Fighting PRISM with a distributed and federated net

Science & Technology
Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 16:30 to 16:45
stage D

Short thesis: 

The privacy and the personal data on the internet are under attack by secret services and international espionage programs. If we want to use the internet as a free and democratic medium again then we have to fix the internet to provide the security and privacy that people expect. This talk will discuss several approaches how to do that and will present some approaches and features that are currently in development by the ownCloud community.


The internet and the world wide web were originally designed as distributed and federated networks. There is no need for central servers because everyone is equal and can provide services, publish information and access data equally. In the last few years we've seen a trend to more centralized services like Facebook, Google, Dropbox and others. This makes censoring of content, surveillance and espionage very easy. The internet community has got to go back to a more federated approach -- back to the internet's original intent. Federated web services make it easier to guarantee the basic rights for people to control their own data as described in the user data manifesto ( The ownCloud community is currently using open source software to build a fully federated and distributed network. Everyone can run an ownCloud server at home or somewhere on the internet and collaborate and share with everyone else. ownCloud can already be used to provide file access, syncing, sharing, calendar, contacts, music and video streaming, RSS reader and all kinds of other services in a distributed way. This talk will cover the current problems with surveillance and espionage and strategies on how to fix this problem. It will also discuss the upcoming federation features of ownCloud and how to become part of the ownCloud community.
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