[p2p-hackers] ease of use in a decentralized communication system

K.S.Sreeram sreeram at tachyontech.net
Fri Jun 23 12:21:54 UTC 2006

Hi All

As I had mentioned in my earlier post, I'm working on a decentralized
communication system, where every user is identified by his RSA key. A
DHT is used to map the user's public key to his network location (ip
address). A user's contact list basically is just a list of public keys.

It has a pretty easy to use GUI, where I can just right click on any
contact and choose 'Remote Desktop', and I get a secure NAT/firewall
friendly VNC session established. Similarly secure chat and filetransfer
are available too.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks that will hinder mass adoption of
this product is the fact that users need to manually exchange their
public keys (e.g thru email), before they can communicate with each other.

I'm at a loss of ideas on how to tackle this problem. Right now i'm
contemplating having a central key-server (some what like pgp key
servers), which is used to fetch public keys when a user adds contacts.
This is probably the simplest approach, but it does break the technical
purity of a 'completely decentralized system'.

Does anybody have any ideas on how this ease-of-use problem can be solved?


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