05.31.21

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Freedom First: Towards Self-Hosting and Federating/Communicating Across IRC Networks

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 9:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: We’ve been technically experimenting and laying the groundwork for project communications more self-hosting and truly self-governing rather than outsourced to outside parties; the key thing is, how do we make it integrate with large networks or other networks where most people are (the ‘network effect’)? These technical endeavours are ongoing.

THE aspects of Free Speech or Free Will or self determination etc. aren’t typically spoken about in the context of technology but of military, territorial sovereignty (e.g. what if this nation invaded us or that other nation annexed a part of us?). In the case of technology, what’s to be done when a service you rely on (e.g. clown computing) decides to change policies, shut down, start charging, increase fees etc. and you have no say on the matter?

“We’d rather focus on issues such as patents instead of IRC ‘drama’.”Self-hosting isn’t easy, but it gives one autonomy and control. Here in Techrights we explored and researched what it would involve self-hosting an IRC network and channels. We did this last year, well before any actual controversy.

Owls chattingAs the video above explains, we’re in the process of offering more options, one of which is self-hosted. We’re not leaving anything, we just add an option which is one we control. At the moment, based on our understanding, promising work is also being done to make networks interact and work together. That can help prevent or overcome some of the current conflicts, which distract technical projects from the things they really ought to focus on (mostly coding).

We’ve tried to abstain from getting involved in all those IRC wars (in effect a form of infighting, distracting us from real growth opportunities, such as crushing proprietary copycats of IRC). From now on we’ll try to advocate projects and sites taking control of their communications rather outsourcing them to outside (competing) groups. This is all doable given the declining cost (and increasing power) of hardware, as well as improved network capacities all around the world.

As the video above notes, it should now be possible to communicate with us more securely in real time, with a potential of whispering about EPO tyrants like António Campinos. On Friday we made a giant leap towards abolishing European software patents. We’d rather focus on issues such as patents instead of IRC ‘drama’. Let’s revolutionise rather than destory one another.

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