Fundraising campaign: Privacy Friendly Mail (TLS/OpenGPG/etc) Software

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Chris

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I wanted to make people aware of a new free software project that aims to develop user-friendly secure and private email. The aim goes far behind what we have today. With support for things like OpenGPG (but with interfaces that are user friendly) and TLS (security).

I've made a small contribution to the project and hope others will too:

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mailpile-taking-e-mail-back

lembas
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>This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
-- https://github.com/pagekite/Mailpile/blob/master/README.md#credits-and-license

Sounds promising!

I think email is one of the most important tools we have. And it's a technology that worked fairly well at some point. Now it has become too centralized and there's no privacy. The law does not treat an email like a letter. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email_privacy#United_States
The from field can be spoofed, so cryptographic signatures are desperately needed in order to be able to know who really sent an email. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email_spoofing

ISPs are blocking ports to wall off compromised windoze machine spewing spam... and to sell more expensive "business" services. Instead of plugging off infected machines they punish collectively all customers.

Thanks for the heads up Chris!

a_slacker_here
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Thank you for sharing that important imformation. Thanks to that, even more people can help the project and fight against PRISM

Mzee
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Do you know of any statements concerning the encryption of e-mail metadata? Unfortunately, it doesn't help a lot to encrypt all the contents of your e-mails if all the secret services of this world still know who you are talking to.

G4JC
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I have not used it, but I think BitMessage is supposed to encrypt everything including the sender and receiver, which would effectively do just that -
https://bitmessage.org/wiki/Main_Page

kanga555

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Isn't there already a free email client, or at least plug-ins, eg Thunderbird with Enigmail and GnuGPG (I haven't used this.)
I have been using Tails lately in an attempt to be more secure https://tails.boum.org/
It includes Claws mail going thru Tor. As it's a live system, it's more cumbersome than using a standalone OS, but the aim is to not leave a trace.
From what I can tell from the MailPile fundraising site, the emphasis is on having it all built in...yes?

GNUser
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Yes, Tails is an option, if you don't mind the extremely limited usability. I have decided to use Tor Broswer in a non compromised system (which I believe Trisquel may provide).
One option you would have was to go with Thunderbird (or icedove) and use Torbirdy extension. Its made by the Tor team and it's a addon that makes the connection go through Tor, so you can check your email without anyone knowing who you are. And of course, using the common addons for GPG.
The only thing missing now from the Tor team is a "pidgin/tor protable". I can use Pidgin and OTR (which has proven to be good enough until now), but it still allows to know who is talking to whom. But that is not such a bad thing, after all, I believe the internet should be an extension of the real world, I don't mind that people know I talk to my cousin, I just want to keep the conversation private.

Fernando_Negro
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Check out the "Our Community" section, of this project's web page, that lists the foundations and companies "without" which this same project "wouldn't be able to exist":

http://www.mailpile.is/

Am I the only one who finds it... let's say, "funny"... that this alternative service was made, in part, by a company whose label reads "Nineteen Eighty-Four"?

(You know, the name of that novel in which there was a fake movement, created by the establishment, that was actually a trap...)

Jodiendo
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Fernando

You said:
(You know, the name of that novel in which there was a fake movement, created by the establishment, that was actually a trap...)

I'm lost in the translation? What is exactly, are you referring too or saying>?

That this email services is sponsor by the government?

I actually did click the 1984, and its kindly saying big brother is watching.

Fernando_Negro
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Concerning the novel, and the "fake movement" that is part of its plot, I'm referring to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Brotherhood_%28Nineteen_Eighty-Four%29

And, when I talk about the "establishment", I'm referring to both the "powers-that-be" of that same plot (in the novel) and the "powers-that-be" that we have nowadays (that are the "public-private partnership" that is mentioned in this article: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/05/nsa-snowden-encryption-cracked/2772721/).

(I'm talking about the government and the big companies associated with it: https://trisquel.info/en/forum/ubuntu-1310-second-step-spy-its-users#comment-41977. And, yes... I'm hinting at the possibility that this new e-mail service might be a trap set up by this same partnership, who has an interest in spying on everybody.)

