Beyond IP Addresses?

The technical competence required to evaluate this (MegaNet) initiative far exceeds my capabilities (that’s what you lot are for).

(a) If doable, it’s huge.
(b) It seems to follow the grain of The Process (and cross-link not only to Bitcoin, but also to Urbit).

According to Kim Dotcom, the key to a safer, more secure and decentralized Internet will lie within blockchain technology, or a version of Bitcoin’s original concept. He has spent two years working on the program, and basically turning the Internet into a encrypted, decentralized smartphone app. In general terms, here’s how it works: […] “If you have 100 million smartphones that have the MegaNet app installed, we’ll have more online storage capacity, bandwidth and calculating power than the top 10 largest websites in the world combined,” Dotcom claims. “Over the years with these new devices and capacity, especially mobile bandwidth capacity, there will be no limitations. We are going to use very long keys, systems that will not be reverse engineered or cracked by any supercomputer. […] … Dotcom says it will use a faster version of blockchain technology to exchange data globally. There will be no IP addresses within MegaNet, like the current Internet IpV4 protocol uses for enhanced user security. Yet, it will use the current Internet protocol initially as a “dumb pipe” to get the ball rolling. He and his staff are working on a new type of encryption that will work regardless of how MegaNet is accessed. Bandwidth would come from Wi-Fi use and when the phone is idle, so no charges would come through an IP.

Another source.

Pirate credentials.

November 3, 2015admin 13 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Technology

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13 Responses to this entry

  • Beyond IP Addresses? | Neoreactive Says:

    […] By admin […]

    Posted on November 3rd, 2015 at 1:50 pm Reply | Quote
  • Erik Says:

    I think I almost must be missing something, because Kim has been a smart cookie before. But this proposal seems to have the same kind of severe flaw as a lot of techno-libertarian proposals I’ve seen before: it assumes that Leviathan will play nice and stay within the rules of the game. It takes infrastructure for granted instead of taking into account that the infrastructure is run by people and people are prone to being ordered around by Leviathan.

    “We are going to use very long keys, systems that will not be reverse engineered or cracked by any supercomputer.”His laptop’s encrypted. Drug him and hit him with this $5 wrench until he tells us the password.
    “a new type of encryption that will work regardless of how MegaNet is accessed.” – Well, there’s one case where it must *not* work: when the end user is trying to access content. Leviathan will then jack into this and say “Give me end user privileges for all content”, or the like.
    “Bandwidth would come from Wi-Fi use” – Leviathan declares MegaNet a terrorist threat, orders Wi-Fi providers not to give it any bandwidth.

    Sufficiently clever argument cannot keep a man from punching you.

    Hopefully this is incompetent news reporting from a reporter who doesn’t understand the issue either, and Kim is giving the issue due consideration.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    This is close to what Moldbug predicted for Bitcoin. Not a concern that has held up well. (It was at least vastly over-stated.)

    [Reply]

    Erik Reply:

    Was the concern overstated, or was Bitcoin overblown? I’m quite willing to grant that what happened to Bitcoin so far might also happen to MegaNet: it’ll be a fringe item that doesn’t annoy Leviathan enough to be worth any attention.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 3rd, 2015 at 2:01 pm Reply | Quote
  • Tryptophan Says:

    Erik raises good points. However, the point of abolishing IP addresses is that leviathan doesn’t know who you are, so they can’t hit you with a wrench, regardless of wrench exchange-value.

    Leviathan could declare meganet a terrorist threat, but its quite possible that decentralised cloud computing a la urbit or meganet would be significantly quicker for users and impractical to detect being used. A concrete example of a crypto-capitalist/anarchist (or crypto nrx?) technology evading leviathan is the “export of cryptography from the united states” saga. More practically, uber was made illegal in france, but you could still use it.

