We Functionlanders are not founding a union, nor establishing a constitution. But we ARE trying our hardest to lay the groundwork, to build the foundation, for a more perfect, more just, more free Internet. We’re doing it by building Box – the Blockchain Box – and equipping it with free, open-source software that can handle a range of basic online tasks we have all come to take for granted.
We believe that the internet is becoming, in fact may already have become, a basic human need. So much of what we do, claim, buy, sell, share, trade, see, evaluate, investigate and propagate takes place online. Today it is impossible to imagine a life without internet, at least not without enormous sacrifice. How else would we pay bills, shop for merchandise, plan holidays, exchange work, communicate with friends and explore worlds far beyond our front doors?
And when you accept that internet is a basic human need, you realize that we have to start thinking about people’s online needs in terms of basic rights. Everyone has the right to a life online. Every human being should have access to the internet’s “riches,” to the opportunities and advantages the internet affords. A world in which some people have access and others don’t is a world headed for entrenched inequality. A world of haves and have nots.
That’s not a world Functionlanders want to inhabit.
Box is a step toward leveling the online playing field. We designed it to give people a forever-free, private, safe personal space in the cloud. Once you buy a Box, you never need to pay for storage or backups again. Anything that is important enough to you to store online – family photos, personal videos, private data, projects, documents, you name it – can be stored safely forever in your Box, accessible whenever and wherever you’d like using whatever device you prefer.
The software packages Functionlanders are building handle basic online tasks like password creation and maintenance, storage management and photo sorting. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. We’re trying to make it possible for people everywhere to claim a simple, easy-to-access space online where they can keep and utilize their most important data, free of charge.
Our thinking is straightforward. People can’t be expected to pay rent for basic services and storage forever. And Big Tech companies can’t be trusted to keep their words and give us this “privilege” for free. Remember what we were offered when cloud storage first began? Remember the promises of photo storage and email services provided for free, and the promise that things would stay that way forever?
We all know how that turned out. We’re reminded every month when it’s time to pay the bills.
We recognize that profit is an enormous motivator. Lots of online services benefit from the influx of money subscriptions can bring. But at the same time, there are many elements of a life online that Functionlanders believe should remain free throughout your lifetime.
You shouldn’t have to pay to hold on to pictures of a special family dinner and laughing children. You shouldn’t have to pay to download and view them, not even decades later. You shouldn’t have to pay to store your tax returns, or your car certificates, or any other important online document. You shouldn’t have to pay to benefit from solid, reliable, hacker-proof password encryption either: if you have a right to a certain, inalienable measure of life online, then it stands to reason that you shouldn’t have to pay to protect that life.
That’s what we’re building: your right to a measure of free, safe and reliable life online. If you’d like, you can learn more about what we’re doing here.