When I started making my first web sites, internet was a wonderful space of freedom and creativity, even if in 1994 not many people where on the web, what attracted us was a real spirit of discovery, innovation and also collaboration. This spirit and freedom allowed us to launch a profound revolution that is still ongoing, that of volunteer and collaborative participation to worldwide scale projects.
The ideological movement of free software launched by Richard Stallman inspired several disciplines well beyond just software, we find it in culture, politics, biology, knowledge and we are just at the beginning of the marvels possible thanks to large scale collaboration and sharing. Wikipedia, the sharing economy, the constitution of Iceland, new and better ways to learn any subject and discipline and of course also software which powers most of internet are just some of the examples.
The problem is that other than these systems which are exemplary, there are private proprietary systems which are silos that enclose us progressively, Google, Facebook, Amazon are just some examples that offer free services in exchange of our data, getting to know us better than we do know ourselves and taking over little by little control of our life.
It’s true today these services are very useful and cool so that we do not hesitate to give them our data and accept to become their prisoners as in the future they will be able to do whatever they want with us, because in a world controlled by software and data, either you control it or you are controlled by it.
Apple is a little different as it’s product is not free, on the contrary it’s very expensive, but since the software of Apple’s products and it’s ecosystem is proprietary, that is we cannot see how it works and what it does, nor what is done with data collected, we cannot be sure that their products do not contain spying systems. For example the microphone of the telephones can be remotely activated without our consent to record audio as revealed by Snowden, this also happens in Samsung and other phones.
Therefore we are putting our lives in the hands of private companies that have no interest for the common good but are simply driven by profits, and as we know, profits are never enough for Wall Street and the likes.
Today despite the existence of the free software movement, we do not have alternatives to these closed systems which can deliver us a comparable user experience this is why I use Apple and Google products.
From this observation a new movement is starting, whose aim is to create a really free as in libre ecosystem focused on freedom, design and user experience, to provide a suitable alternative to closed systems with respect of our freedom, privacy and data.
This alternative is indietech.org and this is a call to join us on the 4th and 5th of July in Brighton where the indietech Summit will be held to declare the indipendence of internet and avoid a future without freedom.