A decentralized file system based on a network of remotely encrypted storage devices is disclosed. The file system includes a network to which a network client, a secure remotely encrypted storage device, a key manager, and a lock manager are attached. The system organizes data as files and directories. Files or directories are composed of one or more streams, which logically partition the data associated with the files or directories. The device serves as a repository of the system's data. The key manager controls data access keys while the lock manager handles consistency of the files. A network user may have read or write access to a file. Access is controlled using keys and access lists maintained by the key manager.