The Red Matrix
The Red Matrix is a decentralised identity platform which brings single sign-on to the internet - without any corporate middle-men. One password accesses anything in the matrix, which can grow to millions of sites. It's also a decentralised social network where monitoring and spying are minimised or eliminated. It's also a personal cloud server which can privately share with any specific people anywhere - even those who have accounts on other systems and platforms. This identity (who you are) is nomadic and doesn't belong to any server or service. If you don't like your current provider or if the server you use has a problem, you can appear anywhere in the matrix and continue on without disruption.
Previous attempts at decentralisation of social networking have failed primarily because they only concentrated on decentralised communications - and didn't contain a decentralised identity framework. This is a critical piece of the puzzle which allows access control of the things you wish to share to anybody on the web - even those on different servers and services.
The image is the outer edges of a grand anti-prism, a connected web-like structure with no center.
Pair this with automatic "magic-auth" login across the matrix (using the same techniques that ad networks use against you, turned instead into an instrument of positive change). The end result is a web that knows who you are, but only as much about you as you wish to be known. Other websites can greet you by name. Content itself is aware of who is looking at it and can refuse to be viewed by this observer - or can alter itself accordingly.
Meanwhile all the power and control of privacy is in the hands of the content creator/publisher. This results in a unique network with extra-ordinary abilities built on top of the existing web using tools we have today.
Identity isn't restricted to a "person". Instead we provide the ability to create "channels" - which can function like social network identities (people), or like traditional forums (groups), or they can represent independent ideas or aspects of oneself. Each channel can link with any others for the purpose of communications. They can also combine to create derivative channels and even more complex structures. We tend to think of the matrix as a living organism in cyberspace which grows and learns as the channels which make it up combine and attach in different ways.
The commercial possibilities for this technology are endless. Imagine customer loyalty programs which don't require you to sign up on the vendor's website. But this can be a slippery slope so we built privacy and self-determination into the DNA of the matrix. It cannot be subverted by commercial exploitation.
Encrypted transport and storage of private communications is built-in. This can protect your communications against "most" rogue governments and "most" rogue service providers. Additionally, you can choose to further protect your communications using end-to-end encryption - again this is built in and available to anybody. Even higher level privacy modes are also available for those that require them. Typical darknets are lonely places because everybody is hiding both from each other and from external agents. The matrix (by contrast) appears on the outside to be not much different from the large centralised social providers, but when you wish something to be private, it can be locked with as many locks as you desire and sealed from everybody but the recipient(s).
The nomadic identity feature means you cannot be silenced even if your service provider is forcibly taken down by rogue agents. You can appear anywhere in the matrix with your identity and friends intact and continue on as if nothing happened.
Future developments are centered around integration with what we call the "legacy web" and better ease-of-use for creating websites for small businesses (we could use help from a few more front-end developers). Our access control is compatible with OpenID, which means you can make your files/images/events/bookmarks/webpages/etc. available to specific people anywhere on the internet - based on their having an OpenID. Unlike Red Matrix accounts, this will often require an extra authentication step. We also plan to provide social network integration with several web projects and services.
In ONE sentence, tell us about your project to strengthen the Internet for free expression and innovation.
This is how the internet should have worked from the beginning.
Who will benefit from what you propose? What have you observed that makes you think that?
The entire planet will benefit. Creativity is restored and the power balance tipped in favour of "we the people".
What progress have you made so far?
The project is nearly functionally complete and is in active use today. Servers are located in several countries. Anybody can operate a server.
What would be a successful outcome for your idea or project?
Grassroots growth which eventually and gradually changes the entire internet on which it is built, for the better.
Who is on your team, and what are their relevant experiences or skills?
A handful of volunteers from around the world. Only a couple are software developers. The project leader has been working with electronic communications all his life - and developed technology you use every day to read your email. Most of the other project members have seen the vision and can't go back to the "old internet" because they find it lacking. All help according to their abilities, which is how it should be.
High Range, New South Wales, Australia