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https://waasabi.org

Waasabi Framework

P2P Live Streaming for events

Waasabi is a highly customizable platform for self-hosted video streaming (live broadcast) events. It is provided as a flexible open source web framework that anyone can host and integrate directly into their existing website. By focusing on quick setup, ease of use and customizability Waasabi aims to lower the barrier of entry for hosting custom live streaming events on one's own website, side-stepping the cost, compromises and limitations stemming from using various "batteries-included" offerings, but also removing the hassle of having to build everything from scratch. Active research into the creation of a peer-to-peer streaming backend seeks to advance the project's long-term goal of promoting the adoption of owned experiences through the use of decentralized technology. By further cutting down on dependencies, cost and infrastructure complexity this effort aims to enable broadcasts to scale as the audience size grows, which in turn will support Waasabi's continued adoption.

Why does this actually matter to end users?

One of the things people enjoy the most about the internet, is that it enables them to talk to others remotely almost without limit. Internet allows anyone to keep closely connected with friends and family, and help their kids solve a math problem while they are at work. People collaborate with their colleagues from the couch of their living room, the cafe where they enjoy lunch or on their cell phone on the bus to the gym. Businesses can easily service their customers where this is most convenient to them, without having to travel themselves. This is so convenient, that some businesses have already moved entirely online. Internet communication has become the nerve center of whole neighbourhoods, where people watch over the possessions of their neighbours while these are away for work or leisure.

However, users have a hard time to understand how privacy is impacted if they use the wrong technology. Because internet works almost everywhere, the natural privacy protection of the walls of a house, a school or an office is gone. Unlike the traditional phone companies, many of the large technology providers run their business not on delivering an honest service but on secretly eavesdropping on their users and selling information to others. It is mostly not about what you say, so it is relatively easy for providers to allow some form of privacy by encrypting messages. The more interesting parts are who talks to whom, when, and where they are in the real world while they meet on the internet. if you want to be reachable across the internet, you have to constantly let the communication provider follow you wherever you go. This makes the private and professional lives of citizens an open book to companies that with the help of AI and other technologies make billions from selling 'hidden data' normal people are completely unaware of even exists. And of course in societies that are not so democratic, this type of information is critical to bring down opposition and stifle human rights.

These risks of surveillance and profiling also exist for videoconferencing, which can be very useful to reach a worldwide audience, but is not so democratic when that audience is continuously tracked. Especially public institutions like schools, universities and local governments should not rely on proprietary hardware and software for videoconferencing, as they risk having their viewers logged and their videos stored and monetized. Instead public conferencing can be done with publicly developed and transparent devices and tools.

Luckily the range of open source alternatives are growing with easy-to-set-up, self-hostable solutions for video streaming like Waasabi.

Run by MTÜ Bay Area Tech Club

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This project was funded through the NGI0 PET Fund, a fund established by NLnet with financial support from the European Commission's Next Generation Internet programme, under the aegis of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology under grant agreement No 825310.

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Please check out NLnet's theme funds, such as NGI Assure and the User Operated Internet Fund.

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