James, Jaromil and Adnan joined a 2-day London FLOSSP2P workshop, gathering FLOSS projects that are building software for peer production and organization, with a focus on distributed platforms. *Scholarships* to attend are offered to grassroots communities. We met with participants of the Off Networks mailinglist.
** Context ** see p2pfoundation blog:
We know that the Internet was originally decentralized, with protocols and services built by hackers. However, with the arrival of the celebrated Web 2.0, centralization and corporations proprietary platforms seem to have taken over. Moreover, this centralized structure is used by governments to increase surveillance (following Snowden’s revelations), to blackout internet whenever it is needed (e.g. Egypt, Syria, or San Francisco’s BART) or to choke annoying activist organizations (such as Wikileaks).
On the other hand, in the last few years we have seen the emergence of Internet-enabled collaborative communities building shared libre/open resources. Commons-based Peer to Peer Production (CBPP) is rapidly growing: not just for software and encyclopedias, but also for information (OpenStreetMap, Wikihow), hardware (FabLabs, Open Source Ecology), accommodation (Couchsurfing) and currency (Bitcoin, Altcoins).
In the last few years, it has become clear to many that it is not enough to develop free/libre/open source (FLOSS) alternatives, but we also need to re-decentralize the Internet. Many initiatives are being undertaken under this premise (e.g. Ethereum, Diaspora, OwnCloud, MediaGoblin, Sandstorm). These new software tools may also be useful to boost CBPP communities further. In this workshop, we will gather those working around the decentralized FLOSS that could help CBPP/P2P communities. Hackers, academics, activists and interested stakeholders are welcome.