NON-MONETARY INCENTIVES FOR JOINING THE SAFE NETWORK
Though what I am about to suggest here I suppose could be classified as “features” or “ideas” or “suggestions” within the realms of the functionality of The Safe Network, I am posting this to marketing because the features I am about to propose really have more to do with motivating people to join The Safe Network and these features really have nothing to do with SafeCoin. Hence why I am listing this as “non-monetary incentives”.
These features would act as a “SAFE NETWORK AWARENESS CAMPAIGN” but it would be completely based in how the infrastructure speaks for itself. None of this is going to be based in any sort of psychological marketing or promotional gimmics, but rather: need, want, supply and demand. Things that are based on the elusively obvious and falls in the category of what in todays crazy world, one might call “not so common, common sense”.
At this point it is understandable as to why The Safe Network is focused on its vault / safecoin system for the expansion of the Network, and rightly so. I do feel however that it will be important to have some features that though they are not necessarily directly having to do with this aspect of The Safe Network, they would provide huge incentive for people to run vaults on the network. Though the SafeCoin CryptoCurrency incentive is nice, there does need to be more incentives in addition to it. Just like any other technology, useful and desired features of a technology act as incentive in and of themselves.
I’m going to describe some specifics of what one might call a VPN-style or PROXY-style Gateway or Passthrough function. A rose by any other name still smells as sweet, so don’t get too hung up on terminology such as “VPN” or “Proxy” because it might risk the mind becoming too literal and focusing too much on what these sorts of things already are and how they already function. The Safe Network is about taking inspiration from what already exists, and making new things that work better. So please do try to remain concept-oriented when reading this post, otherwise if you get too technical in the specifics, some key points might get missed.
TOR & I2P PASSTHROUGH
Though this concept holds true for many other existing secure decentralized networks that should also be included here, I’m going to focus on TOR and I2P as key examples because these networks:
-are already very large and have a lot of nodes
-already have their own addressing systems (*.i2p aka eepsites, *.onion)
-already work in unison with each other (ie: retroshare, etc)
-both have a few small flaws that The Safe Network could easily fix by default of it being what it is
With *.onion sites, you’re only as safe and secure as your exit nodes so despite its decentralization, exit nodes are a centralized point of failure. Though passing onion through I2P using applications such as RetroShare solves that problem: RetroShare is purely application-based (no web) and in order for the encryption to work at all (and RetroShare is entirely dependent upon its encryption for understandable and obvious reasons) your router has to have extremely good UPnP on board, otherwise its just not going to work properly, if at all. Though custom router firmware options such as OpenWRT, DD-WRT, etc do solve the UPnP problem, the other problem is that there are still a great many routers that custom firmware platforms simply will not install to just yet. In the current economy, many people do not have the extra money to spare right now to get a good expensive router that will support this sort of thing.
Another issue with both *.onion and *.i2p sites, is that similarly to any other website, the content does revolve around a centralized web server. So yes though the traffic flowing in and out of the server is decentralized, these sites still require a central computer to host the site. If that central web server goes down, the site goes down. Just like any other regular http website. So this is yet another central point of failure.
Allowing the TOR and I2P Networks to be able to pass through The Safe Network to make them 100% secure for as long as both the entry and exit points are both on The Safe Network, would encourage TOR and I2P nodes to run Safe Network Vaults. It would also be a requirement that they do so, in order for this function to work.
This would also allow TOR and I2P sites to make their sites simultaneously a Safe Network Website and a *.i2p / *.onion website, at the exact same time, through the use of SAFE-VFS. As far as I know, both TOR and I2P websites are just regular HTML sites with no special requirements (ie: they’re not php or asp or cfm, etc and they do not have any special backend requirements other than the TOR / I2P networks themselves) – therefore, I do not personally see any potential functionality conflicts.
Allowing TOR and I2P to pass through The Safe Network would also give The Safe Network Browser the ability to directly access the TOR and I2P Networks directly. To differentiate between the networks, you could use the following syntaxes:
The Safe Network, in a sense, would also act as a sort of Secure VPN for TOR because all anyone on the TOR side of things would be able to see, is that the TOR Network was being accessed by The Safe Network, but because The Safe Network protects the identity of all machines during any data exchange, there would be no way for anyone to violate privacy. Where as on the TOR network, exit nodes can be compromised to such an extent that even the TOR Browser warns you that you are suggested to keep the browser the same size on the screen as the size it is when it loads, otherwise your privacy might still become violated.
If the most secure way to run TOR is through I2P, and the absolute most secure way to lock down TOR would be to then take the TOR and I2P Networks and run them through The Safe Network – then browsing *.onion and *.i2p sites would be done 100% securely through The Safe Network, thus providing massive incentive for TOR and I2P Nodes to become Safe Network Vaults. And for TOR and I2P users to browse using the Safe Network Browser.
RetroShare using TOR and I2P would then also no longer need to worry about silly UPnP issues once they create their own plugins to route things through The Safe Network. They would then also be able to store data into The Safe Network and be able to have a website system of their own that co-exists on The Safe Network web, such as for example:
RetroShare would simply need to create a plugin that is able to communicate with The Safe Network web browser, simple as that.
HTTP & HTTPS TUNNELS AND GATEWAYS
Though having a website simultaneously exist on the regular web and The Safe Network web would have its challenges, that is NOT a concept I am going to be getting into here. This is something else entirely.
Secure VPN Services are getting cheaper because they are getting more popular. They are getting more popular because of the increases in censorship and other forms of harassment that people are receiving from both corporations and government who are becoming increasingly focused on thought-policing the masses. Not to mention terrorism, identity theft, ransomware and other problems.
With HTTP and HTTPS tunneling, being able to use the regular web through The Safe Network would act as a form of secure VPN, because all any “regular web” view of the data transfers would be able to see, is that a whole bunch of ip addresses each pulled tiny little chunks off of a file, sending it straight into The Safe Network itself, with no trail to be able to follow.
This would give incentive for regular web users to switch over to using the safe and secure Safe Network browser, which would then also introduce them to the ever-expanding number of Safe Network websites, as well as other websites on other encrypted decentralized networks that are using The Safe Network as a passthrough (ie: all of the before mentioned about tor, i2p, etc). The more the Safe Network browser gained in popularity, the more it would also incentivise people and corporations who run regular websites, to also establish Safe Network websites and become Safe Network vaults.
The increase in popularity would also draw the interest of third party developers who would also desire to create useful browser plugins, such as what has already been happening with Firefox, Chrome, etc and their wide variety of plugin utilities.
An HTTP / HTTPS Gateway would do the inverse. It would allow regular web users to be able to browse Safe Network websites through the browser they already use, with the usual warning that because they are not a part of the Safe Network, that their privacy is not protected and thusly they are suggested to join The Safe Network. One existing example of this sort of service is: https://www.hiddenservice.net
Hiddenservice.net lets you access both TOR and I2P hidden services / eepSites from your browser.
The most important aspect of this, is that in so doing - regular Internet search engines spider the HiddenService URLs and bring awareness to the general public about the TOR and I2P Networks. Imagine if sites like this could also include The Safe Network web? Imagine sites like this running Safe Network vaults?
In these times where censorship, political correctness and digital attacks have not only become a disease but an outright plague epidemic – these sorts of features are absolutely important to the spread of awareness about The Safe Network and the continued expansion of the network.
So I strongly warn that to not consider features like this could be potentially damning for humanity as a collective whole, as well as The Safe Network itself.