I share your pain. The rails community seems to be mostly satisfied with
role-based access control. However I needed a process whereby I could do
group-membership-based access control. In my project, content (Posts,
Uploads, Comments, etc.) needed to be protected on a group basis. After
much searching I found a way using the CanCan gem and its "hash of
conditions" capability. I described the solution in an answer to my own
stack overflow question:

I've proven this approach in initial testing. Have yet to push it into
scale testing or production, but CanCan seems to be a well-used gem. Hope
this helps.

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