Posted Feb 23, 2011 21:57 UTC (Wed) by JoeBuck
Parent article: The Freedom Box gets off the ground
I think that it would be wise to think like an attacker: if FreedomBox is widely deployed and catches on, how would someone attack it? There are several kinds of attackers: governments who want to keep tabs on dissidents, marketers trying to assemble detailed databases that invade people's privacy, spammers, stalker ex-boyfriends/girlfriends, and random crackers in it for the lulz.
Assuming we all keep our data on our own servers, the "friend" relationship presumably means that there's a public-key structure that allows friends to see data that I've decided to share with friends. But if I share anything with a friend, I can't prevent that friend from passing it on far and wide. Furthermore it's possible that some people will install bridges: they have friends that use Facebook and friends that use FreedomBox, and they pass things from one side to the other. Or maybe it will be possible to run applications on top of FreedomBox, with the ability to share data, and privacy could be defeated that way. Or people could be tempted to give away their privacy for a marketing offer (make us your FreedomBox friend and get 10% off on your next Happy Meal!). Or people could be required to give up their FreedomBox password as a condition for employment, or else hide the fact that they run it.
In the end, I'm skeptical that we can solve social problems with clever technical hacks. See xkcd .
to post comments)