About me

Anders Rune Jensen
Masters from AAU 2006
Worked on secure scuttlebutt for 2-3 years


This talk is going to be

Application architecture

  • Infrastructure / computers
  • Data
  • User interface

Standard architecture


  • Server: hacked, (shut) down
  • Data is centralised
  • The UI is standardized
  • Power lies in being able to decide how the system can be used
  • Online - One size fits all usage / moderation
  • Company - Reflect existing org hierarchies

Machine learning


  • Infrastructure / computers
  • Data
  • User interface

ML recommendation systems

  • Anywhere with large quantities of data
  • Youtube, Netflix, Amazon, Google search, Facebook
  • Not on facebook (2.3B)? Android apps interact with Facebook
  • King James bible, calorie counter or period tracker

User Interfaces

  • Personalized feeds
  • More than 70% of view time on YouTube comes from recommendation algorithms
  • Data -> UI -> Data -> UI

Is this love?

Facebook data science 2014


  • Give power to the data
  • Meaning anyone who can generate
  • ... or buy the data
  • Black boxes are an attack vector, same as proprietary software

One way of buying is ads

  • Facebook, google and twitter have ad libraries
  • Riddled with bugs
”They (Mozilla analysts and French officials) found that identical searches often returned different results, and that the library became unreliable and often crashed when they tried to extract large amounts of information.”

Some problems

24 hours to turn evil


How Taiwan combats misinformation
”First, before a propaganda campaign or disinformation spreads, we usually observe that there is a point where they are doing some kind of limited testing or A/B testing, and that's before it became really popular. It's just testing the meme, the variation, to see whether it would go viral, so to speak.”
”Each of our ministries now has a team that is charged to say if we detect that there is a disinformation campaign going on, but before it reaches the masses, they're in charge to make within 60 minutes an equally or more convincing narrative.”

Lithuanian elves

  • Volunteer based
  • Fight trolls spreading misinformation
  • Resistance fighters for the 21st century
“We don’t try to be propagandists in reverse. Lithuania has problems, of course, like any nation. We only want to expose the bullshit.”

Danish election 2019

  • Advertisement in TV illegal by law
  • Advertisement on internet not regulated?


Ethical questions

  • What values does the trained algorithm embody?
  • How do we determine this? Is it static?
  • Who decides what these values can be?

Machine learning summary

  • Individualize
  • Propriatary data and algorithms
  • Constant battle

P2P architecture


  • Power centralized at servers
  • Hacked, shut down
  • Benevolent dictator moderation
  • Diversity, local governance
  • Tendency towards eventual centralisation


  • Power at the edges
  • Users control:
    • infrastructure
    • data
    • software (incl. UI)
  • Bottom up governance

Local first software

inkandswitch article:
  • fast
  • multi-device
  • offline
  • collaboration
  • longevity
  • privacy
  • user control


Size is number of incoming connections, red are people with earlier network-birth, blue are newer people.


  • Identity centered
  • Social Friend network
  • No gatekeepers
  • Data stored locally
  • UI embodying local values

Scuttlebutt feed


  • Event sourcing
  • Feeds are chains of immutable messages (8k limit)
  • No global ledger consensus
  • Public and private messages
  • Larger files stored as blobs (5mb soft limit)
  • Only you store your private key

Addressed by hash

  • Signed and linked messages by hash
  • No URL
  • Location transparent


  1. Local network / bluetooth
  2. Pubs
  3. Onion hidden services
  4. Sneakernets

Replication - pull feeds

Push updates

  1. Long running connections
  2. Epidemic broadcast trees
  3. Identity based, ordered logs


  1. Following, not (yet) following or blocking
  2. Friends blocking works for you
  3. Friend block and other follow then replicate only that feed, not foaf (sybil swarms)
  4. Blocking deletes local feed data
  5. Can be private (like contact)


  1. Easier to guard against spam / harassment
  2. Pubs are problematic
  3. Peer invites rolling out



  • Implementations: javascript, go, rust, c, python
  • Multiple interfaces: patchwork, patchbay, patchfoo
  • Manyverse - mobile app



Book app

  • Books are posted as messages
  • Can be edited, reviewed by anyone using messages
  • Data from your friends & friend of friends
  • Local filtering

SSB 💙 Dat

  • ssb for social
  • dat for files
  • pubs seeding dats from friends

Dark crystal


  • git init
  • git add hello-world.js
  • git ssb create ssb ssb-lite
  • git push --tags ssb master
Created repo: ssb://%jfJAj+ssx9p9N85IN3Y00e3mXPqyYHKhShTeNwMap1w=.sha256 (ssb-lite)
Pushing blobs...
Published %al9oi9okem6YM5vbb/eh3L4e6h+dW8y9phvEFBfspOE=.sha256
To ssb://%jfJAj+ssx9p9N85IN3Y00e3mXPqyYHKhShTeNwMap1w=.sha256

About a month ago

Konstantin Ryabitsev - Linux foundation

Currently brewing

  • New message format
  • Private groups
  • Full peer in browser
  • Safer spaces (abuse audit)


Egalitarian software

  • People run the infrastructure
  • User in control of their data
  • Subjective data views
  • Not a technological solution to social problems

High modernism

High modernism is a form of modernity, characterized by an unfaltering confidence in science and technology as means to reorder the social and natural world


  • 1950-1960
  • Centralization
  • Rationalization
  • (Over)simplification
  • The end justifies the means



Digital high modernism

  • Computers are a modernists wet dream
  • Top down approach
  • Systems enforcing (simple) rules


Mall camera

Tiny frame-mounted cameras analyze your face, discerning your age, gender and mood

Digital panopticon


Global surveillance

  • Chinese social credit system
  • NSA - Snowden
  • Capitalism:
  • Silicon Valley - Google, Facebook, Twitter etc.


Value technical sovereignty
”We believe that data is a public infrastructure
”Vodafone, the provider of the city’s telecoms services, is now contractually obliged to give back the data it collects from the public, which will be published anonymously on the council's open data portal. It wasn’t exactly easy to negotiate: They resisted for over a year
If the multitudes scatter and cannot be retained, the city state will become a mound of ruins.

- Early Chinese Manual of Governance


  • Architectures: centralised, decentralized and distributed
  • Power: hierarchical, machine learning, egalitarian
  • Digital high modernism

Thank you!

Local pub @ BornHack

SSID: meshtheplanet