Librem Server - Who Is the Ideal Customer?

With all of the de-platforming that is going on now, I did some research in to what it would take to build your own truly autonomous servers, to be a bonified ISP yourself, equal to the one you subscribe to now. What would it take to give you a recognized and cataloged node on the world-wide-web in your own right, without being just an appendage to someone else’s internet gateways?

First of all, that is not as expensive as one might think. If you can afford to purchase a new car, and are willing to fill out mountains of paperwork, you could probably do it. But there is still the “last mile” problem. The guy that provided the most information about how he did it said that he still uses his consumer CenturyLink service to access his own servers from home. If you live in a building that is wired with fiber, you might be able to avoid the “last mile” problem.

One requirement to be your own internet provider also, is to own a router that is capable of cataloging every ip address on the global world-wide-web and to use communications protocols that most routers don’t use (and are not capable of using) when only going through an ISP to reach the web. It takes lots of capacity and special registrations and protocols.

So my question is this. What can the Librem Server be used for? Can you use it to be your own ISP? If not, what would you use the Librem Server for? Also, with all of the required registrations to bring up your own servers or your own internet nodes (just to be issued the IP addresses and other complex connection information), you’re definitely not an unknown entity by that point. What advantage does having a de-activated Intel Management Engine have at that point? What does a good candidate for needing their own Librem Server look like? What advantages does the Librem Server give you?

You do the same as Dell / HP / IBM / Supermicro servers :smiley:

Half-joking-half-not answer: Those seeking CMMC level 5 certification.
Totally accurate answer: I don’t know, there’s so much more that goes into getting that cert than just hardware.
As for that use case you proposed, it really doesn’t seem that easy, and the problems you’ll be having aren’t affected by your choice of server hardware.

The short answer is the Librum server will do nothing to prevent de-platforming. (as in the recent cases.)

I think you might be confusing being an ISP (providing connections to people to access the internet) and being a hosting provider (selling space on your server so that other people pay you to host their website, or their email, their chat program etc.)

The Librum Server is more about knowing your hardware, that preventing external actors from cutting off your service.

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These are good answers. I know the difference between a hosting platform and an ISP. But anyone can be banned by their ISP too. If Cox or Verizon or CenturyLink doesn’t like what your social media site says or does, they can pull the plug on you too. But most likely I think, they’ll tell your host to cut you off. If your host is riding a gravy-train and his ISP tells him to cut you off, he won’t really care why. He will just do what he is told to do to to protect his investment in his platform.

What you need is a platform that is positioned some how to potentially piss-off everyone (except for law enfircement), and still be immune to de-platforming by anyone as a result. This isn’t to say that you actually want to piss off everyone. But you never know who might come out of the woodwork, deciding that they don’t like what you say. So to protect both your freedom of speech and your financial investment all in the same place, you need a platform that from a purely technical perspective only (not involving politics) is capable of potentially pissing off everyone, and still remaining immune from de-platforming as a result. Your ability to project the exercise of your freedom of speech needs to be nearly sovereign in nature. It works that way in the old-fashioned public square. In a truly free country, the internet should observe the same rights.

This is what I mean thinking you were confused.
you talked about being a last mile ISP (tier 3) and using a century link connection, saying that setting it up yourself is a way to avoid deplatforming.
but you know it isn’t because you’re still reliant on century link (who are a tier3?)
they are still reliant on their T2, who are reliant on a T1…

So if you want “true” ISP capabilities where nobody can cut you off, the capabilities you require go far past the last mile, and you start to talk about under sea cables and satellite links! (which I’m no sure as I’d describe as a few forms and around the cost of a new car…

I assume that what you’r actually talking about is some kind of “secure hosting” or resilient hosting. (and again,) depending on your definitions and security requirements this will mean different things to different people and come in at various price points… (some of which are vastly different from the cost of a car!)

What I see is.
even if you move from century/cox, you can go to a true T1 (e.g. companies like cogent will provide you leased lines to their POPs,) but then you are still reliant on Cogent, or NTT, etc, (so you get away from smaller - I assume easier persuaded suppliers) to global suppliers. - and hope.
You move hosting out of your garage to a collocation.
but you’re going to want to purchase a cage of multiple racks, not a single locked rack. (and the price for that is knocking on a car a month!)
you’ll want some IP space - you’ll need to get luck in allocation, and you;ll want a RIPE account (that you can’t get without proving experience.)
obviously you need some routers (which I guess you could put on a server - but there is specialist equipment for that.) you’ll also want to be able to setup the router.
you’ll need an ASN to be able to peer with your IP transit provider (Cogent/GTT etc)
then some kind of security device, some sort of switching device. and of course some kind of server…

And to really evade being “cut off” or platformed by law enforcement… you’ll want to have that hosted in other countries also… with different jurisdictions…

then you’ll want to decide how you deal with emergencies - do you want the collocation data center to have physical access (to restart/attache KVM) or do you want to have to live close to a colo so you can do it, and have friends in the other countries…

and so it goes on and on and on… (far further than the cost of a car…)
So, you’ll really want it to be a commercial service, - to recoup costs…
(As i’m in the middle of designing exactly that service, I can tell you a rough indication of costs if you like!)

but now we’re really really far further than the example of that guy (I assume we saw the same documentary clip) who couldn’t get good residential services to his coastal village, so got a decent business service to his house and resold it to the village using short links and repeaters.?

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I assume that the only people buying the Librem Server are companies that have very sensitive info on their servers and are very worried about the security of that info. I guess that someone could use it to run an ISP, but you are getting older hardware at a very high price. I don’t think Coreboot and a neutralized ME are that important to most people running an ISP.

@StevenR I think what you are looking for with your first part is something like a Bulletproof Hoster to host what ever you want with no limitations.

Regrading the ISP Part each “ISP” has other ISPs they exchange data with at peering points like DE-CIX or via direct fiber connections. The most important part of being an ISP is that you have infrastructure or data other people want access to.
But those connections can also be disconnected if the other companies, don’t want those connections.

A typical use case for an Librem Server would probably be within the corporate environment to store critical Assets on it for example: PKI(Public Key Infrastructure), kerberos authentication or just storage of corporate trade secrets.

So it looks like there is no such thing of a platform that can’t be kicked off of the internet unless you own all of the infrastructure up to and including the gateway and the real estate that houses or connects such infrastructure. There are only increasingly effective methods of hardening your internet presence, depending on how much you can afford and how politically motivated your suppliers might be. I don’t see any value in evading or going against law enforcement as the goal in this endeavor. If free speech becomes illegal, then nothing you try to say after that matters anyway. So from what I read on this thread, it looks like the Librem Server is more of a secure corporate hosting platform than anything else.

exactly that…
to build that kind of global infrastructure is prohibitively expensive.

and yes, the server is aimed at the “secrets” end of business.

Even governments building echelon style processing facilities are doing it with consumer grade hardware and managing the potential for backdoor/phone-home etc at the network layer. (where they will see communication.)

For what you’re talking about your best bet is probably secrecy/indirection rather than outright owning all the infra. Something like Njalla ( would be my starting point. Think how long the Pirate Bay have stayed online in one form or another. They’ve dealt with as much censorship and deplatforming as anyone.

Basically it’s hard for anyone to kick you off their platform if they don’t know that they’re hosting you in the first place.

It is called a LAN :smiley:

As always: Intel (most probably) and hackers cannot own you and all your possible users.