back to article Brave bets on the decentralized web with IPFS browser support for a more peer-to-peer approach

Brave Software on Tuesday plans to release an update of its Brave browser that implements support for the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), a peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol for storing and sharing data over a distributed network. IPFS support, which arrives in v1.19, allows Brave users to access IPFS resources using an ipfs …

  1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

    > IPFS, it's claimed, has advantages over traditional web protocols, specifically in terms of bandwidth economy and censorship resistance.

    Back in the day, FreeNet used a similar approach, and was similarly slow, but censorship resistant.

    Because it was slow, and all but impossible to "update" stuff once published, people who were willing to try, stopped using it.

    The outcome? It became a haven for child abuse content

    1. mark l 2 Silver badge

      Yes that is the problem, what happened when inevitably some illegal content is uploaded to IPFS how can it be taken down or is it there forever?

      1. rg287 Silver badge

        It's there for as long as a copy is available on at least one node (just like BitTorrent). This is the same as any content-oriented protocol.

        We shouldn't blame the protocol for what is effectively a self-propagating system of mirrors and caches.

    2. Chubango

      >The outcome? It became a haven for child abuse content

      This is the ugly side of not being able to take down or moderate content. Many years ago I ran a small file-hosting page that started as something for myself and friends. You would not believe just how quickly people/bots began to upload illegal content of that sort. Ultimately, I got tired of dealing with that crap and just shut down the page.

      I'm mostly okay with the current balance of freedom/"censorship" on the net; people can still host their content, no matter how anti-mainstream, if they are really determined while outright harmful content is more or less sensibly dealt with.

      1. FIA

        This has more subtle implications too, the imutable nature of digital content does sometimes make it hard to contextualise it. (A tweet written 13 years ago 'looks' the same as a tweet written yesterday). So even content that is fine now can be objectionable 10-15 years later, and downright offensive a generation later as public opinions and sensibilities change. It was easy in the 90s to look down our noses at objectionable content from the 70s, as it looked 'old', but now you can quite easily watch something and forget it's 20 years old.

        As more content goes digital the problem of contextualisation is only going to get worse.

        1. Robert Grant Silver badge

          This is a really great point. In a similar vein, although along social group lines rather than temporal ones, is the idea of "context collapse".

    3. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Any technology is going to be used for bad purposes, and this is no exception. It's no different to the debate over encryption - some argue that secure encryption is used by bad people so should not be permitted at all.

    4. needmorehare
      Thumb Up

      Good

      At the end of the day, if a service becomes a haven for the most reprehensible people on the planet, that means it is both censorship-resistant and freedom-respecting. That is a good thing and it doesn't make it impossible to police illegal activity. Besides, IPFS is high performance, rather than anonymous. If you're a terrorist, child molester or drug dealer, then it is nowhere near as "suitable" for that kind of illegal activity as Tor, I2P or Freenet would be.

      However, if you're wanting to share copyrighted content without the risk of takedown, it's totally perfect for that. It will revolutionise video sharing websites, reducing the cost of broadcasting extremely popular pre-recorded videos, while making the DMCA almost completely useless (as such websites can only delist but not delete content). Not only that, it will usher in an era of cheap hosting without the need for expensive cloud providers, as normies will now be able to partake in sharing files, unlike with BitTorrent.

      Mainstream technology companies can still soft-ban illegal content on IPFS which people are almost universally against (like illegal sexual abuse images of real people and malware) if people can trust them to censor ONLY those classes of content. This can be accomplished by encrypted hash list checks using partial matching in the same way Safe Browsing Lists work. At the end of the day, the only reason the web is relatively clean of such universally unwanted content is due to well-respected blocklists combined with the use of technology like PhotoDNA.

  2. Sampler

    Parler v2.0

    Coming to an IPFS near you soon..

    1. tip pc Silver badge

      Re: Parler v2.0

      Twitter v2.0

      Coming to an IPFS near you soon..

      ftfy

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Parler v2.0

      Scaremongering v2.0

      Coming to a comments section near you soon.

  3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    * ... SMARTR ACTive COSMIC Info Dumps .... Mirroring Brave Moves**

    On a simple quickly performed deeper packet intrusion/investigation of sterling Brave WANT development ...... and please, let's hear that thunderous applause loud and clear for the teams if one also be made of right revolutionary stuff ...... the following was discovered shared,

    With this prototype, we showed the value of leveraging the wealth of information gathered from previous network activity (i.e. WANT messages). We have proven that this information can be extremely useful in subsequent content discovery performance as previous requests are strong indicators of where the content lives. ..... https://research.protocol.ai/blog/2021/our-bitswap-nodes-have-become-jumping-inspectors-updated/

    It is best realised and accepted that previous requests are merely strong indicators of where the content has lived and may or may not still be living there, for it may well have moved on to also inhabit and exhibit in another space place too and display further worthy WANT information there too. Such though is default consistent with the nature of quantum bit communication everywhere where/when, put in simple terms for all to try to register and enjoy, a this is also a that and together entangled can be something else altogether quite different and practically anything virtually chosen to appear as developing and evolving and augmenting alternative advanced intelligent reality modules for the Presentation of Available Derivative Futures with an AI Leading Media Programming Live Operational Virtual Environments with Novel and Noble, Universally Shared Content Feeds*

    ** ... An absolute nightmare with catastrophic vital systems flash crash potential for impotent bankrupt status quo establishments devoid of practically exploitable proprietary intellectual property/viable future friendly ideas.

  4. AnotherName

    Location, location, location

    Exactly which other planets is content available from?

    Like a lot of these ideas, it sounds great until you stop and think about how many ways it could be abused, both in terms of the hosted content, and the ways it could be intercepted or subverted in transit. Freedom is a wonderful thing, but so easily exploited by those who want to do harm.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Location, location, location

      That is certainly as may be, AnotherName, but by such actions and activity is the enemy within to be conquered and eliminated/liquidated, well enough known, and realised to have no safe and securely defended hiding place/almighty space.

      Indeed, their situation is beyond irretrievably dire for they are extremely vulnerable to all manner of indefensible attack from both opposition and competition alike and of which they are not aware, and of which they may never ever be made aware of if deemed by others to be of a disposition to abuse information and/or intelligence.

  5. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Meh

    Hmmm

    I'm a bit out of touch on these matters, but this just seems like yet another patch on top of an already overly patched and basically broken system.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm

      I'm a bit out of touch on these matters, but this just seems like yet another patch on top of an already overly patched and basically broken system. ..... Will Godfrey

      Hmmm? Others recognise it as being something completely different and practically akin to a whole new virtualised system for safer remote smarter securer administration, WG. And it is considered proven to be quite the Great Game Changer in some such magical circles ..... so definitely nothing at all like yet another patch on top of an already overly patched and basically broken system.

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