Activist-backed online collaboration platform due for release in March

The new platform will use peer-to-peer technology to avoid government controls

The Global Square, an online global collaboration platform for activists backed by WikiLeaks among others, plans to have a functional prototype by March, its sponsors said.

Styled on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, The Global Square, targeted at activists and the global community, will be developed around Tribler peer-to-peer technology.

By using this particular existing P2P technology it becomes virtually impossible to break or censor the network, The Global Square said in a statement earlier this week. "The content files are not centralized in any physical server, so the network belongs to its users," it said.

The project has called for volunteer coders and developers to help implement the features planned for the new platform, which will be open-source and multilingual.

WikiLeaks said in November that The Global Square would be an online platform for its movement.

Some activists said last year that there was a need for a global square "where people of all nations can come together as equals to participate in the coordination of collective actions and the formulation of common goals and aspirations".

Some of the tools for the platform will be an interactive map that lists all ongoing assemblies around the world, search options allowing users to find squares, events, and working-groups, an aggregated news feed, a public and private messaging system, and a forum for public debate and voting on specific decisions.

The project will start with a standalone PC application followed by a smartphone application later in the year. The team will use the Agile software development methodology, focusing on one feature or module for a few weeks, conduct tests, and do a release, and then focus on the next feature.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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