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18 December 2010, 14:26

Unhosted offers freedom from control by centralised web services

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Currently in development, Unhosted claims to liberate the user of web services from dependence on, and therefore control by, the large commercial service providers.

As the recent WikiLeaks controversy showed, centralised web services hosted on large server farms are ultimately controlled by the owners of these farms. Amazon, MasterCard, Visa and PayPal, for example, all withdrew their services from WikiLeaks in the wake of the uproar caused by its recent and ongoing publication of US government cables. Once data is placed in the cloud there is the danger that it is no longer under the control of the original owner.

Unhosted is both an ideological and practical response to the degree of control exercised by the big web hosts and their cloud applications. Unhosted's developers welcome participation in the project and over the Christmas period are running a competition to write an unhosted web application. The competition deadline is New Years Day 2011.

Those interested in the ideas behind Unhosted can follow and contribute to the discussion on Google Groups or on Twitter @unhosted. Unhosted is available for downloading from GitHub under the Affero GPL. The Unhosted protocols are covered by the OWF agreement.

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