Compare and Contrast: SAFEnet and Tor

No, my indigence is voluntary as a consequence of my value choices. It is not something I can fix before some basic mechanisms of our civilization are reformed. In the meantime, my value to the SAFEnet project should be, among other things, as an advocate for people who are indigent not by choice.


deleted several replies in this topic that weren’t in line with our Forum Guidelines. Don’t start personal flame wars, stay away from name calling and keep the thread on topic please. Thank you.


Back on topic:

Does anyone have a refutation of my observation that Tor is perceived in a certain favourable light despite certain encumbrances, and that therefore there is no reason not to expect similar conditions for SAFE? We simply don’t see a shitstorm around Tor. Instead, we see efforts by the authorities to circumvent the Tor security mechanism. Keep the armchair theorizing out of it.

I’m convinced from the Tor experience that the marketing ID competition discussion for SAFE is a total waste of breath. Its success will be determined by its utility.

I agree with @Halvor that the difference is that Tor is in effect niche, while SAFE is, I hope we agree, intended to be mainstream. If we don’t agree I think that would explain the difference of opinion (in which case the following is moot).

The most serious government adversary, the US government, created Tor for its own “good” purpose, so it has no interest in destroying it, which makes it unsurprising that it seeks to both use it for anonymity where it serves it, and to betray that security where that serves it.

SAFE is a different case because it is not created by or for (any) government, and because we envisage and seek widespread adoption.

SAFE could be used by governments for their own security and anonymity purposes (similar to Tor), in which case (like Tor) government might prefer to limit use of SAFE (to non-mainstream) rather than destroy it.

If we are considering governments who might be pure adversaries, they might well seek to undermine widespread adoption as @Halvor suggests.

I think the reasoning is plausible, although I’m not convinced it will happen.

Keep the armchair theorizing out of it.

Nope, sorry :slight_smile:

Who sees Tor in a favourable light, and who does not? I wonder.


Never mind intentions; how, exactly, is it functionally different? You might plausibly argue that SAFEnet is a whole lot better, but in terms of access (download, click), how is it easier or ever going to be easier? And if the access is no easier then how will there be a perceptual shift with the mainstream?

I agree that governments will probably use SAFEnet. Why wouldn’t they use something that works?

Anyway, “plausibility” is not what I’m asking, since, as we have seen in this thread, it is inevitably interpreted as armchair speculation detached from evidence. I want evidence.

Ok, this is the issue that separates our train of thinking regardless of your claim to want evidence. Evidence is hard to produce on what we envisage as the aim of SAFE Network!

I see SAFE as a tool to replace the present internet rather than a niche product like Tor, used by a very tiny minority for their own particular purposes. How far SAFE Network gets towards that I can’t say, but that is how I view it when discussing what it is or how it will perform “out there”, what adversaries it might evoke, what benefits it offers etc. (all of which are armchair speculation).


@Bluebird, the Tor network only offers anonymization of your network, encrypting only the application layer. Its purpose is anonymous browsing, period.
SafeNet has a whole different purpose: descentralized and redundant storage, anonymous internet and an autonomous network.

The benefits of the TOR network is only to conceal your web activities, appealing only those who are privacy nutjobs.
The benefits of the SafeNetwork are more appealing to the mainstream as the practical benefits are more evident for the laymen: it is a real “cloud”, not just a marketing gimmick from datacenters. It has all the benefits that cloud storage has brought to us, the ubiquitous access to our data, but without of the disadvantages of centralized storage which threatens legitimate privacy concerns such as medical records, commercial espionage, and leaks. There are a lot of reticent businesses that panic at the thought of SaaS: How can they trust a third party with all the accounting system (eg Quickbooks), what would happen with your company if the company goes bankrupt? They don’t even allow exporting the database for your local usage.
With MaidSafe, if it ever gets released, would make backups a thing of the past. That by itself is a whole industry that becomes obsolete.

So with all the structural disruption that MaidSafe can potentially bring, privacy and anonymity becomes a side effect and a nice added feature from the perspective of the common people.
The potential appeal for the masses is very clear, and that’s why I think it must promote its practical applications and not emphasize that much on the anonymity and security as it may generate the attack and the comparison to Tor’s externalities. And if they insist on attacking by saying “child porn and drugs”, we should say “medical records and trade secrets”, because that is the truth and that is in short the big gap between Tor and Maidsafe’s mission.

(just to clarify, I am not saying that there won’t be abuses and that probably the sleazy bastards from the Tor Network will drop their hidden services and migrate eventually to the SafeNetwork, probably it will happen. But the point is that Tor’s scope is more limited and Maidsafe is way more broad.
It is akin to comparing between a gun and a knife. A gun’s single purpose is to kill and nothing much else. It is easier to criticize and ban guns than to ban knives. An imperfect analogy, but I hope you get the point.)


OK, you have cited many uses of SAFEnet that don’t apply to Tor.

That does address the topic of the thread but, let’s face it, the primary area of discussion and concern is the sleaze and scandal and the resulting impact on public perceptions of the network. No-one except the backup companies or the cloud services care about their respective business models going away.

I never said there are not great functional differences, but that was not the point I was making.

