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Decentralized Network File Sharing

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  • Decentralized Network File Sharing

    This is not about one specific app, nor making one, but both. A discussion on theory and pragma.
    Since the subject of a tracker-, site-, storage-, moderator- less, and other innovations is always getting some attention, I got this one idea: Let's make a thread!

    As we discussed in the thread "Atheists are more intelligent...", some people become vocal about the subject, like it was a personal matter, and even in academic debates there's room for fanaticism, preconception, dogma, you name it. Please bear in mind.

    May Mod help me, for a torrent of criticism will come like the Second Flood.

    I believe the question involves technical, economical, social (human) aspects, including the (imo abominable) politician/lawyer mindset.
    Under technical-only PoV, it could work.

    Not a new field, it has been around for long. Freenet and Zeronet are examples.
    Notable options are Tribler and Fopnu. The first came over a decade ago and the last is almost brand new, still in development - but plenty operational.
    Others include old file sharing systems (like Limewire/Gnutella) or still prototypes with little less than proof-of-concept abilities (like magnetico/BitTorrent).
    We also have Stormcloud (which I didn't try yet). *magnetic with a lower case "m".

    On the other side, there're BitCannon, ThePirateBay, and other services. Although TPB has proxies and gives away dumps, it's pivotal and relies on the Internet.
    A recent tool is Offlinebay, which does on your local drive what BitCannon does (or did) on the cloud. Some sites say they can search hundreds of Torrent sites - but Google and other search mechanisms can do that. *They actually search all they have.

    The first problem with a decentralized system is the lack of human managers. The system must be automated as if current A.I. could do it, or stay in hands of users themselves. Some sort of rating system must be in place to point good and bad data and their uploaders. Of course, ratings vary by personal choices and are abused by mindless trolls or professional hackers. Stormcloud has some interesting ideas on that, but old FS systems have been doing it in some way.

    But the biggest problem is the lack of management; like a noise in the network, those systems are made to run free from operators or monitors, resilient to interference, and out of control. No tyrannic responsible government will tolerate such use of the Internet. They'll say it's for our own protection, for there's abuse, accountability, and the battle about illegal and what is immoral content.

    Also the storage is a curious point: Some keep the current model where each peer stores what they like, a few propose automatically distributed pieces of a gigantic file-set like a distributed repertoire (not only Torrent files, but the data), and none consider cloud, for it would demand huge servers, replicated across the world, and the funds to keep it working. The ones doing it are in line with Mega Upload.

    In the past, file sharing or anonymous networks were shut down. Some for the old copyright reason, others for morally objectionable or even criminal reasons.
    We've Tor (created by Navy Intelligence, sometimes aka The CIA) and I2P (made by academics who may be more interested in studying the thing than making it).

    Please post your important additions and commentaries - Thank you!