And, if my suspicion in right... Then, yes... The "1984" company is indeed right when it says (to its users) that "Big Brother is watching you"... ;)

Jodiendo
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I rather use for know https://mail.riseup.net/

Fernando_Negro
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For now,

(and, although I still consider myself an adept of the "red-and-black" ideology, that is pictured at riseup.net)

I use https://mail.ru/ (with its interface in English) - that is a (very) good service that, not only is hosted in a democracy not in control of the Western Big Brother that (I know that) surveills me, but is also hosted in a country whose government I know I don't have to worry about.

That's what I intend to use, unless I someday decide to set up an e-mail server of my own.

As for riseup.net,

I know (from experience) how easy it is (due to its open nature) to infiltrate social movements (and fool the people who are part of them).

And, not knowing (personally and well) who's behind riseup.net, I have no guarantee, whatsoever, that it's a service run by people I know I can trust in.

(What guarantees do I have that it's not another trap, set up by the establishment?)

Chris

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While I think there may be some merit to the .ru for certain activities the government has been cracking down and becoming more western-like. Many of the things which were illegal yesterday, but tolerated, aren't tolerated today. The thing with Russia is everything was illegal 10-15 years ago. Now there is actually some enforcement for at least some crimes.

Fernando_Negro
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As long as Putin is in power, at least, Russia will not become Western-like, in terms of a great loss of civil rights and an immense Big Brother surveillance. Putin is no "champion" of Democracy, yes. But he's also not the "devil" that the Western media portraits of him. Putin is hated by Western interests because, unlike Gorbachev, he doesn't open Russia's door to Western meddling and control, and because, unlike Yeltsin, he doesn't let the West plunder and destroy his country. And that's why the Western media always portraits such a bad image of him. The tighter control that he's been building in his country is, in good part, a response to Western destabilization attempts of Russia through Western-backed terrorist groups, fake political movements and fake NGOs, who ultimately want to destroy Russia, mostly in the same way as the countries in the West are already being destroyed, and which he has righteously being cracking down on. So, if your goal in Russia is not to fight for Western interests and merely destabilize the country, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. And, in my case, being abroad, I know that, unlike the US/UK/EU, Russia doesn't impose its will on my country, nor will I ever have to worry about Russian troops occupying my country, in my lifetime, and Russian KGB/FSB agents attempting to sabotage my legitimate political activism. To the contrary, a big help to that same "pro-Freedom" political activism, in my Western country, has come from former KGB/FSB agents and Russian media organizations.

Fernando_Negro
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And, speaking of former Russian intelligence officers... The following, is a Free Software program, that has been repeatedly recommend by two of them, as a secure mean of private communications.

http://www.911thology.com/cipher_wall.html

(Although, it's intended for use on - the non-free OS - Windows, and doesn't prevent the type of spying that I've described elsewhere: https://trisquel.info/en/forum/ixquickstartpage-launching-new-privacy-aware-email-service#comment-36315)

Jodiendo
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Cypher Wall
This program is manipulated by the gentleman server, is purely POINT TO POINT, i WOULD NOT TRUST HIM, BECAUSE HE MODIFIED THE CODE FOR HIS OWN SERVER AND NO ONE ELSE...

Fernando_Negro
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Now, that is an *accusation*, and not a mere suspicion.

Could you, please, back up your accusation with facts (i.e. links to your arguments)?

(And, also, be more clear about what you're saying?)

lembas
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Fernando_Negro
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That can be just "theatre", made to deceive people, by making it appear as if this new e-mail hosting service goes against the interests of the establishment.

Intelligence operations are all about deception.

onpon4
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...Or, you're making baseless speculation that isn't supported by evidence at all.

Andresm

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ok... back on subject?
Lembas http://www.mailpile.is/blog/2013-09-05_PayPal_Freezes_Campaign_Funds.html
it seems paypal unfroze their funds and they are back in the game.

Fernando_Negro
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And, also, by the way...

(I hesitated to point this out, because I know everyone else in here, but me, knows about it... But,)

The disguised butterfly symbol, that appears in the logo of the (apparently) cynically named "FreedomBox" company - in the "Our Community" section, in Mailpipe's web page - is a "mind control" symbol, used to "sign" such type of insidious projects. And which, not coincidently, appears/appeared in the surveillance project "Second Life" (on the entry portal, the last time I logged in, with a GNU/Linux client) and all over the "entertainment" industry (http://www.danielestulin.com/2011/11/17/programa-monarca-sigue-la-mariposa/) that alienates, brainwashes, degradates, and keeps people "dumbed down".

