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[liberationtech] PRISM and an Agenda for European Network

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 4 23:28:03 PDT 2013


On 07/04/2013 10:04 PM, hellekin wrote:
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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;

What exactly is GNUnet?

To put it in gaming parlance (useful because games-- or at
least the gaming community-- take UX seriously), is it
currently the equivalent of a prototype for a
gaming engine that has a GUI for the sake of convenience
and development?

Or is it a prototype for a system that includes
a GUI that an end-user would eventually use?
(I.e., the "game" itself.)

Or something else?

You write that it aims to make decentralized system easier
to use, but where does the user actually fit in to the picture?

I sometimes feel like GNU forgets that "freedom to run the
program for any purpose" is moot if merely running the
program requires skills that 99% of the population doesn't have.

-Jonathan



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