Ian Vo : 2012 Mobile and Social Workshop


Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Location: Fisher Conference Center, Arrillaga Alumni Center

"Musubi: Disintermediated Interactive Social Feeds for Mobile Devices"
2:00pm - 2:30pm


This paper presents Musubi, a mobile social application platform that enables users to share any data type in real-time feeds created by any application on the phone. Musubi is unique in providing a disintermediated service to end users; all communication is supported using public key encryption thus leaking no user information to a third party.

Despite the heavy use of cryptography to provide user authentication and access control, users found Musubi simple to use. We embed key exchange within familiar friending actions, and allow users to interact with any friend in their address books without requiring them to join a common network a priori. Our feed abstraction allows users to easily exercise access control. All data reside on the phone, granting users the freedom to apply applications of their choice.

In addition to disintermediating personal messaging, we have created an application platform to support multi-party software with the same respect for personal data. The SocialKit library we created on top of Musubi's trusted communication protocol facilitates the development of multi-party applications and integrates with Musubi to provide a compelling group application experience. SocialKit allows developers to make social, interactive, privacy-honoring applications without needing to host their own servers.


Ian Vo is a third year Computer Science Ph.D. student at Stanford under Prof. Monica Lam. His focus is in social networking and privacy within the mobile scope. Most of his attention these days is on the Musubi project: a mobile, social application platform that guarantees privacy to its users. Prior to this, he completed his bachelors at Columbia University in Computer Science.