* Broadcatch Technologies


As work progressed while creating powerful personalized information systems, such as NewsPeek in 1981, the CDML protocol in 1994, and the OpenPrivacy platform currently, it became clear that certain elements are necessary in order to ensure an open and useful information resource discovery and access system.

Way back in 1983, Fen Labalme (a founder) postulated that any system supporting the following four technological capabilities enabled Broadcatch, while any system lacking in one or more of these elements is potentially dangerous to a free information society:

  1. A ubiquitous, multi-path network that cannot be closed down, monitored without permission or otherwise subverted

  2. Mechanisms to ensure authentication, security and privacy, so that people may trust what they gather and surf the nets without fear of reprisal

  3. Mechanisms (broadcatch agents or infomediaries) for gathering and filtering information, or as Bruce Sterling has more recently written, for directing attention

  4. A flexible, personal, customizable and simple user interface


Today we can see that #1 is satisfied by the Internet, perhaps fortified with anonymity and censorship resistant mechanisms such as Mixmasters, Freenet and various other P2P mechanisms.

#2 is satisfied by our sister project, the OpenPrivacy Initiative, which provides security, authentication, reputation servers, and our own set of solutions to the problem stated in #1.

Broadcatch Technologies provides a suite of products and services to address requirement #3.

#4 is arguably the most difficult to solve, as no single user interface will work for all users across all problem domains. Powerful, open and customizable network user interface platforms such as Mozilla will help, but we expect that OpenPrivacy's trust metrics coupled with Broadcatch agent infomediaries will help users locate the interfaces best suited to their needs. (Note that the creation of such interfaces itself can be a cottage industry.)

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