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/brave-new-world/id386180035

(My source for this, is a former KGB agent, who has repeatedly proven to be credible, by making accurate predictions, with months and years in advance, who's the author of international best-sellers and a series of TV documentaries, gives interviews to international TV news channels, gives private explanations to heads-of-state, gives speeches in the European Parliament, among other things... - http://www.forumdefesa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=10579)

(Fire away, onpon4...)

onpon4
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> The disguised butterfly symbol, that appears in the logo of the (apparently)
> cynically named "FreedomBox" company - in the "Our Community" section, in
> Mailpipe's web page - is a "mind control" symbol

I stopped reading after this.

You can't expect people to take you seriously with crap like this. What makes you think that a mind control conspiracy would go out of its way to plant "mind control" symbols into its activity? Do you not see that as a completely stupid action for such a conspiracy, or do you think that the people involved in this conspiracy are all stupid?

The truth is that people are, in general, not stupid. They're not normally perfectly rational psychopaths, but they're not stupid. Even you, with your ridiculous ideas, are not stupid. You have a reasonably rational thought process behind your beliefs, though I don't know what that thought process is. The problem is that either part of your reasonably rational thought process assumes that powerful people are stupid, which is just wrong, or you fail to account for just how stupid sneaking symbolism in when you're trying to be inconspicuous is.

(You also fail to account for the fact that kind of seeing something that kind of looks like symbolism is not evidence.)

quantumgravity
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"You can't expect people to take you seriously with crap like this. What makes you think that a mind control conspiracy would go out of its way to plant "mind control" symbols into its activity?"

+1

>> The truth is that people are, in general, not stupid.

-1

Can't agree on this; there are intelligent people, but the big mass of people acts rather stupid.

Fernando_Negro
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People are not supposed to know about this kind of symbols - since they are used by *secret* societies.

The thing is, that, this kind of information has been leaked out (and was not supposed to) by people who (if you read further, in my previous post) have proven to be credible persons.

So, now, well-informed people already know about such symbolism, and this kind of "signatures" have, therefore, been exposed (and can now be perceived, by the well-informed part of the rest of the population).

As for me seeing something you don't think it's there,

That's what I was expecting you to say. And we have, therefore, a difference of opinion.

And, speaking of such symbol and places were I see it...

Am I the only one who thinks someone might be reading the conversations held in "MSN Messenger"?

http://omnitechsupporter.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/MSN-Messenger-300x243.jpg

andrew
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On 08/09/13 03:11, Fernando Negro wrote:
> Am I the only one who thinks someone might be reading the
> conversations held in "MSN Messenger"?
>
> http://omnitechsupporter.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/MSN-Messenger-300x243.jpg

No, they are surely spying on MSN conversations. MSN has now been
replaced by Skype, which is even worse (which undocumented
anti-features, like the one linked below). But I doubt it has anything
to do with the logo.

http://www.h-online.com/security/news/item/Skype-with-care-Microsoft-is-reading-everything-you-write-1862870.html

Andrew.

Jodiendo
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Fernando

Symbolism

I remember my days in college, where we had to research, companies symbols use for marketing strategies, to convince people they are quality products, everybody does that. The worse offenders is the massive exploitation of TV commercials. Yet, it does have some kind of Psyche kick, specially the car industry, food industry, and stupid religion, both Christian and non christian. the most affected and most influence are the compulsive buyers.

GNUUUU
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I'll start by sayin' that i believe in your words (the NWO is not new to me although i still have LOTS and LOTS to learn). But, i don't think that the FreedomBox is a NWO project (obviously not every butterfly logo on earth means NWO).

