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[liberationtech] Towards a Public Communication and Information Infrastructure

Fenwick Mckelvey mckelveyf at
Mon May 9 08:33:20 PDT 2016

Hi Doug,
I haven't had much time to look into it, but there has been some discussion
in Canada about linking reforms to the postal system with community

Lots of talk happening as part of our regulator's discussion of broadband
as a basic service:


On Sun, 8 May 2016 at 23:57 Doug Schuler <douglas at>

> I'm currently working on a short paper — basically an editorial or op-ed —
> on the idea of an open-ended, non-profit, citizen-led public alternative
> communication and information infrastructure project. I’m not exactly sure
> what that means but I’m envisioning something that supports a variety of
> basic features that people use (search, chat, photo posting, etc. etc.) as
> well as more advanced features such as deliberation, discussion,
> collaboration, decision-making, etc. It would probably need to be built
> with federated, integrated, distributed open source modules and be governed
> by its users and developers in some sort of open public way. It would be
> used without surveillance, data harvesting, censorship. The paper won't be
> long and it certainly won't be authoritative or comprehensive; at this
> point I'm just trying to help surface the idea and get feedback.
> My plan is to build the case somewhat in the paper and to suggest some
> ideas that are likely to be useful in thinking about moving forward. That's
> why I'm writing to you all.
> If you have any points or suggestions or examples that I need to know
> about as I work forward I'd love to hear them. I probably won't be able to
> incorporate everything in this initial piece but, ideally, as time goes on,
> the suggestions you make would help inform the project.
> Please send me your thoughts on this.
> Thanks!!
> — Doug
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