Brussels / 4 & 5 February 2017


It's time to SAFE the Internet

Introducing SAFE, the decentralised privacy-first storage and communication network

Servers are hacked. Passwords leaked. Personal information stolen. DNS DDoS'ed. Cloud services are mining and exploiting everything they can get their hands on. The core problem; centralised server infrastructure.

In this talk, we will introduce you to SAFE, a decentralised privacy-first open source data storage and communications network enabling anyone to develop decentralised, secure, privacy-concealing apps.

There is no more denying it; the server-centric infrastructure has failed us: personal information mined, private photos are stolen, passwords leaked, entire infrastructures DDoS'ed – en masse. We are doomed!

But are we? Actually, as engineers, we know better: a decentralised network has the highest reliability. With distributed computing resources that can scale up and down on-demand and aren't bound by physical limitations. And we've been building these systems, clusters of databases across data centres, successfully for years – in our server backends. On the public internet, however, we are still using a single point of failure infrastructures: DNS, single endpoint IPs.

But issues with the existing Internet infrastructure don't stop there: government firewalls can block web services for entire countries, our plain text communication is heavily surveilled, and companies mine our most personal and private data for their profit. To protect one's privacy, people have to resort to obfuscation protocols like Tor – with significant drawbacks like slower connectivity and worsened user experience. But even then the data is still stored, exploited and stolen from the centralised "cloud providers".

It is time that we bring those concepts of distributed computing, decentralised storage and communication out of the data centres into the realm of the wider internet. Combine that with an obfuscating peer-2-peer routing mechanism, a transparent, self-encrypting public-key-infrastructure and automatic data retention, and you have covered the basics of what the open source SAFE Network software provides.

In this talk, we explore the SAFE Network, the underlying DHT-based routing, and the XOR-namespace and how they are used to successfully conceals connectivity and even metadata itself by making it infeasible for an attacker to calculate the path data will travel. We will discover what it means to build privacy-first Apps on a network where all data is sandboxed per tenant and distributed over multiple machines. Furthermore, by taking a look at the APIs SAFE provides and going through some example apps, we will learn how to structure and build fully distributed, privacy-first Apps on SAFE today.

Finally, we will take a look into the future of SAFE, what apps are in development and how developers could alternatively be paid through the built-in currency based on the app usage rather than the exploitation of personal data.

SAFE, Secure Access for Everyone.


Photo of Benjamin Kampmann Benjamin Kampmann