First i thought it could be because of RMS's love of butterflies:

http://stallman.org/rms.jpg
http://stallman.org/jinwicked-rms.html
http://stallman.org/
"In the US and Mexico: establish butterfly gardens to help migrating monarch butterflies survive." http://www.livemonarch.org/

But after reading about it i saw it had nothin' to do with that:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:FreedomBox-logo-standard.svg

https://wiki.debian.org/FreedomBox/VisualIdentity?action=AttachFile&do=view&target=FreedomBox-Identity-Manual.pdf

http://lists.freedomboxfoundation.org/s/arc/visual [0]

http://mray.de/fbxfoundation_robert/
http://mray.de/fbxfoundation_robert/identity-video.webm

[0]"Archive powered by MHonArc"
http://www.mhonarc.org/ (a stamp with a butterfly and "www 1521". I look forward to your comment :)

Fernando_Negro
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The "FreedomBox" name choice, itself, looks like a cynical oxymoron... Because one associates "freedom" with the absence of limits, and "box" with the exact opposite. And I can easily associate such an oxymoron with the idea of an entrapment, in which one falls in pursuit of a supposed "freedom" and inside of which one thinks that s/he is "free".

But, je... To have the Freedom Box Foundation's mailing-list archive "powered by MHonArc 2.6.18."... That's a most interesting finding... :)

I have no idea if the people responsible for each of the projects are, somehow, connected...

As for the "WWW" + "1521" signatures... Maybe a reference to the "RFC 1521" that is archived on their site? (http://www.mhonarc.org/~ehood/MIME/1521/rfc1521ToC.html)

I don't know... Contrary to what it may seem, this is the part that less interests me, in the whole conspiracy. The hidden symbols, the secret codes... And I've only mentioned them in here, some times, because I thought it was important, for each of the subjects in question, to better understand/perceive what we may be facing.

But, if you're interested to know more about this "mind control" phenomenon, and how it relates to the hacker culture, I can tell you of two books, you may be interested in, from one of the most respected investigators that I know of (who's also a former KGB/FSB agent), called Daniel Estulin.

The "Tavistock Institute" book, I suppose it's only a matter of time before it is also translated to English. (Notice the butterflies, on picture number 5: http://www.danielestulin.com/2011/11/30/reportaje-instituto-tavistock-cronica-el-mundo-27112011/.) But the book about "WikiLeaks", from the same author, is already available at http://www.trineday.com/. The book about WikiLeaks should also talk about the fact that Assange is one of the hackers, that exist nowadays, who are mind control victims.

And, speaking of "mind control"... Another thing that may interest you (all)...

Has everyone noticed, also, how the symbol for "Twitter" is a *blue bird*?

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MKULTRA#Precursor_experiments)

I'm pretty sleepy, right now... I'll check the links that you left here, better, tomorrow. And, if I have anything to add, I'll post it.

Thank you very much for your most interesting additions. :)

Fernando_Negro
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I've finished checking the links that you left, and I've also finished informing myself about this "FreedomBox" project.

(And, although I also don't think that everything that has butterflies in it, is a NWO conspiracy...)

The fact that this project focuses on "social networking, email and audio/video communications" (bear in mind that, the concept of social networks, itself, is a NWO project to surveil everyone - http://www.therealnewsonline.com/2/post/2012/01/facebook-and-its-connections-to-the-cia-and-darpa.html), and the fact that (like "Twitter" and "MSN Messenger") it uses mind control symbolism, does make me (continue to) suspect a trap, here.

(Like I do in the case of the "Tor" network - https://trisquel.info/en/forum/how-use-tor-trisquel#comment-26792 - that this "Mailpile" project plans to use.)

trisq

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onpon4,

The site below has lots of info and many interesting comments. Initially it seems pretty far out but that does not change the fact that there is a lot of history and a lot of support for such beliefs.

http://vigilantcitizen.com/vigilantreport/mind-control-theories-and-techniques-used-by-mass-media/

Specific: http://vigilantcitizen.com/hidden-knowledge/origins-and-techniques-of-monarch-mind-control/

Fernando,

I appreciate your links. They should be somewhere on these boards, however I hope the focus doesn't drift off of Trisquel. Trisquel is the main point of these forums, no?

Fernando_Negro
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Yes. I'm careful to try not to diverge too much from the original subjects, and only talk about this kind of issues, when they're related to (and may be important to understand) the topic being discussed on the thread, and also when I think they're something important I should warn people about.

I come here for Trisquel and Free Software-related issues, also.

Jodiendo
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Well Fernando, we should try to setup an email service in some remote island, such as Jamaica, or cayman islands, but the problem is the local telecom in those islands control that area.

I have a paying account with Hushmail.com, so far no issues...

Fernando_Negro
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No, there's no need for that.

