Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

Monday, 25 September 2017

Freenet: The forgotten cryptopunk paradise, by “Draketo” / Arne Babenhauserheide

Freenet: The forgotten cryptopunk paradise

by “Draketo” / Arne Babenhauserheide

I planned to get this into a newspaper, but it was too technical for the Guardian and too non-practical for Linux Voice. Then my free time ran out. Today I saw Barret Brown report (freenet mirror) on his 5 years court sentence for quoting a Fox news commentator and sharing a public link. Welcome to Freenet: The forgotten cryptopunk paradise!

# Freenet: The forgotten cryptopunk paradise

A long time ago in a chatroom far away, select groups of crypto-anarchists gathered to discuss the death of privacy since the NSA could spy on all communications with ease. Among those who proposed technical solutions was a student going by the name sanity, and he published the widely regarded first paper on Freenet: A decentralized anonymous datastore which was meant to be a cryptopunk paradise: true censorship resistance, no central authority and long lifetime only for information in which people were actually interested.

Many years passed, two towers fell, the empire expanded its hunt for rebels all over the globe, and now, as the empire’s grip has become so horrid that even the most loyal servants of the emperors turn against them and expose their dark secrets to the masses, Freenet is still moving forward. Lost to the eye of the public, it shaped and reshaped itself — all the while maintaining its focus to provide true freedom of the press in the internet.

Table of Contents

A new old hope

Once only a way to anonymously publish one-shot websites into Freenet that other members of the group could see, it now provides its users with most services found in the normal internet, yet safe from the prying eyes of the empire. Its users communicate with each other using email which hides metadata, micro-blogging with real anonymity, forums on a wide number of topics — from politics to drug experiences — and websites with update notifications (howto) whose topics span from music and anime over religion and programming to life without a state and the deepest pits of depravity.

All these possibilities emerge from its decentralized datastore and the tools built on top of a practically immutable data structure, and all its goals emerge from providing real freedom of the press. Decentralization is required to avoid providing a central place for censorship. Anonymity is needed to protect people against censorship by threat of subsequent punishment, prominently used in China where it is only illegal to write something against the state if too many people should happen to read it. Private communication is needed to allow whistleblowers to contact journalists and also to discuss articles before publication, invisible access to information makes it hard to censor articles by making everyone a suspect who reads one of those articles, as practiced by the NSA which puts everyone on the watchlist who accesses Freenetproject.org (reported by German public TV program Panorama). And all this has to be convenient enough for journalists to actually use it during their quite stressful daily work. As a side effect it provides true online freedom, because if something is safe enough for a whistleblower, it is likely safe enough for most other communication too.

These goals pushed Freenet development into areas which other groups only touched much later — or not at all. And except for convenience, which is much harder to get right in a privacy-sensitive context than it seems, Freenet nowadays manages to fulfill these goals very well.

The empire strikes the web

The cloud was “invented” and found to be unsafe, yet Freenet already provided its users with a safe cloud. Email was found to spill all your secrets, while Freenet already provided its users with privacy preserving emails. Disaster control became all the rage after hurricane Katrina and researchers scrambled to find solutions for communicating on restricted routes, and Freenet already provided a globally connectable darknet on friend-to-friend connections. Blogs drowned in spam comments and most caved in and switched to centralized commenting solutions, making the fabled blogosphere into little more than a PR outlet for Facebook, but Freenet already provided spam resistance via an actually working web of trust — after seeing the non-spam-resistant forum system Frost burn when some trolls realized that true anonymity also means complete freedom to use spam bots. Censorship and total surveillance of user behavior on Facebook was exposed, G+ required users to use their real names and Twitter got blocked in many repressive regimes, whereas Freenet already provided hackers with convenient, decentralized, anonymous microblogging. Now websites are cracked by the minute and constant attacks have made it a chore for private webmasters simply to stay available, though Freenet already offers attack resistant hosting which stays online as long as people are interested in the content.

All these developments happened in a private microcosm, where new and strange ideas could form and hatch; an incubator where reality could be rethought and rewritten to reestablish privacy in the internet. The internet was hit hard, and Freenet evolved to provide a refuge for those who could use it.

The return of privacy

What started as a student’s idea was driven forward by about a dozen free time coders and one paid developer for more than a decade — funded by donations from countless individuals — and turned into a true forgotten cryptopunk paradise: actual working solutions to seemingly impossible problems, highly detailed documentation streams in a vast nothingness to be explored only by the initiated (where RTFS is a common answer: Read The Friendly Source), all this with plans and discussions about saving the world mixed in.