    The flipside of cryptography’s liberatory economic impact is the formalising impact of cryptographic weapons, for now, that’s sci-fi.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 3rd, 2015 at 4:29 pm Reply | Quote
  • Beyond IP Addresses? | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on November 3rd, 2015 at 6:23 pm Reply | Quote
  • Ur-mail Says:

    @Erik

    Other issues with the “MegaNet” concept withstanding (eg. it’s unclear how it will work or how it significantly differs from the mesh network proposals that have existing virtually since the advent of blockchain technology). The issues you raise are a bit misguided.

    “His laptop’s encrypted. Drug him and hit him with this $5 wrench until he tells us the password.”

    It’s unclear what Kim means by “keys” in the original quote, but it’s likely if they’re for data exchange that these are one-time use keys. So you won’t be able to beat someone over the head and extract them. If they’re individual use keys created by individuals then your original comment still holds.

    “Well, there’s one case where it must *not* work: when the end user is trying to access content. Leviathan will then jack into this and say “Give me end user privileges for all content”, or the like.”

    What you’re referring to is a man-in-the-middle attack. Any self-respecting security protocol is design to prevent this using something like Diffie-Hellman key exchange. Compromising users is still possible through other means, but the data would be pretty secure from someone “jacking” into it as it transmits across the wire.

    “Leviathan declares MegaNet a terrorist threat, orders Wi-Fi providers not to give it any bandwidth.”

    This would be a complete and total non-starter – it would literally cost an unbelievable sum (high billions or trillions) over multiple years to make such a decree a reality. It would require massive international coordination between governments and private sector businesses. The internet is support by a loose conglomeration of ISPs, private businesses, public institutions, back-bone services, and connected devices all created by various manufacturers and at different stages of their product life-cycle. Also, all controlled by many different governments. If MegaNET is well designed, then to reliably block its traffic you’d have to first be able to differentiate it from regular encrypted traffic (like, say, you buying stuff on Amazon.com). Since encrypted traffic is all designed to appear more-or-less random this is a pretty difficult task, in these cases statistical analyses are usually employed and high false positive rates are likely. These techniques alone would take years to develop, if they don’t just die in research. After their development, ISPs would be faced with the choice of significantly degrading internet service (the false positive rate had better be very far under 1% or it won’t scale to billions of subscribers and devices) or re-architecting the way internet traffic is served just to block MegaNET. At a minimum a significant majority (> 80%) of all internet firmware everywhere would have to be updated to support these changes for it to make any sense.

    The odds are unbelievably against such a decree succeeding even if it were to be made. This is why illegal downloading is still possible and companies have to go after individuals and groups judicially (or extra-judicially) rather than just deploying a technological fix.

    What I’m most worried about with MegaNET is that it doesn’t sound likely to be well engineered. If, however, it is, then chances are good it will work as described. Whether it will take off is another matter.

    [Reply]

    Erik Reply:

    “What you’re referring to is a man-in-the-middle attack. Any self-respecting security protocol is design to prevent this using something like Diffie-Hellman key exchange. Compromising users is still possible through other means, but the data would be pretty secure from someone “jacking” into it as it transmits across the wire.”

    As I understand it, a man-in-the-middle attack is when a cracker sends an *internal system signal* saying to grant access privileges. This is not what I’m referring to. I’m talking about circumventing the system and telling users/apps/phones/etc directly to grant access privileges to Leviathan’s agents. Police showing up at your door and telling you to add 984f34h8 to your trusted list. Mandatory ‘security updates’ with backdoors, unsafe clones of the app, and various forms of attack lying somewhere between social engineering and rubber hose cryptanalysis.

    (If you say there is no “trusted list” you are missing the point. That would be like me describing a hypothetical where “Russia could invade with eight divisions and overwhelm Sweden” and you saying “Russia doesn’t use divisions, so that can’t happen”. Military organization be damned, Russia can still invade Sweden with overwhelming numbers by brigades instead, and the police can still get around lots of security measures by finding meatspace users.)

    “If MegaNET is well designed, then to reliably block its traffic you’d have to first be able to differentiate it from regular encrypted traffic (like, say, you buying stuff on Amazon.com). Since encrypted traffic is all designed to appear more-or-less random this is a pretty difficult task”

    Ask the cellphone which app is sending the encrypted data.

