Decentralized Web Summit


Wendy Hanamura:

we're live streaming this at so watch along

if you haven't been to the Internet Archive before, we think of this as our Temple of knowledge

we're one of the largest digital libraries in the world - if you look at the back of the room you can see servers

the library of congress, if digitised, would fit in about an inch and a half of one of those servers

the Ford foundation got together Mitchell Baker, Brewster Kahle and Tim Berners-Lee and asked for a moonshot

rather than talk about the new library of Alexandria, Brewster talked about Locking the Web open for good

many of you are the builders of the next decentralized web and baking openness into your code #indieweb

Joi Ito likes to talk about the conspiracy of open - Mozilla, Internet Archive, Wikimedia, EFF keeping the web open

Mitchell Baker - Mozilla Chair

Mitchell Baker:

today we have 2 concepts: Decentralized and the Web - I want to talk about the Web

you might think that the web is about the browser; or that the web is about HTTP

the web is not about a particular technology but about 4 key principles

while we build a decentralised web or a Web of Things, what do we care about?

1. The web is Immediate. Safe instant access to content via a universal address without needing install

2. The web is Open. Anyone can publish content without permission or barrier and provide access as they see fit.

3. The web is Universal. Content runs on any device or platform. We do this through standards.

The w3c has a Social Web working group, and Mozilla is active in this.

4. The Web has agency. A User Agent can choose how to interpret content provided by a service on your behalf.

The browser can change typeface, protect you from malware, prevent tracking. The browser works on your behalf

as we think about the decentralized web, these key traits show up: Immediate, Open, Universal, Agency.

Wendy Hanamura:

for the last few years Vint Cerf has been talking about the digital dark age - content blinks on and off

We built the Wayback Machine to give the web a memory, but that's a patch

Vint said "we all die" "when I die I want there to be a record of what I did on this earth"

Vint Cerf

Vint Cerf:

there's nothing more satisfying than being the chief internet evangelist in this room

May all your packets land in the right bit bucket [amen]

Lessons learned form the Internet:

Collaboration and Cooperation were key to the internet - get everything talking to each other

open design and evolution was key, and anyone can join by following protocols

we didn't impose any business models on anyone, so you can choose how you do it

modualrity is key, layered evolution has been enabled by information hiding

E Pluribus Unum - from many networks we made one thing, the Internet

thinking about archiving there are a series of things we need

Compression schemes like tarball and so on only let you store and recover particular objects

storage and software with versions is now growing and possible

but the web is a complex structure that connects lots of things together

the internet archive takes static snapshots of web pages that are time-indexed

the hyperlinks need to be re-formed to resolve to in-Archive pages so it can be self-contained

this archive requires continuous crawling, and decide when it is a new instance

a system that is accumulating web pages - can the set of all sets contain itself - is the archive in the archive?

the web can barely contain itself as it is - can LOCKSS work - is there space to replicate it?

Hyperlinks deteriorate over time - do we need a permanent link system?

HTML rendering needs to be backward compatible - even the earliest HTML still renders well, but there are hazards

I uploaded my slides from Powerpoint to Google Docs, and found Google Docs can't render TIFF though PPT did

I have some 1997 Powerpoint slides - I pulled up one in current Word, and it was corrupted.

Power corrupts, Powerpoint corrupts absolutely.

there are issues with permissions on things that the web points too

I would like for web pages to be automaticallly replicated and archived as we edit and publish them

I'm not sure I want all my edits shared and archived, but certainly all my published versions

Is there a role for the Google Docs like real-time replication and synchronisation?

could we have a common reference scheme across copies

is there a role for a Pub/Sub mechanism for co-operating archive entities?

lot of metadata is needed to replicate the Time Machine of the Wayback machine

it is OK to have control of replication and distribution while still archiving what we can

the other question is can we render the objects pointed to - we need software to do that

50 years from now we may have software that no longer runs, which means we need to emulate old hardware

running old Windows versions in emulation in the cloud - we will need to get legal rights to do this

imagine that there are multiple alternative resolution targets for a link - doesn't matter which is used

when we move around copies of things, how do we make sure we can still point to them

newspapers and magazines have editions; on the web we may need snapshots at intervals, or define editions

desirable: automatic archiving on publication - a service you sign up for? how funded? [ask @pinboard]

registration of rendering engines and permission systems

Do we have automatic malware filters? How do we know it is safe

do we have varying fidelity levels - everything, surface visuals without links, what else drops out

how do we even describe how we have lowered fidelity and why

once archived, is a page an indelible instance usable in a court of law?

does this make an official record?

could we make this self-archive be encrypted and unlocked after 25 years?

what metadata can I put in to trigger opening up access after time

Wrapping in containers may be a way to preserve the software as well as hardware


apps are taking over eyeballs and advertising - can we include them too?

