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Intro?


Oh, sweet, since I fixed the SPF record on my domain, i guess it's probably time to do an #intro post!
I'm Danny - a person that likes libre stuff. i spun up this friendica instance as my first real foray into the ~~fediverse~~. It is free to anyone to join. It's set to approval mostly to discourage spammy stuff.
In general i like to embrace the grey in life. I believe stuff like:
Genres are meaningless
using 'they/them/theirs" as the default for all people unless otherwise indicated/preferred [ok this requires forcing my brain bc english so it's super not perfect but i can still BELIEVE]
colorism is more deeply rooted than racism and i hate it, like a lot
using nocaps is subverting the linguistic perscriptivist patriarchy

so, uuh, yes, HI FEDIVERSE



 
sometimes you just need an optimistic song sung by a cute beard-o
https://invidio.us/watch?v=1il3RFk5Okw




 
finally sort of caught up with the mastodon ~~drama~~ that's been happening over the last few years. If there's one image that kept coming to mind, it is the last time I was at AWS Re:Invent. That week was (by a very very very large margin) the most percentage of "whites only" I've seen on grindr & scruff profiles.

Haha I know it's silly, but diaspora's better than Facebook, and there aren't really any other alternatives!

The biggest problem with federation is basically that Google can pressure everyone into only using GMail, by buying up all the bandwidth and computing resources, and spamming smaller servers into oblivion. When humans decide the routing of their posts, humans can be pressured and tricked into walled gardens. Then users can be held hostage and used to pressure more people into joining.

Another problem is how restrictive the network is. When I'm forced to call myself not "cy" but "cy@verge.info.tm" then if something happens to verge.info.tm, all my friends don't know who I am anymore. If it gets blocked, or taken down, or deletes my account, or whatever. If I was called "cy@0ac7da56" then it wouldn't matter what server I belonged to, because I'd always have the same public key. I could move servers if need be, use multiple servers at once, and wouldn't have to trust any of those servers with my data. That's a great environment for automatic algorithms to do the routing, so humans don't even choose servers at all, but let their clients find the best ones.

Another problem is that with federation, servers are often different computers from the client, often with many different accounts, not just the one. If the cops and/or organized crime took over diasp.org, not only could they make bogus accounts to plague you with, but they could use your friend's accounts there to deceive you into screwing yourself over! It's better than Facebook since there's fewer people per server, but it's still completely disastrous from a privacy/security standpoint. A better idea would have every client use public keys to make digital signatures, and then none of the accounts could be compromised on any of the servers. But again... if I'm identified by 'cy@0ac7da56' then it doesn't matter what server I'm using at the time.

So federation is exploitable, restrictive, and insecure. Diaspora could be killed as easily as email was turned into GMail. But it's all we've got at the moment. I'm just hoping the secushare folks will get out of their heads, and actually start implementing stuff.

Oh man, so I started a reply 3 weeks ago and then got sucked into re-discovering GNUnet and reading all about this secushare thing (I have to admit, though, even after reading I think everything on their site, I'm still not 100% clear on what it is, even though I completely agree with most of their reasonings behind creating a new platform)
I think your comparison to GMail is quite apt. Email is supposedly the most successful form of federation we have, and the current status kind of sucks. A flawed argument to your comments on restrictions, privacy, is to self-host one's own services. One of the most divisive topics in self-hosting communities that I've seen is email EXACTLY for that reason - since email has been relegated to a very few e-mail companies, even if you're following modern standards for e-mail, like SPF, DKIM, DMARC, checking for spam, malware, etc - you might still get blacklisted from major providers like google, microsoft for no reason other than you are not big enough to be considered a trustworthy e-mail server.
There are no good solutions, we can definitely commiserate on that. Here's to hoping that some of these flaws of federation can be alleviated - I hold belief in our libre communities 😀

Ha ha ha, yes, all part of my evil plan to keep you distracted with fascinating crypto projects foreeeeevevvvveeeeerrrrrr.

GNUnet is pretty much Freenet, except open source, with 15 years of some german professor's academic research added to it. They mean to replace the Internet, so they're really doing all sorts of wire level protocol stuff to preserve privacy. It seems pretty slick, but I haven't been able to test it a lot, since I have no friends who wanna use it.

And Secushare is basically supposed to be Diaspora over GNUnet. So for instance you wouldn't have pods, but public keys that identified you. And each aspect would be a GNUnet "CADET" node, which is a key you can look up in a decentralized data store, to get info on my latest posts to that aspect, digitally signed, and online even if I'm not available. In theory. If they ever actually wrote the program that is, instead of writing more essays on secushare.org.

Ironically, I do run my own self-hosted email server. But I don't think that doing that is going to save email. A stopgap measure at best.