Librehosters form a network of cooperation and solidarity that uses free software to encourage decentralisation through federation and distributed platforms. Our values connect transparency, fairness and privacy with a culture of data portability and public contributions to the commons.
An objective of this network is to gather initiatives of various online service providers offering free software based solutions, enabling the public to choose services according to their needs.
Other objectives include sharing of infrastructure, knowledge and techniques, co-learning and helping participants transition from user to service provider.
Integrity is key in these commitments, aiming to ensure reliability of offered services and the users’ confidence towards them. Librehosters are expected to respect and uphold these community standards including any codes of conduct.
Librehosters create bonds of solidarity around the core principles of the network.
Librehosters help and assist one another, both online and offline.
Librehosters share knowledge and techniques.
Librehosters promote the network’s values.
Librehosters seek service replicability and share their configurations with each other.
Librehosters cultivate self-reflection by nurturing ongoing dialogue and active listening.
Librehosters’ servers and services run on free software. The software should allow others to reproduce the service without requiring additional development relative to the server structure or to the software itself.
Librehosters use open formats, especially for publications. Their sources should also be made available if relevant.
Librehosters respect the terms of the free software licenses they use (including mentioning these licenses, linking to the source code, etc.).
Librehosters contribute to the free software ecosystems, communities and projects used.
Librehosters publicly display a policy regarding the administration of user accounts. The Terms of Service (TOS) must be clear, accessible and not in contradiction with the librehosters’ values.
Librehosters clearly express their economic model on a page that a user can easily find and understand.
Librehosters do not exploit personal data. User data is only used for internal administrative or technical purposes.
Librehosters review applications and evaluate them carefully. Application review gives an excellent opportunity to get to know each other better, and welcome candidates.
Librehosters provide a clear contact point for the public, preferably by email. The official contact point for the network is
Librehosters enable users to access, export and recover their personal data when possible.
Librehosters provide encryption at no additional cost: encryption is a key element of safeguarding privacy and the freedom to communicate; as such, it is considered a right and not to be merchandised.
Librehosters provide software with end-to-end encryption when possible.
Librehosters do not tamper with network traffic transmitted through their services or inspect their contents. No network communication protocol is privileged in the distribution of information.
The network having no official status, no one is allowed to speak in its name without first gaining the approval of the members. However, every member is encouraged to spread knowledge of the collective freely.
If needed, the collective will be permitted to speak (collectively) through press releases made available on the libreho.st domain: to welcome a new member, to state a position on a news topic, etc.
Librehosters can be individuals and informal collectives, non-profits, co-operatives, businesses or other legal forms.
Each librehoster will appoint a unique delegate or delegation (and inform in case of replacement) who will be the main contact with other members. Either a single person or a group, so long as it is simple and obvious to establish contact using a single e-mail address as specified in the on-boarding process.
Each librehoster will publish a web page presenting the offered services. That URL will serve as reference during exchange with members of the network.
Librehosters is not a formal organisation. Decision making is carried out by the current members of the network. Librehosters are invited to participate in the collective decisions as much as possible, in a consensual manner. In case no consensus can be reached, we aim for rough consensus.
The libreho.st domain is managed and hosted by the members of the network. It presents a web site containing the member directory as well as links to other tools allowing exchange between members.
Any organisation respecting these values and principles can ask to become a member. To be accepted as a member, the organisation will have to follow the on-boarding process for joining the network.
When an application is received it will be evaluated by other members of the network for a period of at least a month during which the application will be brought to the attention of the monthly online network meeting. After discussion and potential adjustments, if there are no objections and sufficient support of the network, an organisation becomes part of the network.
Process to leave the network is activated in the following cases:
- Voluntary self-removal
- Break of commitments
- End of member’s services
These processes will be more clearly defined in future meetings.
There is a proposal for a code of conduct in progress.
Incident processes will be more clearly defined in future meetings.
This document was inspired by the CHATONS manifesto.