Tonika: social routing with organic security

Tonika is an administration-free platform for large-scale open-membership (social) networks with robust security, anonymity, resilience and performance guarantees.

Organic security

A (digital) social network, which (by design) restricts direct communication to pairs of users who are friends, possesses many of the security properties (privacy, anonymity, deniability, resilience to denial-of-service attacks, etc.) that human sociaties implement organically in daily life. This is the only known decentralized network design that allows open membership while being robust against a long list of distributed network attacks. We call a digital system with such design an organic network and the security that it attains for its users — organic security. Organic networks are extremely desirable in the current Internet climate, however they are hard to realize because they lack long-distance calling. Tonika resolves just this issue.

Long-distance calling

At its core, Tonika is a routing algorithm for organic networks that implements long-distance calling: establishing indirect communication between non-friend users. Tonika is robust (low-latency, high-throuhgput connectivity is achieved in the presence of significant link failures), incentive-friendly (nodes work on behalf of others as much as other work for them), efficient (the effective global throughput is close to optimal for the network's bandwidth and topology constraints) and real-time concurrent (all of the above are achieved in a low-latency, real-time manner in the presence of millions of communicating parties).

Some application areas

Internet (bandwidth) neutrality. Freedom, no-censoring and no-bias of speech on the Internet. Scalable open Internet access in all countries. User ownership of data and history in social applications. Cooperative cloud computing without administration. Etc.

Open source

Tonika is an open source project on Google Code and a chunk of theory on arXiv.

State of affairs

Tonika is, in fact, already functional with a good list of features. It is engineer-friendly but not user-friendly just yet. I am inviting organizations, who think Tonika may be of use to them, to contact me for potential collaboration. At the same time, I am inviting enthusiastic hackers (with C/C++ knowledge) to join the team and help me make the final steps to turning Tonika into an end-user app.

About the author

Petar Maymounkov, author of Tonika, is previously known as the co-creator of the Kademlia DHT (distributed hash table).