux, which has been optimized for security and privacy while online. The global Internet Society has provided a grant to cover development costs and so that a number of CD's may be distributed free of charge.
ISubuntu will feature anonymous web browsing using Tor, ad blocking with Privoxy, encrypted email with Enigmail, encrypted instant messaging with OTR and the ability to store a personal home directory and other configuration settings on an encrypted USB flash drive.
Project Status - December 2007
- Name of Project: Develop security and privacy documentation bundled with software optimized for online security and privacy for end users
- Amount of funds awarded: $10000
- Amount received to date:$3000 - Additional funds for the purchase of a server have not been necessary as one has been obtained for free
- Project Manager: David Solomonoff
- Brief description of project: Develop a bootable Linux CD with privacy-enhancing software preinstalled.
- Progress to date: Produced working prototype, a bootable Linux CD with Tor and other privacy-enhancing software installed. The prototype used Ubuntu Linux version 6.06. Currently working on a new version using Ubuntu 7.10.
- Lessons learned: The original proposal was written very quickly without enough research to determine: a) The technical difficulty of completing the project. Because little or no new software was being developed it seemed much easier than it proved to be. b) Identifying which distribution of Linux to use and then identifying all components to be added. Several other Linux distributions were tried before choosing Ubuntu.
- Issues to overcome: One of the the two project leaders ceased all activity in the organization soon after the grant was received due to personal issues. Since the project manager is also President of the Chapter he has limited time to spend on the project. Additionally, documentation for customizing Ubuntu to the extent we wanted was hard to come by at the time. It has become easier more recently.
- Benefits of the project: Few nontechnical computer users grasp basic online security and privacy issues, particularly problems when used public Wi-Fi hotspots or public computers in places such as libraries. Some of the software to enhance privacy and security is difficult to find and install.
- Anticipated conclusion date: The next version will be completed at the beginning of the new year. It is hoped that additional developers will be recruited. It is seen as an ongoing project and further sources of funding will be possibly be found.
- Anticipated impact in the internet community: Many additional privacy and security issues are created with the use of Web 2.0 services. The goal is for this project to evolve into a complete Linux distribution that addresses those issues on an ongoing basis.