This year is all in the sign of decentralisation (and ÐApps Infrastructure especially) and I am very happy to kick off it with not only a talk about the subject, but also give a Workshop.

During the workshop, hosted at on Jan 28th (from 10am in A218), we’ll be exploring how to build a decentralised end-to-end-encrypted Email-App that doesn’t require any server - using the SAFE Network peer-to-peer infrastructure. From the description:

Build end-to-end-encrypted Email with SAFE

SAFE, Secure Access for Everyone

In this hands-on workshop, we will build a privacy-first Web-App using SAFE, a decentralised open source data storage and communications network that provides a secure, efficient and no-cost infrastructure to develop apps. After a short introduction about the basics behind SAFE and how it ensures reliable privacy, we will build a fully decentralised, serverless and end-to-end-secure Email-like messaging-app using create-react-app, the SAFE-provided DOM-API and the public-key-infrastructure built into the network.

The workshop is very hands-on and self-directed. Past the introduction, we will hand out learning material, which everyone works through by themselves or in smaller groups. Coaches will be around to help with problems and questions. Within the 2-hours anyone should be able to have built the minimal prototype themselves; however, the material suggests other ideas and concepts, which anyone can choose themselves to think about, solve or work on.

Towards the end, we’ll collect all those proposed other concepts and ideas and share them with the bigger audience of the workshops for discussion, inspiration and introspection. Before closing off with some thoughts on how to build upon this or other projects and what it means to do those in a decentralised, privacy-first fashion.

Secondly, I am very proud to announce that I’ve been selected to talk about SAFE at Fosdem this year - in the Security Track non-the-less. You can see my talk on Sunday from 12pm in the Janson Room or through the live stream. The topic will be the SAFE Network, as an example Infrastructure for decentralised Application infrastructure:

It’s time to SAFE the Internet

Introducing SAFE, the decentralised privacy-first storage and communication network

Servers are hacked. Passwords leaked. Personal information stolen. DNS DDoS’ed. Cloud services are mining and exploiting everything they can get their hands on. The core problem; centralised server infrastructure.

In this talk, we will introduce you to SAFE, a decentralised privacy-first open source data storage and communications network enabling anyone to develop decentralised, secure, privacy-concealing apps.

There is no more denying it; the server-centric infrastructure has failed us: personal information mined, private photos are stolen, passwords leaked, entire infrastructures DDoS’ed – en masse. We are doomed!

But are we? Actually, as engineers, we know better: a decentralised network has the highest reliability. With distributed computing resources that can scale up and down on-demand and aren’t bound by physical limitations. And we’ve been building these systems, clusters of databases across data centres, successfully for years – in our server backends. On the public internet, however, we are still using a single point of failure infrastructures: DNS, single endpoint IPs.

But issues with the existing Internet infrastructure don’t stop there: government firewalls can block web services for entire countries, our plain text communication is heavily surveilled, and companies mine our most personal and private data for their profit. To protect one’s privacy, people have to resort to obfuscation protocols like Tor – with significant drawbacks like slower connectivity and worsened user experience. But even then the data is still stored, exploited and stolen from the centralised “cloud providers”.

It is time that we bring those concepts of distributed computing, decentralised storage and communication out of the data centres into the realm of the wider internet. Combine that with an obfuscating peer-2-peer routing mechanism, a transparent, self-encrypting public-key-infrastructure and automatic data retention, and you have covered the basics of what the open source SAFE Network software provides.

In this talk, we explore the SAFE Network, the underlying DHT-based routing, and the XOR-namespace and how they are used to successfully conceals connectivity and even metadata itself by making it infeasible for an attacker to calculate the path data will travel. We will discover what it means to build privacy-first Apps on a network where all data is sandboxed per tenant and distributed over multiple machines. Furthermore, by taking a look at the APIs SAFE provides and going through some example apps, we will learn how to structure and build fully distributed, privacy-first Apps on SAFE today.

Finally, we will take a look into the future of SAFE, what apps are in development and how developers could alternatively be paid through the built-in currency based on the app usage rather than the exploitation of personal data.

SAFE, Secure Access for Everyone.

And as usual, don’t hesitate to come and chat to me when you find me at any of these events (you can also ping me via twitter to schedule a time before hand if you like). See you there!