Using Radicle to enable the decentralization of an open source project & community

Hi there!

I’m working with Berty, an open source, non-profit project whose goal is to enable secure, privacy-preserving and censorship-resistant p2p communications.

As we get closer to the public release of our protocol and our consumer app, the concern arises of protecting the core team and the project itself from potential pressures or attempts to damage the project.

Our general idea is to gradually decentralize the project so that critical processes (such as the release process) are controlled by a large community rather than a small number of people. Obviously, being open source provides some guarantee that if the core team is incapacitated, anyone can take over the code and keep on delivering new versions. But we sense that it’s not enough, and that a further level of decentralization might better protect Berty, using a combination of decentralized tech and decentralized governance mechanisms.

One essential element of this “decentralize to protect” strategy is a decentralized infrastructure for code collaboration, hence this post and our interest for Radicle. We would like to understand better how we could use Radicle to that end in the future, not only for storing code out of direct and indirect reach of state actors, but also to decentralize continuous integration and deployment.

Here is more information about the decentralization project, and about Berty as a protocol. We would love to engage with Radicle team and community, and get some initial feedback about what we’re trying to achieve.

NB: Thanks to @abbey for the invitation to post here :pray: :blush:


Hey @phil_h, welcome to the community! It’s exciting to see more p2p messengers. As we get closer to a public beta, we will be involving more and more people from the community, especially those teams who would be interested in transitioning to p2p code collaboration, such as Berty. Stick around, you’ll hear more from us in the next few months.

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I understand this is a topic from a few months back. I am trying to continue this conversation because I have a closely related question and from the above reply @cloudhead, I assume there might be more clarity on this discussion at the moment.

I am coming here from the ‘FAQ/guidelines’ which specifically talks about ‘software that enables stealing’. I am assuming this is probably a direct reference to the youtube-dl debacle (which is in fact one of the main reasons why I started looking for alternatives for github in the first place). Well, I am not looking to steal content. I don’t even use youtube-dl, but the problem is with the general idea of censorship.

The question I have is - even when we say it is a peer to peer collaboration, will there be some attempts to enforce a central party’s (be it governmental or non-governmental) definition of appropriate (or ‘software enabling stealing’ for example)

As to my thoughts on the topic - The law in most places allow to own lock picks. It’s only a crime to use it to open someone’s else doors.

With the whole project being about ‘peer to peer’ (which I read as about freedom), it was a bit disappointing to see that stance on the topic even as a non-enforcable (?) guideline. Shouldn’t the community be arguing against the whole ‘illegal software’ concept instead?

The benefits of a peer-to-peer system, is that enforcing any kind of political stance is impossible. This is even more so the case with a system like Radicle, because it allows each peer to maintain its own subjective view of the network.

I’m not sure where we implied that the project has a stance on software like youtube-dl, but perhaps the wording in the section you refer to could be improved. The only stance we have is to make censorship impossible at a network level.

Hey @jacobjonz — could you let me know which section you’re referring to? Having trouble finding it in the FAQ section…