Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The recent mass deletion of "objectionable" communities and journals has me on edge. Not that it affects me directly -- none of the communities I visit were affected -- but the attitude being taken is so very big brother-ish. You can argue about legalese and how, as a corporation, Six Apart is not bound by the Constitution of the United States -- at a basic level, I feel there's been a violation of an implicit trust.

And, as an engineer, things that put me on edge spark me into looking for solutions to the problem. Technical solutions, not diplomatic ones (though I did pass the U.S. Department of State's Foreign Service Exam, I decided this isn't exactly my calling). It makes me wonder if there's a way to ensure this doesn't happen again -- e.g., by decentralizing the power that's currently centralized.

Ironically, solving this would solve a similar issue we're facing at work (, you might have seen my thread on sde-feedback@ about my ideas for a decentralized package store). I even have the basic idea in my head.

What I can't figure out, however, is how to restrict access in the manner of friends-only entries and the like. I mean, it's certainly possible -- a friends-only entry just becomes an entry encrypted with various friends' public keys. However, today I can trust that my restricted entries won't be reposted because I trust those on my friends list. With what I'm proposing, I would have to trust not only you, any software that you might run, and anyone who might acquire (illicitly or via other means) your private key, now and in the future.

That's a lot of trust.

I'm going to mull this over in my head a bit more. I don't know if it'll actually go anywhere -- honestly, work has left me in a zombie state most days. I'm angry, but I don't know if I'm angry enough to overcome zombie dacut.

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