Yasssu has an interesting interview with Eben Moglen about a variety of topics including government surveillance, privacy, and sharing:
The topic that drew my attention to the video was his contention that Facebook would only last for about ten years before the open web and open alternatives to it won out. He cites Diaspora, GNU Social and other efforts as the tools that are leading the way to that change and I generally agree with him. However, the flaw I see with that approach is that the variety of social services that are available is increasing at a rate that a canned aggregation service will not be able to keep up. What is needed is an api for:
- who is your friend or who you follow and thus who you trust;
- the different services to share updates you make on the service;
- the different services to talk to talk to an aggregator.
Item 1 can leverage OpenId and OAuth and there are projects such as Portable Contacts, DiSo, FOAF and XHTML Friends Network that can be built upon (or rebuilt) to provide the secure social connection information.
Item 2 requires a defined api and a willingness for social services to support it. However, RSS is pretty prevalent, so building off of that shouldn’t be a complete jump into the dark.
With these tools in place, we won’t need Facebook, Google+ or other specific social network services to act as a man in the middle to our social lives on the net.
I do like his suggestion that we all have our own plugin computers running a server like FreedomBox that act as VPN, host our website, etc.
He touches on a wide variety of other points that I find useful and his quotes are direct and pithy, so please to take the time to watch it.