Is the privacy of Diaspora distributed social network seriously better than facebook's?

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by Ulysses_, Sep 13, 2014.

  1. Ulysses_

    Ulysses_ Registered Member

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    Facebook has been called "spying for free" for good reason.

    An attempt to create a decentralized social network to replace facebook seems to be working very well:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diaspora_(social_network)

    1. Do you trust the software?

    2. How do they make money? Or rather, how WILL they keep making money when this scales up? Does it matter who the donators are? Why did one of the devs commit suicide?

    3. Can you really prevent criminals using your pod (web site at your pc with Diaspora software)? NOT talking about hackers taking advantage of security bugs, but talking about regular users with bad intentions, can you really stop them?

    4. If you were the NSA, how would you counter this?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014
  2. mattdocs12345

    mattdocs12345 Registered Member

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    Nobody that I know uses it.
     
  3. Veeshush

    Veeshush Registered Member

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    I've been wondering about it too after seeing it listed on prismbreak. I like the idea of self hosting (that's the idea, right? That every user hosts a "pod" on their own machine?) and that it seemingly will never be ad driven.
     
  4. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    The concept looks interesting, though I don't see it ever going mainstream. As for the developers making money, without a central server, there's no overhead so scale won't matter. If the developers get enough to live on, there's no reason that it shouldn't be financially viable. I haven't looked much at the site yet. Is this Open Source?

    Regarding bad intentioned users, being decentralized takes away most methods of controlling how and by who it's used. In this case, it would be just like Tor, usable for both good and evil.

    As for the NSA, their main option is to blackmail, coerce or buy off the developers or find flaws in the software. Since one developer has committed suicide, it begs the question of whether it's already happening. The only options that can be effective against the NSA are decentralized, where there's no primary target for them to seize or take control of.
     
  5. Ulysses_

    Ulysses_ Registered Member

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    Can't I ban individuals from going through my Diaspora pod after they have been reported by someone (anyone) and I can see what they wrote?

    I think the way the powers-that-be would neutralize Diaspora would be to flood it with criminal content, as in paedophiles, crackers etc. So the ability to ban is critical.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2014
  6. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    Without knowing exactly how Diaspora works, I can't say for certain, but I'll offer this thought. You mention reporting or being reported by someone. In a completely decentralized system, reported to who? As soon as you create an authority with the power to ban, you've added centralization and a point that can be targeted. Who would be given that authority? The developers don't need that headache. You can and should be able to control what goes through your system. I don't see how it could be enforced on others without creating the very infrastructure it was intended to avoid.
     
  7. Ulysses_

    Ulysses_ Registered Member

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    By ban I did not mean ban from other people seeing which would make me an authority, but ban them from my pod so I have no legal responsibility - they can still commit their crimes elsewhere.

    I would only report it in my pod that I consider them criminal, and anyone else who reads my pod and has some level of friendship with me will be able to either:
    - trust me and ban them too, or
    - not trust me and accomodate them until the criminal's real nature shows up and they ban them too.

    Their friends can then ban the criminal too and so on, propagating to the network of non-criminal users.

    The trust can be declared and then automatically a ban will propagate from pod to pod without user intervention. Probably re-inventing the wheel here, but where's the fun if you don't invent it yourself too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
  8. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    Makes sense. Then again, the opposite could happen if the criminal/undesirable element becomes a majority. IMO, this will have many of the same problems as Tor, but with no centralized control at all, save for its coding. I don't see it having near the number of privacy issues of Facebook, but the potential is there for some very unique security problems. Either way, it would be very hard for the authorities to deal with.
     
  9. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    If this is something that can be routed over Tor, can someone post the default port numbers it uses so I can add them to the allowed ports of my exit node?
     
  10. mattdocs12345

    mattdocs12345 Registered Member

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    Most Internet services should evolve to run like this.
     
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