We can all just use a "regular" (web-based and free of charge) e-mail box for our correspondence, and encrypt the letters we want to be private with GnuPG.

Or, alternatively, use such an account for the "postcards" (i.e. unencrypted/non-private e-mail) that may be necessary for (more serious) correspondence with government and corporate institutions (which can always be read/intercepted by the "powers-that-be", anyway), and also set up our own e-mail server, at home, for encrypted and more personal correspondence (with people who may be tolerant if they ever catch our server "down", for some reason, when they send their letters).

It doesn't seem that hard to set up our own e-mail server. And "jxself" (user of this forum) as already made a "how-to" about it: https://trisquel.info/en/forum/ixquickstartpage-launching-new-privacy-aware-email-service#comment-36240

Chris

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I think it is more along the lines of software freedom... the distribution is just one means to obtaining that freedom. I have yet to hear anybody discouraged from talking about Parabola GNU/Linux or other free software friendly devices/operating systems when they are in line with the goals of the Trisquel distribution (software freedom that is).

t3g
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What's wrong with the Enigmail extension for Thunderbird? Thunderbird is a trusted and stable email program and Enigmail has been supported and accepted for some time. Oh and there's Bitmessage which is gaining traction and follows the same methodology as Bitcoin.

What would get Thunderbird into Trisquel? Does it have to follow the same cleansing guidelines as Firefox? Would Ruben be able to maintain a fork of it like Abrowser?

Chris

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Funding. It all comes down to funding.

I have a more than able individual @ ThinkPenguin who I would love to see working on this and similar projects. Unfortunately he is kept busy at the moment with work way beneath him. It's not that this community lacks talent. It's that we aren't funding it sufficiently.

Are you contributing at least $10 USD a month (provided your able) to a free software project/organization? Can you contribute more? Are you?

ThinkPenguin's been steadily adding free software projects to whom we make regular reoccurring contributions.

Rubén would also love to focus on Trisquel. However he's got to take in enough money to keep himself afloat. There isn't anywhere near adequate funding to provide him a salary though.

Fernando_Negro
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And, one last thing I will call people's attention to, in here...

(Besides the ultra-professional type of quality marketing campaign - wonderful site, videos, propaganda etc - for which I don't know were they got their money from...)

This "Mailpile" project is promoted by the (technology-focused) mass media. ("Wired" magazine etc.) Which is always a (very) bad sign.

The Snowden revelations (or the part of them that is/may be true) only tell a small part of the story...

Ultimately, it's not the US government who controls the big corporations. And dictates what they should or shouldn't do. It's the other way around... And, that includes the corporations who own (or have shares in, or are somehow linked to - and in control of) all the major mass media organizations.

That is... The mass media (with focus on various generic or specific themes) are just a "propaganda arm" of the major corporations, who control the US government, and all the other Western ones, behind the scenes. (http://www.amazon.com/True-Story-Bilderberg-Group/dp/0979988624/)

And, they would *never* promote a piece of software (/future network?) like this, if it was a good way to evade the Big Brother, made of the NSA and the likes, who take their orders from the big corporations' puppets inside the US government.

Simply putting it... It's like having Big Brother itself saying: "If you want to hide from me, go there..."

And, it's kind of the same story as with the "Tor" network - that I've called people's attention to, in here, before (https://trisquel.info/en/forum/how-use-tor-trisquel#comment-26792) and that this "Mailpile" project plans to use - where you have the US government telling what people should use to try to hide from him.

(Maybe this warning will only make sense to the more politically informed, who can already see some of the things for what they really are. But, I guess it's worth a try... And, any doubts you may have, I can elaborate on this...)

Chris

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It's not that hard to put up such a site. Particularly when you have as many people working on the project as they do. It gets more complicated when you have things like a shopping cart, internationalization, translations, currencies, etc. Those things don't exist with the default deployment of something like Drupal.

There are pre-configured environments I could deploy in all of about 10 minutes. The main thing that would take time at that point is the content. However, even that probably didn't take more than a week or two.

Fernando_Negro
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Yes. I can believe that web site, itself, and the video in the first link that you left here, in the thread (wonderfully made, with lots of special effects) were made by the people responsible for this project. The thing is, that it surely takes a lot of money to produce such a quality work, in terms of design (added to all the money to do the rest). And, where does that money come from? Anyway, that's not the main point that I made. And, I admit that there can be plausible explanations for that.

