opal hart

Founder of Volatile, an organisation targeting self-hosting, online freedom, privacy, and security

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I have strong interests in security, communications, and personal freedom; my activist efforts focus around these values and how they intersect with current-day technology. I contribute to and write free software and am very opinionated about efficient software as well as accessibility and UI/UX design.

My main focus is on Volatile: a platform encompassing censorship resistance, privacy, and security by design, with equal participation from its community.

Initially started as a joke, since 2015 Volatile has been an IRC network rooted in Internet and Anonymous culture. As such, access via means such as Tor has always been possible, and people have been free to discuss what they wish.

Over the years I had expanded Volatile to E-mail and XMPP hosting, to Git and ZNC services, and to Matrix. All this rose from my own self-hosting needs, and I decided to share my services with the world when possible, for whomever showed a need for such services and wanted an anonymity-friendly host. And the IRC network hasn't gone anywhere; it's free for all to use.

As I write this 2020 is around the bend and I would like to keep on this path, maintaining my services, and hopefully open up my doors to a more-professional, more-automated platform, that people want to use as alternatives to larger unethical companies. On top of that, I want to offer more services according to demand. Move the cloud away from Google and Amazon and into smaller but more caring hands. Invite people to a home online where they feel safe from deplatforming. And eventually, work toward peer-to-peer and hosting-from-home solutions that will outlast me or anyone else behind Volatile.

Volatile doesn't have to stay as a joke or a hobby. I believe that through Volatile, I — we — can achieve a common goal to give the Internet back to the people.

Volatile intends to be a platform of multiple independent services, all centred around a common set of goals:

  • We wish to provide privacy by design and not by policy, such that unnecessary metadata is minimised before it even has a chance to be logged by servers, and personal/private data stays between the sender and the recipient.
  • Since we all have different needs, we wish to empower individuals to make their own self-moderation decisions when possible. We believe in the power of curating and filtering our own experiences, rather than entrusting others to tell us what we want to hear or say. Volatile looks out for individual interests so long as they do not encroach on the ability to offer services for others. Service administrators have a duty to stay within the law, to mitigate spam, and to ensure service availability.
  • We have a strong interest in decentralisation and self-hosting, and many people in the community have an interest in keeping up with the latest advancements in decentralised and peer-to-peer technologies. Technology is a moving target, and we will adapt where necessary. We see centralised corporations as single points of failure, and we believe they are destined to fail, clinging to obsolete business models.
  • Volatile wishes to work together with other likeminded individuals and organisations, bounce off ideas, share users, and in general improve both the online and the real world over time. We are not enemies; that goes against the spirit of decentralisation. However, we believe that healthy competition allows us all to find better solutions to current problems.

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wowaname gick med för 6 år sedan.

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