09.08.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Techrights is Self-Hosted and Recent Events Show That Self-Hosting Pays Off

Posted in Site News at 10:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 13182be343e4cd9effd58ab8145ee

Summary: There are censorship-type attacks against proponents of Free software, but you probably didn’t hear about them; we need to self-host a lot more than the media tells us (it loves promoting clown computing, i.e. outsourcing)

HAVING an “online presence” isn’t as easy as people are led to think, especially when that presence manifests itself in publication of suppressed information, including leaks-based investigations. Journalism needs to be more of the latter, not mere repetition of press releases issued by companies.

We recently became aware of some Free software sites being subjected to de-platforming, resulting in urgent migrations to hosts willing to stand up for their clients.

“We recently became aware of some Free software sites being subjected to de-platforming, resulting in urgent migrations to hosts willing to stand up for their clients.”As I explain above, right from the get-go we decided to self-host all our videos. At one point we considered uploading copies to LBRY, but there was a lot of concerning stuff about that platform, which nowadays has its share of critics too. So instead we put all the videos only here and there’s an index in Gemini with occasional copies in IPFS. The advantage is, they’re hard to ‘moderate’; nobody can ‘report’ them.

In the distant past we did numerous videos and articles that explain the process and progress. We still show the latest improvements (as we implement them) and provide some technical examples; the code is in self-hosted Git and some time in the future (after OS upgrades) we plan to publish it all under AGPLv3.

“The bottom line is, if it is feasible, consider self-hosting everything.”The video above uses as a cautionary tale the story of “The Linux Experiment”. Earlier this week Alphabet/Google/YouTube banned the channel without prior warning or explanation. There have been 4 videos about it in high-profile channels (maybe more will be added later) and, having just checked again, it’s reinstated and online… for now. Some might say that it proves justice has prevailed, but “the message” was received from Google and the damage is already done; trust isn’t there anymore. Google spies on people and pushes ads to them; somehow Google feels like it’s OK to ban people who do just the latter, and not as aggressively as Google does.

The bottom line is, if it is feasible, consider self-hosting everything. To say or to show controversial things it will become very much necessary because many ways exist to de-platform voices, both directly and indirectly (SLAPP and DMCA are among the legal weapons, which can be directed at any level, not just the author/publisher).

The same is true when it comes to free speech online. We try to reduce reliance on third parties and therefore we try to have all meaningful communications in our own network. Here’s how to follow all our IRC channels from the command line [1, 2] (as I show towards the end of the above video).

“The problem isn’t limited to Google or “GAFAM”; the Web hosts too are a risk factor. Sometimes the ISPs.”Trust nobody to value your speech as much as you yourself value your speech. Google may be using GNU/Linux for almost everything, including ChromeOS, but that does not mean that Google supports GNU/Linux developers and their communities. The little money they offer (usually to underskilled people whose contributions are also time-limited, never mind the low compensation level) can be seen as a form of “hush money”, which helps silence Google critics and sceptics. The critics are painted as intolerant (classist, racist, sexist etc. because of the nature of grants). Maybe Google is also upset that people turn Chromebooks into ‘proper’ GNU/Linux machines that give Google no data at all (they cannot subjugate the people who bought such laptops, which may be partly subsidised).

The problem isn’t limited to Google or “GAFAM”; the Web hosts too are a risk factor. Sometimes the ISPs. The Web has become far too centralised, so we need to promote things like Gemini, self-hosted of course with self-signed certificates (don’t centralise the trust, either).

At the time of writing, or as of this moment, since midnight today we’ve served over 40,000 pages over gemini://, so it is not some minuscule niche that everyone can ignore. Well, these latest statistics from Mr. Bortzmeyer say there are now 1,614 known capsules (it grows by about 100 every month or two).

“More importantly, choose carefully where to host videos, communications (including E-mail and IRC), not just blogs and domains.”Using datacentres for E-mail and for Web hosting comes with a risk attached, as these latest two articles [1, 2] (yes, it’s about GoDaddy!) help show. Only days after ProtonMail turning in an environmentalist (whom they kept logs on) instead of polluters that many people campaign against and blow the whistle on. And speaking of whistleblowers, they’re being spun as a threat of violence, either when they speak about a drone assassinations program or now, as in this case, some site that opposes abortion, only to be deplatformed by GoDaddy, whose founder/chief infamously cheered for the Iraq invasion. Don’t allow partisan politics to turn you into a cheerleader of online censorship. It is seductive. Painting censorship as “morals”…

Tread carefully if you wish to speak freely. More importantly, choose carefully where to host videos, communications (including E-mail and IRC), not just blogs and domains. Today’s Internet does not exist to promote free speech but to (mostly) police it. It controls society, sometimes by equating certain speech with physical violence.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part II — The Campaign Against GPL Compliance and War on Copyleft Enforcement

    Microsoft contemplated buying GitHub 7.5 years ago; the goal wasn’t to actually support “Open Source” but to crush it from the inside and that’s what Microsoft has been doing over the past 2.5 years (we have some details from the inside)



  2. Links 18/10/2021: Linux 5.15 RC6 and 7 New Stable Kernels

    Links for the day



  3. [Meme] The Austrian School of Friedrich Rude Liar

    With reference to the Austrian School, let’s consider the fact that Friedrich Rude Liar might in fact be standing to personally gain by plundering the EPO‘s staff by demonising them while helping Benoît Battistelli crush them



