Skip to content

Instantly share code, notes, and snippets.

What would you like to do?



  1. If someone walked naked in to shot I would have stopped the broadcast and made it private
  2. Timestamping doesn’t impact the way media is distributed across a network
  3. In fact Timestamping combined with PGP could give us more nuanced trust networks and controls on privacy

Privacy Issues
If someone had walked in to the frame naked I would have stopped the livestream, made it private and spoken to the individual personally asking them what the hell they were doing walking around naked in public in front of someone clearly holding a camera up, don’t they know CCTV cameras are everywhere now?

I did something similar to the Bitcoin Bachelor episode as someone (not me) on the original livestream felt embarrassed by it afterwards and I wanted to show consideration to their feelings. If they change their mind later I might put it up again : )  

Now I am glad you brought this up because what I am proposing does not introduce anything new to the way in which media is distributed across a network irrevocably. Google, Facebook and Bit Torrent already put the nail in that coffin not to mention the overwhelming public demand for other people’s private information that’s so pervasive in our culture today.  

So I am also not suggesting we should go around recording everything that happens, that would not be appropriate in my opinion.  

But just because we timestamp something in the way I suggest does not mean the raw content has to be public, only the digest and the merkle root do. In fact right now I believe what I am suggesting would introduce higher levels of accountability for private individuals and could introduce more nuance and complex trust networks when joined with reputation systems.  

Use Cases
Here is a use case that I outlined to /u/PeterTodd and /u/BTCDrak the other day:  

A Blockchain enabled camera that can be used by Weapons Inspectors and Human Rights Lawyers in the field  

It could also be used in protests by people facing oppression from the police. If someone is wearing a blockchain enabled camera it will be timestamping every 30 frames with it’s own independent merkle tree confirmed by local and global peers in real time, this means that even if the police try to seize the camera it will already be too late. The footage could be distributed locally over a mesh network like Firechat and uploaded as soon as someone on the network gains internet connectivity. Because the frames have their own merkle tree every continuous stream of footage cannot be edited or taken apart afterwards. Fault tolerance of internet connectivity issues would be a surmountable problem with time given the increasing ubiquity in network technologies.

Centralised Timestamp Servers
Now you bring up another good point about YouTube itself being a kind of Proof-of-Existence since it doesn’t allow midstream editing. And this is true and probably good enough for most western courts today if you can afford them. However YouTube is centralised and it doesn’t provide an elegant zero knowledge proof that I am aiming for. Also consider that YouTube videos can be taken down and Google have been known to censor content on the video network often without telling the user why which would then remove the evidence completely.

Why I am Doing This
My intention with this idea aims be a counter acting force against Parallel Construction and perception management. Traditional timestamping has been limited to a Proof-of-Existence anytime up until the timestamp is made. Until Bitcoin came along these services were centralised with prohibitive cost barriers to the wider public. But sequence is important especially when dealing with events that impact on us at a local level but which originate at distances outside of our sense perception.

Under old centralised timestamp systems it was possible for authorities to create parallel constructed narratives by producing two sets of timestamps. One contained the truth and was kept private, the other contained a staged production which told a different story and this is what was presented to the public.  

We have seen this recently on social media by propagandist accounts on Twitter and Wikipedia who try to construct bogus narratives on emerging news stories by doing things like reusing old footage. This often takes a lot of effort to falsify and by the time it is invalidated it’s too late and many people have walked away with a false impression which will impact on their ability to make important decisions later on.   

Light is the best disinfectant, everyone’s perspective counts, every person on this planet is a unique witness in this universe and we have the ability now to have their story heard in such a way that even a five year old could independently verify it. I want to see global justice.  

Thanks so much for your time and inspiring me to think more carefully about this. -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: Keybase OpenPGP v1.1.2 Comment:

wsBcBAABCgAGBQJUMCqRAAoJEOw2pfEsR+bQBH8H/1hhjawTg9Cz8BGFPY/iab4P GRUmh4G+eR5BouzqUWH9AqYTaa0ssNtIvcFq9wrTzL0xd9GX0D5ZxiUuQ7Y/dn6x 6CeFEIwiYYrlo7Yz+fMtpaWOpKBNRrBteow72vjiG7OrJz+CF1vzoVBKrmyRBLp0 6gGkU0kNVOaQR7xRC8upIhUK0zIMrEwq647m3kKjcj7m0NT92Zim6WxjdqqiGZob 9YuIk2gKuVWoV9/Qo8yzIoRNuzdM0hhUhpYVCQ6GbkFMBgMRhsXe6yuLMlUWg/bI Q8oAX2zC9nsyo49NfIA5VIBN3eiatJxOe9P4nsy2EtrM/dVcjtlJa2Wrp50yOs8= =lu+t -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment
You can’t perform that action at this time.