Webinar with the European Commission and AP Community

EC Tech Notes

Thursday 15 April 2021, 14:00 CEST

Participants

  • Alexandre LEAO
  • hellekin (@how)

Purpose

We want to clarify the availability of ActivityPub services on the EC EDPS side or means to provision them.

Agenda

  • SocialHub
  • Existing ActivityPub Infrastructure

Duration: 30 minutes

Visio link to SocialHub

SocialHub

Register to https://socialhub.activitypub.rocks/?

@how makes a short presentation of the SocialHub to Alexandre.

Existing ActivityPub Infrastructure

What can we use?

Following Schrems 2 decisions[1] of the European Court of Justice, Robert at EDPS tried launching 2 test pilots to test Mastodon and Peertube as a way to experiment with more privacy-friendly social media.

Now trying to provision these services and secure domains under europa.eu (i.e., will not be available for the webinars and workshop).

Can use private computer and use virtual machine.

What we can do

  • use the activitypub.eu domain to provision a VM on Hetzner cloud
  • add SSH access (ed25519 keys) for participants.
  • use tmux sessions to share screen and install services[2] live during the workshop.
  • stack: nginx + certbot + either git or docker

What EDPS wants to do

Test pilots with:

  • Peertube
  • Mastodon

Main goal is to get EU institutions on board.

Action Points

What needs to be done?

  • @how reports meeting conclusions to SocialHub
  • @how provisions VM
  • Alexandre provides an SSH public key

  1. invalidates Data Protection Shield ↩︎

  2. maybe Peertube, Mastodon, Mobilizon to be discussed during the second webinar. ↩︎

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@j8ter I just notice that the NGI announcement doesn’t have the latest version of the image, without EU in it as Jean-Luc requested.

That is an oversight on my end, as apparently - after creating them - I forgot to upload the square variants of the images. So sorry about that. But it has given the opportunity to add the final title for the event.

Here are these versions in SVG and PNG respectively:

fediverse-european-commission-event-2021-square4

fediverse-european-commission-event-2021-square4

2 Likes

I just sent out another announcement toot. Boosts appreciated, or borrow the text:

(PS. If you toot the published announcement page (/pub/) then there’s no preview image. Use the topic URL with /t/ instead)

Update: Announcement on Lemmy

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Yes, and there’s another angle too: risk.

On the one hand the EU is trying to tackle big tech. After many years of downplaying the problem, it’s now recognised. On the other hand the EC itself uses these BigTech platforms themselves for comms work.

While no-one could expect them to stop using them today, it would send a clear political statement if the EC announced they are now posting to the Fediverse. And it would protect them from the risk of being accused of hypocrisy.

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That would definitely be something to avoid. Being seen as “techno cranks” (rightly or wrongly) would be the kiss of death. Eurocrats are risk averse.

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If you read back nobody is pushing that agender as it clearly is inappropriate for this outreach.

I can only think you are bringing this up as “power politics” move, PLEASE stop with these microaggressions as they make us look like “techno cranks”. @mathewlowry and @aschrijver you guys are highlighting the gap between grassroots and burocratic working and communication - we need to build bridges not dynamite them.

Can we focus on “consensuses” and stop pushing agenders.

We have limited time to “herd cats” for a good outcome.

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I’m sorry that’s the way you perceive me, Hamish. I still don’t know what agendas you’re talking about. I only got involved here because I want this to succeed and believe I have something to offer. Others seem to agree.

If there’s a gap between this grassroots movement and the way the EC should be communicated with, then I think highlighting that gap is a useful way of ensuring we don’t trip over it! But I’m not forcing anything on anyone: if what I have offered is seen as useful, great - if not, that’s OK too.

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#activertypub like #RSS and the #www came out of grassroots movements, they bring world views with them its WHY THEY WORK. Yes the world view are in part incompatible with #mainstreaming, so the is a strong burocratic desire to hide these world views and then push them out of view/existence.

To get away from the “big picture” lets focus on this presentation.

  • Its open to both world views, we need to find a good balance so the grassroots do not feel blatantly sold out and the Eurocratic do not get scared and run for their power politics bunkers.

The balance is the key, we have a good group here lets try harder/better and be nice.

I think I am being nice, hamish. I simply proffered my perspective and experience. I didn’t accuse anyone of playing power politics, or pushing agendas, or aggressing anyone. You did that. Please stop.

