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[liberationtech] The missing component: Mobile to Web interoperability (in Internet Freedom Technologies)

Brian Conley brianc at
Sun Sep 15 23:57:02 PDT 2013

>> >
>> >
>> > back in the p2p fad days,
>> So before wide adoption of mobile.
> What does that have to do with it?

There are way more "average users" on the internet now, and they want
different things than you and many geeks want.

> I can already run a Tor hidden service on a laptop and get
> connectivity using ssh from just about anywhere using the
> onion address of the service.  I've never tried from a mobile
> phone (either connecting to a hidden service or running
> one) but I don't see why that would make it any different.

There is a benefit to convenience. It seems you are suggesting that
everyone run their own hidden service and connect to each other directly
never hitting central servers.

Am I really supposed to get my mom to run a hidden service for me to
deliver pictures of my daughter? It could happen, by convenience trumps. A
great deal more effort must be put into user centric design and marketing.

> What would the equivalent of this be with WebRTC?  Realize
> that with the hidden service I don't have to care about
> underlying IP addresses (or changes in them) for either party,
> and no third party is required to introduce us every time we
> want to connect.

See above.

> [...]
>> It will be great when someone designs an easy to use p2p functionality
for all communications needs, then it will be a tool for everyone.
> I'm not completely sure, but I don't think that is possible.

Exactly, and that's my point. Privacy/security/anonymity are not the be
all/end all for "average users."

Tor has greatly improved the last years but it and many other tools have a
long way to go. Some need more focus on marketing and less focus on design,
but still.

> For example: regardless of privacy implications, discoverability on
Facebook is
> a feature.  Regardless of privacy implications, suggestions for friends
> on the social graph (and updates to it) is a feature.  I don't see how
one could
> retain just those two features in a p2p design with privacy in mind.  How
> users search the entire social graph for that information without [bad
> being able to?  (And if you could figure that out you should use it to
> bootstrap a cryptocurrency into the hands of well-intentioned people
> it's essentially the same problem.)
> Does GNUnet or another project have an approach to this?  That is,
> equal to or better than the automated results that Facebook provides,
> can bootstrap a new user into the network very quickly.

It needs to if it wants broad user adoption. It may not, which is fine, I'm
definitely not saying everyone has to use a tool for it to have value.

I am saying a federated system seems to have better chance of this, and it
is my opinion that "internet freedom tools" should be designed with the
goal of brief user adoption. But again, this is based largely on
impressions, still hoping for more inputs.

> Best,
> Jonathan
> --
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