Libre Solutions Network

Freedom in the digital age


Putting Your Money Where Your Needs Are

This mindset is applicable to all kinds of problems, but I think is particularly suited to the challenge of helping people reduce their dependency on big tech infrastructure and state manipulation. Taking the time to evaluate your resources, and your requirements, you can put together a plan on how you and/or your friends or community can properly support a better path. Getting others involved can magnify your impact significantly, and better represent a variety of people’s needs and concerns.

It has been a huge mistake for people to accept either high fees or surveillance in exchange for computing that should rightly be done under their own control and on their own devices. There will only be so many opportunities to correct that mistake, and time is running short. The desire for institutions to seize control over peoples’ computing is only likely to rise over time, so too will the necessity to be proactively involved in building better tools for people of all walks of life.

Liberty-minded individuals need to become proactive supporters of the technological ecosystem we wish to participate in. If we appreciate all the benefits we enjoy from useful Free and Open Source Software, then we should reward the effort with proactive funding. In so many ways over the years, people have become familiar with the costs of “free” services that aren’t under their control. The demand for digital autonomy can only rise as corporations and governments around the world become increasingly predatory.

Now is the Best Time

With Big Tech services bootstrapping themselves with debt only to operate at a loss to shove out competition, skating by through lucrative government contracts, they’re arguably at the weakest they’ve ever been. Corporations are raising prices, reducing services, and having massive layoffs, forcing their workforce to find opportunities elsewhere. The last thing we want is for skilled, intelligent, and motivated people to continue building tools that work against us rather than for us. It is up to us to reverse this trend. Luckily, we have a great opportunity ahead of us.

tradingview chart of descending debt servicing costs over decades

Voting with your wallet now matters much more now than it did for the last decade.

Now is a very unique window of time to make a serious impact on the future of technology. With interest rates higher than they’ve been for quite some time, it’s (relatively) harder for corporations and governments to purchase influence. Every dollar you spend (or refuse to spend) means a great deal about what incentives are created and maintained. This means that what little you can spare can make a real impact. If you’re interested in bankrolling a better technological future, and have resources to spare I can’t think of a better opportunity.

Holding in Reserve

Of course, I am not telling you to spend without analyzing your own situation. First and foremost, ensure that you’re still taking care of your responsibilities and that you’re spending money that you would happily part with to make a better future. Odds are there may be charities or local support systems you may want to consider giving to. It can also be fruitful to save. It’s possible that you may want to participate in supporting something new or want to get together with others to pledge a larger amount of funds to work on something ambitious.

Projects Worth Supporting

These are intended to be examples of how somebody can take action themselves to fund a more freedom respecting digital landscape. Suggestions are welcome! The intention is to give you an idea of what may be worth considering. Ideally, you’d be using a substantial amount of Free and Open Source Software already and you’re just going to budget to support the software and systems you use regularly or find useful.


New initiatives and organizations are always needed to bring new ideas into reality, but those not willing to risk their limited resources supporting a long-shot can choose to instead support organizations with a track-record for delivering real results. Supporting an organization may also give benefits like membership, giving you a voice to raise concerns or even vote on important changes. Large organizations are complex machines. They may not be functioning exactly as you like, but by supporting organizations as a block of members, you can try to move them into a better direction.

No matter what organization you choose to support, be sure to make sure it is aligned (or able to be aligned) with your goals and values. Many large organizations have a tendency to lure in supporters with a deceptive brand that presents itself as noble, but in actuality under-delivers.

Local Credit Union

While not strictly technological, I believe that supporting credit unions is an important step to protecting financial transaction freedom. While no organization is safe from state overreach, it’s best to proactively put up as much resistance as possible, and build up resilience at the local level. Of course, supporters of digital autonomy should use their voice within any financial institution to encourage them to reduce their own dependency on big tech services, tracking, and other anti-user impositions.

At the time of writing this, I am currently a member of a credit union.

Advocates for Digital Autonomy

There are organizations centered around restricting state surveillance like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Free Software advocacy such as the Free Software Foundation.. Of course, taking it to the local level can help. Donating funds or equipment to local clubs can help those without access to devices, or gain more materials to learn and share.

At the time of writing, I’m currently a Free Software Foundation member, and have donated in the past to KDE e.V. in the past.

Software Foundations

If you use blender, Inkscape, PeerTube, or matrix you may want to consider supporting their organizations. Large foundations can work on a variety of initiatives rather than a specific project. Love the Web? you could even become part of maintaining open web standards.


Liberapay needs more love. It’s a donations platform for much of the Free Software and Open Source community. The platform allows you to support projects or developers directly if they wish, even pledge for projects that aren’t on the platform.

It’s a pleasure to highlight some of the excellent projects collecting donations there:

If there is any ever doubt. It’s always a good idea to verify with the project’s website to ensure you’re donating in the right place. Liberapay just makes it easy and convenient to support FOSS projects. Through other means, I’ve donated to GrapheneOS, Misskey and PeerTube as of the time of writing.


The traditional use of the phrase voting with your wallet refers to buycotts, choosing to support a company with better practices than the competition. When it comes to purchasing hardware, the FSF’s Giving Guide is a good place to look at the advantages of hardware that respects your freedom. It wasn’t long ago that many wouldn’t know where to find a computer vendor that sells machines with a linux distribution pre-installed, but now there are many vendors. When it comes to buying hardware, it’s a good idea to do a bit of research to ensure it suits your needs well. Choose carefully, but boldly!

Sometimes it can be nice to get something back in exchange for supporting a wild idea. Other times, you may make a purchase in the hopes of opening an entire new frontier of devices, such as the Reticulum packet radios or the framework laptop. These devices can come at a high price, but are often unique in quality or features.

I’ve had good experiences purchasing from Pine64 and System76 and the devices are still working well at the time of writing.


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Published: Dec 20 2023
Tags: Operation Operation: Bankroll Funding Decentralization

Escalating Cyberwar: Warlord Technology

Jul 17 2023 Gabriel

You have been found guilty. No trial was necessary, your device has testified against you. When one navigates corporate controlled cyberspace, the message couldn’t be more clear. Governments and tech giants negotiate the terms of total and utter digital feudalism while the people are herded into systems that are explicitly designed to control them. Even while it’s still possible, opting-out comes at a non-trivial cost. It is a cost that must be paid in one form or another, because refusing to do so has a grave price as well.

Operation: Beehive

Jun 07 2023 Gabriel

Bottom-up, decentralized, and permissionless strategies are at a premium. With the tools available to us, people from all walks of life are able to cooperate on incredible projects. Instead of relying on a tyrannical pharaoh’s vision for some great project, people can make their own public goods. We don’t need to be bigger or more powerful than large institutions to do incredible things. In many cases, it merely takes some creativity and diligent work.

Operation: Chorus

Feb 19 2023 Gabriel

“omnes voces nostri” “All our voices” Many problems in our time are caused by a severe power imbalance caused by information hazards. Information hazards are created when people and even entire societies operate under false pretenses. We can not rely on any single body or organization to question the foundations of every aspect of society to find errors, instead individuals should be empowered to use their own knowledge, skill, and intuition to learn from the world around them.

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