In response to Eleanor Saitta’s blog post “Briar and Bramble: A Vision for Decentralized Infrastructure”, it is a scary world out there and we can trust almost no one that we don’t know anymore. However, we are doing that every day with our centralized infrastructure of the internet. Centralized infrastructure requires us to ask for permission every time we use the internet. You may not have ever thought of it that way, but the internet is not guaranteed to us by anyone. If a big company like Google wanted to revoke everyone’s access to any site that Google owns, they could do it. Several people that rely on Google’s programs to do work or store their files would be dead in the water. How can we prevent this from happening though? Saitta put it perfectly. We need to have a decentralized infrastructure.
In a world with a decentralized infrastructure, people would only have to get permission once and then they could store the application they are relying on to do their work. This would eliminate any risk taken by relying on another company’s products to make your own product. As long as people store the application, they would not have to gain permission from a company’s central unit.
Decentralization any need for your IP address to connect to any other system. What does this mean? This means that companies that are working on very confidential material could access that material without having to worry about outsiders getting into their system. If they wanted to access their confidential information without being connected to the internet, but also use a program normally accessed from the internet, they could do that with decentralization. Decentralization could be huge for many companies because, on the internet, virtually nothing is safe. Hacking is a well-paying job for a reason.
Collaboration inside one building would change drastically. There would be no need for a wifi connection. As many people as needed could work on the same project, at the same time, on several different devices, with no internet connection. Companies would only have to have their devices close enough the pick up each other’s signals and they would have a fully functional workspace as if they did have the internet. They would also no longer have to rely on any applications like Google or Adobe to do their work. It would be one hundred percent safe for them to use their applications.
How can decentralization affect the common man though? Decentralization would allow messaging to be possible even if there was no wifi or data. As long as devices were in Bluetooth range, they could communicate. People could also communicate with someone further away via pinging off of someone else’s device. Say you were at a football game where you have no service and you need to contact your friend who is out in the parking lot and is out of range. You could send a message from your phone and it could ping off someone else’s device that is in the middle of you and your friend and eventually get to your friend’s device.
In conclusion, a decentralized infrastructure has a huge potential upside. It would bring a whole new level to security and how people communicate. I believe it is something the world should pursue. There are no promises that one of these big companies that everyone relies on will always be there. I mean, imagine a world where Google disappeared…