Vint Cerf:

google is finding a way to run native apps in the chrome operating system, which is an answer for apps


we need to index things that run in the apps, and archive them

Vint Cerf:

I have an image in my head of a diorama of the Jurassic period in a museum - people will model them

Ryan Barrett:

You didn't mention digital vellum. Is that to far down the stack?

Vint Cerf:

my favourite term for this is digital vellum - that was focsued on an object and its rendering

what we're challanged to do in the web is more difficult to preserve the links


I'm Samantha and work in the VR space - how do we have this conversation about 3D VR on the web

Vint Cerf:

the app space for me has grown almost out of control - it takes too long to find them and run the one I want

I don't want an internet of things to have an app for every light switch

some people are talking about using web apps instead of standalone apps for this and that looks promising

there are various models to fund things - you can put ads in apps and the web, though subscriptions models work too


Samantha: I like showing people that you can use the web for everything

given the rise of intolerance and anti-semitism, what about the right to be forgotten?

Vint Cerf:

The right to be forgotten is weird as we have to remember everything that must be deleted so it doesn't come back

it's not just the stuff that we generate, it's stuff that other people generate that impacts privacy

people do ask to take a picture with you when they are taking selfies - we can grow that etiquette

Wendy Hanamura:

we have a library of emulation here - the emularity is ours that lets you play Oregon Trail again

someone said it's kind of like the beatles here - Paul McCartney was here and John Lennon just walked in

Tim Berners-Lee once said "the pieces were all there, I just needed to do was step back and connect them"

Tim Berners-Lee

Tim Berners-Lee:

thanks for inviting me and thank you everyone for coming. re-decentralizing the web is a topic near to my heart

anybody who just woke up here in a yellow light-filled church with sacred relics containing all human knowledge

Vint and Bob Kahn had done their work 20 years before -1969 vs 89 - totally different music

the internet was there and I could use it - my boss did write "vague but interesting" on my proposal

my intent was to make something Universal - I have seen a lot of documentation systems that made you use theirs

some were matrix oriented, some were tree oriented, there was this heterogeneity of systems

we had to put code on these documentation systems to convert them into universal web pages

HTML had a lot in common with the SGML markup that people were using in my department

HTTP was a concoction of SMTP-like headers with the HTML content

the URL, then called the UDI, was made to look as much like a unix path name as possible

the double slash came from the Apollo name system, where it could refer to another machine

incremental change and only adding the pieces that we needed was key

it was never clear that the web would take off, but it did

the internet was designed without the nation being a concept- it's not obvious where users were

making a website was downloading the code, running the httpd daemon and putting pages on the web

so just by linking from your blog to other people we made a web of intelligent discussion

in the years that followed, many wonderful things have been done on top of the web

creativity built many wonderful things, even giant social networks where people spend all their time

when you talk to people they are quite frustrated - they have their friends on Facebook, photos on Flickr

then you want to share between the systems, you have to import either photos or lists of friends

you have to build an app, learn the Flickr API and the Facebook API and everything is stuck in silos [km: try]

the web was designed to be decentralised so everyone could participate by having their own name and domain

but instead everything is locked up in silos

the consumer gets a lot of things for free, but they sold their soul of privacy to the marketing machine

you suddenly get targetted with all kinds of things - because the system realises that you have a child

the only way to make money on the net seems to be with advertising

what's wrong with this picture? It's a myth. We don't have to be happy with this.

