The cloud we have become used to looks nothing like the many scattered fluffy light weight balls of water vapour floating in the Earth's troposphere. Corporate cloud architectures are much more akin to a giant storm cloud, ever expanding, sucking in more and more electrical energy from its surrounding environment, with a singular giant eye sitting at their center obvserving all that passes through.
Our team has worked with privacy tools and encryption for many years. We've tried our best to avoid using corporate architecture, and we understand, its hard. Corporate tools can be high quality and accessible - they have the money to pay for beautiful and intuitive user interfaces and enough servers to maintain a high speed service. But by having no alternatives to corporate tools, corporations get to determine how we use them and shape our very behaviour. By continuously using their tools, we're letting them shape and change how we think. And while they apparently provide these tools for 'free', they're making a tidy profit monetising the way we act on their platforms.
Our team is fed up of using proprietary software that surveilles our behaviour and transmutes the way we act online, the friends we make and the interactions we have - our data - into corporate financial gain. We want to use software built and maintained by our peers, by people we trust, that centers both our personal sovereignty and a common recognition that assets and wealth should be shared, not concentrated.
"What if co-operatives, that manifest self-governance and collaboration in their working relations could leverage these practices to provide data sovereignty, availability and resilience?
What if we could replace Google Docs or Microsoft Office with a suite of tools created by coops, for coops - designed to facilitate collaboration and serve co-operative governance needs?
What if we could create a distributed, co-operative cloud?"
So after discussing different ideas, talking to our peers, doing some research and surveying the available technologies, we built CoBox.
CoBox wants to facilitate a transition away from giant data centers, huge storm clouds, towards a vision of cloud infrastructure that is light, distributed, and importantly, is offline-first. CoBox is the beginning of a sovereign commons-based data infrastructure and a co-operative distributed cloud architecture. Our vision sees friends, freelancers, small businesses and co-operatives, providing mutual assistance for each other, guaranteeing remote backup of their data and ensuring that they need not rely on giant corporations or flimsy hard drives to secure their memories.