The Movement For Decentralizing the Internet

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Tim Berners-Lee is a famous name on the internet. Back in the early 1900’s Tim was the programmer, at the right place at the right time, who first successfully served a webpage from a web server to a client computer through the newly invented “http” (“Hyerptrext Transport Protocol”).

The web was initially dreamed to be a decentralized democracy, enabling free speech forum of all networked computers around the world. However, in recent years, the attraction to big brand services, such as Google, Youtube, Facebook, Yahoo, you name it – has caused a ‘centralization of the internet” – making it ever more easy for those corporations, and America’s “NSA” to spy on the bulk of your online activity.

Now Tim is again wishing to help restore the web to a decentrailized, more open, more free, more private internet. He is spearheading a project named “Solid”. The goal of it is to let you solely “own” your personal data. Digital Trends recently reported this in detail.

With “Solid”, you store your data in “pods” (personal online data stores) that are hosted wherever you would like. But Solid isn’t just a storage system: It lets other applications ask for data. If Solid authenticates the apps and — important — if you’ve given permission for them to access that data, Solid delivers it.

The paragraphs below offer a quick summarization:

Solid’s name is derived from the phrase “social linked data” and it stores your data in personal online data stores, or pods.

You can then choose which applications have access to your data and how much of it they can see.

According to the website for Solid, the system is “modular and extensible”; and relies as much as possible on existing W3C standards & protocols.

Development of the project is taking place at MIT and the Qatar Computing Research Institute.

Solid has similarities to ”Diaspora”, a social network that was built on a decentralized architecture, but which failed to become the “Facebook killer” data ownership and privacy advocates were hoping for.

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