I wrote:

Conclusion: there no reason why SAFEnet can’t do the same [edit: be an unintentional haven for sleazy bastards], in the same way, with the same glow of virtue.

Public perception is the elephant in the room, and I say that the evidence (attention @happybeing ) is that it is the same elephant (maybe a bit bigger one).

As I said, people will definitely kill with knives eventually, but as the perception of knives being obviously multipurpose, the same should be the perception of MaidSafe.
It will eventually become self-evident, we just have to be sure to start presenting these knives as useful kitchenware and camping tools before the crazy ones start misusing them for crimes.


And there are topics already discussing that. Please continue the perception and haven for evil doers in the topic left open for it.

The subject matter typically gets out of hand very quickly as it can be a sensitive subject for some. And at times attract the doomsayers using this as a handle.

So discuss the topic at hand “compare and contrast: safe & tor” here, but leave the perception for the HUGE topics already.

The current one

Others you can look at

[code]"What if I don't want to store child porn?"
Tor Dark Web Survey and Paedophilia
Potential way to weed out illegal content



The OP deals with public perception. Read it again. Are you saying I didn’t give it a proper title? That it should not have been posted because of duplication? OK, so merge with the alleged duplicate.


In relation to the issue I addressed you were talking how Tor with all the bad stuff on it can still come out as something good and how can we do that for SAFE.

That is difficult without going into what those other topics dealt with, but possible hopefully.

That is what I was addressing. We have had too much trouble from trolls in the past when discussions go into the public perception because the evil doers will put this illegal stuff on it.

You seemed to be discussing on a higher level and I believe being reasonable. Is it possible to discuss this without getting into doom/gloom of evil stuff will destroy SAFE.

If it cannot be done (& I understand) then I will move the topic to off-topic and let it continue as a parallel but different to the existing topic on that stuff.

But it isn’t off-topic, so it doesn’t belong there.

If you consider it too troublesome for the longterm welfare of the SAFE project, and for the past-proven potential to attract trolls, and I can see how both of those things could be (I haven’t read most of the earlier forum posts) then delete the thread. I won’t take it personally, if that’s a concern (it shouldn’t be). I tend to just ignore unpleasant communications that I can’t do anything about.

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I’m not going to interfere or suggest how this should be handled but will throw my thought out there.

Public perception of SAFE is an important topic, though I wonder any compare and contrast with xyz is rather narrow, especially where the OP not familiar with them. SAFE’s ambitions are beyond what Tor does, for example; Tor sites unreliable and its access to clearnet hampered by too many captchas. Inference on first pass is liable to error, obviously; there is more to Tor than suggested in the OP, which is rather more to the point why it does have a ‘glow of virtue’.

Public perception of SAFE will be relative to its delivery - not just on notions of Privacy; Security; and Freedom etc but technical considerations like Usability; Accessibility; Support.

So, there are two classes of topic, relative to public perception:

  1. Perceptions of technical usability, that need addressing over time to ensure there are no unnecessary hurdles to adoption.
  2. Perceptions about how having privacy; security; and freedom, impact society… and that thread above talking of societal implications useful then as umbrella that… for now. However, I would expect in time, when SAFE community is deeper and broader, there will be much to discuss and to the point that it will likely need its own sub forum - if not its own forum.

Another approach would be to note that there are different threads that follow from considering privacy; security; and freedom, more broadly than just SAFE. That however then becomes more suited to a politics forum… and for the forum setup as it stands is off-topic - that’s not a comment that off-topic is not interesting or what is put there is not worthy but that it’s beyond just focus on SAFE.

So, I would suggest that which is solely focused on SAFE, is on-topic; that which is comparisons with SAFE, or beyond just SAFE, are put off-topic, until we have capability to host a forum that can talk politics and philosophy; morals and ethics; weather and football. Perhaps some forum will spring up on SAFE itself, so that we are all free to discuss such matters as we prefer. :smiley:


What? :smile: If anyone else can interpret this, feel welcome.

Which bit didn’t you understand!?

Guess all I am saying is stay away from the “xyz evil will destroy SAFE or stop people using it” because that is another topic hotly debated by trolls and good people alike.

This is an important topic you raised and it deserves to kept out of off-topic. Show how like Tor people see it for a whole lot more than criminal use and as such see virtue in it, or not.

I think the answer to your OP is simply how useful will the public find it. If we take the “internet” as an example, it too was touted by some as the haven of the evil doer and interpol even has a few taskforces dedicated to it. Mind you many times they create the scare campaigns to justify their existence/growth. Don’t get me wrong they do their job but as always wish to increase their size and to do so have to convince the members of interpol to spend more money on their task force.

But the internet over a few years became so useful to the general public that the claim it was 99% porn and 1% criminals didn’t really hold water and people just ignore it except as a joke at parties.


The drug market is actually one of the coolest things to come from tor/bitcoin.

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I’m inclined to agree, but there’s no denying that many druggies are a lower class of person, with non-existent impulse control, and who blame everyone except themselves for their (sometimes) terrible condition.

Core TOR Browser Developer Leaves Project, Shuts Down Critical Node Relays

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