[Freedombox-discuss] Addressing

ian at churchkey.org ian at churchkey.org
Tue Aug 31 16:09:11 UTC 2010

On 08/27/2010 05:12 PM, Anthony Towns wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 13:45, Lars Wirzenius<liw at liw.fi>  wrote:
>> On pe, 2010-08-27 at 18:59 +0000, Clint Adams wrote:
>>> In my mind, a fundamental requirement to the success of such a freedom box
>>> would be some sort of distributed, decentralized naming system.
>> I concur. In general, I think we are going to have to avoid any central
>> dependency for anything at all.
> So what naming systems do we have? There's IPv4 and IPv6 -- they have
> the problem that many people aren't addressable by IPv4, many more
> aren't by IPv6, and both are a pain for humans to deal with; there's
> DNS which is probably too much hassle for regular people to setup;
> there's email, though that doesn't allow totally automatic handling;
> there's a bunch of social network services like facebook, linkedin,
> identi.ca, and whatnot which may or may not have APIs to be more
> automatic than email; and there's public key encryption which lets you
> know who you're talking to, but not find them in the first place.

I agree that this is a fundamental part of the problem; if we can't get 
the boxes to find each other, we can't get much in the way of 
communication going on. It might be productive to break the problem into 
two halves:

1) how are the boxes addressable from a non-local network, and
2) how do the people who own those boxes exchange information on finding 
their boxes

The questions are related but don't have to have the same answer. For 
example, protocols like webfinger [https://code.google.com/p/webfinger/] 
could allow us to turn email addresses into a much more automatic 
exchange of addressing information.

Similarity, if DNS is too complicated for people to set up, or for us to 
have their boxes auto-configure, we could run a handful of dynamicDNS 
services with monkeySphere authentication of clients. Then people could 
continue switching "networks" as they want by changing dynamicDNS sites 
and getting new contact information for the same box. (I wrote more 
about that here:  http://churchkey.org/2010/03/17/dynamic-dns-facebook/ )

Or, as was mentioned at the conference, we could set the boxes up to 
find each other over TOR. I'm not sure how the social exchange of 
contact details works in that setting but I'm sure someone else on the 
list does.


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