A new protocol says it aims to become the core infrastructure of Next Generation Internet, or NGI, providing a distributed storage environment for large files and delivering end-to-end encryption so the network remains secure at all times.
Distributed Storage Protocol Labs, or DSP Labs, says its arrival heralds the next phase of the internet, arguing that the HTTP-based protocol underpinning the web is beset by problems.
Even though it would be fashionable to think that internet users have full control over their data, documents and digital identities, DSP Labs asserts that this isn’t the case. Instead, users are in the hands of internet oligarchs who use this information to monopolize their empire. Illustrating its point, the team pointed out how someone who needs to obtain their sensitive files often has to go through “cumbersome procedures.” Worse still, few of us know the full extent of the information that has been gathered by the likes of Google and Facebook.
A site for sore eyes
Setting out why change is needed, DSP Labs, a subsidiary of Onchain, highlighted the staggering quantities of data that’s lost forever — ranging from important news stories to precious photos and beloved recipes. The project explained, “Two thousand years ago, the Library of Alexandria was burned down, and thousands of precious documents in history have permanently disappeared from the world. Everyone believes that this is a human tragedy. However, this kind of thing happens on the internet every day.”
Although not-for-profit projects such as the Internet Archive Foundation are valiantly trying to preserve the entire web for future generations, this has been described as an “impossible task.” DSP shared statistics that show the average life cycle of a website is just 100 days, and just 2% of network links live forever. “When you think about how important the web is in culture and information today, you realize that these numbers are devastating,” the project added.
The problems don’t stop here. According to DSP, file index failure is a significant problem, as information on the HTTP protocol is identified by its location, rather than the content itself. A recent Harvard study shows that 49% of hyperlinks no longer work. To make matters worse, data leakage is an issue, and the internet is “monitored and over-censored.”
DSP aims to tackle these problems by ensuring a user retains complete control of their data and files, instead of entrusting them to a centralized organization. Ultimately, this will make it easier to delete information, or give authorization for others to view it.
The risk of data leakage on the decentralized storage protocol is lessened thanks to sharding and encryption — meaning that, even if a malicious actor obtains a node’s data, they wouldn’t be able to obtain a complete document. To prevent activities from being monitored, activities between senders and receivers are obfuscated, guaranteeing the absolute security of personal privacy to the greatest extent.”
DSP also hopes to achieve the “permanent existence of files and data in the network” by moving to content-based addressing.
Better still, the protocol is aiming to be much more developer-friendly, as various components pertaining to identity, storage and payment are being built and placed on the network so they can be reused. As each component will only need to be built once, this will greatly reduce redundant development work and help developers focus more on the businesses they are trying to launch.
As new concepts such as the Internet of Things start to gain traction, DSP is hoping to become a “basic new paradigm for computing networks,” changing a user’s relationship with their data in a positive way.
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