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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] PRISM action center

From: Carlos Solís
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] PRISM action center
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2013 19:23:20 -0600
User-agent: SquirrelMail/1.4.21

> I'm going to start adding free software projects to the Free Software
> Directory as well. I'd love other peoples help on this as well.
> Once we add them, I'll work on making a nice template for collections of
> software, but for now I'll add them as Related Projects on this
> placeholder page I made, <>.

Today I was told about a site, named PRISM Break, that suggested several
alternatives, some libre, some not so, to avoid being tracked by the PRISM
system. I sent the site's developer a message about the details that he
overlooked. A copy can be read at my profile on Friendica
( ), or at 0bin
Tqtsaj8sqyfHB8USBpfJHLVHNkwUWHl1SrMSZsMnIyw= ), and a
plaintext version is included on the following paragraphs.

> Recently, I found out a site with several recommendations to break out of
> the reach of #PRISM ( ), and although its
> recommendations are useful, they could be even more so. I will comment on
> each of them and add further programs or websites recommended.
> * Operating system: GNU/Linux
> At least you got the name right, but the recommendation could be more
> ethically loaded: replacing Tux the penguin with the GNU mascot (which
> not only represents the GNU part of GNU/Linux but also the free software
> movement, unlike Tux), encouraging people to prefer the GNU/Linux-libre
> distributions endorsed by the FSF
> ( ), such as Trisquel
> ( ) or Parabola ( ).
> * Web browser: Tor Browser
> A good choice, in part. The Tor Browser is partly composed by Tor, but
> partly by a custom build of Mozilla Firefox, which, despite of its
> respect for privacy, does allow the user to install nonfree addons. It
> would be wiser to recommend Tor alongside GNU IceCat, the fork of Firefox
> that removes all recommendations to the aforementioned nonfree addons.
> * Web search: Startpage
> Startpage is a version of Ixquick ( ) that only
> displays results from Google. Both Ixquick and DuckDuckGo
> ( ) have strict privacy policies, but are
> themselves nonfree software. One could recommend instead Seeks Search
> ( ) or YaCy ( ).
> * Online transactions: Bitcoin
> No complaints about this one. There are also several other
> cryptocurrencies forked from Bitcoin, each with their pros and cons. One
> of the most famous ones is Litecoin ( ).
> * Cloud storage: Sparkleshare
> Sparkleshare may be free software, but it depends upon the Mono
> technology, itself built upon Microsoft's C# language and thus it's prone
> to patent attacks. Seafile ( ) is another option which
> is completely free software, and the main servers that it recommends are
> costless, but those are hosted by a Chinese enterprise, whose privacy
> policies are suspicious. The option here is to search for an ownCloud
> provider ( ), but all the public ones are
> pay-per-use. (I was lucky enough to be invited to a private instance,
> though.)
> * Social networking: Diaspora, Pump.IO
> Both are good choices, although Diaspora is currently maintained by the
> community (since the devs abandoned it) and Pump.IO is in a very early
> stage of development. Other choices are GNU Social, formerly StatusNet
> ( ) and Friendica
> ( ). The latter one offers connectivity with many
> other social networks and a great amount of plugins, and will eventually
> evolve to a new social network named Red
> ( ).
> * Instant messaging: Pidgin
> You forgot to mention two things: one, in order to work, Pidgin must use
> an XMPP/Jabber account from a site, and providers are growing scarce.
> DuckDuckGo offers the service, but it's nonfree software. The mail
> providers Lavabit and Riseup also may offer XMPP with the account, but
> subscribing to them is difficult due to reasons I'll explain later.
> Second, even with Pidgin, conversations may be snooped unless additional
> technology is used, such as Off-The-Record
> ( ) or Tor.
> * Video chat: Jitsi
> Again, Jitsi needs either an XMPP/Jabber account for text messaging, or a
> SIP account for video messaging. Jitsi may recommend its own sponsored
> service for the latter, though, although I'm unsure whether it's free or
> nonfree.
> * Media publishing: MediaGoblin
> No complaints.
> * Document collaboration: EtherPad
> EtherPad only works with plain text, but by default it includes no
> support for images or tables. However, there are no free alternatives as
> of yet. The closest one, Apache Wave
> ( ), is more intended as a social
> network for collaborating in projects, and document edition is only
> slightly more developed. There is a public server, Kune
> ( ).
> * Email: Currently none
> The closest matches are Riseup ( ) and Lavabit
> ( ). Both offer a limited space of mail (around 100
> MB) and XMPP/Jabber as well. The former needs the invitation of two
> current members of Riseup to enter, and the latter has inscriptions
> currently disabled, although it may change in a future.

- Carlos Solís

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