Designing for freedom: Meet the people putting user experience at the heart of online privacy


Edward Snowden may have demolished our illusions of the internet granting people a private and secure existence, but quite a few developers are still chasing that dream. That’s a big reason why there’s a growing movement towards the “redecentralization” of the internet; steering the web and connected applications, and even the infrastructure itself, back towards a model that shuns the corporate concentration of control.

This is a noble and necessary aim, and some very bright technical minds are focusing on it with renewed vigor following the revelations of the internet’s subversion by intelligence agencies. And perhaps because this is an ethical mission rather than one driven by a business model, most of those keen developers come from an open-source software background.

Here’s where the nascent redecentralization movement hits a snag: the open-source scene is largely (though by no means exclusively) comprised of people who focus on function first, and usability…

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