Call for participation


Welcome to Decentralized Internet & Privacy

FOSDEM 2019 (Brussels, Belgium, February 3rd)

Free Software initial promises were to empower individuals when it came to computing. Three decades later, computing practices are tightly coupled to the Internet ecosystem. PCs are less and less used while smartphones are soaring and data is collected and stored on servers on which we have very limited control as users.

What happened to user’s freedom and privacy in the meantime? The outlook is not so great:

  • we have less and less control over our digital environment.
  • Network neutrality is heavily attacked and mainstream software products are usually proprietary or run on servers we don’t have control over.
  • Modern technology has given the powerful new abilities to eavesdrop and collect data on people - with critical social and political consequences.

FOSDEM is a Free Software event that offers free software communities a place to meet, share ideas and collaborate. It is renown for being highly developer oriented and brings together 8000+ participants from all over the world. It is held in the city of Brussels (Belgium).

In 2019, FOSDEM will take place during the weekend of February 2nd-3rd 2019. More details about the event can be found at

On Saturday, February 2nd, the Decentralized Internet & Privacy devroom will be a place for development teams to present the state of their project and future directions, answer questions from the audience and followup in the hacking rooms nearby afterwards.

Call For Participation

There is a bright future ahead of us if we unite our efforts toward decentralized services and Surveillance Self-Defense. This devroom welcomes all technical projects and initiatives, to share their progress and inspire others.

Presentation topics could include:

Technologies and initiatives focused on decentralization

  • Community-driven networks
  • Community based around self-hosting or local hosting
  • Self-hosting solutions
  • Ethical hosting providers / alternatives to GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft)
  • Decentralized / federated network protocols and platforms
  • Decentralized / distributed instant messaging, file sharing and content storage

Technologies and initiatives focused on privacy

  • Anonymous overlay networks
  • Whistleblower platforms
  • Privacy oriented Operating Systems
  • Infrastructure supporting anonymous browsing
  • Operational security: how to minimize the amount of information someone can collect about you online and on the streets
  • Basic threat modeling: what sort of paranoia do you realistically need to have?
  • Steps to minimize damage in the event of a breach

FOSDEM is highly technical and talks are expected to be technical because that’s what the FOSDEM audience expects. , but it’s not enough to be technical, it’s also important to take care of the world we live in.
Free software is exactly this kind of technologies that enable cooperation among people, not just technicians.
Free software hackers have a responsibility towards their peers and neighbors to help build a world where digital technologies are not only an enemy of the people, but serve citizens’ interests, not just corporate interests.
Therefore we invite you to step up with organizational sessions and topics that you care about related to free technologies and the role free software and decentralization can take with regard to how technologies are produced, distributed, and governed.

Practical informations for submission

Expected format for the talks

Suggested talk length is 20 minutes and 10 minutes for questions.

How to submit a proposal?

Go to the dedicated FOSDEM site to submit your proposal. 1 and follow carefully the instructions.

Important: create a Pentabarf account OR reuse your account from previous years if you already have one.

Submission deadline

Deadline for submission will be 26 Nov midnight CET.

Announcement of the final schedule will be on 15 Dec 2018:

Talk proposals will be reviewed by a steering committee:

  • Loïc Dachary (Enough // Artisan Logiciel Libre)
  • Nathalie Rosenberg (UX designer)
  • Simon Descarpentries (Acoeuro // Artisan Logiciel Libre)
  • hellekin (Petites Singularités // Artisan Logiciel Libre)

Date and location

Decentralized Internet & Privacy will take place all day long on 2 Feb 2018 (Saturday).
The room is to be confirmed (Solbosch campus - Université Libre Brussels, Brussels, Belgium)

Recording of talks

The FOSDEM organizers plan to have live streaming and recording fully working, both for remote/later viewing of talks, and so that people can watch streams in the hallways when rooms are full. This requires speakers to consent to being recorded and streamed. If you plan to be a speaker, please understand that by doing so you implicitly give consent for your talk to be recorded and streamed. The recordings will be published under the same license as all FOSDEM content (CC-BY).

Promoting the Call for Participation
Steering committee for FOSDEM 2019