What happens if people get new hard drives or MaidSAFE changes their algorithms?

So I’ve been talking to many people I know around me about Maidsafe, showing them the network and asking what they think of it.

One of my friends is an SEO and was talking to me about how google is literally trying to take control of the internet with how it’s search engine has become set up. After showing him videos on Maidsafe, he asked me:

“What happens if a large number of people quit the network all of a sudden?
What about the wear and tear of computers and people needing to buy new hardware?
What happens to the old data that is thrown away? How is it replaced?
Who controls the data when this happens, doesn’t this just shift control of data from Google now to the SAFE Network algorithm(which can be modified by Maidsafe)?”

I’m still learning everything that’s happening with Maidsafe and I’m not heavy in computer science so I wasn’t able to give a great answer, that’s why I wanted to ask the community.

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MaidSafe can’t modify data. No one can, except when they have the specific permissions to do so. Like when you own the data, or give an application permission to.

Most of your other answers can be answered by ‘redundancy’. Data is stored in more than a single location, so if a large number quits the network, the data will still be on the network somewhere else.

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So what grants a person special permissions to access this data? Is it their login on the SAFE Network Browser? Where does that “key” get put in to access the data?

When putting data on the network, the user controls what permissions is defined for that data. This means you can give yourself permissions to modify it later on, but could also make sure no one, including yourself, can modify the data after putting it on the network.

Users can also encrypt their data. This means that other users won’t be able to read the true contents of the data without having the specific keys. These keys might be stored in the private ‘containers’ of the user. These containers can be accessed when a user logs into the network with his credentials.

So, two things are important here: permissions and encryption. They’re separate.

I think the ‘key’ you mean that gives access to data is basically the users’ identity.

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Thanks for the playlist!

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Yeah it would sounds like it would be the users identity. The users identity will be what you log in with correct?

Correct. Logging in with his credentials he will gain access to his identity, basically. Also, applications can ask for authorisation which means these applications have ‘sub-credentials’.

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See this thread for analysis of “what if a bunch of vaults go offline at the same time”: Analysing the google attack

What happens if a large number of people quit the network all of a sudden?

The SAFE network is designed to recover itself. In a natural cataclysm or malicious attack, where a large number of Vaults disappear simultaneously from the network, it can recover itself.

This is done by keeping multiple backups of each file on different Vaults. When 9 out of 10 copies disappear at the same time, the network creates 9 new copies to new Vaults.

If the cataclysm / attack affects 10 out of 10 copies, the SAFE network again has a self-recovery mechanism - Datachain.

Datachain allows the SAFE network to understand the missing parts of a file and to confirm their “originality” when the Vault storing the particular file is returned online.

What about the wear and tear of computers and people needing to buy new hardware?

The SAFE network is designed to use the free resource on the computers of the people they use for personal use.

Ie. when you turn on your computer to use it, the SAFE network uses its free resource.

If your computer is worn out, you will get a new computer to use it, and you will be able to re-allocate your free resource to the network.

The information that was stored on your old computer and was part of the Safe Network is not threatened by extinction, because multiple copies of different computers are stored from each file. So when your computer breaks down on other Vaults on the network, copies of the information previously stored on your old computer are created.

What happens to the old data that is thrown away? How is it replaced?

The SAFE network stores copies of each file on different Vaults. If someone deletes the data from their vault, another backup will be created from the other copies available on the network to replace the deleted ones.

Who controls the data when this happens, doesn’t this just shift control of data from Google now to the SAFE Network algorithm(which can be modified by Maidsafe)?”

One of the main features of the SAFE network is its autonomy. The location and movement from one vault to another is controlled only by the SAFE network.

If data from a Vault is erased unintentionally / as a result of an accident, they are restored to another Vault somewhere on the network, according to the guiding principles set out in its program code.

If a user deletes their data, the following happens:

  • if the data is unique to the user (ie personal) is removed entirely from the network, along with all available copies.
  • if the data is not unique (ie other users have it - see deduplication) for the user, it only removes the access to the data without deleting the data.
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