But, also, the curriculum of this guys is something that I really don't like.

One worked for Google, another one for Nike and Intel, another one works for an internationalist NGO (of the type that are usually funded by big corporations) and is also part of what appears to be another fake/controlled political party/movement... This project has connections to the top corporations in the world, that make it seem, to me, really suspicious.

Chris

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While I've heard statistics that suggest most people are employed by small businesses the definition of small business is something like under 500 employees. That leaves a lot of (in my eyes) pretty large businesses to be unaccounted for. Now if you think about it who employees the most people? Big business. It probably should not come as any surprise that most people will have worked and/or are working for big business who start projects. I was probably one of the lucky ones. I never worked a “real” (full time) job before starting ThinkPenguin and I know of very few people who have started a company-or would for that matter have succeeded. Some people have it in them and some people don't. If your concerned about this you might as well be concerned about Trisquel too. Jason (jxself) works for a large corporation (if I'm not mistaken) and Rubén a company that deals mostly with NGOs. Interestingly most of the people at ThinkPenguin are not the type who have worked for large corporate entities. We're just not attracting those kinds of people. That's a rarity though. It is also in large part because ThinkPenguin is still so small relatively speaking. At some point you need more people who are going to follow than lead.

Fernando_Negro
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Yes. I'm not saying that everyone who works for big corporations, NGOs and government entities (and even fake/controlled movements) is a bad person. (In league with their ultimate bosses, and aware of their ultimate goals). I've worked for them, myself. What I've added, about their curriculum, is just another thing that, when looked together with the rest, makes it all even more suspicious, to me. And, not suspicious just in itself.

Magic Banana

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You cannot fool us Chris! If we take the logo of your company, emphasize the white-filled circle of the penguin's head and connect its eyes and beak, we obtain a triangle in a circle! The Eye of Providence! One of the most well known Manonic symbol! Except that the symbol is upside down... what Satanists love to do!

Just to be clear: I am being ironic, making fun of conspiracy theorists who love to "connect the dots" and believe they discover hidden truths in this way.

Fernando_Negro
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Using "Wired" magazine's web site search engine...

search?query=mailpile - 9 results
search?query=trisquel - 0 results

Trisquel is a whole (Freedom and Privacy-oriented) OS that has been around for 8 years, now. And, "Mailpile" is a single program that hasn't even been launched yet.

(You figure out why does the corporate media like Mailpile so much, but doesn't like Trisquel...)

Also, for comparison (and to add to something that I said elsewhere: http://trisquel.info/en/forum/ubuntu-1310-second-step-spy-its-users#comment-41918)...

search?query=ubuntu - 1,750 results

krofna
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You are a very paranoid fellow, aren't ya Fernando? Doesn't this world have enough **obvious** problems to be bothered with conspiracies?

quantumgravity
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I agree. Accusing freedombox of being a malicous conspiracy just because of wild fantasies about the name and the logo is critical;
The real bad guys don't put hints in their logos or names in order to let anyone know what they are doing.
@fernando:I think you're lost in this imagination because it gives you a feeling of control.
But logos and oxymorons in names can't reveal anything, and they don't give us any control.

Chris

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Joined: 04/23/2011

For some reason I've always been a skeptic(?) of the Freedombox project. Probably the wrong word to use. It's probably more along the lines of doubtful in the ability of those involved to accomplish the mission set forth. It's probably in part that I haven't felt the projects were focused narrowly enough and had the wrong goals.

For instance, I'd be more concerned about non-free firmware issues, over stretching the projects ability to keep up with security patches/goals, sales (sales, margins, and financials, because, well, this is what can propel a project forward, or in other words hire a full time person or two, and you can get more work done), etc.

This said I think there is a lot of potential in such a project.

The same is true of Tails. What I like about Tails is its been making progress. So much progress I think it might actually get to the point where it solves the concerns I have with it about its practicality and use in the real world. I have recently added Tails to the list of distributions we'll be working to more thoroughly support going forward (note: I believe Tails includes non-free firmware, something I wish it didn't, although understand the reasons they're doing it, that is the reason is if there are an insufficient number of users able to use it then the project can't offer the enhanced anonymity it purports to offer).

krofna
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Joined: 04/08/2013

Fact is that freedombox project died, and kickstarter backers are angry because of that. If it were conspiracy, it wouldn't have died. That guy truly has wild imagination.

