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P2P Architectures, SOPA/PIPA and freedom from censorship

by Steve_BZ (Hermit)
on Jan 31, 2012 at 20:07 UTC ( #951060=perlmeditation: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Hi Fellow Monks,

What with all the stuff going down about SOPA and PIPA, I've sort of being keeping my head down and hoping it would go away. But then I lost my YouTube password, and it automatically logged me on with Google. I was a little shocked. I did some research and I found what I should have known anyway, and you probably already know, that Google owns pretty much the whole Universe, apart from Microsoft, which now has only 3% of the search engine market plus the 5% it gets from Yahoo (also powered by Bing), and Facebook (I think).

So I started to wonder are there ways round it and I came across yacy.net, a P2P search engine, sadly for us written in Java. Although it's been around for a few years, it's still in it's infancy as far as performance and user experience, but it got me thinking.

It seems to me that what is a dynamic network of global peer-peer contributors (like us) is much harder to influence than a single huge company with all the political ties that it inevitably has.

So I am asking my fellow monks, what experience does Perl and the Perl community have on P2P applications and what is there out there that we can draw on in our own development.

As usual I look forward to your thoughts.

Regards

Steve

Comment on P2P Architectures, SOPA/PIPA and freedom from censorship
Re: P2P Architectures, SOPA/PIPA and freedom from censorship
by zentara (Archbishop) on Feb 01, 2012 at 11:21 UTC
    As usual I look forward to your thoughts.

    I'm sorry, but my belief is that posting over public networks, entitles you to the same level of security as if you were speaking in public. As such, you must assume that everything you do, is watched, if even just electronically.

    If you don't like it, encrypt everything, that is the only way to be sure.

    Then the issue becomes whether you have the right to avoid self-incrimination, when you are ordered by authorities to reveal your encryption password. I think that issue is already heading for the US Supreme Court.


    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth.
    Old Perl Programmer Haiku ................... flash japh

      For me it's not so much about self-incrimination, although I agree our rights here are being eroded everywhere, it's just about being freely and well informed outside our area of expertise. I also want to hear what other people say, and other opinions that differ from my own. If I live in China, I want to be able, should I choose, to hear divergent opinions about Nepal. If I live in the UK, I want to hear divergent and unpopular opinions about the government's handling of prisoners in Northern Ireland, if I live in the US I want to discuss in a well-informed environment which I would rather do without, foreign wars or health and retirement benefits? I live in Brazil, a country with about 10 times the murder rate of the US and 50 times the murder rate of the UK or Germany, number 4 in the kidnapping rankings, one of the most unequal societies on earth and an administration which does not do enough to address these issues. We should be able to research and discuss these things in a free and unconstrained way, not the way that an organisation with other interests thinks we should - even if it has good motives.

      This what I think peer-peer is about. You can get to information, even if other people, organisations and governments, think it's not good for you.

      And it would be great if Perl, which is normally all things to all men (people), had something to say about P2P architectures. All I could find was a CPAN module for EDonkey

      Regards

      Steve

Re: P2P Architectures, SOPA/PIPA and freedom from censorship
by holli (Monsignor) on Feb 02, 2012 at 12:57 UTC
    This question is way too important to be tied to a programming language.

    There are quite a few interesting projects that aim in the direction you are looking: quack.


    holli

    You can lead your users to water, but alas, you cannot drown them.

      Hi Holli,

      Nice signature BTW:

      You can lead your users to water, but alas, you cannot drown them.

      I agree it is too important for any individual language on its own, but like databases and HTML, maybe every language should have something to say about P2P.

      And that means us.

      Regards

      Steve.

Re: P2P Architectures, SOPA/PIPA and freedom from censorship
by JavaFan (Canon) on Feb 02, 2012 at 14:03 UTC
    I don't think there's much point in discussing this on a *Perl* forum, so I keep it brief. Why are companies like Google and Facebook so successful, and own so much data? They spotted a good idea, reimplemented in an agile way, and had the business model to finance it all.

    I came across yacy.net, a P2P search engine, sadly for us written in Java. Although it's been around for a few years, it's still in it's infancy as far as performance and user experience,
    See, that's the difference. Google and Facebook were way beyond "the infancy" stage after a few years.
    It seems to me that what is a dynamic network of global peer-peer contributors (like us) is much harder to influence than a single huge company with all the political ties that it inevitably has.
    Hmmm, and here I am, thinking that one of the problems of Google is, is that is hard to influence. Now you want something that's even harder to influence?
    So I am asking my fellow monks, what experience does Perl and the Perl community have on P2P applications and what is there out there that we can draw on in our own development.
    A few questions
    1. Why is your idea tied to Perl? If your goal is "freedom of censorship" (whatever that may mean), why aren't you agnostic when it comes to language while searching for a solution? Why would anyone but a handful of your users care which language was used? Heck, I don't even care which languages Perlmonks depends on (very likely C as one of the languages, and either Perl and/or PHP as additional languages). For the user, it's all about the service provided, and (s)he doesn't care about the code.
    2. Why do you think "P2P" is the answer? (And to what is it the answer?)
    3. Now, suppose you know how to create your solution. (Perhaps CPAN is going to have all the answers). How are you going to finance it? What's your business model? Who's going to pay for the datacenters you'll need? Who's going to pay the people maintaining (and initially, developing) all this?
      I think the idea Steve's putting out there is that P2P applications over secured channels are inherently hard to block (deep packet inspection can do this, but it's rather fragile). And that implementing them in Perl is a possible idea.

      His idea is not meant to have a business model. it is meant to be computer-mediated, networked communication, not dependent on central servers, solely for the purpose of communicating, and for communicating in situations where the "norma" channels are suppressed. It is not meant to make any money, and its developers will, no doubt, either not care about being paid, or will feel that striking a blow for free communication is payment enough. It is meant to be a means of responding to the Bloggers and Twitters responding to pressure to censor themselves -- by censoring themselves and pretending that they aren't.

      It's BitTorrent for radical ideas, with Tor on top. Anonynimization plus decentralized communication. I think Perl probably is a good choice.

        Hi pemungkah

        Thanks for your support.

        It is meant to be a means of responding to the Bloggers and Twitters responding to pressure to censor themselves -- by censoring themselves and pretending that they aren't.

        Well, I didn't mean that, but it's very true. I see people I know blogging every day, but only opinions they already know are popular. Where are the new and controversial ideas? As the British playwright George Bernard Shaw observed, “Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.”

        As a very far-sighted man, he probably meant us here on PerlMonks.

        And, as he should have added, Perl.

        Regards.

Re: P2P Architectures, SOPA/PIPA and freedom from censorship
by sundialsvc4 (Monsignor) on Feb 03, 2012 at 14:57 UTC

    Napster, of course, was the first online service to prove the value of peer-to-peer communication, and the same idea subsequently gave us bit-torrent.   Yet, we still tend to build centralized services and servers.   This thread might be usefully carried forward only by discussion of, or references to, techniques in Perl for securing peer-to-peer designs ... not from “censorship,” but from “disclosure.”   Otherwise, it smacks only of two subjects that we need not consider here:   politics, and politics.

      Napster the first? E-mail went P2P in 1971!

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