dear 1998,

the year is 2018 and a combination of william gibson novels and the movie Hackers have more or less come to pass

dear 1998,

anti-capitalist loteks developed a genre of music that sounds like a broken radio in a rotting deadmall and honestly it's pretty cool

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dear 1998,

most voting systems in the united states have been digitized though despite years and years of sounding infosec alarms they remain so hackable that we keep finding weird music files in their source code

dear 1998,

we have turned the internet into one of the largest repositories of human knowledge and expression in history but we have also paywalled the shit out of it. people have been killed attempting to liberate this data while other artifacts have been barred from distribution entirely because our legal systems can't decide who should profit from the works of the dead

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dear 1998,

separatists have held secession referendums in what have been called illegal elections. they distributed voting materials over the darkweb which have since been labeled illegal numbers.

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point of order: wtf is the darkweb besides a buzzword?

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@garbados tor-based piracy/porn/illicit goods markets basically I think?

@theoutrider like, tor specifically? when i see it in marketing i just have no idea what mediums they mean

@garbados fairly sure it's all but synonymous with tor in most mainstream reporting

either that or IRC

@garbados Any place on the internet that search engines don't index. So TOR, but also unlisted Facebook groups, certain types of forums, JSTOR, university databases....

@Canageek yeah alright, that fits my reflexive understanding of the term

@garbados @Canageek nah, that's "deep web"

"deep web" = not indexed by search engines, maybe you have to log in, maybe it just disallows robots

"dark web" = not available over http ("clearnet"), requires connecting to some alternative network protocol, not necessarily illegal

@Canageek @trwnh @garbados If it is not http, could this be called "a web"?

Onion sites, for example, do use HTTP, so they could qualify for "dark web" though.

@saper @Canageek @garbados To be precise, exit nodes can bridge you to the "clearnet" over HTTP, but the internal network uses its own protocol at the application layer.

Another term for "clearnet" is the WWW, because that's really what most people connect to: HTTP over TCP port 80 (serving HTML); HTTPS is served over port 443.

In contrast, onion sites are served with TOR over TCP ports 443, 9001, 9030 (also as HTML).

@trwnh @Canageek @garbados I am a bit confused now :)

Even a hidden service is accessed using HTTP (is this what you mean with "TOR over TCP")?

My understanding of Tor is that it just tunnels a connection byte stream making sure only the exit node can decrypt a whole thing, without disclosing other details like TCP connection metadata.

If used within a browser, the byte stream contains a HTTP request.

@Canageek @garbados I've never heard JSTOR called the darkweb before but now any time I hear any academics using JSTOR I am absolutely gonna give them a shifty look and say "I see... browsing the darkweb, eh"

@Canageek @garbados also I fucking hate the term "darkweb" for like 10 different reasons

I thought the difference was darkweb = not accessible except by special means (onion) and deep web = unlisted http(s) sites, like private fb groups, anything that requires a login to access, etc

Based on these definitions, I guess so? Dat isn't scary though. It's more like the party web.

I think there's also an association with security/privacy with the dark web, like it's the upside down and no one knows who's actually on it or whatever.

@garbados @Canageek
I can only think of two situations where knowing the difference matters. The one we're in, and for writing some fiction with characters in the situation we're in. Dat alone makes it more ambiguous, zeronet is prolly dark tho

Anything not routed through cloudflare or linked off facebook. :p

@garbados it can mean just typically inaccessible or private servers but colloquially it refers to TOR or the onion network which allows access to some less than legal content (at various levels of gray morality)

@theoutrider i learned about this as of this morning actually lol

@theoutrider @garbados who called them "illegal prime numbers" and not "arrested for prime crime"


Prime number apartheid:

Keeping those not using illegal numbers and those using tor and friends separate.


@devurandom tomato tomahto imo. he had been hounded, haunted, and intimidated by prosecutors for years at that point

sui meta 

@devurandom but then my take on suicide is that even if you kill yourself it can still be someone or something else that murdered you

sui meta 

@garbados I completely agree with this take. People generally don’t just take their life for no reason. It’s often the result of years of abuse that had been eating away at them.

There is always the vast repository of mostly useless knowledge that is free...and cat pictures...


> respecting the law

library genesis, wikipedia, and the pirate bay have already liberated us


> already

hm. many good works avail us, but long is the path to liberation

pirate bay is a funny example here. public DHTs make it trivial for corpers to surveil distribution.

@garbados public DHTs *on clearnet*

anonymous torrents are a solved problem.

see i2p

@xj9 "solved problem" implies the presence of much more mature tooling than we've got. i2p is nice but it's also about as inaccessible as anything else in the scene.

@garbados "solved problem" means we know now to solve the problem, not that the solution has been packaged in a shiny, easy-to-use, package

@xj9 it's definitely striking how often our tech is basically a more mature version of crap developed in the 70s

@garbados that's the thing, the REALLY HARD unsolved problem is User Interface/User Experience

so far, the best solution has been to throw thousands of web developers at the problem and see what sticks

@xj9 like, our tools Cannot be solely for us, and it degrades us to blame the many for the barriers we have left standing.

@xj9 @garbados i2p is nice but all anyone really needs is an offshore isp :v)

@xj9 @garbados

RIP, which was the largest collection of music in the world

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