Internet Search Engine via P2P Network


Computing resources are a form of power that remains mostly unused. But we could use them to loosen the grip of big companies over the world and to free ourselves from their vested interests. I imagine this could be done through a free search engine that would use the combined computing resources of many PCs via a P2P network. A community project would be responsible for software development and updating – on an open source basis –, the project being monitored by an umbrella group established for this purpose.


Positive sides

The more people use the system, the faster/better it becomes (the further development of computers leads to steadily increasing computing resources).

– Cost distribution keeps them very low (traffic, electricity, etc.)

– Transparency means safety and controllability for the users

– Knowledge is power – so is its retrieval and making it available to the general public (whom it should belongs to).


Negative sides

The system needs a critical number of users to work.

– Big companies and governments won’t be all too happy about this system.

– Manipulation can’t be completely excluded (abusive use as botnet).

– The project can only be successful if enough people are interested in maintaining it.


Software

The software should be of the client-server type and able to access part of unused system resources. The program would suspend its work as soon as the user needs the resources, and resume it once resources become available again. A small hard disk area should also serve for temporary storage of the information that has been collected and calculated. It would then be partly transferred to a master server in charge of distributing tasks among clients.


Funding

The network would have huge computing resources that could be partly leased, in order to get cash for the necessary investments. An organization that doesn’t have a certain financial power will have problems to get through. Money can mean either dependency or independence, according to the way it is spent and who it belongs to. The seed asset would come from investors who would receive a certain return (e.g. 20 percent) in case of success. Yet, they would have no shares and no say within the project. As such, it would be an investment based on risk, but with high prospective returns. The umbrella group should have an upper income limit, to obviate greed. And it should be impossible for the umbrella group to go public or to take steps that could put it under the undue influence of third parties.


Over-capacity

Should there be any computing over-capacity, it could be put at the disposal of scientific projects for free, under the condition that the public has free and easy access to the results. In order to select the projects, the umbrella group could post a list of possible projects on its website, and organize a public poll. Care should be taken to only support projects that reach a large consensus and benefit mankind.


To conclude, I would like to add that I just love this idea. I hope it’ll become reality one day. The main system feature would be independence coupled to an incredibly huge computing power. It would be a herald of freedom, and keep good company to Linux, Wikipedia and others among the projects dedicated to mankind and its enhancement.


Internet Search Engine via P2P Network – PDF

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