Communication becomes secure and trusted with Blockchain technology

Keeping your online communications private is something we all want. Can you trust the medium or application you are using? Do you know for sure you are only sending the message to the intended recipient? Isn’t is duplicated or changed in the meantime?

Secure communication is when two entities are communicating and do not want a third party to listen in. For that they need to communicate in a way not susceptible to eavesdropping or interception. While standard secrecy methods such as cryptography protect the contents of the message from being accessed by unauthorized users, covert communication conceals the existence of the communication to prevent unauthorized users to detect the communication.

Secure communication includes means by which people can share information with varying degrees of certainty that third parties cannot intercept what was said. Other than spoken face-to-face communication with no possible eavesdropper, it is probably safe to say that no communication is guaranteed secure in this sense, although practical obstacles such as legislation, resources, technical issues (interception and encryption), and the sheer volume of communication serve to limit surveillance. — wikipedia

With many communications taking place over long distance and mediated by technology, and increasing awareness of the importance of interception issues, technology and its compromise are at the heart of this debate.

What do you know and what do you want to know

We use Telegram, we use e-mail, we use Slack and we all use WhatsApp for our daily communication needs. These applications are good in what they do and make sure it is easy to send a message from A to B. Not many people ask themselves the question where these messages and attachments are stored or who can see the contents. Like e-mail. If you send an email to your friend, your email is sent through your e-mail provider to the e-mail provider of your friend. Do you know who is behind that provider? What country they reside and what legislation they need to comply to? Do they have access to your sent e-mail? Do they make extra backups? Can an external party ask for access to your e-mail even when they don’t notify you?

Maybe you don’t care or maybe you do. The most important question you have to ask yourself: Do i have control over my own data and do i want to have it

Am i 100% sure the recipient is the only person who can see the message and it’s actually sure it is only delivered to that specific person? In most cases you probably answer no to those questions or you don’t actually know the answer. What if there is a technology that can provide you a YES to these questions. Blockchain.

Blockchain as trusted party

Blockchain is decentralized. It means every transaction (or message) is stored on many computers around the world. All these computers have the same history and contain every transaction (or message) that has been sent in the past. If there is a new transaction, all these computers will store that transaction in their ledger. If a person asks to verify a transaction or message so they know it is a valid genuine message, the network will answer to this request and will verify the message.

There is a chance one or more computers in the Blockchain are hacked in order to change the contents of the original message. How does the Blockchain deal with that? There is a “trusted party” mechanism in the Blockchain. This is called the consensus model. It is embedded in the core of Blockchain.

Because all computers in the Blockchain network have the same copy of the original message and just a few computers have a changes message, the Blockchain will decide not to accept these compromised records. If 51% or more of the computers accept the message and agrees on the message contents, then you have consensus and undeniable truth.

With Blockchain and using its decentralized setup and consensus technology you are certain that your message is not tampered with even if there are some transactions changed by malicious acts. You can prove its origins and original contents.

End to end communication with AES256 encryption

We still have a few other issues to consider. We have stored the message in a Blockchain and we want to send the message to a person. We want to be sure the stored message is not publicly accessible and readable on those computers in the Blockchain and we want to make sure we are 100% confident the recipient is the person he says he is and gets delivered to him. I basically want to go to his door, ask him for his ID and hand him over the message. If someone else intercepts the message i want nobody else to be able read and possibly change it. This is all possible with the I/O Digital Foundation Blockchain (iodigital.io)!

I/O Coin (IOC) Since 2014

Since 2014 the IOC Blockchain has been in active development. I/O Coin is the virtual currency fueling the Blockchain and is based on a Proof of Stake model for verification and security. The I/O Digital Foundation sets the strategic direction and pushes the development for the IOC Blockchain. The DIONS IOC Blockchain upgrade has been worked on for over the last two years and is almost ready for release. DIONS makes it possible to store data in the IOC Blockchain and not just transactional data. Documents, Aliases and Messages.

Through the custom HTML5 user interface (IOC wallet) the user has access to all these features.

Within the application the user can invite another IOC user to connect. This is not done by entering a unreadable long IOC address (example: isjJKHjshu567wjshasuJhsjfrnrh) but through the means of an human readable alias (example: richard).

A user has the possibility to register a human readable alias and attach it to an IOC receiving address. This is all stored de-central! If the second user accepts the invite, there is a trusted connection being made by exchanging their public keys. At this moment the users are able to send messages (or exchange documents) to each other and you both know exactly who you are dealing with. These messages are stored in the Blockchain. They are AES 256 encrypted. The only one who can read those messages are you and the person you have the conversation with.

Use cases

The HTML5 interface the I/O Digital Foundation has made has been developed on top of the IOC Blockchain. The user interface is just an entry point for people to use the IOC Blockchain for their messaging needs. A company that has an existing application or Proof of Concept that relies on secure communication is able to connect to the IOC Blockchain and use the messaging and Alias features. There are many use cases to think of. Messaging services from a doctor in a hospital to a patient vice versa, other doctor or healthcare agency. Lawyer / client communication, Insurance company to healthcare agency messaging, game industry direct messages, government agencies to the individual person or just a message from you to a close friend.

The possibilities are endless and if you add unencrypted messaging there is a whole lot more you can do.

You have the ability to store messages unencrypted. This means the messages are stored publicly into the Blockchain and everybody can read them. This makes it possible to make a decentralized Twitter-esque blogging, news portal or e-mail service where the messages are stored in the Blockchain and cannot be changed after the initial storage which gives a good sense of trust and validity of the service using this Blockchain technology.

Currently the possibilities are limited by sending messages from one person to another person, but the team is also working on group messaging which enables the setup of a encrypted trusted group message with all the benefits of the Blockchain technology.

Interoperability is the future in Blockchain

With a limitless range of potential applications, storing all of data in a single Blockchain — even one optimized for data storage such as IOC Blockchain — wouldn’t be practical. So to make sure we have an infrastructure that can adapt and scale to accommodate all of the services it will come to support we’ve created project “Chameleon”. Chameleon will create interoperability between Blockchains and applications. Facilitating governance & smart contracts with a hybrid Blockchain solution. Chameleon is scheduled to release in 2018. iodigital.io/chameleon-framework/

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If you want to learn more about the I/O Digital Blockchain or interested in doing a Proof of Concept you can visit www.iodigital.io / www.iocoin.io