  4. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 17, 2021



  5. How (Simple Technical Steps) to Convince Yourself That DuckDuckGo is Just Spyware Connected to Microsoft, Falsely Advertised as 'Privacy'

    In recent days we published or republished some bits and pieces about what DuckDuckGo really is; the above reader dropped by to enlighten us and demonstrate just how easy it is to see what DuckDuckGo does even at the client side (with JavaScript); more people need to confront DuckDuckGo over this and warn colleagues/friends/family (there’s more here)



  6. Austria's Right-Wing Politicians Displaying Their Arrogance to EPO Examiners

    The EPO‘s current regime seems to be serving a money-hungry lobby of corrupt officials and pathological liars; tonight we focus on Austria



  7. [Meme] Friedrich Rödler's Increasingly Incomprehensible Debt Quagmire, Years Before EPO Money Was Trafficked Into the Stock Market

    As it turns out, numerous members of the Administrative Council of the EPO are abundantly corrupt and greedy; They falsely claim or selfishly pretend there’s a financial crisis and then moan about a "gap" that does not exist (unless one counts the illegal gambling, notably EPOTIF, which they approved), in turn recruiting or resorting to scabs that help improve ‘profit margins’



  8. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XV: Et Tu Felix Austria…

    Prior to the Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos regime the EPO‘s hard-working staff was slandered by a corrupt Austrian official, Mr. Rödler



  9. Links 17/10/2021: Blender 2.93.5, Microsoft Bailouts

    Links for the day



  10. Links 17/10/2021: GhostBSD 21.10.16 and Mattermost 6.0

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 16, 2021



  12. [Meme] First Illegally Banning Strikes, Then Illegally Taking Over Courts

    The vision of Team Battistelli/Campinos is a hostile takeover of the entire patent system, not just patent offices like the EPO; they’d stop at nothing to get there



  13. Portuguese Network of Enablers

    Instead of serving Portuguese people or serving thousands of EPO workers (including many who are Portuguese) the delegation from Portugal served the network of Campinos



  14. In Picture: After Billions Spent on Marketing, With Vista 11 Hype and Vapourware, No Real Gains for Windows

    The very latest figures from Web usage show that it’s hardly even a blip on the radar; Windows continues bleeding to death, not only in servers



  15. [Meme] [Teaser] Double-Dipping Friedrich Rödler

    As we shall see tomorrow night, the EPO regime was supported by a fair share of corrupt officials inside the Administrative Council



  16. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIV: Battistelli's Iberian Facilitators - Portugal

    How illegal “Strike Regulations” and regressive ‘reforms’ at the EPO, empowering Benoît Battistelli to the detriment of the Rule of Law, were ushered in by António Campinos and by Portugal 5 years before Campinos took Battistelli’s seat (and power he had given himself)



  17. Links 16/10/2021: SparkyLinux Turns 10 and Sculpt OS 21.10

    Links for the day



  18. “Facebook Whistleblowers” Aside, It Has Been a Dying Platform for Years, and It's Mentally Perverting the Older Generation

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  19. [Meme] Microsoft Has Always Been About Control Over Others

    Hosting by Microsoft means subjugation or a slavery-like relationship; contrary to the current media narrative, Microsoft has long been censoring LinkedIn for China’s autocratic regime; and over at GitHub, as we shall show for months to come, there’s a war on information, a war on women, and gross violations of the law



  20. EFF Pushes for Users to Install DuckDuckGo Software After Being Paid to Kill HTTPS Everywhere

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  21. The Reign in Spain

    Discussion about the role of Spain in the EPO‘s autocratic regime which violates the rights of EPO staff, including Spanish workers



  22. [Meme] Spanish Inquisition

    Let it be widely known that Spain played a role in crushing the basic rights of all EPO workers, including hundreds of Spaniards



  23. Why You Shouldn’t Use SteamOS, a Really Incompetent GNU/Linux Distribution With Security Pitfalls (Lutris is a Great Alternative)

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  24. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, October 15, 2021



  25. Links 16/10/2021: Xubuntu 21.10 and DearPyGui 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  26. DuckDuckGo’s HQ is Smaller Than My Apartment

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  27. Post About Whether Vivaldi is a GPL violation Was Quietly Knifed by the Mods of /r/uBlockOrigin in Reddit

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  28. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIII: Battistelli's Iberian Facilitators - Spain

    The EPO‘s António Campinos is an ‘Academy’ of overt nepotism; what Benoît Battistelli did mostly in France Campinos does in Spain and Portugal, severely harming the international image of these countries



  29. From Competitive (Top-Level, High-Calibre, Well-Paid) Jobs to 2,000 Euros a Month -- How the EPO is Becoming a Sweatshop by Patent Examiners' Standards

    A longish video about the dreadful situation at the EPO, where staff is being ‘robbed’ and EPO funds get funnelled into some dodgy stock market investments (a clear violation of the institution’s charter)



  30. [Meme] Protecting European Patent Courts From EPO 'Mafia'

    With flagrant disregard for court rulings (or workarounds to dodge actual compliance) it seems clear that today's EPO management is allergic to justice and to judges; European Patents perish at unprecedented levels in national European courts and it should be kept that way


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts