Principles of F2F
The WWW has proved a great tool for sharing information.
Its fundamental design is very simple; when you type a web address into your browser, the same
URL takes you to the same page. This allows people or organisations to cheaply and easily erect
a 'global noticeboard' (like this page) for sharing information publicly.
However, WWW is not good for sensitive information. In life, people often tell their family
different things from what they tell their friends, or strangers, or the IRS. WWW has no way
of doing this (passwords are an incomplete afterthought), since all the webserver knows
little more than the IP address of where it thinks the client is coming from.
Friend2Friend meets this need since the protocol uses strong cryptography,
so communications are digitally signed. Individual servers contact their friends directly, and ask friends to
contact their friends if desired, and so on. This allows sensitive information to be aggregated between different sites,
according to individual users' privacy settings, offering a decentralised alternative to control by a single huge site.
Using F2F does not require any trust in organisations, but does require trust in specific
individuals (friends) - who are your neighbours in the network. The network has
reach because they in turn trust their friends, and so on. F2F challenges the mentality that
isolates us from one another, cutting us off and leaving us disconnected from our communities, our
networks of care.
"The problem with the world is that we draw the circle of our family too small." Mother Teresa
Like altruistic economics,
Friend2Friend is a system with no one in control.
Everyone is in a position of influence (proportional to the amount of trust that others choose to give them)
but no one can disable anyone else's use of it.