The CitizenWeb Project is a mission to fight for a free, open, and above all a decentralized Internet. In order to achieve this, it aims to empower everyday internet users with the information and resources they need to take matters into their own hands. We seek to spread the word about how to secure yourself online and how to declare “digital independence” in this age of the Google hivemind and Facebook privacy nightmares. While these services may be convenient, they carry very dangerous implications for our freedoms. This is only getting worse with time, as the corporations behind these services become entangled and indiscernable from government services and real-life social obligation. And it is only getting worse for the most sensitive users: journalists, activists, muckrakers and whistleblowers.
There are viable alternatives to these invasive and ubiquitous services. The CitizenWeb Project is therefore focused on giving the tools to each individual user to become an independent “citizen” of the Web — to decentralize their social networks and platforms, to become the TRUE owners of their data, and to communicate and network in security.
The project sees itself as an ideological cousin to other existing projects that are in the same space. The FreedomBox Foundation is an exciting initiative to provide small, cheap and self-contained servers running custom software that would be able to host dedicated services. It also advocates for an open and decentralized Internet. CryptoParty is an organization that encourages local support groups and produces written guides to disseminate security and encryption to the masses. CitizenWeb seeks to fill in the space between these two groups: by providing important information on why the web must be decentralized, by providing education on how to use specific services and hardware, by giving users the tools to implement these services in as secure a manner as possible, and by giving them a place to gather, to seek and to provide support for their different initiatives.
Agitate - CitizenWeb is dedicated to spreading the word about the practices of the large and centralized web services industries, and exactly how they are dangerous for security, privacy, freedom of speech and freedom of ownership. It aims to reinforce the importance of online privacy to the general public, because you never know who could be watching or profiting off of your actions online.
Educate - It is important to bring these issues to light, but it is equally important to provide individuals with the keys to help fix the problem. The proliferation of free, open source and federated alternatives for the closed and centralized services we rely on is paramount. With proper education and access to the resources they need, users will have all they need to stand up for their digital rights and for a decentralized Internet.
Organize - The information and resources that we provide would be nothing without a strong and supportive community. We seek to bring like-minded individuals together to spread the word about the tools we provide and to help add and edit information based on the skills they have. We also seek to provide technical support when possible for those who wish to reclaim their digital sovereignty. CitizenWeb also seeks to highlight and support independent developers that create open source tools that help build a decentralized web.