This Friday (2019-09-20) I will discuss the FreedomBox project (what it is, how to install it, etc.) at a CryptoParty at c-base in Berlin, Germany. Doors open at 8pm, the event starts at 8:30pm.
Information about CryptoParty: You don’t need any previous knowledge, and all questions are more than welcome at a CryptoParty! After a few hours everyone has learned something and can return to their everyday life with new ideas and a feeling of digital empowerment.
I think it is fine to post events in the “Community” category. If you want, you could double-post to “Announcements”, but either way I will make sure that people see event news from the Community category.
Wonderful, we are very happy to have you Do you mind if I announce this on the CryptoParty mailing list?
Some general info: CryptoParties are decentralized learning environments, with different topics being discussed at different tables. Everyone is welcome to learn, everyone is welcome to teach. Depending on the interests of the attendees that evening, there may be 20 people at a table or there may be 2. If people bring a device with them, I plan to help them install FreedomBox there; otherwise, I will demonstrate how to install on a Beagle Bone Black and use the online demo as an illustration of how to administer the box.
There is no specific agenda. Usual topics include GPG, Tor Browser Bundle, hard drive encryption, GNU/Linux distro installation, smartphone apps, etc. That said, I think the website describes the goal of a CryptoParty best:
A CryptoParty cannot teach you everything there is to know about computer and internet security in one evening. Main objective is to tear down the mental walls which prohibit people to even think about these topics or pick them up as they occur throughout their lives, like in newspaper articles, blog posts, educational pictures and memes. There is plenty of information about computer and internet security out there. Sadly, many people don’t consider themselves able to process it and don’t even start. That’s what we want to change. Take away the fear of cryptic and technical things (two properties inherent to cryptographic tools) so they can continue educating themselves and others.
Sometimes, people share photos of their installfests on social media. The FSFE people did that with their FreedomBox installfest at SHA 2017.
If you think participants would be comfortable with it, please consider sharing some photos of the event (even if it’s just photos of devices and not people). We can promote them on social media and hopefully encourage others to organize this kind of event.
There are exceptions when arranged in advance. It is too late for that now, though, but maybe next time – I would like to make FreedomBox a regular part of future CryptoParties. For instance, the directors of the documentary film “Nothing To Hide” got permission to record a scene. For those who are interested (shameless promotion for both CryptoParty and the film), the footage starts around 1:14:00
Ah, I see. That’s understandable. Thanks for letting me know.
I encourage you to do this! If there’s anything the FreedomBox Foundation can do to support your work, please reach out to me! We can provide hardware resources, advising, and more. Here is my email address. You might even be interested in becoming a Network Manager.
Had a great time at the CryptoParty event yesterday. There were new and existing users of FreedomBox participating in the event. It was a diverse group with different perspectives.
Some of my observations:
I found that etcher makes a big difference in ease of installation of FreedomBox on a single board computer.
People might prefer to buy an officially endorsed device with all components included than gathering components and worrying about whether they will work together. The Pioneer edition is a great step forward in solving this. We should continue to always have an easy default option to procure a FreedomBox.
The Pioneer edition device has a battery included but the router to which the FreedomBox is connected does not. Though this protects data from accidental corruption due to power surges, this does not ensure uptime. This can be solved by making a version of FreedomBox that can also act as a router. We can already plug in a USB dongle to the current FreedomBox but this is not as performant as a regular home router. (TODO: Any advantage in reachability if the FreedomBox is itself a router?)
@haidar There was an idea proposed yesterday that this Discourse forum can be used for regional FreedomBox user groups. I think we can create sub-categories for this under the Community category e.g. Community -> Berlin User Group
@haidar@njoseph Thank you for setting up the Berlin user group community sub-category! We are going to meet informally in November to discuss how to go forward. I will post here the outcome of our meeting.