Is privacy a possible attack vector?


#1

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win!”

I think we’ve already been through a lot of those first two phases in SAFE’s evolution. It seems quite likely to me that the fight will come before they accept that they need robust security even more than we do ;). Any early success and technical vindication for SAFE forces attackers to get more creative imo.

If there are no central points of failure to apply pressure to then it would seem the only obvious path to attack SAFE would be by attacking the ‘whole’ in some way.

I’m wondering how SAFEnetwork will handle things like false-flag rumours that can’t be clearly disproved due to the anonymity features?

What if the-powers-that-be simply create hundreds of false-flag stories about SAFE being hacked, people losing their money or data etc? Even with independently verifiable, open source code, if it’s too difficult for the average person to verify then it’s easy to create mistrust. Technical supporters can easily be labelled conspiracy theorists if there’s a storm of false-flag stories that defies ‘rational’ explanation (except covert ops that most people still believe only happens in films and paranoid, delusional minds).

It seems to me that bitcoin has been protected from this attack vector by the blockchain’s transparency (it’s also not nearly as disruptive ofc). Without this kind of transparency, do you think SAFE is at all vulnerable to this sort of attack? I’d appreciate the perspectives of people with deeper technical understanding about what can and can’t be verified and how, it would be great if some of you could share your insights :grin:


#2

I’m not competent to respond from a technical level, but I have some opinions anyway.:sunglasses:

Of course scare tactics can and certainly will be used, once the network really shows its stuff in real time. It may even be declared “illegal” in some places. But such tactics are wearing thinner and thinner. Look at how the biggest news fakers (the mainstream media) are blathering on about “fake news,” trying to tar alternative media who are predominantly communicating non-politically-correct truths. Their spin takes in fewer and fewer, as witness the 6-7% popular opinion of reliability of traditional media sources (as bad as congress).

The blockchain is “transparent” but completely inscrutable to most. It’s unkillability is its biggest signal of its security. It’s been declared dead far more times than Hillary was declared a sure thing, and we see how that plays out in terms of believability of the sources, with similar efforts to make it so by reporting it so.

SAFE is open source and also inscrutable to most. It, too, will have to prove survivability. But I doubt the path will be as long and hard, partially because bitcoin and the internet as a whole have paved the way.

So to answer your OP, privacy will be an effective attack vector only if privacy of the network is not what it’s supposed to be. And making multiply sure that it IS as it’s supposed to be is just how David Irvine and the team roll. Won’t be a threat till it’s released and won’t be released till it’s right.


#3

@Jabba I agree it is a valid attack and don’t have anything to much to add - I think John talks sense here as usual :slight_smile: - but I want to express my hope for general solutions to these problems (honesty, accuracy, trust in sources etc).

I think SAFEnetwork can be a platform for more trustable systems of many kinds and was reminded of this yesterday by, and very excited to read, @aboynejames’ blog post on Keeping Science Honest, because I think SAFE has the potential to foster an honesty platform for news, governance, community, science etc.

I think this because as well as pondering it myself I see it arising in simultaneously in multiple places, including some projects like @Seneca’s Decorum and James’ http://dsensor.org/, as well as in discussions like this.

If SAFEnetwork could provide verifiable integrity, in today’s world that would be a killer “app” precisely because of the issues you raise in the OP! :slight_smile:


#4

yes, I need to take a squiz at that, it’s on my to-do list.

I guess only time will tell how something like this could play out. But perhaps, if it does happen, then being able to refer back to old predictions of it happening (like this one) could be used to support the idea that it is indeed happening then?! Meta lol. It does seem like technical success could leave them with very few options, this being one of them. I’m not saying I think this is the kind of tactic that would be a go-to solution, or that it would be very effective or easy to do, but if they have only two or three weird options then I’ll bet they will do all of them before they give up and accept the new data paradigm. I think they will try to do ‘whatever it takes’ at some point. If that fails they will have to accept it and adapt. That’s how I see it anyway.


#5

I think near infinite amount of false rumors can drown in the sheer volume of traffic migrating over from bittorrent. People will have first-hand experience very quickly. Rumors can’t fight that.


#6

Blockquote Look at how the biggest news fakers (the mainstream media) are
blathering on about “fake news,” trying to tar alternative media who are
predominantly communicating non-politically-correct truths. Their spin
takes in fewer and fewer, as witness the 6-7% popular opinion of
reliability of traditional media sources (as bad as congress).

---------- [What follows is purely semi-informed speculopinion.]
I totally agree. We’ve recently seen a few examples of how the “mainstream” information suppliers have only fueled their own defeat by overpublicizing their villainization of those who disagree with them. However, they still have (for now) the sway to take underhanded measures against those who rock their boat.

No, I think the primary barrier to SAFEnet’s acceptance is that is not immediately clear (to the untechnical) what it does, what’s the point, and how to get started. It even took me a while to understand it enough to recommend to others clearly. Though, I do think this buffer will also lessen the perceived threat to the powerbrokers until SAFE is safely established.

(;¬ᴗ¬)