Seems promising. Any moves towards decentralization and redundant storage are generally good ones. But, like everything in tech, the devil is in the details. As well as the ultimate implementation.
About the only real issue I think it may have is if it collides with some of the crazy regulations that either already exist or are being proposed. For instance, how will this fit in with the EU's "right to be forgotten" laws. As a decentralized system, there's no direct route to establishing who the content holder is. And no clear lines of responsibility. So it would be very difficult to order the takedown of any content - legal or otherwise.
I suppose they could pass yet another law that makes everyone on the IPFS swarm equally liable for everything on the swarm. But that's incredibly heavy-handed and obvious. And being obvious about what they're trying to accomplish is the last thing most governments want at this point when it comes to the Internet.
I too would be very interested in what Ren thinks about this. Because his technical and coding skills far exceed mine. An he's an even bigger cynic than me if such a thing is possible.
You flatter me~!
I think decentralisation is a great thing. And so what if it's beyond the control of THTSB (the powers that shouldn't be)? Good.
It would provide a very strong incentive for people to actually BEHAVE
If you don't want pictures of you smoking crack during an orgy while doing a straight arm salute and kicking a puppy... hey... just don't do it.
The "lines of responsibility" then purely rest in the individual, with no nanny to mitigate the damage that people can do to themselves, or to mitigate their successes, which is arguably the more important thing. *cough* defense distributed
*cough* Cody Wilson kicks ass *cough*
However, none of this is technical or coding related. It's simply about the virtues of decentralisation.
tl;dr -- Give people as much rope as they want, and let them either hang themselves or create wonderful systems of pulleys and stuff.
However, that's all pretty much moot as private keys determine who can see what. So you could post all the naked selfies that you want, but without those private keys, nobody could see them. The issue there is then whether or not you want to make a set of private keys publicly available, and then whether there's a set of keys to change permissions, etc. etc. etc.
Distributed and decentralised storage is coming. It's only a matter of *when*.
For the issue of liability... again... it's a matter of keys. Those that store information can opt to never download keys, and thus remain ignorant and impartial. There is nothing illegal about having information that has had its entropy maximised (encrypted/compressed) and not having the ability to tell what it is. Random garbage is random garbage... until you can decrypt/decompress it.
There will be court battles over it though. Those that want to stop information will be on the wrong side of technology. You cannot stop it. Someone will figure out a way to make things even more opaque against TPTSB.
We're in for a wild ride over the next few years.
(Stay tuned at http://techdirt.com