PS FYI, I published the EC’s first RSS and customisable XML feeds in 2002. It took me 6 months of patient explaining to get the Sec-General’s OK.

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So lets make this happen :slight_smile:

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We’re stepping aside to dislocate this polarization forced on us by centuries of power politics. By doing so we’re not characterizing our interlocutors as a uniform caricature, but recognize their diversity. By showing our unity in diversity we’re already impressing the EC, I can tell you that. We’ve had comments about how our organization of the Webinar is already very well appreciated in comparison to everything they’ve seen so far where people try pushing their own agendas. Let’s keep this in focus. Everyone in the room has things to gain from this liaison.

3 Likes

The reason I mentioned the point is not for the people involved in preparation right now, but for those unknown folks in the crowd that may be joining the webinar. This gives some requirements for the event moderation to take that into account. That’s all.

Full response, slightly off-topic (click to expand)

I am just highlighting the need to build bridges, cross gaps, so as far as I am concerned we are on the same page.

We are quite a diverse group here, and from my perspective we need to focus as much as possible on our common goals for the technology at SocialHub, i.e. maximising our cooperation in our role as technologists, and minimising more political differences where they threaten to distract from that goal. I have no hidden agenda’s and absolutely abhor power politics, just to be clear on that. And in case you want to know… in terms of politics I am quite progressive and very much in favour of finding alternatives for aggressive hypercapitalism that is destroying society, and very active on the solution-side wrt to that goal.

The reason I mentioned the point is not for the people involved in preparation right now, but for those unknown folks in the crowd that may be joining the webinar. This gives some requirements for the event moderation to take that into account. That’s all.

Indeed. These are the goals. The event is the first introduction to gradually establish closer bonds and familiarize with each other’s viewpoints and interests.

Let’s clear the “smoke” and get on with the balancing “showing our unity in diversity” where are we?

It’s not a bad presentation, just needs a few areas clarifying and then a polish, my thoughts.

1-4) are fine

  1. Needs to be clear about web01 (the openweb) web2 (the #dotcons fight the openweb) and disaster non web3 we have today, on a positive note activertypub could be the openweb03 - I like to use the metaphor open/closed as its simple we have the openweb and the closed web.

OK we likely have other options on this lets here them.

6-12) are fine

  1. OK could be clearer.

  2. is the same as 13?

  3. "Represent European values in the way you engage

    The medium is the message" not clear

Needs a stronger ending

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I had @natacha on the phone earlier and she made a couple of worthy comments, that I’m vaguely paraphrasing here (sorry N., feel free to correct and expand):

  1. Given that some in the audience might have had their own private phone numbers leaked from Fakebooz (the whole French government had theirs leaked), we can definitely be more incisive about why the Fediverse offers a more viable alternative to manipulative platforms. Everyone knows the problem, focus on the difference in approach (not to say solution).

  2. The EC is very much interested in hearing about communities and self-reliance, and that tech crank, to use a term that’s been used here, is not helping conveying this message of subsidiarity and self-sovereignty that the grassroots have been pushing: the ActivityPub standard is only there because it was adopted by a large number of communities, isn’t it? Tech is not apart from society, it comes from (some part of) it – better it coming from people inspired by EU values than self-interest.

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Hello! Where was the meeting happening? I am trying to spot a link around here

Hi @CristinaDeLisle, of course, the link is here: FediverseWebinars

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I made an announcement on https://ps.zoethical.org/ with a special dedication to @hamishcampbell :wink:

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Maybe another line alongside “were you hacked?” (cf Facebook leak) could be “were you FLoCed?” (see Am I FLoCed? A New Site to Test Google's Invasive Experiment | Electronic Frontier Foundation). Maybe invite them to check both after the webinar@

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Noticed we somehow have lost the open/closed/open simple metaphor.

Can we get it back

“After the Web Enclosure” change back to “The closed web”

The ending is still damp, looks too much like it was writern by committee.

My though is maybe a bit “militaristic” but it has heat, more hot ideas?

"ActivityPub and the EU

It’s a good fit both strategically, in challenging the big US tech corporations dominance and tactically, in it being simple to implement and open to innovation as it is outside of anyone group control and agendas.

In tomorrow’s workshop let’s look at practical small steps to make this happen."