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Minimising information leakage

A dweb form of the web also involves all computers providing services as well as accessing them and could better protect users from private and government surveillance as data would no longer be stored in a way that was easy for third parties to access.

  • It enables replacing the immense databases that are currently held centrally by tech giants such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon and by programmatic markets.
  • It could also protect users better from online harassment, hate speech and child abuse images – which becomes even more difficult because of its lack of central control and access to data.

A truly decentralised web will require the network to provide privacy and trust by design. The challenge for distributed solutions is not enabling seeing or making public any of the transaction details, thereby guaranteeing privacy. This may require algorithms that allow for trustless management such as Zero knowledge proofs and/or validation techniques such as used in hashgraph and holochain could enable nodes to verify the existence and validity of exchanges.

  • IPFS (a DAG network) for example, is an infrastructure building block, and as such was not designed with anonymity in mind. Any application built on top of it is responsible for the security of private communication. IPFS uses encryption for traffic, but via the DHT tells the network the whole network topology, including internal addresses and VPN endpoints to determine the proximity of nearby nodes. It then prefers closer nodes to speed up transactions and requests. One can see who is seeding/sharing any given file on the public IPFS network.
  • For many people possibly interested in adopting IPFS and IPFS-search, browsing (or crawling) the web without anonymity is not privacy sensitive and unacceptable, but IP addresses are visible to peers, ISP's, 3rd party trackers, …
    • IPFS includes a local web gateway to access files from a browser. This is enabled by default, but can be disabled.
    • Because IPFS is not widely used yet and browsers are easy to fingerprint, IPFS being installed (combined with other browser data) would be enough to uniquely identify a user.
    • Using the IPFS Companion (which automatically redirects all IPFS-looking URLs to the local gateway) can help avoid DNS and IPFS HTTP gateway privacy leaks.
    • Tor integration could prevent privacy leaks and encourage many more people to use IPFS. It would mean users inherit Tor vulnerabilities, but those are taken very serious and dealt with rather quickly.


en/problems/dweb/privacy.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/09 13:45 by Digital Dot