Okay, so after all my huffing and puffing about begging Google to implement browser extensions for trust networks, suddenly (and seemlingly out of nowhere) comes Outfoxed, a Firefox browser extension that uses trust networks to prevent phishing, warn about malicious files, and generally spread trusted information throughout the web. It was created by Stan James as part of his masters thesis. I’m downloading it now, and will report back soon about its effectiveness. To friends of mine who are reading this and use Firefox, let me know if you download this extension and we’ll form our own trust network 🙂
Update: So far, it has complained about being unable to connect to localhost:63047, and crashed my browser. But I’m using Deer Park Alpha 1, so don’t take my case as typical. Also, it is (probably by necessity) dependant upon a central server to share information with other browsers (Correction: It is not based on a central server, but rather on XML “feeds” which can reside on any server, just like RSS). However, if this server software is also open source (and I suspect that it is) then it will be possible to set up private trust “Islands”, which is actually a Good Thing ™ as far as the software design is concerned.
Also, the user interface supports ratings and tags – rock! I really hope that an active user and development community builds around this initiative. Great work, Stan 🙂
Update 2: Outfoxed re-orders your Google results based on trust ratings. Sweet mother of shit!
Update 3: Went back to the latest stable Firefox (1.0.4) and it works very well. Still get very occasional messages about being unable to contact the local database, but the experience is mostly surprisingly smooth.