Version Paracetamol 1.4142g
Vortrag: Coronary bypass at the heart of the Intertubes, badly needed
Why and how to redecentralize the Net
Years of choosing convenience over healthy solutions, over-reliance on just a few of the arteries, and lack of exercise of the decentralization muscles of the Internet, have led to increased risk of selective clogging, or "censorship", of the intertubes by cancerous growths. A diet and an exercise regime, backed by bypass surgery, is urgently needed, if health of the Internet is not to deteriorate further.
Privately owned and operated services are too often taken as and used as public infrastructure. The Internet has become brittle, as the recent npm SNAFU clearly shows. We have to do better than this.
1. Decentralize the application layer.
All other layers of the OSI model at least assume that communication goes point-to-point via many possible routes. In the application layer more often than not solutions are centralized, controlled by a single entity which effectively -- willingly or not -- becomes the gatekeeper.
There are several possible solutions, but most are niche, unknown, lack funding and developer interest. Time to put them front-and-center.
2. Redecentralize the lower layers of the OSI model
Even though lower layers support decentralization (that was the whole idea, after all!), economies of scale have caught up with them. In effect, there is a number of large Internet Exchange points that become potential points of failure -- where failure can be hardware, software, or policy (i.e. censorship, surveillance) related.
3. Emancipate user data
Users should have both the right, and technical possibility of exporting their data from service providers, and importing them to different providers, should they choose to move.
Similarly how switching mobile providers doesn't have to mean changing your number (or losing contact with friends), switching service providers in the Internet should not have to mean losing all your legacy embedded in that given service.