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Abstract

Online social networks and online real time communication tools gained large popularity in the last years. In the Arab spring they emerged as one of the main tools to exchange ideas and to organize activities. Many users were unaware that their communication and their interaction patterns are traced. After the Arab spring and after the information demystified by Edward Snowden, users are becoming security aware and look for alternative technologies to communicate securely. Our contribution in this presentation is twofold, first we present the current technological developments in computer science and networking technologies that envision to provide tools to the users, so that their communication is secured and impossible to track. Based on peer-to-peer-technologies, known from file-sharing applications, several solutions for secure, reliable and untraceable communication already exist. In addition, opportunistic and delay-tolerant networks, provide asynchronous "online" communication which do not even use the Internet infrastructure, thus making it even harder to identify and to trace. As a second contribution, we present a technological framework based on peer-to-peer networking, which allows to build platforms for online social network. In depth, we show how this framework is capable to provide common functionality of online social networks, but at the same time is privacy-aware and impossible to trace or to shut of. The framework uses fully decentralized data storage and sophisticated cryptography for the user management, secure communication and access control to the data of the users. The quality of the presented framework, in terms of performance and communication costs, has been evaluated in simulations with up to 10,000 network nodes as well as in test with up to 30 participants. Our findings are, that up to now the usability, economical pressure and the security of (centralized) communication tools were incompatible. This observation changes with decentralized solutions which do not come with economic pressure. Both secure and usable solutions are about to emerge, fully distributed and secure, which will be impossible to shut down or to trace. For the future it will be interesting, whether the presented decentralized technology will be ignored or whether it will disrupt the economics and the market of social networks, like it was the case with Napster and the music industry, a case in which decentralized peer-to-peer networking unfolded it potential.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarc.2014.ITOP1018
2014-11-18
2019-11-15
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http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/papers/10.5339/qfarc.2014.ITOP1018
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