when I go for a run my wristband tracks my run and them gets uploaded to the internet

if I uplaod all my running it can maybe work out when I need new shoes, but that isn't that valuable

the proposal is to bring back the idea of a decentralised web - power to the people

breaking the model where all your data is in different silos - we have project called solid

we're going to use web technology but separate the acts from the data that is used

when we store data where we want, we can have apps that connect to more than just one silo

we had to use the domain name system because it was there, but we could add a .archive TLD to back things up

there are systems that say "let's not use human readable names" - but they can be tricky

you should think of the URL as a name, not a location - you can attach public/private keys to it as a name

what we are all aiming for is to make the web better in lots of ways and more reliable

with HTML sub-resource integrity when you link you can give its hash as well to check it is what you linked to

a lot of the issues about naming, about should we fix DNS?

when I come up with a name like '' they want to sell it to me for $100,000 - not good

we write standards on how these different projects can use different pieces of each other

The Social Web Working group at the W3C is very much a part of this work

the web authentication working group is also a related area

I expect to see the merging of the world of sync and bits of the cloud, and the web itself

a lot of websites now have links to git repositories for their history - maybe we should surface that history

when we can see commonalities and difference between versions, you can have distributed sync and editing

I wanted to say how I am frustrated with silos, and excited that we are going to re-decentralize the web


first Happy Birthday [applause] - I liked the values. Can you give us 3 promising projects?

Tim Berners-Lee:

people ask me for top 3 websites and I always refuse - I think they are all trying different things

it's not a race to the moon, but people working on fuel, on rockets and on cabins that fit together


I tried to get my friends to not use walled gardens, but the design was too good. How do we get better design?

Tim Berners-Lee:

it's a good question. When you use any decentralised app you are getting an id for them.

Making the sign-up easy is difficult especially when there is more than one choice.

PGP is a great system, but it is very hard to use, and hardly anyone is working on improving it.

people working in the walled gardens do garden well, but the jungle outside is more appealing in the long run

if we do store all our data on something we own we can switch apps much more easily


thanks for you vague but interesting idea. The web was defined for documents, but so much of apps is data over the web

are there any standards for unifying that data layer?

Tim Berners-Lee:

The Solid project is that - - learn turtle and drink the Linked Data Kool-aid

the data stores have generic apis so you can add facts to a file. we need some standardisation, but need apps

we have to standardise how we store contacts and friends and invitations and acceptances


I'm wondering how you feel about global access to the internet - Africa is seen as mobile only not mobile first

how can we give people this unsiloed access we had in the 1990s

Tim Berners-Lee:

the number of people using the web when we started the Web Foundation was 10% of the world it's now 40%

over the next year or two we'll cross 50% and the web users will be in the majority

the digital divide has become bigger as we assume people are online by default


I'm Max: the web has got a lot faster and better over the last few years, but often via side effects

webRTC was made for video but meant we could make distributed file systems

Tim Berners-Lee:

one possibility is that the early adopter community is developers - we've used IRC for ages, Slack is a silo

we're using twitter here, which is centralised for a reason. Slack isn't - we could use IRC


we're talking about moving the web to content addressing, but there is a lot going on with Bitcoin too

web 1.0 was documents, web 2.0 was dynamic what is web 3.0 ? is it bitcoin enabling transactions? what is the frontier?

yes the web is a web of documents; when you run a web app, you are exploring data. Exposing data to users

Tim Berners-Lee:

exposing the web of data is key- people have apps for powerful ways to look at data

data should be archivable in standards so we can still have it in 20 years


the library community has been excited by linked data - but when we decentralise do we still have URLs?

Tim Berners-Lee:

HTTP urls were not designed as locators but as identifiers - we put a document then a # then after that meaning

so after the # you can use these identifiers to mean different parts of the document or what it refers to

what I would like to do is stick to using HTTP for the namespace, but allow different URL extensions

Wendy Hanamura:

Sir Tim Berners-Lee said that decentralizing the web was an exciting possibility

Brewster Kahle – "Locking the Web Open – a Call for a New, Decentralized Web"

Brewster Kahle:

This has been a fabulous coming together towards rethinking what we might build out there

Tim Berners-Lee said HTTP is not cast in stone we can see what it would become

there is opportunity and possibility here to change things

Jeff Ubois said "can we lock the web open?"

