[p2p-hackers] BitTorrent measurements / fully decentralized systems

Adam Lydick list-p2phack at ruffledpenguin.org
Wed Dec 15 09:41:55 UTC 2004

On Tue, 2004-12-14 at 22:11 -0800, coderman wrote:


> We have been talking about this in another channel and a few
> thoughts were discussed.
> There has been much talk of private social group networks / social
> networks with file sharing.  These services are usually centralized
> and thus constrained by contributory / vicarious liability concerns:
> they would have to police the networks.  Same set of issues.
> [or some like to claim decentralization while relying on a trusted
>  certificate authority or other index.  heh]
> The decentralized variants have their own set of problems, mainly
> identity and reputation as well as discovery / search.


Perhaps not the best possible world, but why not a decentralized model
that is enhanced by (but does not require) a centralized authority? This
seems to work fairly well for a number of existing networks.

If your trusted authority of choice is subjected to legal or technical
DoS attacks you can always fall back to another option: 

* durable identifiers that you've already acquired
* an alternate "central" (federated might be a better term) authority
* exchange durable, attack resistant identifiers (eg: content hash) over
existing social channels (email sigs, blogs, IM, SMS, ...)
* keyword (or other) search without trust metrics (at least the network
still works, you just might have a higher signal:noise for certain

-- Adam Lydick

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