Post-email decentralised communication

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Post-email decentralised communication

Postby Onsemeliot » 2020-07-13 12:15

Since many years I try to think of something that could replace the spam infested email. But so far I don't have a reasonable idea. Maybe there is one out there and I just don't know. Can somebody point me to something as close as possible to email but without the spam problem (or other issues that are even worse like dependence on a platform)?

Even the federated social networks feel like a waste of time compared to email. They seem to encourage people to mostly post content I am not interested in. Therefore, I don't use it.

I crave an open standard to exchange content using a meshed network without any centralised components. I should be able to reach any publicly available resource without the need to ask any centralised service. I want to bypass providers as much as the DNS.

A big problem right now is that most computers aren't locally connected. They are only connected to a provider. Therefore, very few systems would be able to connect to any point of interest without depending on a single entity that acts as a gate keeper. In some areas are local projects to change that. But in my area the technical demands for participating are to big for someone like me.

In an ideal world I would be able to publish any content on a dedicated storage space on my own device and I could always decide who can access which information on there. My working environment would be shielded from direct online access and if someone left a message for me I would be able to pull it from his or her device onto my own. I wouldn't need a contract with any provider to have a permanently available public space. If somebody new would want to motivate me to collect a message on his or her storage space they would only be able to send an identifying ping with very few words describing what it is about. Pulling information could be save since I would always be able to decide if I want to run programs and with what permissions.

The Interpanetary File System has some nice features but I think it falls short of what I imagine.
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Re: Post-email decentralised communication

Postby reinob » 2020-07-14 12:33

Onsemeliot wrote:... without the spam problem


Onsemeliot wrote:I crave an open standard to exchange content using a meshed network without any centralised components. I should be able to reach any publicly available resource without the need to ask any centralised service.


You do realize that an open system, in the sense that anyone can send to anyone, cannot, by definition, prevent spam?
.. whether a message is spam or not is a matter of consent, either you asked for it (ham) or you didn't (spam).

Even closed systems have spam (who doesn't have THAT colleague who always sends unsolicited crap to everyone?).

You may want to rethink what you actually seek.
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Re: Post-email decentralised communication

Postby Onsemeliot » 2020-07-15 06:52

reinob wrote:
Onsemeliot wrote:... without the spam problem

You do realize that an open system, in the sense that anyone can send to anyone, cannot, by definition, prevent spam?

Yes. But it makes a huge difference if spammers can only write a few words without any HTML attached. This should make it much less tempting to flood the service. Besides, I didn't talk about anonymity here, which in principle should create the basic problem you are referring to. (If one doesn't have the luxury to hide behind random identities and the own ability to reach others is at stake very few people would try to send spam.)

But I don't want to walk that way. Maybe we can find an independent way to manage reputation without having to give up anonymity. A combination of technologies like the blockchain, torrents and GnuPG might enable such a system.

Unfortunately very few people are using GnuPG today. One thought I had was that – for the moment – I would only accept messages from signed sources. And in a further step maybe only from sources who's key I trust. Then of course the important question is how the network of trust could develop in a sensible way.

In a way we need to get closer to what we have in the physical world. We wouldn't accept a chat with everyone we meet on the street. In a world with many more potential conversation partners we need the ability to refuse communication with little effort (maybe setting this as default) and to easily identify who we want to talk to.

An easy system would be that we would accept messages from already established contacts only by default and that we create a way for others to get one way-keys for personal contact requests that can't be gathered by bots (or similar technology). And we could always stop accepting a specific keyword if we received spam using this keyword.
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Re: Post-email decentralised communication

Postby reinob » 2020-07-15 07:11

I didn't mention anonymity. Just the fact that e-mail allows anyone to send e-mail to anyone, which you seem to have an issue with, because a spammer is also "anyone".

If you limit yourself to signed/encrypted/trusted sources then you lose your openness. In that case, you could just use an instant messaging system of your choice.

We wouldn't accept a chat with everyone we meet on the street


Of course not, but you cannot stop anyone from talking (~ spamming) to you. You can ignore them though.

... I still don't see which problem you're trying to solve.
(but as of now, I think the solution to your problem already exists: spam filter! :)
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Re: Post-email decentralised communication

Postby cuckooflew » 2020-07-15 09:31

The spam filters are very effective. But also, being careful about who you give your e-mail address to.
Every where they require a e-mail address, most if not all forums require it, DO NOT use your main business,e-mail address, or your personal e-mail address, unless it is important to you that they be able to contact you. EG: Here, if you want to get e-mail notifications when someone replies to your post, you would need to use one that you check regularly. I use a couple of "free e-mail" services for my e-mail when I register to public sites, forums , etc.
Years ago, the Linux Mint forum sold all the e-mail addresses, mine was 1 of them, I learned the hard way, do not use your serious/real e-mail address, do not post it any where public, and do not trust any one.
https://haveibeenpwned.com/PwnedWebsites#LinuxMint
Linux Mint

In February 2016, the website for the Linux distro known as Linux Mint was hacked and the ISO infected with a backdoor. The site also ran a phpBB forum which was subsequently put up for sale complete with almost 145k email addresses, passwords and other personal subscriber information.

Breach date: 21 February 2016
Date added to HIBP: 22 February 2016
Compromised accounts: 144,989
Compromised data: Avatars, Dates of birth, Email addresses, Geographic locations, IP addresses, Passwords, Time zones, Website activity
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Even if they claim to be you mother, on line , it could be anything and you can not see it, it just is a computer screen, just like the TV, it is not real.
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Re: Post-email decentralised communication

Postby Onsemeliot » 2020-08-11 05:06

reinob wrote:I still don't see which problem you're trying to solve.)

Sorry, I didn't check out this discussion for a while. I would like to use a way to communicate that doesn't need to solve the problem that over 90 percent of it is unwanted trash. And I hate that I can't publish my email address online like it was meant to be used: clickable. It is a very cool feature that I can just click on an address to contact it. This should be possible without receiving more spam than anything else. And modern mail servers are a complicated mess because of this problem. There must be a better way. We probably just didn't think of it yet.
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Re: Post-email decentralised communication

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-08-11 15:15

Black Lives Matter

Debian buster-backports ISO image: for new hardware support
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Re: Post-email decentralised communication

Postby Onsemeliot » 2020-08-11 16:59

I have to admit that this seems to be cutting edge technology. Unfortunately, I still think the IPoAC standard is flawed because typical ACs are granivorus and therefore unfit for catching worms or even bugs. Besides, spam is not even considered in this drafted standard.
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