Hi Erika & Team,
While I’m the founder and CEO of a tech company focused on solving problems in the free software world I thought I’d introduce you to some worthwhile projects that could really utilize some funding that may be within the scope of your grants.
I’m very much a fan of OpenBazaar at openbazaar org which is sort of like a decentralized eBay for buying and selling goods online.
Then there is another project LBRY at lbry com which is focused on content freedom. It’s a decentralized distributed solution intended as a replacement for YouTube. I’ve played around with it a bit and it’s got a lot of cool features. I am both a content creator and have friends who are content creators and LBRY has been a life saver for some. When YouTube has taken a hostile stance to videos posted LBRY’s sync program saved the day. Basically YouTube has been hostile to some of us with independent minds that dare to cover news topics that don’t align with certain groups political agendas. In fact it’s worked amazingly well because of another tool called spee.ch which lets users link to censored content on LBRY without even having LBRY installed. In at least one instance this led to a blog with original reporting covering NH politics to link to the YouTube censored video via the spee.ch URL. As LBRY Sync backed up the videos on YouTube to LBRY they weren’t lost and the censorship ultimately failed.
There are some other projects that I am also more closed tied to that you may be interested in. One of them is a hardware engineering project to bring modular computing to the masses with the intent being to enable users to gain full control over there devices. Right now Intel, AMD, and most computing devices are either backdoored or potentially backdoored and we have no practical solutions to this problem. What EOMA68 does is it takes free software friendly components and puts them into a standard thin modular package. Engineers can then more easily and cheaply design freedom friendly devices around the module. Right now there is a laptop housing design that accepts this EOMA68 module and a desktop housing design. The initial manufacturing runs are currently in progress for the EOMA68 module and desktop housing.
Then there is another free software project that my company has been supporting, promoting, and funding for a long time now. It’s objective is to develop and maintain an embedded distribution made up of exclusively free software geared toward routers and similar devices. We know that typical commercial routers are a security nightmare and most users can’t upgrade the core embedded software on them. Even where they can it’s not usually exclusively free software and its in the proprietary bits where backdoors are routinely found. Both the NSA and other intelligence agencies are known to be targeting consumer and enterprise grade routers. The federal government has also made free software routers effectively illegal. In the near future it won’t be possible to get your hands on a router that doesn’t include a proprietary component. Router manufacturers are already locking down routers making it harder or impossible for users to replace poor commercial firmware with open source or free software firmwares. Check the project out at librecmc org