[messaging] Summary of discussion session at USENIX HotSec

Wasa Bee wasabee18 at gmail.com
Sat Aug 23 09:35:50 PDT 2014

then maybe Amazon should get in the business of Messaging...
"personal cloud" seems to be a subject of interest of academic researchers
too, Mylar being the latest (I think) [0].

[0] http://css.csail.mit.edu/mylar/

On Sat, Aug 23, 2014 at 1:28 AM, Daniel Roesler <diafygi at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 2:56 AM, Wasa Bee <wasabee18 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Because we don't see ads does not mean these companies' business model is
> > not based on mining personal data... and selling it to someone else... We
> > don't see ads in whatsapps, yet facebook presumably acquired it so it
> could
> > mine users' data and put ads in their corresponding facebook page.
> > If the idea is to get UI experts to enhance the UI on top of OTR, I
> surely
> > like the idea. But I am not convinced that a good UI would be enough to
> push
> > private messaging to the mass without a proper business model that does
> not
> > rely on mining data. Any idea?
> Agreed. Non-data mining business models are pretty tough to scale,
> unfortunately[1].
> One possibility is for cloud storage providers (Dropbox, SpiderOak,
> Box, etc.) to build E2E apps that use their cloud storage as the app's
> backend. Their business model is based on selling storage, so they
> don't have as much of a financial incentive to mine user data.
> Additionally, they could start to offer E2E alternatives to existing
> popular apps, which could possibly bring in many new users to buy
> storage from them. For example, I have a free SpiderOak account. If
> SpiderOak started to offer a E2E apps that stored data encrypted on
> its server, I might use up more space, which might push me into having
> to upgrade to a paid account.
> I've explored this concept a bit with my byoFS project[2], where it
> allows user to connect their own cloud storage to use as a webapp's
> backend. It's a similar idea to the remoteStorage protocol[3], except
> data is automatically encrypted before being sent to the connected
> cloud storage.
> For a recent hackathon[4], I exploited the ability to make Dropbox
> files public as a way to create an E2E encrypted chat with an unhosted
> webapp[5]. The next chance I get, I'd like to make an E2E encrypted
> social network that's hosted entirely on users' own cloud storage
> accounts.
> Anyway, as cloud storage gets commoditized, I think providers are
> going to be looking for ways to differentiate themselves, and building
> E2E encrypted alternatives to existing apps may be a good way to
> attract users.
> Daniel
> [1] -
> http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/08/advertising-is-the-internets-original-sin/376041/
> [2] - https://github.com/diafygi/byoFS
> [3] - http://remotestorage.io/
> [4] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTPimUSIWbI
> [5] - https://diafygi.github.io/byoFS/examples/chat/
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