The Safe Network is a huge undertaking with the potential to revolutionize the internet as we know it. Not many people used (or knew about) Google just twenty years ago. It’s quite possible that the current model of social networking (and more) will be obsoleted by the Safe Network in another twenty years.
While the foundation of the network design is already solid, we also need to get the app side right, and preferably right from the start because it’s much tougher (if not impossible) to correct bad practices that already gained momentum–and it may end up as cludgy aftertought even if successful.
So, the point of this exercise is to figure out how far we could go with privacy and security with the model where the Safe Browser is used to mediate access between standard Safe Apps and the Safe Network, and what kind of API could facilitate that the best. Just a bit of brainstorming for ideas about things the Safe Browser should be able to control, together with some ideas about how.
I’m thinking about things like:
- Access to hardware, such as: camera, microphone, GPS, and so on–apps shouldn’t even see things they are not explicitly allowed to access.
- Access to Safe Network resources through transparently proxying requests. The Safe Browser stores and uses credentials on behalf of authorized apps.
- Communication between apps on the same device, and how much they should be able to see of each other.
- Multiple accounts or sub-accounts on the same device, and how to make it obvious which one is being used.
- More exotic ideas, for example, a “Media Access API” that could, among others, inject filters between image sources (for example, between a Safe folder or the phone camera) and destinations (other apps, other filters). It could be useful for things like removing GPS coordinates, blurring faces or applying other filters, and I’m certain a hundred other things devs could come up with. The gist of the idea, as with all things about access control, is that it would be guaranteed that the filters couldn’t be bypassed.
I’m curious what else others can come up with, and about proposals to tie it all up into a unified and, preferably, simple framework.