The pure computing power available through the workload distribution of Boinc and the wealth of information present on Facebook would produce one scary application. The kind of application Big Brother would like to have… Maybe he already has! One of the most time consuming task in gathering intelligence is to identify people and their relations with each other. It’s one of the main feature of Facebook. If you combine this with the fact that people increase this knowledge by tagging people in pictures and with the rest of the information that is available, things get very interesting.
Boinc offers 1.06 PetaFLOP/sec, which is twice what BlueGene/L, the fastest supercomputer on the planet delivers. The more users get involved with Boinc, the more its capacity increases. Why would the government pay to build such a large and resilient supercomputer? I would give tax credit to people who contribute to the national computing resource, because it has value. I’m surprised there isn’t a market for that yet! Just as a nation has oil and gold reserves, computing resources are now a way to rank a nation’s power.
If I would be a hacker, the first thing I would hack is Boinc! I would use it to break Facebook and then use its crunching power to process the data to find Usama Bin Laden and get the 5 million dollars! :-p