Connected Devices Track

For conversations about the Connected Devices Track at the Leadership Summit in Singapore.


Connected Devices should be, first and foremost, about empowering people in an increasingly connected world. That can only happen if we follow it with a free-software ethos. These new devices will regulate people’s lives in new ways and may become ubiquitous, more than even phones. That’s why it’s important for people to be actual owners and masters, rather than renters and license holders.

With free software and only with it can we ensure people have rights to: inspect, modify and repair these devices. Without these rights, they are handed over ‘black boxes’ under the control of the manufacturers. Without control, people can be controlled, without ownership they can be owned.


There is a 32C3 talk by someone living with a wirelessly reprogrammable pacemaker with closed source firmware and (under the DMCA) illegal to inspect. The wireless interface is not secured and was found to be exploitable.

These devices are already here.

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Another older talk by Cory Doctorow, “The coming civil war over general purpose computation”, about an hour:

Then there’s a 20 minute talk by Macej Ceglowski who walked up to the podium at a Hadoop conference and told the audience they are selling ‘toxic waste’:


More Cory Doctorow (I’m on a roll!)

“The internet of things that do what you tell them”