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[liberationtech] PRISM and an Agenda for European Network

hellekin hellekin at gnu.org
Thu Jul 4 19:04:44 PDT 2013


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I want to thank Christian Grothoff and his team(s) for the exceptional
work they're doing on GNUnet. Christian gave an awesome presentation
at the Free University of Amsterdam a couple of days ago, and the
slides are available as a PDF file. [1]

PRISM and an Agenda for European Network
Security Research
Another Turn of the Wheel: Mainframe, Desktop, Cloud, Peer

introduces the European situation in the light of the PRISM
surveillance program of the NSA, with good insight on its dimensions,
and goes on to describe how the GNUnet framework is offering a viable
solution to the decentralization problem.

Highlights (with personal comments):

* Current practice of encryption on the Internet: send everything to
the USA in plaintext

* NSA's upcoming Bluffdale datacenter is estimated to suck 65 MW power
consumption. Compare with the new super-computer of the Leibniz
Supercomputing Centre, SuperMuc: < 3 MW, 155,656 cores, ≈ 3 Peta FLOPS

* US companies trade unpatched software vulnerabilities in exchange
for access to intelligence gathered from the NSA: i.e., there's a
vicious circle where NSA acquires more intelligence capability with
the help of businesses. Does that sound like fair trade, free
competition, ethical practice? Or collusion between big business and
government?

* US controls Internet infrastructure: IANA, DNS roots, DNSSec root
certificate, x509 Certificate authorities, i.e. it's compromised!

* Decentralize data and trust: end-to-end encryption, decentralized
PKI, decentralized data storage, no servers, no authorities

* current decentralized solutions are slower, more complex to use and
develop, do not benefit from economies of scale, and are harder to
secure and evolve

* in comparison, centralized solutions are... COMPROMISED!

* GNUnet seeks to make decentralized systems: faster, more scalable;
easier to develop, deploy, and use; easier to evolve and extend;
privacy-preserving, censorship-resistant, available, etc., AKA: secure.

I leave you the pleasure of discovering the details of GADS, RegEx
search, and PSYC.

Thank you grothoff and the GNUnet / Secushare teams!

==
hk

[1] http://grothoff.org/christian/uva2013.pdf
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