Uploading an encrypted pornographic image to IPFS

I’m interested in creating a website that will allow users to upload images to IPFS via IPFS Gateway providers but am worried that the users may upload content that is prohibited by the IPFS terms of service, such as pornographic images.
I read the Terms of Service (Terms of Service - discuss.ipfs.io) and understand that pornographic data should not be uploaded, but what if that data is encrypted via asymmetric cryptography and only the person who uploaded it will be able to decrypt the data into the original pornographic data.
Would that still be considered breach of ToS?

Thoses TOS are for discuss.ipfs.io the forum, not the IPFS network.

There is no TOS for the IPFS network you can do whatever you want (as long as it’s legal).

Imagine if HTTP had a TOS, that would be insane, it’s just a protocol and people are allowed to use it however they want.

As long as it’s legal (you have rights to republish it, it’s not child porn, …), you are allowed to upload plain text porn to IPFS, no one cares.


Well…some people do. ASCII text porn isn’t the best :wink:

Hello, to clear some confusion, the IPFS Gateways (ipfs.io, dweb.link) are governed by the IPFS code of conduct and moderation is performed accordingly. Other gateways might have their own policies.


Hello, sorry for the basic question. So, whenever a file is saved into IPFS and it is for example a copyright-protected video or movie and I will share the link with everybody - what will happen? Can anybody delete that file? Will it no longer be routed? Can anybody ban me?

The gateways can have their own TOS. And they are in different local jurisdictions that can each choose their own TOS. As ipfs is decentralized protocol, no one can delete the particular content for whole ipfs network. However, some gateways may/may not block particular CID. But still, that content can be available at another gateway/node which is having same global CID.
And again, no one can control what will be routed on ipfs network.

If you are using a sign-up based gateway/hosting service on ipfs and if they find any unauthorized content uploaded from your account (and if they receive takedown notice from op), then yes, they can definitely ban your account. But till then, other gateways/nodes might have cached that content which will still be available from unfiltered gateways/nodes globally.

I’m going to try on some new analogies. Each IPFS node is it’s own fiefdom. You can’t make me host anything, you can’t make me serve anything and you can’t make me delete anything short of going to the king and getting his army to make me do it. To the extent that I can identify you I can do anything that I want. Delete your stuff or ban you.

Within my fiefdom I’m the king of the castle and what I say goes. Now as far as trading with neighboring fiefdoms we have fair trade. I can choose to trade or not to trade but IPFS makes data fungible. Like another, mostly, fungible commodity, say oil. It doesn’t really matter where you get it from, it just matters that you get it. So you can choose to ban someone and not trade with them but they can just go to your neighbors to get what they want and the outcome is the same.

OK, but what if DMCA is violated, or for example, I have uploaded a list of spies (including their addresses) and the government will go after everybody who runs a node and shares that file or just a fragment of that file. There can be lawsuits.

That would be the part where the king sends his army at which point you’ve got bigger problems than IPFS.

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Your analogy was good, but it wasn’t clear to me at first that the King/Army was meant as actual executive branch and law enforcement in real life, as opposed to some agents of the IPFS Node “Fiefdom”.