Maidsafe as a Public Access Point

Was walking home this afternoon and got to thinking: What if you installed maidsafe on a publically accessible computer where the user simply logged into the safe network, accessed all their data and then logged out again. This would allow random users to use the same computer but access their own private data. This would also protect the computer from things like viruses and malware because anything the user downloaded would be on their own safe network, and since the safe network shuns viruses the computer would not be infected. (I’m thinking that either a) the user saves directly onto the Safe network or b) the user downloads to the hard drive then onto the network and the hard drive is eraced when the user logs out. Basically such an access point could be put up for public usage. All one would need to do would be a) Power it. b) secure it from vandalism and c) provide it with internet. maybe d) provide it with maintance (things do break down). With this concept in hand imagine having public computer terminals the same way we have public bill boards or public wi-fi. Not EVERYONE has a cellphone/tablet/laptop or even their own computer period. Imagine of what use public access terminals would be to the homeless and poverty stricken in general. I’m not sure how to make this all work but it’s a thought.


I think this is very much in line with a future vision compatible with SAFE. I see little reason why in the future you would want to own a personal mobile device, if any device can be yours for short usage durations.

But your point is very interesting as a promotion towards city counsels or education projects worldwide!

If you don’t own the personal mobile device, what type of identifier would you use to get in contact with someone? How would I send a message to my wife to make sure everything is okay when she’s been out on an errand for an abnormally long time? I like the idea, it’s intriguing, I’m just curious how this part would work.

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You would have a public ID available to you after login. This would look like (Wes) if you are quick enough registering. In this case it can be used like secure mail,chat, voip etc.

In terms of buffered messages, then the network does this for you. These messages are held in the MPID managers close to the address of your public name.


An educator in India has tried this with great results. He installed some units in slums with kids games on them. The kids wouldn’t normally play these games since they were actually jazzed up maths puzzles but the novelty of them being outside attracted the kids, he then took the experiment further with amazing results - New experiments in self-teaching | Sugata Mitra - YouTube

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Now, such a single SAFE connected computer could host a fully functioning computer for every kid seperately.


@wes In point of fact many people don’t own mobile devices. I’ve never owned a cellphone in my life and am not really inclined to. You would have to wait for your wife to encounter and use a terminal.

However I think y’all are missing the grander implications of what I’m talking about here. Yes it certainly is good for educationa purposes and what not but it means every computer termina can act as your personal computer because you can access all your data from any access point. Now granted it might not be wise to watch hardcore porn in the middle of the shopping mall or conduct anti-government activism while you’re at city hall or perhaps even at the public library but you COULD do it.

Now here’s a question I have. If I generate space on my safe account with one computer, say 500gb and devote more resources with a second computer, say 1tb, then go back to the first computer, will i have accesss to all that stored data since 1tb is twice the size of 500gb? I’m thinking of the varying sizes in computer hardware as different terminals will havedifferent hardware and different resource allocation capabilities.

  1. What if you’re lost and want to get oriented? Hop on a terminal and pull up a map or message a friend or family member.

  2. Want to put different music on your media player (or watch a movie) go to the nearest terminal, pull it off your archive, or download it, and off you go.

  3. Want to throw a public event? Bring awesome speakers and a mic, hook them up to the nearest terminal and put on your music, movies, broadcast, use it as a PA, or whatever. You could even hook up a projection system for public presentations.

  4. As I said before this would allow the homeless to have internet and computer accesss which means they could become educated and they would have a voice via the net. They’re a whole segment of the populatoin we hardly ever hear from.

  5. Is there some kind of emergency and you’re not hear a phone? Public terminals could be useful for that too. (of course the associated social inferstructure would have to be assembled as well).

  6. Terminals would be hotspots for people which would also mean business opurtunities. The terminal itself could be funded via advertising. Someone could stick up a vending machine nearby, the terminal could be placed in an established economical center or one might spring up around it.

I very much doubt people will stop using mobile devices. in fact i think they’ll use them mmore. Remember with maidsafe is safecoin and with that is bitcoin. a mobile device of one kind or another can act as a phone, media player, wallet, text communicator, micro computer and video camera, not to mention other functionalities I’m probably forgetting. Cell phones might be abandoned but mobile devices not so much. (Voip makes a whole lot more sense than paying to place a phone call.)

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Note that it is important that the computer you use to access the SAFE network still knows everything you do. I assume the government wouldn’t install a key logger on public terminals to circumvent the protection, but the SAFE network is not a free pass to do whatever on which ever computer.

Actually, maybe this is the most important reason to also consider voice authentication as a second-verification after the password login, if ever public terminals become common place :wink:

Also, advertisement on the public terminals would not be necessary as the terminal earns safecoins while functioning as a terminal; so the system could be self-providing perhaps :)) (or almost). Advertisements on the terminal, would undoubtedly be linked to your activity and that would defeat the whole purpose of having the SAFE network.

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@benjaminbollen Perhaps it’s best you clarify this statment:

“Note that it is important that the computer you use to access the SAFE
network still knows everything you do. I assume the government wouldn’t
install a key logger on public terminals to circumvent the protection,
but the SAFE network is not a free pass to do whatever on which ever
computer.” Isn’t doing whatever on whichever computer exactly what encryption and anonymity allows? And why do you think the government wouldn’t try to install keyloggers on public terminals? I’d say it would be more than likely they’d try to do exactly that as a matter of course and it would be important to find a way to prevent that. Voice authentication might work to some degree but you can synthasize or record a voice and once logged all you’ve done is matched your login creds with biometric data (your voice).

And I didn’t mean advertising for the safenetwork I meant advertising for local busineses. I assume businesses will still exist because even if every computer can be transformed into a source of revenue via safecoins someone will still be buying those safecoins via bitcoin (or some other currency). That means money is being generated from service and products that are not maidsafe related (just stating the obvious). It is to those services I refer. Say you are a resteraunt or a clothes store and buy advertising space literally on or near the terminal which pays for things like: the hardware, the land the terminal is occupying, energy costs (if plugged into some kind of grid), internet costs, maintanance and security. You’re right it’s quite possible the sale of safecoins could facilitate the cost of these things but the it might not, it all depends on how much things cost depending on how much safecoins are worth. I don’t mean advertisments based on internet activity, I mean literal advertisments ON the terminal, on the computer surface, on the casing. You might also have advertising on the home screen/screensaver like they do at banks and such.

Awesome thread! I am loving the idea of homeless people getting easy access. Also like the idea of a terminal being autonomous and self funding!

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I think you are right, the government should not be trusted in that they wouldn’t put key loggers on public terminals. Actually I think a private company, or just any and every private business could provide a terminal, much as free WiFi is expected by people now.

In a later stage (especially for public terminals) logging in to the SAFE network should be resistant to a key logger, otherwise public terminals are a no go!

I think that if people started using bitcoin for every day purchases then keyloggers would be shunned. A business caught with a keylogger would gain bad reputation as it would put it’s customers financial data at risk. As a result it would be in businesses best interest to oppose key loggers and invasions of privacy that the gov’t might impose. It could be argued that the gov’t has a right to install spying software to “find criminals” however considering people are leaving Facebook and Google because they don’t want their data routed to the gov’t and the decentralized internet is steeped in absolute privacy of the user I’d say it’s a fair bet that that arguement doesn’t hold up any weight in the age of decentralization. I’m thinking businesses that compromised their customer’s security even for the gov’t would find themselves losing customers.