[messaging] distributed social graph, was: collaborative random number generation

Karl gmkarl at gmail.com
Sat Dec 12 18:26:37 PST 2015


This last message gave the impression that GNS is unnecessary.  The
only other distributed solution to sharing identities I'm aware of is
blockchains like namecoin.  Are there others?

Here's how it sounds to me:

On 12/12/15, Trevor Perrin <trevp at trevp.net> wrote:
> On Sat, Dec 12, 2015 at 6:39 AM, carlo von lynX
> <lynX at i.know.you.are.psyced.org> wrote:
>> 1) Every user has several key pairs for circles of their social
>>    network. There is one public identity which is available to
>>    attackers and only gives access to obvious public contacts,
>>    if at all.
> OK, so we're agreed GNS leaks social graph information to anyone who
> knows your public key and can guess a bunch of "petnames".

Knowing the public key authorizes you to know its associated social
graph.  That's not a leak.

> Selectively sharing this information is a good goal.  But there's
> nothing technically hard about it (at its simplest, Alice could just
> send Bob an encrypted message with a list of usernames and public keys
> - no DHTs or "query privacy" protocols needed).
> The hard part is the UI.  So it's not clear what GNS offers here.

It sounds like GNS allow this to happen without requiring Alice or a
central server to be online or communicate with Bob in any way, if Bob
enters Alice's social circle and wants to learn the contacts she
shares with that circle.

> You can do that with global names too, of course.  Global names are
> better because you know that Jill, Peter, Paul, and Mary are claiming
> the same Jack, because it's the same name.  The idea that everyone can
> have their own Jack seems confusing, rather than helpful.

I guess it seems like the public key is the global name.  The
advantage of obvious petnames is that no introduction to the value
"Jack.Smith.1942.Boston" or "rocksmasher9" is necessary; people can
find each other using what they already know.

I imagine global names are much harder when there is no centralized
server to reserve them.  (Namecoin and Qora though)

>>> The Tor HSdir mechanism is solving a different problem - it makes it
>>> hard to become a DHT node that will store certain entries.
>> Something GNS already provides, AFAIU.
> I don't think so, which is why Jeff started the previous thread.

I suppose it's mitigated by only being able to predict the storage
nodes of entries you have access to.

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