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Restore Digital Privacy
We built the Internet to be a space for freedom and opportunity. Instead it has become the greatest surveillance system ever. My name is Pieter Hintjens, CEO of iMatix, and I want you to help me fix that.
Without privacy and anonymity, we lose our freedom of speech. And without that, we become slaves to a narrative where the powerful run amok, without oversight or regulation. I truly believe we're facing the extinction of our digital freedoms, and then our real world freedoms.
By joining in this project and contributing, you help turn back the tide.
How We'll Do It
The Internet is the problem. Central web services are too easy to tap. To demand data from. To seize and shutdown, even. And broadband internet connections are trivial to spy on. We can't trust any large firm to keep our secrets safe. Legally, they can't, if they get a National Security Letter from the NSA.
So the idea is to make it really expensive to spy on us. Instead of using thin clients talking over broadband to web services, I want to build mesh networks out of our smartphones and laptops.
People have tried mesh networks many times, so what's different now? The answer is we've got much better software, stuff like ZeroMQ and Zyre, two of the free software projects I've spent years on. Zyre makes it simple to get phones talking to each other in cells. A cell covers a small local area. Cells talk to cells, covering wider and wider areas, whole cities.
I call this "edgenet".
What We Need from You
Making new software is just expensive, and without funding, Edge Net might still happen, or it might not. So we need your financial support. We set our funding goal at $1,000. Realistically we need a hundred times that to build final products ordinary people can download and run on their smartphones.
The budgets -- however much we raise -- will be handled by my company, iMatix, which has a long track record of making free software. We built ZeroMQ, CZMQ, Zyre, FileMQ, and many other free software projects. It'll let us switch from other projects to work only on edgenet. It'll let us hire designers, security specialists, and other people who can help make this happen.
Everything we build will be (as it already is) free software based on open protocols. We don't want to make edgenet for ourselves, but for the whole world. We'll use the same copyright policy as we do for ZeroMQ: everyone owns their work, no-one owns the whole thing. It cannot be relicensed or easily killed.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you can't contribute, help us spread the word. Go out and make some noise. Explain to people how bad the loss of on-line privacy is, how much it affects our freedom of speech.
Let's fix this.