[HacktionLab] [zylum at peacenews.info: Involving indy.im in Zylum/Weaving Our Own Web]

bou at aktivix.org bou at aktivix.org
Sat Dec 20 14:27:25 UTC 2014


aktivix and other groups have been working on federation, anonymity  
and encryption for so long this 'new' project sounds like a new comer  
reinventing the wheel.

aktivix.org may be a good starting point as to what networks are  
already set in place, from there you should get to the tech tools for  
activism page (otherwise googling it it should appear the 1st, 2nd  

Upon reading your email I note that your hosting provider is a private  
commercial entity.

1 of aktivix & n23

Quoting indy.im at aktivix.org:

> As received from another channel, this may be of interest to those on
> this list.
> Regards,
> indy.im

Dear indy.im,
       Many thanks for your response and feel free to forward this  
email to anyone if you see that as useful.

You will be pleased to hear that one of the opportunities at our event  
on 10th Jan. will indeed be for discussion about the federated, and  
open web. If you have an idea for a workshop or a debate which you  
would like to host. it is not too late to give you a slot in the  
programme. If you are interested, I can also share the draft programme  
with you, so that you can see what is already being offered. I would  
love to involve you in the event and in the testing phase for the  
online tools (which will begin in the middle of next week). Do let me  
know if you would like to take up these opportunities?

You are right that development has been funded (by Rowntree).  
Unfortunately, I was only introduced to Zylum very late (just over a  
month ago). Had I been involved around two years ago when many of the  
ideas which lead to Zylum were first mooted, the project as a whole  
might look very different. However, it is now my job to make the best  
of where we are. That will mean moving from the cathedral to the  
bazaar, but as a first step I need to drag the Zylum project out into  
the daylight, that may take a little while, as it is quite a heavy  
beast to manoeuvre.

As to your specific questions about anonymity, encryption and logs.  
These are issues on which I am myself seeking clarification. I need to  
speak with both the developer who has implemented the server side code  
http://www.wave.coop/ and the hosting provider  
http://www.greennet.org.uk/ We aim to keep as little personal data as  
possible about our users. Whatever the answers are, we shall be  
entirely open about what data we do and do not keep and all this will  
be explained in the help/about pages of http://www.zulum.org/

I would love to have you and other Hactivists look at the code as well  
as the front end product as soon as it is released. Peace News plans  
to release the code under a free software license, so if people like  
bits of it but not all of it they will be free to cannibalise.  
Equally, if people like the product but not the Peace News brand,  
there will be the option to install and run the same service  
elsewhere. If you are asking precisely which free software license we  
shall use, that is something for Wave to confirm. I visualise it being  
similar to the way Firefox is licensed. Mozilla foundation owns the  
name Firefox, so other developers cannot use that, but the code itself  
is free (hence iceweasel). Peace News will assert ownership of the  
name Zylum but the rest will be open to everyone.

You ask about maintenance over years or decades. This a challenge  
which we do not presume to have answered yet. If techie folk do not  
like Zylum, it could die. I hope that it will be maintained and that  
it will evolve, but that will only happen with the support of a user  

I agree that software is not a static thing which is complete once it  
is released. Any release is simply a milestone. Without the support of  
many people, Zylum will be a cul de sac and people will simply find  
alternative tools which suit their needs better. Only time will tell,  
but I believe that Zylum could be a useful service providing non  
techies' with an alternative to placing everything about their  
campaign on F***book. Ideally, it should be a jumping off point for  
those people to discover other free software and non-corporate corners  
of the web. That will only happen if people involved in groups such as  
indy.im use Zylum as an opportunity to reach out to a constituency  
which might otherwise never discover their work.

I look forward in hope of a fruitful ongoing conversation,

---------- Previous message ----------
From: indy.im at aktivix.org
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2014 17:46:16 +0000
Subject: Re: Weaving Our Own Web - Digital Tools For Activists Event  
Sat. 10 Jan. 2015
To: Benjamin <benjamindiss at googlemail.com>

Hi Benjamin,
it's great that Peace News is taking steps to encourage users to
move away from corporate social network farms, where the users are
the product of the application.

It'd be great to have some discussion about the federated, and open web,
how we can move away from information silos returning to a peer based
network, and how people can take control of their data and
communications and self host.

We have some concerns on the nature of Zylum application that you have
had developed.

It appears that Peace News has received a grant to develop a software
artefact, that may be useful to many different organising groups, that
may have different requirements and needs to Peace News.  For example
perhaps some direct antifacist organisers may find it useful, but may
not want to use the peace news installation for various reasons.

How will we know that the Peace News application maintains its users
anonymity.  Will you manage your own servers.  Will you encrypt the hard
drives so they cannot be accessed if copied. Will you log the connection
details of users.  Will you respond to police requests for access ?

What licenses will the software be released under ?  How easy will it be
for other groups to deploy it in autonomous ways. How can we contribute
to it, improve it, customise it to better fit our environments  ?

Software artefacts are not static objects.  The components that are used
to build them change over time.  How will you maintain it over decades
of use (as some of has have been maintaining software applications for
activists for decades. ) ?

Building software artefacts is best done as a bazaar, with transparent
process, releasing often and openly, allowing and encouraging all to
contribute.  This project appears on the surface to much more top down
and cathedral in nature.

indy.im at aktivix.org

---------- Previous message ----------
On Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 03:16:34PM +0000, Benjamin <... at googlemail.com> wrote:

[Hide Quoted Text]
Dear Microblog Administrator(s),
       Peace News http://peacenews.info are developing a suite of
online tools to be called Zylum. Partly to launch this set of tools
and partly just to get people together to talk about tech' in
campaigning - We are organising a free day-school of workshops to be
hosted in London.


As independent media practitioners we have been very inspired by
indy.im so we would love to invite the people behind it to address our

At the moment I am trying to finalise a list of invitees and decide
which workshops to have people deliver.
---- Message history cropped ----

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