A Critical Engineering workshop led by Danja Vasiliev. In today’s society, data privacy and infrastructural centralisation have become primary concerns.

Existing Internet governance, laws and structures are being challenged. With increasing distrust in ‘The Cloud’ comes a broad call for publicly-owned network infrastructures; infrastructures that would give users greater control over their personal communication, data and identities. This 2-day workshop walks participants through the process of setting up a self-owned server that they control – scalable to hundreds or thousands of users. Those interested in serving from home can bring in a laptop/PC/RPi to wipe and re-purpose as a low-bandwidth server on the Internet. Others wanting a high-traffic, media-rich solution will be encouraged to choose and register a geographically-local VPS server in class such that they can be guided through a complete install, customised to each participant’s needs. Good server-side security practices are covered, from disk-encryption to password-management and firewalling. The basics of the UNIX command line are also taught such that participants can securely log into their server and administer it regardless of their physical location. It takes just one person in a community to give the gift of publicly-owned, localised and decentralised infrastructure – to take the power back.

Othernet, a People’s Cloud was commissioned by The Influencers as part of The New Networked Normal and presented at The Influencers 2017.