over the last 25 years we have had millions pour our lives into the web

as Larry Lessig says Code is Law and our code defines the web

the way that we code the web will say a lot about how we live our lives online

we want to represent the values and structures we want to reinforce and enable

we should encourage universal accuracy to all knowledge

we want the first amendment baked into it

the web is huge - we collect a billion web pages each week - it has attracted people to come together

but it's not available everywhere - in China and Russia you can't get to the internet archive

web pages blink on and off line - the average life of a webpage is 100 days

it's a very ephemeral medium, and it is also not private

GCHQ, the UK's NSA equivalent watched all of the readers of wikileaks and handed them to the NSA

in the library world the idea of being watched as you read has a long and dreadful history

so being afraid to follow a link is a terrible thing

but the web is fun - it's a jungle out there but it's fun jungle

the web isn't reliable, it isn't private, but it is fun - 1 out of 3 -we can go for the trifecta

the idea of building a decentralized system I want to distinguish the web from the internet

with the internet, any piece can get nuked and it will still work - it is resilient to certain kinds of failure

a decentralized system is more difficult to make than a centralised one

if you watch all the people transiting an ISP to a webserver you can block people

the internet isn't like that. I asked Vint how hard it was, and it was 5 guys locked in a room for a year

the Amazon cloud has large scale use and datacenters all over the world - they'll move to different servers

this kind of migration based on use is desirable - can we make the decentralized web do that?

we want to make it reader-private - Wikipedia is a wonderful thing for people like me who should know things

also writer private is important, and that is easier than reader-private

lets build a time axis into this new web - let not have to make a kludge like the wayback machine

lets archive not just what the website looks like but the websites themselves and their data

can we make it live in multiple places and be able to roll it back in time?

and can we make it so that people can make money on the decentralized web without a 3rd party?

we have some technologies that are fricking awesome

one is javascript - it was mind-blowing when the archive team made it possible to run old PCs in the browser

the idea of a 15-year old computer system playing Oregon Trail in javascript was a lightbulb for me

we can use javascript for the operating system of a new web

at the time the internet was invented, encryption was illegal

we won those crypto wars in the 1990s, so now we can use crypto

for peer to peer, Bram Cohen and Bittorrent have made peer to peer work; with WebRTC you can do it in browser

with signing and encryption you can know that you are not getting a corrupted version

With blockchain and bitcoin you have a money system and also an API to money

but the mind blow for me was changing the idea that only the stupid survive - only the simple systems live

these are not simple systems - they are complicated but succesful

we can build a system out of some of these component to do something intersting

about 25% of websites are build on wordpress - can we make a decentralized wordpress so you don't need a server?

could we serve a wordpress equivalent from everywhere and nowhere?

we want it to work on existing browsers so you can use it on your phones without downloading anything

it's got to have good naming and snappy performance

it's got to be fun to post and comment, and it needs an identity system to delegate authority

extra points if someone can put a bitcoin in a slot to pay for your songs

and we need archiving along the way

javascript as an operating system is viable now - we can build these places out

I am going to do a live demo of linking to http:127 something and a big hash and it will retrieve on my machine

it will retrive from a distributed system and show my blog and a search field for it

if I search "vint" it is running code in my browser you'd normally do server side

We need easy names - there's namecoin in the room; maybe ethereum could do names so we don't type hashes

we're going to need institutions that will serve at high speed, like the archive and ISPs and CDNs

ISPs want to make things faster - so it's like everyone has akamai built in

updates of decentralization is not trivial - mutable torrents and IPSF do make this work

a decentralized identity system - bitcoin addresses for signing posts? soild crypto and existing tools

if we can piggyback on someone else's system we can make that work

so we can have WordPress, but decentralized. A lot of the pieces actually exist and need to be put together

we want a reliable, private and fun piece of infrastructure we can use for a very long time

we can lock the web open, bake the first amendment into the code and make it irrevocable

we can extend the work of Vint, Tim Berners-Lee and Mozilla Foundation and build something now on top of it

Panel – Peer to Peer Networks

Wendy Hanamura:

IndieWeb says that you should all be able to own your own data, to set up your own domain

Kevin Marks:

we diagram the internet with arrows going in one side, arrows out the other side and a cloud in the middle

we drew it as a cloud because we didn't have to worry about what happened inside it, we could think about the ends

