Events over the past year have demonstrated the utility of mobile devices for coordinating mass gatherings and organizing protests in support of social change. However, governments have countered by censoring or disabling centralized search services and social networking sites. This paper describes a decentralized search and retrieval system, named iTrust, that provides resistance against the vulnerabilities of centralized services. It describes the iTrust with SMS interface and the iTrust SMS-HTTP bridge, which enable any SMS-capable mobile phone to communicate with and obtain information from HTTP nodes in the iTrust network. It also describes the iTrust over SMS protocol, which enables mobile phones to communicate directly with each other and share information in a peer-to-peer fashion bypassing the Internet. The paper also describes the Android user interface, which builds on the basic SMS capabilities of mobile phones and offers a user-friendly way of accessing the iTrust with SMS or iTrust over SMS implementation. Finally, the paper presents a performance evaluation of the iTrust search and retrieval system.
- Decentralized search and retrieval
- Mobile search and retrieval
- Peer-to-peer network