Is a Decentralized Internet the Solution? What is Next?

in technology •  last year
Most people today know about the sophisticated DDoS attack on Friday that took down a huge chunk of the internet. In addition to that, several companies and even blockchain's such as Ethereum themselves have fallen victim to continuous DDoS attacks lately. This has become an increasing concern.

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My question... Is there a way to protect the internet as a whole and avoid something similar happening in the future? As incidents like what happened Friday get more sophisticated and deliberate, what can we do to not only protect ourselves, but also protect two of the things we value most - the internet and connectivity. Information and the ability to access it real time without any delays is a valuable commodity in today's world. Any interruptions in the flow of information can be devastating.

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Is there a way to decentralize the internet so that any small interruption wont impact the entire network as a whole?

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Some people such as Raffael Kemenczy believe we have already achieved a decentralized internet, although there are still dependencies on a central group of systems which can still be considered failure points. His vision of a truly decentralized network, or in his case a "distributed" network is called Starfish - a user-controlled distributed network.

When a starfish loses any part of itself, it merely regrows it back. In fact if it is split into two sizable chunks, it can regrow into two starfish. Raffeal Kemenczy envisions an internet replacement with similar properties.

He points out the difference between centralized, decentralized and distributed. The existing internet has achieved decentralization, but not distribution (parts of it have perhaps, but not the whole). See this pic:

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He claims that the major issues plaguing the net today, like net neutrality, privacy and security are issues of structure, not of the agencies behind them. He proposes a distributed user-controlled system that could spawn in the shadows, and one day replace the internet if it were to be compromised as a whole.

The goal of Starfish is to enable the creation of a world-wide user-controlled network based on a distributed mesh architecture. This is to be achieved through developing the necessary software and hardware which allows users to form such networks in an ad-hoc fashion independent of any centralized control.

In my research, it is apparent that the technology to achieve something like this is already available, however it just has not been implemented yet. No one organization wants to give up full control of the power they currently have, so in order to achieve something like this would involve a group of individuals or organizations who want a truly free internet. There are organizations who have begun working on laying the groundwork and blockchain companies are definitely at the forefront, but nothing as of yet has currently been deployed

I think this is an evolution that will eventually come, but as of right now, it is a monstrous task. Maidsafe and Golem are two such organizations exploring a more decentralized/distributed platform, but are still works in progress.


Below are some interesting articles worth looking at that are related to this post and can provide more information around securing our internet.
- IS A DECENTRALIZED INTERNET THE SOLUTION TO OUTAGES?
- Starfish: a user-controlled distributed network
- Raffael Kemenczy Starfish Vision

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Very cool, maybe you will be interested in my work

@cloh76
it seems like the world is moving towards decenterilazition​. Many banks and other sectors are building systems on this technology for better speed and transparency.

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Yep. Several banks have already begun testing blockchain technology. The future will hopefully bring about everything being decentralized so that no one governing body controls anything.

When the cost of a problem is greater or potentially greater than the cost of a solution, businesses and governments become more interested in investing in solutions. If DDoS attacks could bring down the major credit card services at the same time, or shut down the major online sellers on peak buying days, the costs per hour would be tremendous.

The internet is decentralised - it's just that those foolish big businesses them centralised themselves by all using DYN. They really need to learn about not gathering at chokepoints...