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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Break out of the PRISM: run your own service

I've been using "freedom" as a selling point for fred because when you run your own service, nobody can take it away from you. However, it seems there can be much more at stake: your privacy.

Put another way, who else is reading your reading list?

Normally this might not be such an interesting question, but recent events have brought some governmental spying to light. It's called PRISM, and you really should read about it if you haven't heard about this before.

If your reading list is hosted with a company like that, it's probably now in the hands of the feds. Are you okay with that?

How about for the majority of the world's residents? You know, the ones who aren't US citizens, and have no particular reason to hand data over to this government? If you're one such individual and you're using one of the services which has been tied to this program, you might think about changing how you do things.

If you want more control over your privacy, you're going to have to bring your services "closer to home". The good news is: I can help!

I've started a Kickstarter project to release my RSS/Atom reader to the world as open source. If it succeeds, then anyone who wishes to run their own "fred" install can do exactly that.

You don't need to ask anyone's permission to start running it.

Nobody can make you upgrade it if you don't want to.

You can change anything you want about it. If you hate the way I did something, jump in there and start hacking on it.

It's built around well-known tools like jQuery and Bootstrap so customizing the frontend is no big deal. Want to change the colors? Go for it. Need bigger fonts? Make it so. Want another button, or a better keyboard shortcut? It's all in your hands.

But the best part is... you get to decide who has access to your feed reader. By running on a system which you control, you get to maintain your privacy.

I want to give you those tools. I want everyone to have them, in fact. I just need the support of the community to make this happen.

Please join me and the other supporters.

Your private platform begins here.

July 5, 2013: This post has an update.