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And What of Liberty? Networks and Freedom

Your ISP is spying on your network traffic, Zuck pwn'd your social graph. Even darling Twitter has thrown indie developers under the bus for the sake of "consistency." You probably know all this, and you still go on using these networks because there are no workable alternatives. Except there are alternatives, and we're actively building them out! This panel will demonstrate running code and working prototypes, but it will also make a case for networks as a central component of human freedom. Come help us frame the problem, consider existing solutions, and spec out more responsible networks that you and your friends will actually use.


  1. What would it take to build a truly free and open network, from the hardware level up? How can we build out infrastructure that's not beholden to corporate and government whims?
  2. You've probably heard of the network effect: value grows in a system as the number of participants increases. What are ways that grassroots projects can overcome the early lean times?
  3. What can we learn from precedents like Freifunk and Diaspora? Why aren't these networks more widely used?
  4. "Most people" don't care about what Facebook is doing with their data, right? Or is it they don't fully understand what the risks are? Shouldn't we be more cautious about the commodification of our social lives?
  5. Your phone is political. How can we seize greater control over the machines in our pockets? How can we safely document political demonstrations without putting our friends at risk?



Dan Phiffer, Lead Developer,

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