Can Peer To Peer Make The Internet More Reliable?

from the networks-that-can't-be-shut-down dept

While so much of the focus on peer-to-peer networks is about file sharing, Simson Garfinkel thinks that's something of a distraction. The overall benefits of peer-to-peer computing mean that we should be looking to use it to make the internet more reliable. As he points out in the article, part of the fear the recording industry has about peer-to-peer networks is that they can't be shut down. However, couldn't we take that same ability to stay up and use it for good reasons? For example, if DNS ran via peer-to-peer, we wouldn't have to worry about denial of service attacks (like the one that took down a bunch of root servers last year) completely killing DNS. Also, if websites were served up on a peer-to-peer system, then denial of service attacks or even "the Slashdot effect" would have very little impact. He even suggests it could be a way to avoid site defacements - though, if a hacker can propagate the defacement across peer-to-peer nodes they could get around that. Of course, he also points out that this isn't particularly easy to do. There certainly are people working on it, but that doesn't mean we're going to have it any time soon. I think this is all part of the pendulum that keeps swinging back and forth about the pros and cons of centralized vs. distributed data. If we really moved to a truly distributed P2P world, there would suddenly be articles about how inefficient this was to have so much repetitive data out there, and recommending a "new" and "innovative" system of somehow corralling all that distributed data into a "centralized" database, and everyone will suddenly think that's the next big thing. I don't deny the benefits of distributed and redundant data. However, both sides have pros and cons - and people seem to get pretty enamored by the potential of whichever one they're not using.
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  1. identicon
    dorpus, 3 Oct 2003 @ 12:12pm

    Let's Play Telephone

    Doesn't this mean that people will have the ability to manipulate their own copy of data, to make it say things they want? Then data becomes less trustworthy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    data64, 3 Oct 2003 @ 2:27pm

    pagehit counts

    It also means, websites would not really know how many users are actually reading their site/content.
    I wonders whether banner ads would be p2p, also ? :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2003 @ 11:56pm

    Re: Let's Play Telephone

    Yeah, that'd be possible, as long as it's not signed.

    Ohhh, did you forget about that, D?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Gr8K, 5 Oct 2003 @ 4:43am

    Think sharing as collaborative

    A "decentralized web", this make me think about Freenet. Main concern there is that distributed content is untrackable.
    But P2P may also be the next best thing for content creators, allowing them to spread content (multimedia, blog entries, ...) in a "circle" of relatives.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    aNonMooseCowherd, 5 Oct 2003 @ 8:21am

    Re: pagehit counts

    It also means, websites would not really know how many users are actually reading their site/content.

    Already true to some extent because of caching proxy servers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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