The practical capabilities of Freenet should be known to every cryptopunk. But a combination of mediocre user experience, bad communication and worse PR (and maybe something more sinister, if Poul-Henning Kamp should prove to be farsighted about project Orchestra) brought us to a world where a new, fancy, half finished, partially thought through, cash-cow searching project comes around and instead of being asked “how’s that different from Freenet?”, the next time I talk to a random crypto-loving stranger about Freenet I am asked “how is Freenet different from X which just made the news?” (the answer which fits every single time is: “Even if X should work, it would provide only half of Freenet, and none of the really important features — friend-to-friend darknet, access dependent content lifetime, decentralized spam resistance, stable pseudonyms, hosting without a server”).

Right now, many years of work have culminated in a big step forward for Freenet. It is time for Freenet to re-emerge from hiding and take its place as one of the few privacy tools actually proven to work — and as the single tool with the most ambitious goal: Reestablishing freedom of the press and freedom of speech in the internet.

Join in

If you do not have the time for large scale contribution, a good way to support freenet is to run and use it — and ask your friends to join in, ideally over darknet.

freenetproject.org

Since the focus of Freenet has been on the big goals, there are lots of low hanging fruit; small tasks which allow reaping the fruits of existing solutions to hard problems. For example my recent work on Freenet includes 4 hours of hacking the Python based site uploader in pyFreenet which sped up the load time of its sites by up to a factor of 4. If you are an interested software developer and want to join, come to #freenet @ freenode to chat, discuss with us in the freenet devl mailing list and check the github-project.

Welcome to Freenet, where no one can watch you read.


NOTES

  1. Original article [text-only version / PDF version]
  2. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – Diaspora* / Ello / Facebook / Gab / Google Plus / Liberty.me / Liberty Society / Minds / seen.life / VK / WordPress.com
    2. Extropy UnboundFacebook / WordPress.com
    3. The Weekly SeditionFacebook / Google Plus / Twitter / WordPress.com
    4. New Mexico Libertarians Facebook group

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Thursday, 22 June 2017

An Umbrella as a Self-Defense Tool ?

Filed under: Preparedness, Resistance, Self-Defense, Technology — Tags: , , , — mikewb1971 @ 5:07 AM (05:07)

Have you ever considered using a collapsible umbrella as an improvised weapon self-defense tool ?

No? (I’ll admit I never have, either.)

See the embedded clip below —

Even better — The Unbreakable® Umbrella !

Yes, I want one, but the 150-300 price tag is a bit off-putting for “just” an umbrella.


Sunday, 6 November 2016

John McAfee: Security is an Illusion

Filed under: Preparedness, Security, Self-Defense, Technology — Tags: , , , — mikewb1971 @ 11:01 PM (23:01)


  1. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – App.net / Diaspora* / Ello / Facebook [page / profile] / Gab / seen.life / Tea Party Community / VK / WordPress.com
    2. Albuquerque Liberty Forum Facebook page
    3. Extropy Unbound Facebook page
    4. The Weekly Sedition Facebook page

Copyright © 2016 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with medit and Notepad++.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

GPCGC 15 October 2016 Open Carry March

Filed under: Fun, Networking, Organizing, Politics, Preparedness, Principles, Self-Defense — Tags: , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 8:52 PM (20:52)

Yesterday, the Greater Philadelphia Chinese Gun Club held an open carry march in the middle of Downtown Philadelphia

Now the hoplophobes and victim disarmers will portray such events as death and mayhem just waiting to happen, especially when participants are carrying that “weapon of mass destruction” known as the dreaded AR-15 (cue the doom-and-gloom music at the point, OK?).

Hell, there are some who otherwise support the individual pre-existing right to own and carry weapons that decry open carry events for nonsensical reasons. I’ve even heard such inanity from some who call themselves “libertarians.”

The fact remains that open carry events like these are the gun rights movements’ version of the leatherboys in the LGBT Pride Rally. They’re not harming anyone by just being there. If you don’t like them, no one is forcing you to associate with them or even to look at them.

What they’re doing is saying with their mere presence, “I’m here, what are you going to do about it?”

But alas, the GPCGC disappointed them by NOT behaving like the rabid hyper-zombies as depicted in 28 Days Later

 

YES, there was a significant law-enforcement presence at the march, but the cops weren’t decked out in riot gear or SWAT gear –

 

 

Probably because the march participants were too busy waving signs and taking pictures of each other to be looting local stores and destroying cars?

I’m almost tempted to move back to the Philadelphia area.

H/T Jing Zheng


NOTES

  1. Approximate reading level – 11.8
  2. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – App.net / Diaspora* / Ello / Facebook [page / profile] / Gab / Google Plus / Liberty.Me / seen.life / Tea Party Community / Twitter / VK / WordPress.com

Copyright © 2016 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with medit and Notepad++.

