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Re: [freehaven-dev] Draft Academic P2P presentation out

On Mon, Jan 07, 2002 at 10:22:46PM -0500, dmolnar@belegost.mit.edu wrote:
> I have a draft of the presentation for the workshop on P2P
> in Higher Ed now up at
> http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~dmolnar/tempe.ppt
Looks good on the technical side.

> Comments appreciated. The presentation is supposed to last 25 minutes,
> so it is a bit light on details.
One fundamental issue here is that these p2p-networks take away
centralized management and control (ofcourse) from the Higher Education
institute and put this power into their students hands. From the
institute's viewpoint, this opens up a huge amount of potential problems
with very limited means to combat these problems, just for more storage
and bandwidth problems which could just as easily be adressed with
deployment of a few dozen PC's as fileservers. I can't find a compelling
argument for the transition to p2p in your slides, but your audience
probably seeks one. They will be keenly aware of the downsides :-)

Some potential benefits of p2p:
- promotes academic freedom (very big issue here in The Netherlands)
- better handling of surges in retreival of popular files (everyone
  downloading the latest popular course)
- reduction of hardware costs (especially when combined with issuing a
  laptop to each student). Leveraging the already deployed workstations
  of the staff for such a p2p network would be a better idea (keeps
  centralized control).
Some issues that need to be addressed:
- The institutes are responsable for the quality of their education,
  including the quality and availability of the course materials. This
  means that integrity and authenticity of files must be verifiable
  (just sign them), they must be guaranteed not to disappear from the
  network and finding them should be easy.
- How to handle misuse of this p2p network for storing ehh non-education
  related materials (i.e. what is preventing the students from using
  this as another Napster?). A similar issue is the distribution of
  solutions to course tests and sample reports.

I hope this helps.

With kind regards,
Wouter Slegers

Wouter Slegers
Your Creative Solutions
"Security solutions you can trust and verify!"