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Reputation and Asset Management

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Freenet: The Free Network Project Freenet is a large-scale peer-to-peer network that depends on the power of member computers around the world to create a massive virtual information store open to anyone to freely publish or view information of all kinds. Freenet lacks any centralized control or administration and allows information to be published without identifying its source or its physical location.

The Freenet Network consists of many computers on the Internet each running a piece of software called the "Freenet Server" or "Freenet Daemon" that enables a computer to become a "node" (a small but equal part of the larger Freenet network).

The system provides a flexible and powerful infrastructure capable of supporting a wide range of applications. It enables the anonymous and uncensorable publication of material ranging from grassroots alternative journalism, provides a method for the distribution of high-bandwidth content, and provides a platform for universal personal publishing. A Quickstart and User's Manual will help get you started if you're interested in participating.
NextPage, Inc. NextPage's NXT 3 e-Content Platform provides some of the world's largest information-intensive corporations with their own customized peer-to-peer file-sharing network. The company's Tools and Applications provide enterprise-sized businesses with the ability to manage and share resources securely over a distributed network in real time, using a robust application architecture that was specifically-designed to be able to scale.
OpenPrivacy OpenPrivacy is an open source, distributed, cryptographically secure platform for sharing anonymous demographic profiles. The project aims to allow users to reap the available benefits of sharing their profile information, while protecting consumer's privacy using anonymous submissions. The platform manages Reputations, which are XML Digital Signature based objects that securely store personal profile information. Reputation Servers are agents that respond to requests pertaining to reputations. Trust capabilities of the system include complete disassociation of submitted information from the user's identity and an open system available for public inspection and auditing. One project implementing OpenPrivacy is JetsPeek, an XML-based enterprise information portal developed as part of the Java Apache Project (which is in the process of merging with the Jakarta Project).
Peek-A-Booty Peek-A-Booty is distributed anti-censorship software that forms an ad hoc, Gnutella-like P2P network to enable unrestricted Web browsing within the 21 nations that currently restrict or censor Web access, such as China, Malaysia, North Korea and many Arabic countries.

The application takes advantage of the fact that all governments must have Web access for their own information and the nation's economic interests, and use firewalls for Web security that allow full access to themselves and restricted access to others. Computers running Peek-A-Booty form a distributed server cloud, where a small number of randomly selected computers access Web documents. To the firewall, a computer appears to be accessing documents not on the restricted list. Retrieved documents are encrypted and shared among the Peek-A-Booty peers.
Reptile Reptile is Java and XML -based distributed content syndication and management software with privacy protection from co-founders of the Jakarta Jetspeed project. The extensible architecture integrates several Web and P2P technologies to combine a Hypersonic SQL (hsql) persistent back end database with content exchange and search engines, enabling users to securely locate/share/publish/subscribe to Web-based content.

Reptile runs within Tomcat and offers support for Open Content Syndication (OCS), Extensible Style Language Transformations (XSLT), all versions of RDF Site Summary (RSS), Sierra Reputation Management Framework (RMF), Public Key authentication, and Structured Query Language (SQL) result to XML serialization (with JDOM and Xalan extensions). It supports all P2P networks, including Freenet, Gnutella, Jabber and Project Juxtapose (JXTA). The Reptile download package is distributed under both The GNU General Public License (GPL) and Berkely Software/Standard Distribution (BSD) licenses.
SongSpy, Inc. SongSpy is a free-music network whose members earn "Karma Points" by downloading files and making their own hard drives available to the network. (In the future, Karma Points will be redeemable towards SongSpy merchandise.) The freely-available SongSpy client includes an MP3 player and an intuitive, skinnable graphical user interface that currently only runs on Windows (although support for Mac and Linux is planned for future releases). SongSpy's own SnapDragon protocol combines a Napster-like centralized server with Gnutella-like distributed peers to create a hybrid network which utilizes the best file-sharing features of both models.
The Free Haven Project The Free Haven Project intends to deploy a system that provides a good infrastructure for anonymous publication. Elements of this system include:

  • the publisher of a given document remains unknown
  • clients requesting the document do not have to identify themselves
  • the current location of the document is not known
The overall design is based on a community of servers (which as a whole is termed the "servnet") where each server hosts data from the other servers in exchange for the opportunity to store data of its own in the servnet. Communication (both between the servers and between the servnet and readers) relies on an existing mixnet infrastructure to provide an anonymous channel.

The system is designed to store data without concern for its popularity or controversial nature. Free Haven is designed more for anonymity and persistence of documents than for frequent querying. It is expected that in many cases, interesting material will be retrieved from the system and published in a more available fashion (such as normal web pages). Then the document in the servnet would only need to be accessed if the other sources were shut down. A number of white papers are available onsite.
xS xS is an open source Java-based personal digital asset management system that enables people to organize anything they have that is digital--audio files, pictures, videos, etc., and share them with others. It also empowers users to control to define how they share different assets with others by storing complex meta-data about users' digital assets. xS comes out of the box with support for 3 different network protocols: XML over HTTP, RMI, DXP, xS' own custom protocol. The network protocols are written in an XML dialect I have created called Dax, so alternate clients can be written in other languages as long as they talk Dax. It has a pluggable network protocol architecture and a pluggable "ingest" architecture that provides a simple interface that can be used to build new ingest engines. (An "ingest engine" is code that reads a digital asset and determines initial meta-data from that stream, for instance, to analyze video for scenes and content.) xS comes with an MP3 ingest engine that reads MP3 ID3 tag info. xS stores its meta data in a pure-Java relational database, InstantDB. Other features include: multi-lingual capability (English, French, Dutch, and Spanish), multi-byte character set support, and the ability to perform complex queries, such as a search for "all songs with the word rain in them by the cure and the cult".
Yenta Yenta is a fully-distributed, peer-to-peer coalition-formation system that autonomously determines users' interests and then automatically forms discussion groups, in which users who share one or more interests may send secure real-time messages to each other, either one-to-one or in groups. The system was originally developed as part of Leonard Foner's doctoral dissertation at the MIT Media Lab's Software Agents group. Yenta demonstrates how combining a distributed design which does not rely on any one central point with cryptography and reputation management can solve many of the problems otherwise encountered by systems trying to protect sensitive information from crackers, subpoenas, and malicious interlopers. Yenta's web site also provides source code, precompiled binaries, many papers, and Foner's doctoral dissertation.

P2P Weblogs

Richard Koman Richard Koman's Weblog
Supreme Court Decides Unanimously Against Grokster
Updating as we go. Supremes have ruled 9-0 in favor of the studios in MGM v Grokster. But does the decision have wider import? Is it a death knell for tech? It's starting to look like the answer is no. (Jun 27, 2005)

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