Boston Linux & UNIX was originally founded in 1994 as part of The Boston Computer Society. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Building E51.

Self-Sovereignty and Independence Online

Date and Time

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm


Online at Jitsi


Doc Searls , Emeritus Editor-in-Chief , Linux Journal - doc searls com


A user-centric model for owning and controlling your identity online


Self-sovereign identity (SSI) is new category with dozens of developers, open source code bases (e.g. Hyperledger Indy), libraries, tools, and at least one core architecture and data model. But what matters most about it is that it serves purposes that have motivated free and open source software developers for decades now: self-sovereignty and personal independence from surveillance and control by others online.

Doc has been on this case since he became an editor at Linux Journal in the mid-'90s, and as director of ProjectVRM at Harvard's Berkman Klein Center since 2006. He also considers the challenge of maintaining self-sovereignty and personal independence more important than ever, in our time of normalized—and increasing—corporate and government surveillance of people's lives, both online and off.


Doc Searls is a lifelong journalist who has covered Linux since Linux Journal began in 1994 (and Linux itself was at v 1.0), and served as an editor there for 24 years, most recently as editor-in-chief. He is co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, author of The Intention Economy, a fellow of the Center for Information Technology & Society (CITS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, an alumni fellow of the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University (where he continues to direct ProjectVRM), as well as a visiting scholar at NYU and Indiana University. He also won the Google/O'Reilly Open Source Award for Best Communicator in 2005.

Meeting Notes


  1. About Doc Searls
  2. Doc Searls Weblog
  3. Hyperledger Indy
  4. Hyperledger tools and libraries
  5. ProjectVRM
  6. Harvard's Berkman Klein Center
  7. The Cluetrain Manifesto
  8. The Intention Economy
  9. Center for Information Technology & Society (CITS)
  10. Google/O'Reilly Open Source Award for Best Communicator in 2005
  11. Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs)

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