Facebook – A social networking site started by a Hacker, who is reported of peeping into private data in his university. Now, do you think your data on facebook is safe? Is your data safe? If you think “no”, then you’ve to wait for Diaspora.
And what’s diaspora?
It is believed to be the open source alternative to facebook. This project is initiated by four young programmers from Courant Institute of Mathematical Science, New York. I initially thought that it will be a replica of facebook with it’s code open, but actually it has quite more to do. Diaspora is actually a personal web server that will put individuals in control of their own data. The founders of this project explain Diaspora as “The privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all distributed open source social network”.
Let me try to put it into simple terms: They call the personal web server that has your data and shares with your friends as a “seed”. The Diaspora is a distributed network of these seeds. The seed can be one hosted by you or on a rented server that you can rely. These seeds which are seperate from each other, can connect with each other without sacrificing your privacy (since you have the full control of your data)
What it does?
This part is more confusing. I completely don’t understand how actually it works. But let me get you what I’ve understood. Your seed will have all the information about your facebook profile, twitter, flickr, etc. And this seed may help you to connect to the services. For example, if you upload photos to your flickr account it will get posted in your facebook wall and twitter with link and title. For people who question, “Where is the control of data, when the data is posted and shared through facebook or twitter or… ?”, here’s the feature of Decentralizing your data.
Decentralizing social life means, getting your data into your control. Here you and your friend who is another seed, can synchronize & share data over a secure connection. The algorithm they use for GPG i.e GNUP Privacy Guard. It is a open source alternative to PGP Suite of cryptographic applications. They now developing extensible plugin framework.
Diaspora is coded using Ruby and with little bit of Rails. The seed can be installed easily like you install a wordpress or a joomla in your server or web host or a cloud based server.
Let’s wait and watch if it could prove “Sharing on net and privacy are not mutually exclusive”