Search Mailing List Archives

Limit search to: Subject & Body Subject Author
Sort by: Reverse Sort
Limit to: All This Week Last Week This Month Last Month
Select Date Range     through    

[liberationtech] Stanford Liberationtech Needs Your Help

Moritz Bartl bartl at
Fri Jun 15 08:56:39 PDT 2018

Hi Yosem,
On 14.06.2018 21:13, Yosem Companys wrote:
> Recently, the decision was made to spin off LT as an independent entity.

Have you considered fiscal sponsorship instead, meaning to partner with
an existing non-profit instead of creating your own?

I can for example see us at Renewable Freedom Foundation hosting this,
both legally and technically. We have our own servers at various data
centers, an endowment to ensure continued operation of the foundation,
and existing legal infrastructure (registration in Germany, charity
status for donations across Europe, readily set up accounting & audits

It would save you from a lot of headaches and bureaucracy. There are
other foundations I can connect you to if you're interested in exploring
this route.

Legally, the primary consideration should be wether you expect grants or
donations, and where from. If you're dealing with US funders, it is the
easiest for them to give money to 501c3's in the US; if you're dealing
with donors from Europe, a European entity might be more useful.
"Iceland" and "Switzerland" are mentioned quite often with little actual
benefit (their privacy laws nowadays are similarly good or bad as
elsewhere), and I would rather base the decision on where you have
trusted contacts and someone who speaks the language.

The separation of concerns via fiscal sponsorship can give you more
flexibility, and more independence: I could see you partnering with a
number of different entities, and regardless of their governance
structures decide on your own governance model independently. If all you
plan for the near future is some structure to host the mailing lists
and/or forums, I suggest you reconsider creating yet another legal
entity for this (yet).

In terms of recommendations for hosters, you should base your decision
on where you "place" the legal entity: The best protection you get is
having the infrastructure in the same country as the legal entity, as it
will not create potentially complex legal issues crossing borders. If
you have narrowed down your choices, I can help pick hosting companies.

It sounds like you may be interested in managed services, where you
trust the hosting company to manage not only the connectivity but also
the services itself (mailman and/or discourse). If you're considering
the hosted Discourse at, you will need to trust them with
the data. I have not looked at their policies but usually these managed
options do not take good care of reducing IP logging, for example. They
are probably also using cloud storage, so the data sharing is even more
extensive. By picking a US company you basically pin the jurisdiction,
and you do not really want to be a foreign entity using US services like
that, so that makes sense only if you're creating or partnering with a
US entity. You can, however, find other, privacy-aware companies that
offer managed mailman/discourse hosting in other jurisdictions without
the "clouded" bit.


More information about the liberationtech mailing list