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[liberationtech] a privacy preserving and resilient social network

Stephen Michael Kellat smkellat at
Sat Jun 29 07:19:15 PDT 2013

On Thu, 27 Jun 2013 23:21:37 -0600
Alireza Mahdian <alireza.mahdian at> wrote:

> Hi,
> With all the recent news on NSA spying on social network users the concern over the user privacy has increased even more. I am not arguing whether it is ethical or not and whether it is needed for the safety of citizens and how effective it would be. even before this, social network providers like Facebook and Google were violating user privacy in so many ways and only a small fraction of it was revealed. 
> A need for a more secure and private social network has always been there and was never adequately addressed. I have been working on this issue for a long time and I have been able to design and implement a social network that is inherently user privacy preserving. it uses military grade encryption and no authority can have any control over it. one design goal behind it was actually to make it resilient towards government imposed censorship and filtering. This is specially useful as it provides a very effective tool for democracy movement advocacy groups. I have implemented a prototype and you can check it out at . It is a complex piece of software but to summarize how it works you can think of it as implementing a social network over bittorrent. it supports all the common features of Facebook and Google+. Feel free to send me your feedbacks. thanks.
> Ali
> --
> Alireza Mahdian
> Department of Computer Science
> University of Colorado at Boulder
> Email: alireza.mahdian at

Hello Ali!

A couple quick questions after reading through most of the thread:

1.  Where can a copy of your dissertation be procured?  Is it available in an appropriate Open Access repository or would other steps need to be taken to secure a copy?

2.  As designer of a social network, what is your view of the Internet as a transport layer today?  How will it fare against various degrees of social and political instability found currently across this planet?

3.  Distilling it down to perhaps a couple sentences that do not repeat the thread subject line, how would you pitch usage of this social network to an average US consumer in contrast to mass market tools like Facebook or Twitter?

Stephen Michael Kellat

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