[p2p-hackers] Question on VoIP Kademlia based solution

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Mon Jun 1 04:05:30 EDT 2009


On Sun, May 31, 2009 at 07:42:13PM -0700, David Barrett wrote:
> Ooh, very clever idea.  I agree, if you're going to go pure 
> decentralized, a good way to do it is start centralized and than remove 
> the central components one by one.
> 
> That way you get the benefit of centralization when you need it most 
> (just getting something up and running that works and solves some user 
> problem), and then you can gradually replace each central component with 
> a decentralized alternative once they're up to snuff.
> 
> Great idea.

Folks, please cut down on all the top-posting. Thanks.
 
> -david
> 
> Serguei Osokine wrote:
> > On Sunday, May 31, 2009 David Barrett wrote:
> >> Basically, if you plan on having even one critical component -- and
> >> Leviant suggested he was going to use it for "crypt key enrollment
> >> and user authentication" -- then you might as well have as many
> >> central components as are helpful.
> > 
> > True enough.
> > 
> > Though there is always also another approach - gradual P2P rollout.
> > Once you deploy your system with centralized components, you might
> > as well utilize your now-relatively-idle programmers to deploy the
> > fully decentralized solution during the regular software upgrades.
> > 
> > That will keep them busy and happy, and since you probably won't be
> > shut down immediately after launch, it will give you a time window to
> > get prepared to the eventualities without compromising the initial
> > deployment schedule. As a matter of fact, I seem to recall some P2P
> > service (Kazaa?) doing that: it was using the central server for some
> > purpose (upgrades or whatever), but if it was down for some extended
> > period of time, the clients regarded this as an attack on the network
> > and irreversibly switched themselves to a fully autonomous mode, not
> > accessing the central server ever again. At that point they lost the
> > functionality provided by this server, whatever it was - I could not
> > quickly find the source of this info as I was typing this answer -
> > but the network itself stayed intact, albeit with some functionality
> > limited or fully switched to P2P at that point.
> > 
> > Though my memory is shaky on this subject - I cannot even recall whether
> > it was Kazaa or some other network. Maybe someone can remember what I'm
> > talking about and provide a better description...
> > 
> > Best wishes -
> > S.Osokine.
> > 31 May 2009.
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: David Barrett [mailto:dbarrett at quinthar.com]
> > Sent: Sunday, May 31, 2009 6:03 PM
> > To: osokin at osokin.com; theory and practice of decentralized computer
> > networks
> > Subject: Re: [p2p-hackers] Question on VoIP Kademlia based solution
> > 
> > 
> > Agreed, if you're really concerned about not being shut down, pure
> > decentralized is the way to go.
> > 
> > But unless you are *absolutely devoted* to decentralization, for *every
> > layer* -- authentication, bootstrapping, distribution of your binary,
> > DNS, upgrades -- everything, there's virtually no value in avoiding
> > centralization *everywhere* it's helpful.
> > 
> > Basically, if you plan on having even one critical component -- and
> > Leviant suggested he was going to use it for "crypt key enrollment and
> > user authentication" -- then you might as well have as many central
> > components as are helpful.
> > 
> > Because once the feds come and shut down enrollment and key generation,
> > they've dealt a fatal blow to your network, rendering all the fancy
> > decentralization (which takes hundreds if not thousands more hours to
> > build than a central server, and will *never, ever* be as good) a big
> > waste of time and energy, and honestly, a disservice to your users.
> > 
> > -david
> > 
> > Serguei Osokine wrote:
> >> On Friday, May 29, 2009 David Barrett wrote:
> >>> The only practical benefit I can see to a "pure" decentralized design
> >>> is protecting yourself from forced shutdown.  But even that can be
> >>> mitigated by having servers in different jurisdictions.
> >> Shutdown is not an only unreasonable request that one could imagine.
> >> Craigslist had to endure all these sex ad removal requests from the
> >> other state attorney. Microsoft Messenger had to selectively black
> >> out Cuba, Iran, Sudan, etc. I fail to see how having some servers
> >> in Europe or wherever would allow Microsoft to avoid doing that. As
> >> a matter of fact, I fail to see how having such extra servers would
> >> have protected Napster 1.0 from shutdown, either.
> >>
> >> Of course, you can design your system in such a way that the servers in
> >> different jurisdictions would be operated by different legal entities.
> >> But that is quite an endeavor - setting up multiple legal entities
> >> across the globe is not for the weak of heart. If you as much as even
> >> suspect that someone might dislike what you are doing, going fully
> >> decentralized might be a pretty reasonable choice from the business
> >> standpoint - it might prove to be a deterrent for the lawyers who have
> >> nothing better to do. Plus, you don't have to pay the hosting costs
> >> for the central servers in that case :-)
> >>
> >> Best wishes -
> >> S.Osokine.
> >> 30 May 2009.
> >>
> >>
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: p2p-hackers-bounces at lists.zooko.com
> >> [mailto:p2p-hackers-bounces at lists.zooko.com]On Behalf Of David Barrett
> >> Sent: Friday, May 29, 2009 2:33 PM
> >> To: theory and practice of decentralized computer networks
> >> Subject: Re: [p2p-hackers] Question on VoIP Kademlia based solution
> >>
> >>
> >> leviant Leviant wrote:
> >>> I do not want (at least yet) to implement any central component for such
> >>> purposes.
> >> I guess I'd ask: why this design constraint?  The only practical benefit
> >> I can see to a "pure" decentralized design is protecting yourself from
> >> forced shutdown.  But even that can be mitigated by having servers in
> >> different jurisdictions.
> >>
> >> Basically, if you're saying "I just want to build cool tech and that
> >> sounds fun", that's a totally valid reason.  But if you're trying to
> >> build a scalable, secure, high-performance, real-world usable system, I
> >> see no reason to avoid central components.
> >>
> >> -david
> >>
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> >>
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> 
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-- 
Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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