Disroot is a project that was born from the personal need to communicate, share and organize ourselves within our circles through tools that met a series of fundamental criteria for us: they had to be open, decentralized, federated and above all respectful towards freedom and privacy. None of the most popular solutions complied with them, but in our search we found some very interesting projects that did. And since we thought that they should be available to all those with similar ethical principles, we decided not only to group these applications and share them with others, but also to manage them according to those values. That's how Disroot started.
The project is based in Amsterdam, was founded by Muppeth and Antilopa in 2015, it is maintained by volunteers and relies on the support of its community. Between 2017 and 2018, a group of members started to get very actively involved and to collaborate very closely. In 2019, two of them, Fede and Meaz, officially became part of the Core Team that manages the platform. Two years later, in 2021, Avg_Joe joined the tasks and responsibilities.
Disroot aims to change the way people are used to interact on the web. We want to encourage and show them not only that there are open and ethical alternatives but also that it is the only possible way to break free from the walled gardens proposed and promoted by proprietary software and corporations, either through our platform, others that have similar values and goals or even their own projects.
We are convinced that we can build together a truly independent network, focused on the benefit of the people and not on their exploitation.
Antilopa, Muppeth, Fede, Meaz, Avg_Joe.
The Italian translation is the work of @l3o, French, Spanish and German are taken care by the Core team.
If you're interested in helping us with this work, contact us here
Federation and Decentralization
Most internet services are run from centralized point owned and run by corporations. These store private data of their users and analyze it using advanced algorithms in order to create accurate profiles of their 'users'. This information is often used to exploit the people for the sake of advertisers. Information can also be obtained by governmental institutions or by malicious hackers. Data can be removed without warning due to dubious reasons or regional censorship policies.
A decentralized service can reside on multiple machines, owned by different individuals, companies or organization. With federation protocols those instances can interact and form one network of many nodes (servers hosting similar services). One might be able to shut down one node but never the entire network. In such a setup censorship is practically impossible.
Think of how we use E-mail; you can choose any service provider or set up your own, and still exchange emails with people using another email provider. E-mail is built upon a decentralized and federated protocol.
These two principals, together, sets up the backdrop for a huge network that depends on a rather simple infrastructure and relatively low costs. Any machine can become a server and be an equal participant in the network. From a small desktop computer at your home to a dedicated server or racks with multiple servers. This approach provides the possibility to create the biggest user owned global network - just as the Internet was intended to be.
We do not wish for Disroot to become one centralized entity but rather a part of a larger community - one node out of many. We hope others will be inspired to create more projects with similar intentions.
Software can be created and shaped into anything. Every button, every color and every link that we see and use on the web was put there by someone. When we use the applications provided for us, we mostly don't see - and sometimes don't care about - much of what happens behind the interface we use. We connect with other people, we store our files, organize meetings and festivals, send emails or chat for hours and it all happens magically.
In the last few decades information has become very valuable and more and more easy to collect and process. We are accustomed to being analyzed, blindly accepting terms and conditions for "our own good", trusting authorities and multi-billion dollar companies to protect our interest, while all along we are the product in their 'people farms'.
Own your own data:
Many networks use your data to make money by analyzing your interactions and using this information to advertise things to you. Disroot doesn't use your data for any purpose other than allowing you to connect and use the service.
Your files on the cloud are encrypted with your user password, every bin-paste and file uploaded on Lufi service is client side encrypted too, meaning that even server administrators have no access to your data. Whenever there is a possibility for encryption, we enable it and if it's not possible, we advice to use external encryption software. The less we, as admins, know about your data, the better :D.(Tip of the day: Since your files on Nextcloud are encrypted with your user's password, if you forget it you will not be able to access your files again, so make sure to NEVER lose your password! (We suggest using a password manager)) Read this tutorial
Transparency and openness
At Disroot we use 100% free and open source software. This means that the source code (the way the software operates) is publicly accessible. Anyone is able to contribute improvements or adjustments to the software and it can be audited and controlled at any moment - no hidden back-doors or other malicious malware.
We want to be fully transparent and open towards people using our services and therefore we publish information about the current state of the project, the financial status, our plans and ideas. We would also like to hear your suggestions and feedback so we can deliver the best experience possible to all Disrooters.