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= a hacker group, and the title of a science fiction book

The Organization

= an independent group of hackers, activists, and scholars exploring the ideas of user freedom and autonomy as they relate to network communication technologies


"Information technology plays an increasingly important role in the way we create, communicate, and collaborate. As this happens, our autonomy is increasingly affected by the degree and nature of our control over these technologies. Over the past thirty years, the free software movement has successfully worked to protect this autonomy.

However, the last decade has witnessed a rise in the role of computing as a service, a massive increase in the use of web applications, the migration of personal computing tasks to data-centers, and the creation of new classes of service-based applications. Through this process, some of the thinking, licenses, tools, and strategies of the free and open source software movements have become poorly suited to the challenges posed by these network services. is an independent group of hackers and activists. Many of us create network services. All of us are concerned about their effects on user freedom and autonomy. is designed as a forum to explore the problems and issues raised by network technologies.

What does freedom mean for the users and developers of web services? What is at risk? What should the free and open source software community do to ensure that software, and its users, stay free in this new technological environment?

We are working closely with organizations including the Free Software Foundation to help inform them on these issues and establish informed position on software freedom and network services. Our goal, however, is to push the boundaries and explore the grey areas, and as such, we do not claim to represent the views of organizations or individuals affiliated or participating in this site.

Current participants and contributors include Gabriel Burt (Novell), Jonathan Gray (OKFN and the Open Service Definition), Benjamin Mako Hill (MIT/FSF), Bradley Kuhn (SFLC and Software Freedom Conservancy), Mike Linksvayer (CC), Henry Poole (FSF and CivicActions), Evan Prodromou, Kragen Sitaker, Brett Smith (FSF), Aaron Swartz, James Vasile (SFLC) and Luis Villa (GNOME Foundation)."


The Science-Fiction Book

* Book: Autonomous, by Annalee Newitz.

Alberto of Econ-SF:

"It’s a far future, earth-bound scenario with advanced biotech, under a corporate rulership primarily powered by extreme intellectural property rights. She goes deep in the debate between master-servant relationships, as the world features both classic human indebted servitude and autonomous artifically intelligent robots as well as into piracy, open knowledge, addiction and freedom."