Start9 Labs provides a home server. And it works

A company in Colorado is betting that it can make decentralized web more accessible with a no-frills server that you can install in your own home.

Start9 Labs' Embassy server, located in the Raspberry Pi, set up its own internet and comes with its own operating system as well as a host of services like bitcoin trading, messaging and password management to eliminate intermediaries and use the Tor Network to communicate.

People use the Tor network because it makes tracking the user's internet activity extremely difficult, encrypting it multiple times and hiding the user's location. But Tor can be hard to navigate for tech savvy people. That's why Start9 Labs is betting on Embassies, Ambassadors operating systems - handling server setups, owner authentication, networking and installation, configuration and servicing applications. decentralized - to make decentralized web more accessible and popular.

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The networked hardware will all be connected to each other on the private internet, instead of each device providing all your private data to any cloud provider that sells you that device, Matt Hill, co-founder of Start9 Labs.

Start9 Labs is not built on Web 2.0, but it takes control of that infrastructure so people can run their own networks. To build a new internet from scratch, there must be a physical hardware device in every house, Hill said. The Embassy server is a first step in that direction.

If this seems abstract and esoteric, consider the recent security laws China has imposed on Hong Kong, essentially criminalizing some form of thought, expression and words, to In response to pro-democracy protests that erupted last year. Google, Twitter and Facebook have stopped reviewing user data requests from Hong Kong by enforcing laws while evaluating laws. But these companies still control the flow of user data, largely related to the user's thoughts and words. Embassy servers and services are integrated into the don don design that allow those companies to access data.


Hill We are building this company and this product in such a way that it can actually be censored, can be subpoenaed for anything, Hill said. It is very difficult to tell us that if someone says ,, Stop doing what you are doing, our response is, ‘Honestly, we can.

Hill and co-founder Keagan McClelland recently appeared on the Coin Center podcast with Peter Van Valkenburgh to discuss the need for security technology. They note that centralized trouble takes many forms, be it Gmail or exchange like Coinbase, which acts as an intermediary for millions of cryptocurrency transactions. They want to change that.

Hill presents its kit as an easy, superior way to access your private network. So I tried it with one of the embassy servers. Technology focused on privacy is often harder than conventional technology to understand and use. You can replace streamlined user interfaces on apps like Facebook with something more minimalistic without abusing your data. But I was able to set up the Embassy in the four simple steps it laid out and accessed the Start9 Embassy app in the Apple App store.

Soon after, I used the Cup messenger service, which looks like a standalone app on my home screen, to ping messages from my only Tor address to him, authenticated by keys. Our own through the Ambassador Operating System.

See also: Trezor shield turns a Raspberry Pi into a bitcoin wallet

Cup currently has no push notifications, and there is a slight delay. But it works well, is easy to operate, and there's no middlemen to snoop on our messages. Only me and Hill, contacted through our private servers.

The embassy's server is currently priced at $ 200, but Start9 Labs will release the specs online, so anyone can build it. This software is all open source and everyone can build applications to add to it. The goal, Hill said, is to create technology that can exist even after the company can disappear.

If we go away, our morale continues, there is no killing we are doing, Mr. Hill said. We are a company, so it may be closed. But the technology that has been developed persists as if nothing has happened. It is open source software that runs on commodity hardware. How do you prevent that?

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