Freedom and the Cloud

Monty Taylor

twitter: @e_monty

Who am I?

Distinguished Engineer

IBM Cloud

Who am I?

Foundation Board of Directors

Developer Infrastructure Core Team

Python Software Foudation Member


Anybody value that?


FDR's Four Freedoms

  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of worship
  • Freedom from want
  • Freedom from fear

So, Richard Stallman bought a printer

Free Software Foundation Four Freedoms

  • The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1).
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3)
FSF Philosophy

Does regulated freedom limit or enhance freedom?

  • Anarchy
  • Fuedalism
  • Democracy
  • Communism
  • Dictatorship

Software Copyright Licenses

  • Public Domain
  • Apache Software License
  • GNU General Public License (GPL)

'Save Netflix'


Walled gardens

  • Free as in Freedom
  • Free as in Beer

github and 'retard'

github and 'retard'

github has positioned themselves as 'essential' for development

github's users are github's product


Cloud-enabled thermostat

The Cloud

Aw, crap

The Internet

The goal was to exploit new computer technologies to meet the needs of military command and control against nuclear threats, achieve survivable control of US nuclear forces, and improve military tactical and management decision making

Fully distributed - no single point of attack

The Cloud

Consolidation and ammortization of adminstration of computer resources


Computers as a Service

  • Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine, Microsoft Azure
  • OpenStack - Dreamhost, Vexxhost, OVH, Unitedstack, CityCloud


Stuff my mom might use

  • gmail
  • Facebook
  • iCloud
  • github

The Cloud


git v. github

  • git is a fully decentralized distributed version control system
  • github 'makes it easier' by introducing a centralized cloud hosting system
ps. github was down this morning

Shameless slide to justify to my employer that I'm here

OpenStack vs. Amazon

  • Imagine you're a company in Germany
  • Now imagine using a service run by Apple, Google or Amazon
  • Now think about how that puts you in relationship to the FBI
  • MAYBE the world being beholden to US shareholders isn't great

Is the ease of access an increase or decrease of freedom?

What about when you want information to go away?

Apple did not hack the iPhone - but they can

Your phone is connected to Apple's Cloud

Other people are not as competent as Apple

  • 50 million turkish citizens data leak
  • 300 Hyatt hotels leaking credit card data

In the cloud, you are at the mercy of the choice of companies to be benevolent

Why are we here? I think many people assume, wrongly, that a company exists solely to make money. Money is an important part of a company's existence, if the company is any good. But a result is not a cause. We have to go deeper and find the real reason for our being.

David Packard


Companies are there to make money

How do we manage and control of this

Andrew's Leaf Quote

  • Don't use 'the cloud'
  • Encryption
  • tor project

The **redacted** Approach

  • No google account.
  • No twitter. No facebook.
  • No cloud services he can't run him self
  • No annotated photos online


  • Public Key Encryption
  • "Something you have, and something you know"
  • gpg
  • Doesn't work in fully hosted services

tor - the Jake Applebaum Approach

Tor was originally designed, implemented, and deployed as a third-generation onion routing project of the Naval Research Laboratory. It was originally developed with the U.S. Navy in mind, for the primary purpose of protecting government communications. Today, it is used every day for a wide variety of purposes by the military, journalists, law enforcement officers, activists, and many others.


Serious question

  • twitter has helped communication during the Arab Spring
  • github hosts tons of Open Government information
  • Does the hosted enablement outweigh the centralization of power? How do we, as a society, regulate that power?

Thank you!

twitter: @e_monty