As Tim Berners-Lee said he built on top of what Vint and co did before & just worry about the layer he was working on

with IndieWeb we take the existing web for granted, and build on top of that for people to connect their own sites

what this group has been doing has been looking at the pieces inside the cloud that aren't working for everything

and replace them with other protocols that solve those problems better, for problems you may not know you have yet

I want them to explain the problem they are solving for you lets start with @zooko


for 20 years now I've been working on what is now Tahoe-LAFS which solves the problem of censorship and permanence of data

Vint described the problems that Tahoe is all about -it's the strong web because links are not so fragile

I'm also working now on Zcoin which is like bitcoin but with privacy for the transactions

Tim mentioned the absence of payment being built in, and that has turned into a weakness we need to fix

David Dias:

I work on the IPFS project which stands for InterPlanetary File System.

with IPFS developers can publish data without it being in one place - this is an upgrade to the fabric of the web

while developing IPFS we realise that developers have common peer-to-peer problems so we built a library for this

Kevin Marks:

the problem is the web isn't always reachable, and IPFS lets you get access to things that are closer to you instead?

David Dias:

it solves the problem of finding content on the network, you can run content or apps anywhere using ipscend

Gavin Wood:

I've been working on a project called ethereum a decentralised answer to HTTP POST -

ethereum lets you run an application that would be on a server & allow requests to make transactions without a server

Kevin Marks:

a POST request is what you create when filling in a form on the web, you press a button and the server responds

with ethereum you can press the button and you get a response without having to have a server set up?

Gavin Wood:

Indeed, it all happens magically. It's very good.


I work on webtorrent - this is a torrent client that runs in the browser, that is native to the web

the torrent protocol is the most successful widely deployed peer to peer protocol in the world

but bittorrent and bitcoin and tor all are applications that you have to install, not use through the web

so the goal of webtorrent was to make the bittorrent protocol work natively on a webpage

so I as a website owner could make the videos on my site be hosted in a peer to peer way

the visitors to my site watching the videos could help distribute them to other people watching

Kevin Marks:

so the problem you're solving is "i want to post my videos, but not to the centralized place"


it's more general: if I'm a scientist with a big dataset I can stream from 1 computer to another without intermediaries

Kevin Marks:

I can see some overlap here, but I don't want to get the projects fight that solve the same kind of thing

what we look for as users is does this abstraction work for me? do I need to do some special thing to make it happen?

the tension is between centralized and decentralized in cycles

you first build one version in one place and it is centralized, then other people copy it and make it decentralized

if you get it right and make it a protocol, then someone makes it a business, does a good job and everyone goes there

it ends up recentralized then - youtube is good example of that for video becasue it was easier than your own site

another example in the programming world is GitHub - git is a decentralized protocol

but GitHub made a central site that was a good place to share your code with other people and centralized

we've had a big wave of centralization and things ending up in silos for one company

Gavin Wood:

I think GitHub isn't quite right, as competitors could up their game if they did it badly

the providers give a relatively small service and the protocol still is decentralized enough that we could move


think of the damage that will happen in the meantime - there will be lots of broken URLs


right, I use GitHub for my code and I would never move anywhere else because there would be a lot of broken links to it

Kevin Marks:

the web breaks piecemeal, because individual links go down site by site - it's resilient or antifragile as it heals

but people build a better service that puts all the links on one server so they stay up

but they are creating fragility debt - they get taken over or make a management mistake and it fails in one go

we lose all of Geocities overnight, for example.

one of the challenges of the centralization/decentralization process is that a site death can take out a big chunk

it takes a long time to heal from that big chunk vanishing. How do your decentralizations defend us from that?


the lesson from the GitHub topic is that the links matter we have to make it start at the layer of the URL

Tahoe-LAFS urls are the centre of the architecture

Gavin Wood:

git vs GitHub is key -github gives us a nice UI to the underlying decentralized git protocol

whereas Facebook does not have decentralized data underneath so it would be harder to move to a new place from that


i'm sure Facebook does have decentralized underlying data storage but the rest of us don't have access to it

Gavin Wood:

