My Pioneer edition FreedomBox running on in-built battery backup during a minor power outage today.

I have minor power outages of a few minutes a day at my place during the rainy season. When I was running FreedomBox on a bare Raspberry Pi 2 earlier, I had to replace the microSD card once a year due to damage. The Pioneer edition has solved this problem for me.

New blog post ✨

Behavioral data, not Biodata

It's not your biodata that surveillance capitalism is interested in. It's your behavioral data.

Self-hosting is also a form of self-care.

It gives you a sense of safety and control, peace of mind, and protects you from exploitation by the surveillance machine (at least partially).

Using containers in self-hosted home servers feels like hauling your groceries home in multiple shipping containers - one for each item. 🤐

If parallel universes exist, there must be a version of me in one of them who became an electronics engineer and won't shut up about self-hosting electricity using solar panels.

Image from PBS Crash Course Engineering #30

Freedom in a Box

My talk about privacy, decentralization, self-hosting, freedom of speech and FreedomBox.

It's a non-technical talk meant to spread awareness about the dangers of mass surveillance and the alternatives that exist to centralized systems.

Links to slides are in the video description.

Delivered at ThoughtWorks Hyderabad for the 46th edition of GeekNight on 2nd Jan, 2019.

Self-hosting at the price of two Starbucks coffees.

Libre Computer's La Frite is a $10 ARM computer launching in November 2018.

Evolution of Digital Freedom

Digital serf -> Self-hosted -> full P2P

Digital serf: Completely depends on digital feudal lords who maintain huge centralized systems. No data ownership

Self-hosted: Hosts most of the services they need on their own servers. Good enough data ownership.

P2P: All personal data resides on own devices at all times and shared when necessary without any intermediary control. Full data ownership.

I wanted to self-host the Wire messaging app and took a look at their repository on GitHub. It looks like they really don't want me to self-host it at all.

You might be open-source but you ain't free software if you hide the information on how to host your software. 😠

All it costs to fulfill the average person's needs for digital services is a $5 per month VPS instance. It's even cheaper if you buy a single board computer and host your services at home.

We've been letting companies steal our personal data and sell it to the highest bidder and destroying democracy in the process all to save what? A coffee a month?

This is one of the worst deals in history.

Almost two months since I last bought something online. Aiming for 3 months!

And my ordering food online has reduced too since I started doing some amount of cooking.

I hope that sometime in my life I'll be able to sustainably grow my own food and produce my own energy. Self-hosting my internet services was the first step, these are the next.

We take Lets Encrypt for granted these days, but imagine you host a $5 per month server just for your needs and had to buy a $100 SSL certificate for it. Wouldn't you be discouraged from self-hosting in the first place?


This is a general instance supporting toots in English and తెలుగు.

Hero image credit: Sean O'Brien (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)