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

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 23 21:21:15 PDT 2013


On 09/23/2013 11:20 AM, Michael Rogers wrote:
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> On 22/09/13 20:51, Jonathan Wilkes wrote:
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[...]

>> Otherwise you create a social network that looks like it has
>> checks and balances built-in, but, e.g, no one really understands
>> _why_ sharing beyond the first node is a danger and no one cares
>> about honoring the premise (including the friend sharing the list
>> in the first place).
> I think those concepts are easier to grasp in the P2P setting than the
> centralised setting, because they map to existing norms concerning
> personal relationships and privacy - for example, if a friend sends
> you a private message, there's a well-established norm that you don't
> share that message.

Is Briar able to hide metadata that describes who is messaging whom
within the network from an attacker with a splitter on the internet and
a $50+ billion budget?

I think the fundamental concept-- that digital data has a zero
marginal cost-- and its consequences are just as elusive in a p2p
system for the vast majority of users.

>   As long as the software implements normative
> behaviour as the default, users will only break the norms if they're
> determined to do so - and such violations will always be local in scope.

But even in centralized systems mature users correspond in good faith
with each other, sometimes even in the face of poor defaults like Facebook.
They can maintain friendships over that medium, over a federated medium,
or any other one.  That's beside the point.

The problem is that the ease of copying data makes it very likely that the
mere act of sending messages over an insecure, surveilled, weaponized
medium like the internet is very likely to add to an enormous market for 
abuse.

That's what I mean by goodwill not functioning properly within the system.
It's very similar to the mortgage crisis-- sure, you can have millions of
buyers and realtors making good faith business transactions that look
happy and healthy from individual to individual.  But at the same time
an awfully large amount of risk can be diversified throughout the entire
system.  When it reveals itself everybody loses, and many suffer
irreparably.

It's probably better to say that goodwill does not address such moral
hazards.  People can develop and maintain friendships over the internet,
but currently doing so creates a toxic waste that silently eats away
at our collective freedom.

-Jonathan

>
>> Nearly every social network UX is designed to hide such risks, and
>> I don't see any examples of an alternative.  Does yours offer one?
> There's no reason for an app to provide a user interface for acts that
> harm other users. If someone wants to create their own "sell out your
> friends" fork of the software then of course nobody can stop them. But
> that's a small-scale violation of trust between that person and their
> friends - it isn't really comparable to someone at Facebook or AT&T
> copying strangers' data en masse to the NSA.
>
> Cheers,
> Michael
>
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