I'd call that distributed rather than decentralized

David Dias:

we're really talking about the user experiecne and the developer experience

we want to give our users the ability to access the app independent of the network they are connected to

the way the web works today does not provide enough resilience to provide access wherever we are

we're very used to high connectivity, but when we move to a more disconnected environment with high latency

and if the servers are far away the experience crashes


and that's why I think the web is losing on mobile

Kevin Marks:

well, it's not losing on mobile to a distributed system

each app is building a little browser that only works on one website and handles its own caching


the apps aren't decentralized but they have superior user experience in terms of networking


this is starting to change web standardization like service workers in the browser do allow offline apps


the ux is what matters in all these things

Kevin Marks:

the distributed social networks lost out to the centralized 1 because making choices is harder, and 1 iterated well

Gavin Wood:

i think that decentralization vs centralization is orthogonal to bad ux vs good ux

i know many centralized systems with awful ux

Kevin Marks:

I worked on OpenSocial at Google -we tried to build a process where you could write an app and run it on any network

but each network wanted to make themselves special, and Facebook was big enough to say 'use our API instead'

we'll give you access to more users if you use ours

Gavin Wood:

the problem there may well be trying to overlay openness on an oligopoly rather than rebuilding fully decentralized

Kevin Marks:

that's fair - we were building on the structures we had - we built OAuth as a way to trust one silo with another silo

but not a pure edge to edge communication you still needed servers


one difference is that Facebook's centralized social network site is massively profitable because it is excludable

and Facebook therefore has enough money to be able to afford better ux

and that is more important then the distributed things and making choices

but if you have enough money you can fix those problems


by exclude you mean only Facebook can show ads on our site, or GitHub can charge to keep private


GitHub is more usable because it can afford to spend that revenue on making it so

Kevin Marks:

so to turn that round, how can you make your systems excludable so people can make money on them to improve the ux?


I don't know - I don't want exclusivity - I don't want most of humanity excluded from something -

some kind of vague but exciting business model that are decentralized that don't have the option of excluding

ethereum is the leader of that - how humans can organise wihtout exclusion

Gavin Wood:

successful things like Facebook had a good UI before they were profitable


that's because they had investment to build a good UI so they could make profits

Gavin Wood:

I remember circa 1997 Google had just one search box which was a better UI than Alta Vista


If I go to a vc and say "I want to build this thing where I have no control" they aren't going to give me money


some of them are - there are VCs like USV who are funding OpenBazaar

David Dias:

we have to be aware of all the unfair advantages the centralized systems had at the beginning

we had to accept all these firewalls so it is now possible to connect to my neighbours house even if we

the networks were designed with centralization in mind, so it's easier to build that

Kevin Marks:

I'll push back a bit - the web was designed to let you have servers everywhere, but client server design took over

David Dias:

now we can't host services from our homes any more


if you wanted to run something in the browser, until WebRTC you had to connect back to a server first

I have to talk to a server to get to his laptop next to mine

Gavin Wood:

the centralization that is there by design is that you need a web server

Kevin Marks:

but what changed from Tim's day is that you can't run a webserver on your own machine and have anyone see it


if all these things work well together, we still have to first go to a server to get the connection

do we need a way to request a static resource from one of these

David Dias:

in Brewster's demo he had to go to a server, but now we can run an ipfs node purely in the browser


can you explain who pays for all this decentralized stuff? I have a big web hosting bill - can I dump this on you?

people seem to think that you can have content up there permanently that no-one pays for


one answer is to align incentives in the system: with bittorrent you have to share to get access - we call it tit for tat

Gavin Wood:

at the moment users sell their identity and the advertising space on their screens to provide them with the content

maybe they'll have micropayments to pay the sites they're using, or maybe the bandwidth will come from their machines

there could be micropayments to the users for their hosting and payments to the sites for the content

David Dias:

one of the things that bitcoin taught us is that it possible to put value on the network, not a central service

you can incentivize file storage on the network by paying to the nodes that have files available -see filecoin


you get 4 answers as it was a very good question

there is a model where you still pay as currently for hosting, but you are not vulnerable fro them to spy on you

we can use security to separate the links from the hosting


any kind of consensus process has scaling limit beyond which it becomes centralised, but ethereum is trying something else

bitcoin has thin clients wihtout having to bear the costs of a full node - can ethereum have thin clients?

