Since Internet services such as Facebook, Twitter and Skype became popular, I began to think about their political implications, especially about how they threaten computer user’s freedom. Within FSFE I developed my ideas more and began to spread them. So I think it is about time that I blog about my activities.
It all began with a talk at Berlin’s Linuxtag 2010 and a follow-up interview with Germany’s Deutschlandradio as well as another German interview with the community Radio Tux.
Out of those interviews and discussions I had with conference participants, the need for a starting point for people interested in the topic arose. That’s why I created the page on Cloud Computing in the FSFE wiki. It is still just a collection of links and definitely needs more work, but it’s a start.
Then there was another talk at the Berlin Linux User group (BeLUG) for which slides are available. My next talk entitled “Centralised Internet Services and Problems of Power” will be in English and discuss problems on an even more abstract level. It will be part of the FSCONS 2010 program on November 6th. If you are there, you are invited to attend! I’ll paste the abstract of the talk below.
Even though the Internet and many of its early services come from a peer-to- peer based design, many of today’s popular Internet services are built in a centralized fashion. Emerging technologies such as Cloud Computing make it easier to scale web-based applications up to millions of users. So not only new services, but also traditional applications are moving into the “cloud” and their software can only be used “as a service”.
This talk will illustrate the trend towards centralised services and explain the reasons for this trend. More importantly, it will show how power is accumulated by service providers and what problems arise from this for users.
It will conclude with some solutions and strategies that can help users to remain in control of their computing and their data.