    “The issues you raise are a bit misguided.”

    I’m not an engineer in this field so I’m certainly willing to grant this for the particular issues. But I think there’s a more general point that doesn’t depend on specific implementations and countermeasures. You can encrypt your data to a degree where Leviathan can’t decrypt it by means of decryption software. But you cannot encrypt your data to a degree where Leviathan can’t order you to decrypt it, and imprison you for failing to do so. If you can decrypt your own data, you can do so for Leviathan. If you can’t decrypt your own data, what use is it?

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 3rd, 2015 at 9:07 pm Reply | Quote
  • vxxc2014 Says:

    “It takes infrastructure for granted instead of taking into account that the infrastructure is run by people and people are prone to being ordered around by Leviathan.” In particular when their the same people.

    Infrastructure assumption: Everything provided by Liberal Capitalism will exist without Liberal Capitalism including weak government.

    Thank you Erik.

    If Bitcoin were worth it the government would be robbing it blind.

    Our government isn’t really tyrannical, it’s corruption incarnate. The Cathedral is now at present a front company for organized crime – transnational organized crime. A Front. They themselves are personally weak, venal pussies over their heads.

    As a telecom tech however I find the concept somewhat appealing but it’s not power and neither is bitcoin.

    As far as the Internet’s structure making control impossible – perhaps, given current degenerate Liberal and runaway corrupt governance. The idea that anything men control can’t be bowed by force unless protected by greater force is a nerd fantasy that will end with one knock on the door.

    And it dawns on me why Bitcoin is still in business: They’ve got themselves some interested silent partners….the word in Rus means “roof.” Or the equivalent.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 3rd, 2015 at 11:56 pm Reply | Quote
  • SVErshov Says:

    in the real world bad things happens to people who design secure systems (what I’ve heard). I do not know about this guy and what he is doing, but secure systems exist and nobody knows the name of the guy who designed it. Secure OS going mainstream and stay secure is highly improbable, regardless of platform or technology.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 4th, 2015 at 6:20 am Reply | Quote
  • SVErshov Says:

    bitcoins build around blockchain and block chain is not encrypted, it only contains public key. you cannot hack ABC because everybody knows it.

    any encryption standard has life cycle:

    green – no known vulnerabilities
    orange – known weakness, but not been exploited yet
    red – known weakness, and been exploited

    bitcoins use SHA 2 encryption which in ORANGE phase. If exploited, bitcoins will update in 15 minutes to SHA 3. Loses possible in mining only. No bitcoin loses is possible in vallets, because everybody have same copy of blockchain.

    those who hold some bitcoins, now can drink some champagnes after 84% btc/usd growth in last 30 days.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 4th, 2015 at 8:24 am Reply | Quote
  • Alrenous Says:

    Blockchains have a severe free-rider problem.

    Miners compute the blockchain for bitcoin. They are paid through direct grants of coins and through mining fees. If they try to free-ride they have to pay like a user, instead of getting paid.

    Who is going to pay for MegaNet’s blockchain? It sounds like it’s supposed to be written into the program, so everyone does it by default but A) you can shut the program off and B) just hack off the pay-forward bits of code and ta da, you have a free MegaNet node.

    Bitcoin gets away with it because it’s inherently a money-shifting operation.

    I suppose MegaNet could try to charge a subscription, but, you know, good luck with that. It turns out dereferencing a bitcoin wallet is easy. Have to pay cash into it to avoid it, which is currently seriously black-market stuff. Like, wear your chainmail kind of activity. If MegaNet tries to charge a subscription, you don’t need rubber-hose cryptanalysis. You have ask-the-bank cryptanalysis.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 4th, 2015 at 6:13 pm Reply | Quote
  • Xoth Says:

    This discussion is fascinating, not least in that it shows how far the Anglosphere has fallen in the last decade or two. We all live in a Cold War spy story now, on the wrong side of the wall. And for what reasons? Only entirely hollow ones.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 7th, 2015 at 9:06 am Reply | Quote

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