Gavin Wood:

the go team have prototype of a thin client; we'er working on a hybrid client that syncs fast but is still a node

because ethereum is an app platform, the problems are magnified compared to bitcoin

Johannes Ernst:

Thank you for pointing out the elephant in the room - centralization allows tollbooths that produce businesses

Panel – Naming & User Identities in Decentralized Networks

Chelsea Barabas:

the rise of socal network services has grown use of the web, but it has driven centralization

if you talk about censorship in China, that may help them think, and Identity Theft is growing due to bad naming

Christopher Allen is one of the OG's in the room -

@Muneeb works on blockstack - his advisor assumed he wouldn't finish his PhD, but he is defending it soon

Jeremy Rand:

certificate authorities are involved in saying who websites are, and these can be betrayed or compromised

this happened and certificates were issued by iranian intelligence for Skype, google and microsoft

these certificates were in use for over a month; namecoin could make this more secure

namecoin repurposes bitcoin to be a naming system rather than a currency

if attacks forge name records in namecoin it's equivalent to stealing bitcoin

Joachim Lohkamp:

there may be cool service we want to use, but our data is in these silos

we built a multiuser client for Solid that TimBL and his team have built

Muneeb Ali:

I was listening to a presentation by David Clark, and he did a thought exercise:

in the time between launching your browser and going to Facebook, how many parties are you blindly trusting?

that list turns out to be more than 10 - something is wrong when you trust people you don't know exist

with blockstack, to decentralize the web you need to get rid of these trust points

blockstack is a production system, it's been running for 2 years

Christopher Allen:

I'm the co-author of TLS, and that was supposed to fix centralization, then, but centralization creeps back in

we've had a lot of 1st world problems here, but I'm worried about the underpriviiliged access to the net too

I have an MBA student teaching women in Afghanistan how to be entrepreneurial, and there is real risk there

Chelsea Barabas:

you've already shown us that identity is more important then stopping your little brother impersonating you on FB

Christopher Allen:

with TLS there was a lot of competition - VISA and MasterCard had separate efforts; a patent-holder had another 1

Microsoft had a spec that was just different enough for them to control it

one of the reasons TLS was adopted was that it let you choose which certificate authorities to trust

this has changed as we have fewer browsers, and they make it harder to manage CA's - they creep back in

Chelsea Barabas:

we have cycles from centralization to decentralization - how do we change that and lock it open?

Joachim Lohkamp:

decoupling of data and application is key, as that is a liberation of services

when you look at a platform like FB you have a profile and ID tied into one block, which prevents other services

Chelsea Barabas:

what does solid provide here then?

Joachim Lohkamp:

the data is not tied to the app - you can change the app any time

Muneeb Ali:

the pendulum swings back and forth between centralization and decentralization

there were a lot of peer to peer companies in the early 2000s and only a few survive Tor, torrents

there is a graveyard of peer to peer systems

what has changed is that bitcoin gives a neutral playing field with a Billion $ bounty if you hack it

Jeremy Rand:

there have been lots of attempts to replace the cert authority in TLS

most of them just shuffle around the trust authorities, they don't remove 3rd party trust

bitcoin gives a way of removing 3rd party trust entirely

Chelsea Barabas:

how did you move from the general inclination to throw stuff on the blockchain to what we have today?

Muneeb Ali:

this is the CTO of amazon, this is his account on blockstack - he owns

to change a single character, you would need to take down bitcoin, which is a couple of billion dollars

theoretically you might think things are possible - I believe in building production systems

we don't want to tie ourselves to any particular blockchain; we design it so it works if bitcoin fails

you need to pay attention to performance and user interface from the beginning

Ryan Barrett:

can you name a decentralized system with a truly great UX?

Christopher Allen:

reputation is very hard - there are lots of ways that people game reputation systems

Cory Doctorow – "How Stupid Laws and Benevolent Dictators can Ruin the Decentralized Web, too"

Cory Doctorow:

this is like being back at the O'Reilly P2P conference in 1999 [tç: 2001]

I'm here to give dieting advice. When you go on a diet: throw away all your oreos

if you're serious about not eating Oreos, your best bet is not to have a bag to eat

use your willpower now to get rid of the Oreos so you don't eat them when your will is weak

it's called a Ulysses pact, after his journey with the sirens - make sure he can't fail due to later weak will

it's very tempting to centralize things - there are lots of advantages to it

the way the web got centralized today was because people like you made compromises

we only sense relative difference, not absolute ones, so each compromise is incremental

before you know it you're suing to copyright your code or putting in back doors fro the NSA

