IFF Tech&Tools Showcase 2017 – #5 Gridsync

Gridsync is an open source, cross-platform desktop application and graphical user interface for Tahoe-LAFS, the Least Authority File Store.


Tahoe-LAFS’s unique design offers a number of highly-desirable features for users that require secure and reliable cloud storage: its “provider-independent” security model ensures that storage service providers cannot read or alter the data of their users, while its built-in erasure coding and decentralized “grid” architecture ensures the possibility of data recovery even in the event that some storage servers fail or are taken over by an attacker.

Although Tahoe-LAFS has provided secure, decentralized, and fault-tolerant cloud storage for years, it has historically been difficult for non-technical users to install, configure, and use, requiring that users install the application from source, edit configuration files by hand, and utilize a command-line interface for common operations – the sum of which makes Tahoe-LAFS inaccessible to the vast majority of users at risk.

Gridsync  Least Authority’s forthcoming, open source, graphical user interface for Tahoe-LAFS  aims to ameliorate these issues and make private, decentralized cloud storage more accessible and easy for everyone. By providing a streamlined setup procedure (based on cryptographically secure, one-time-use, human-pronounceable “invite codes”) and a simplified user interface for performing common tasks (like synchronizing local folders), users of Gridsync can leverage Tahoe-LAFS’s excellent security and durability properties without requiring the extensive technical knowledge typically demanded of Tahoe-LAFS users.

Gridsync thus aims to fulfill the needs currently served by other, proprietary “cloud” storage services and file synchronization utilities (such as Dropbox and BitTorrent Sync), but without demanding any sacrifice of the user’s privacy or freedom. Accordingly, Gridsync is developed under the principle that secure file storage should be freely available to everyone.

Much of the project’s current development progress is owing to attendees of last year’s Internet Freedom Festival who, over a period spanning two days, collaborated on features and designs that are now present in the application.

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