I never had any problems with nonfree firmware. Sure, it would be nice if we had free firmware, but it can't hurt anyway. Lets be honest here, how many people out there has atheros card? One can't expect everyone to pay $40 for thinkpengiun usb adapter. Not to mention that reverse engineering effort which needs to be put into that kind of stuff is not worth it. Tails is cool, but likely conspiracy according to Fernando - haha.

Chris

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If your referring to Tails explicitly in regards to non-free firmware I think there is some argument to be made of inclusion. Whether or not I agree with doing it from an ethics perspective there is a logical argument (more so than with a generic distribution I think) both to doing it and to not doing it from a security perspective. The advantages to doing it is increased user base which enhances the security/anonymity of the software. It is likely that Tails doesn't have a sufficient user base otherwise to warrant calling it a more secure solution otherwise. On the other hand including non-free firmware also gives the user a false sense of security. The problem with excluding it from a security perspective is that your still giving a false sense of security because the user then thinks there is no non-free software in use on the system. This isn't reality though. Reality is there is some non-free microcode, a non-free BIOS, etc.

What would I do if I was in charge of the Tor project and/or Tails (even without any connections to ThinkPenguin)? I'd definitely push relations with ThinkPenguin as it is another aspect of improving security down the road. You can't one day say “OK, now we want to be more secure, lets ditch non-free firmware”. It has to start sooner, rather than later. If you started promoting free software friendly hardware in a manor that made it easier to obtain (right now I firmly believe that means ThinkPenguin) then there will be more users later who can take advantage of a 100% free and more secure version.

Do I think every user should have to buy new $40 USD device? My answer is more along the lines of, they should be encouraged to, even if they don't want to. Naturally I'd like to say 'no', but it's a question of freedom, so I'm more inclined to say they aught to care enough to do so, especially when they are going to be ultimately forced to do so because MS Windows/Apple systems (and users of distributions which include non-free drivers/firmware) are going to have to do it eventually anyway. And the $40 USD card has got significantly better odds from us (being free software friendly) of being useful down the road. That isn't the case for most hardware most users posses (and where they would actually need to do this).

It's also pricier because there isn't enough demand. Right now ThinkPenguin only taps a small fragment of the overall demand for even our most popular products (wifi cards). If even a reasonable percentage of users bought a $40 wifi card the prices would fall dramatically, there would be a 100% free software friendly laptop (probably even more than one), etc.

If we had 100% of the USB wifi adapter market for GNU/Linux users we would be talking about 17 million USD at $44 USD per adapter /w the current margins. Clearly prices would drop. Even if they didn't it would propel the market for free software tablets, phones, laptops, and desktops. The net impact would be huge.

Chris

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Joined: 04/23/2011

I was thinking about it and just checked it out.

This was one of my concerns from the beginning (that it would actually be able to get off the ground, who's making the decisions on the focus? how are they getting *one* person to lead/focus on it full time?). I'm not sure it is dead dead. Although I'm curious as to how much of that 85,000 or so that was raised has been spent.

As I was saying the project did seem over-ambitious from what I recall. As I was saying already. It's not focused enough for my liking.

They probably should have focused on something simple. Like a box for email. Maybe get a distribution setup, properly secured (firewalls), a web-based email program setup (maybe Roundcube?), proper security setup (security updates, self-signed certificates, etc), etc. Too many entrepreneurs and executives spread there resources out too thinly.

It's not perfect, but at least there is something you can get out the door in a timely fashion. At which point you can start marketing it, raise additional funds, etc. And move on to maintaining more packages (like Tor, etc).

Projects need funding and most don't take the time to consider how they will continue on should the lead developer(s) or other leadership falter. While these projects are not businesses in and of themselves they still aught to come up with a self-funding business plan of sorts.

I think this is going to be my carrer ultimately (beyond ThinkPenguin, or under it however setup it may be). Getting projects or businesses need it be like this *running* smoothly. I have just the right set of talents I think to pull it off. But... as I've said. One thing at a time.

Magic Banana

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Joined: 07/24/2010

The FreedomBox project has recently delivered a 0.1 version. It does not look "dead" to me!