I am not better than the people who made those compromises: you are not better than them

we hyperbolically discount future costs comapred to present benefits

if you don't want to eat oreos in the middle of the night, make it harder so you need your car to buy them

the way to avoid making compromises in future is to take them off the table in the present

Brewster said this when we could use google docs' JS libraries to build p2p

the GPL worked at locking things open by not being able to compromise

eventually it became absurd that you would pay licences to spin up VMs, so GPL'd linux won

sometimes companies want to commoditize their rivals product

systems that work well but fail badly are doomed to die in flames - the GPL fails well

Microsoft was right to be freaked out by the GPL - their programmerrs had the instinct for openness

the GPL worked so well, no-one ever sued them

DRM Digital Rights Management tries to take over your computer to enforce you not seeing things

DRM is legally enforced anti-tampering - it's being used by Ford to force you to buy their parts

Missing: Panel – As we build a Decentralized Web, what values do we want written in the code?

Missing: Panel – Security in a World of Black Hats

Panel – Moonshot Challenge – What could you do to Decentralize Scientific Journal Articles?

Trent McConaghy:

the problem with the art world is provenance, so we built ascribe to track provenance on the blcokchain

with BigChain DB we have transaction db under the hood - which you an install and track

so we wanted to bring bigchaindb to the web which is IPdb - a public database for the planet

shared global compute infrastructure is emerging, but this is the database for it

Denis Nazarov:

we talked about hashing content, but media has multiple formats, what if we could has a concept not the content

we see a lot of media sharing that loses attribution - we have decentralised database and content ID

we use image recognition technology like google research image search to resolve to the same identifier for images

we walk the chain of metadata to get a complete record of the work

we can surface metadata conflicts and correct attribution

content addressing provides easy redundancy, while retaining attribution so the fans can pay the creator

Evan Schwartz: is both venture backed and foundation backed

Karissa McKelvey:

Dat is backed by the Sloan foundation and the Knight foundation

Evan Schwartz:

Interledger is a financial protocol handler

here's a wallet - we have bitcoin wallets, cash wallets and more. These examples are fake money, in 2 ledgers

I'm going to send $10 so they get 8 euros in their system - we route between ledgers

we took webtorrent and added interledger. I download a file, and pay the seeder as I go

if you can send money to people without thinking about you, you can send payment money to lots of different apps

InterLedger is inspired by IP - it sends packets of money across different ledgers

we're looking for people who are interested in compensation and getting artists paid

Wendy Hanamura:

we wanted to read Vint's article in Science "who would pay for public access to scientific data?" but it's paywalled

to read Vint's article would cost $30 for a one day Science pass

Karissa McKelvey:

I talk to scientists about how they publish their data - a lot of them use Dropbox to keep it simple

if we're doing a decntralised tool for scientists we need to do a lot of UX research

if you look at there is a hash which is a public key you can drag docuements info

this paper is a PDF and LaTeX files, and a CSV, but git can't view big csv

I can drag more data into this, but I can create a checkpoint to share or reference in a paper

a tool called ScienceFair that lets me search for a cancer paper, it gets the paper from the decentralised web

usually the problem is usually not storage, but bandwidth

by using decntralized web you get a lower bandwidth bill

Wendy Hanamura:

articles have copyright issues -do the data?

Karissa McKelvey:

we leave copyright to others; we reference data wherever it is by what it is

have a look at

Wendy Hanamura:

if you're successful how will it impact the world?

Karissa McKelvey:

open knowledge for everyone in the world

Trent McConaghy:

share global data that's always in sync for the whole planet

Juan Benet:

making the decentralized web possible through shared data

Closing Remarks: What happens next?

Brewster Kahle:

This is Great [arm wave]

we have got the idea of changing the web protocols to be decentralized

we have implementations that run in browsers

with zeronet, IPFS, dat and webtorrent

can we make a rock band actually make some money by selling directly to the web?

how do we reinvent scientific publishing in a way that isn't gummed up by the industry

what do we need to do now? VC Funding? Foundations? is that's what's needed?

do we need a sequence of conferences with milestones? what if there are awards

I have been amazed by the people who came together - tomorrow there will be more sessions for implementors

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