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  • Hans added a new discussion topic A Case for P2P Infrastructure for Social Networks: Elgg in the group General Discussion
    In order to overcome privacy concerns such a we now see with Facebook, Google+, basically all ISP services from the states, could Elgg be used for a p2p infrastructure, to connect smaller locally hosted social networks globally, into a network of...
    • An immediate advantage of a peer-2-peer infrastructure is very simple: it is easier and storage of user information is centralized. Therefore, Peer-2-Peer is not owned by a single website or company. However, with commercial ex-ploitation of user stored information for example. for advertisement or ad revenue generation, raises pri-vacy issues.

      Despite the challenges of p2p infrastructure for social Networks, I think with encryption and appropriate Api Authentication and site key system, the p2p has more opportunities to offer to Elgg community.

    • i agree that p2p or similar is the way forward.. balance is needed and sharing the load among all involved is closer to balance than building the giant data centers that facebook et al have constructed. the giant data center approach is not beneficial for the planet, nor for privacy.

      as for how to technically achieve this with elgg... i think some have looked at this already here.

      to me, the p2p approach is a significant improvement upon a federated approach since p2p is the only approach which does not involve any type of hierarchy or server that is larger than any other in its effect on the system. again, this is the needed balance.

      for p2p networks to function there is needed some way for the nodes to be identified online and so this implies that there needs to be some type of a central server that is accessible via a domain name and offers a client to download of some type, though that server does not need to be involved much in the actual operation of the network beyond being a 'doorway' into it.

      i can envision a system where elgg groups are given their own filestore on the p2p network, akin to a 'torrent' that is tracked.. and when you join a group, you essentially agree to share that 'group/torrent' on the network. then an additional elgg-torrent/file would exist to hold the profile data of the users of the community with the privacy being handled within the network via encryption keys.

      i see this would require constant regeneration of keys as google does, which is a strong method of encryption and beneficial anyway.

      that said, the epic nature of a global network of billions of users is of not much value if the intent involved is not to somehow unify us and cause balance to occur. with the necessary acceptance and balance between individuals there is not so much desire for privacy.. we need to heal our fears.

      so you could be involved with carefully engineering a way to be able to connect with everyone and shut out some from that sharing.. or you could do what's needed to heal us and improve the balance globally and not care so much about exclusion and privacy. i'd go with the real option of option 2.

    • i realise now that i do not know how strong encryption is intended to function!
      if you encode data with an encryption process and make a key available that can be used to decode the data, how do you transfer the key securely to someone else without that key being intercepted and used to decode your data by others?
      as far as i know, logically, the only way that can be done is by transfering the key non-electronically, or via a usb key type device.. or by having some type of central key exchange.. but that key exchange negates the entire purpose of non-hierarchy and negates the security since we are not always going to know how secure the exchange is.

      anyone know how to resolve this?

  • Hans joined the group General Discussion