Maidsafe is an open source platform that is designed to increase information security using decentralization and encryption. Maidsafe is currently encouraging developers to build applications for this platform and actively soliciting them to do so on its site, so you may want to look if you are interested in developing apps.
Maidsafe does seem to have a great idea for making data more secure. Essentially, rather than uploading data to a central location—whether that is a hard drive, a server in an office, home or data center or anywhere else—the user uploads data to a network of computers. The storage space is volunteered by members of the network and constitutes a very small amount of space on their individual computers.
These small, volunteered data storage spaces are all part of the network and, when data is uploaded, no storage resource receives all of the data, but only a portion. The data is scattered among the entire network, which means there isn’t one complete file that can be stolen, vandalized or otherwise compromised.
Each of these data chunks is protected by encryption, offering excellent security against people being able to interpret the contents of the data. To participate in the network, one simply volunteers apart of their computer as a storage space and uploads their data to the Maidsafe network, where it is shredded, encrypted and spread out among however many computers make up the network.
This is really quite a clever way of eliminating the vulnerability that all data has to being stolen, copied or destroyed. The design prevents anyone who isn’t a part of the network from accessing the data, and there are no third parties involved in housing the data. The network is completely made up of people who want to participate in it. There are some similarities here to USENET.
On USENET, servers exchange the data they hold at regular intervals. One server copies to however many servers it is networked to, each of which repeat the process, with the data eventually being copied many times over and being very difficult to delete. Encryption can be used to provide security on USENET, as well.
Maidsafe really is an interesting product, however, and developers might want to take a look at it if they’re interested in a new platform. Decentralizing information can be a powerful tool, on USENET, Maidsafe and in other venues and may provide a solution to some of the worst data security problems.