The first step in any security application is peer review. Since our Kickstarter launch, we have been in communication with security specialists and privacy advocates from around the world. And we passed! The greatest concerns revolve around Privly operating content servers and identity networks, but the Privly server is an optional component of the privacy network, and is one we intend to retire as we move to distributed hosting. The one challenge we have to work out is how we ensure the privacy of people browsing the web.
We will enforce identity at the cryptographic level, and facilitate the distribution of keys through any network a person wants to share with. The Privly servers can provide access control, but this is generally a bad idea security wise. The goal is and will be to develop functionality that doesn't rely on any particular service. The browser will house most functionality, and in many cases will not need to interface with Priv.ly servers.
Alpha and Beta refer to release versions in software development. An Alpha version is usually when testing and rolling the system out to the general public begins. In our case we are only going to admit people to the Alpha version if they are contributing to Privly's development or Kickstarter. Users of the Alpha and Beta versions often have sway in how the system develops, so this is also your chance to request features. You can also hand out exclusive invites to friends on many backing levels so you can try out functionality like encrypted Facebook chats!
We plan on implementing several encryption models. Each model has its own benefits. On one side, we can put cipher text on the URL and point to the standard PGP key servers. This will likely be free (since Privly servers don't need to be involved) but it doesn't give you the benefits of controlling the content host (like changeability, share-ability, and destructibility). Hosting content like Privly's is likely costly since the network demand is similar to Twitter, so we will pass these hosting costs onto the user.
Basic encryption system = free
Advanced encryption and privacy controls = paid
Privly is a protocol, not a social network. We are big fans of the Diaspora effort because it allows you to control your own social graph. Privly will free Diaspora content from the privacy conscious community, and allow Diaspora users to cross-post to other sites without giving those sites access to the content. Privly will make content indifferent to where it is posted, so you can live in whichever social network you like: post once, post everywhere. If you are active in the Diaspora community, please contact us and we'll see how we can potentially use Diaspora nodes to host content.
(See "Will this be a Paid Service?") A Forever Account holder gets a paid account Forever (as long as Privly is around). We don't have a pricing model in place due to how many unknowns there are in hosting, but we are going to target a $50 credit per month.
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