P2p for people in repressive regimes

By Jon Newton 10/2/03

Alan Brown, inventor of the Red Rover anti-censor p2p information system, has joined p2pnet.net as Security Systems and Cyber Rights coordinator.

The original Red Rover was first announced in Moscow at Russia's first cyber-rights conference in the early part of 2001. It was subsequently introduced to the world later that year with the publication of Andy Oram's Peer-to-Peer - Harnessing the Power of Disruptive Technologies.

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A p2p strategy designed to overcome government-based information blocking, Red Rover's most important element is safety of use for people receiving information, backed by information integrity.

It's specifically low-tech and avoids those forms of cryptography and evasion which are easily detectible mechanically. Information is sent through a p2p process but collected without a p2p client - only email and the web are needed.

Brown and p2pnet.net founder Jon Newton now plan to develop it as a functioning system.

"Red Rover is meant primarily for people under any regime that permits web use," says Newton. "It'll allow them to receive reliable information via a p2p system which is far safer than the ones currently out there. To be involved with Alan in its development is tremendously exciting."

Brown, who's currently working on a revised description of Red Rover, says, "I'm thrilled Red Rover is now moving to its next stage. Jon sees what's important about p2p and it'll be great to work with someone who 'gets it'."

Brown will also contribute articles for p2pnet.net on high-level information dissemination through peer-to-peer applications, and organize regular guest columns from expert writers.

An up-front cyber rights activist at both national and international levels, Brown formerly taught mathematical logic while directing anti-censorship efforts for the first ACLU affiliate with a website. He's since worked with, and for, a number of rights organizations in the US and Russia and addressed both Hackers on Planet Earth (H2K2) and UNESCO.

p2pnet.net was the Net's first news site dedicated p2p and digital media events and developments.



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