Monday, 11 July 2016

No TOR for the Masses?

Recently Techspot India reported that the NSA doesn’t want us civilians using the TOR technology —

NSA classifies Linux Journal readers, Tor and Tails Linux users as “extremists”

Funny how TOR was originally developed by the Naval Research Laboratory and furthered by DARPA. Now that it’s out of the bag, they want to put it back under their exclusive control. Sort of like the internet itself.

Of course, the govvies probably won’t mind too much if political figures with ties to George Soros and the Saudi royal family use it. At least they didn’t seem to mind when a certain former senator turned Secretary of State mishandled classified information on a private home-based server, so I’m guessing that they’ll sign off on corrupt use of the TOR tech as well, just so long as it’s the “right people” using it.

H/T Seth Anderson Bailey


FOR FURTHER REFERENCE

  1. Wikipedia page for Tor
  2. Wikipedia page for TAILS
  3. Wikipedia page for Dark web

NOTES

  1. Approximate reading level – 11.7
  2. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – Diaspora* / Ello / Facebook [page / profile] / Google Plus here and here / Liberty.Me [blog / profile] / Minds / seen.life / Tea Party Community / tsu / Twitter / WordPress.com
    2. Extropy UnboundFacebook / WordPress.com
    3. The Weekly SeditionFacebook / Twitter / WordPress.com
    4. Libertarian Party –
      1. New MexicoLPNM Blog / LPNM Official Facebook page / LPNM Official Facebook group
      2. Bernalillo County, New MexicoLPBC Blog / LPBCNM Official Facebook page / LPBCNM Official Facebook group

Copyright © 2016 Libertarian Party of New Mexico, Libertarian Party of Bernalillo County, New Mexico and Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with medit and Notepad++.

Friday, 17 June 2016

My First Toehold on the Darknet

Filed under: Dark Side, Fun, Politics, Preparedness, Principles, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 3:48 AM (03:48)

Instead of just clicking on the picture (you won’t be able to see the site with a standard browser), first install TOR Browser, then copy the URL from here and paste it into the address bar on TOR Browser.

Now I’m in the market for a decent VPN. Any suggestions? What should I look for? What should I avoid?


  1. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – Diaspora* / Ello / Facebook [page / profile] / Google Plus / Liberty.Me [blog / profile] / Minds / seen.life / Tea Party Community / tsu / Twitter / WordPress.com

Copyright © 2016 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with medit and Notepad++.

Friday, 15 April 2016

China’s “Sesame Credit” — Coming to America Soon!

Filed under: Networking, Preparedness, Resistance, Technology — Tags: , — mikewb1971 @ 11:41 AM (11:41)

After watching that video clip, who can truthfully say that the DNC and a good bit of the RNC wouldn’t want something along the lines of China’s proposed “Social Credit System” for deployment here in the States?

Why, they might even make your health a part of your “personal score,” thanks to Obama’s federalized copy-and-paste job from Massachusetts Romneycare. So much for the “privacy guarantees” that were allegedly instituted with HIPAA.

If the Imperial District wants to know if you’ve made any financial transactions that they disapprove of, they can always check with the\ Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and add those to your score.

I’m sure I left some things out, but the Imperials from the District of Criminals will think of things to fill in any blanks I left here.

H/T L. Neil Smith at The Libertarian Enterprise


NOTES

  1. Approximate reading level – 14.2
  2. Original article
  3. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – App.net / Diaspora* / Ello / Facebook page / Facebook profile / Google Plus / Minds / seen.life / Tea Party Community / tsu / Twitter / VK / WordPress.com
    2. Libertarian Party –
      1. New MexicoLPNM Blog / LPNM Official Facebook page / LPNM Official Facebook group
      2. Bernalillo County, New MexicoLPBC Blog / LPBCNM Official Facebook page / LPBCNM Official Facebook group
    3. The Weekly SeditionFacebook / Google Plus / Twitter / WordPress.com
    4. Albuquerque Liberty Forum Facebook page
    5. Extropy Unbound Facebook page
    6. New Mexico Libertarians Facebook group

Copyright © 2016 Libertarian Party of New Mexico, Libertarian Party of Bernalillo County, New Mexico and Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with medit.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Looking for Just Two (2) People . . .

Filed under: Networking, Organizing, Politics, Preparedness, Principles, Resistance, Social Life — Tags: , — mikewb1971 @ 1:50 AM (01:50)

That’s it — I’m just looking for two people who want to be free and prosperous, while not inflicting injury upon others.

Then I want to help those two people each find two more people who want to be free and prosperous, without inflicting injury upon others.

Then I want to help those six people . . . .

Bascially, the question is this:

How to apply the same recruiting techniques used by multi-level marketing companies to the freedom movement?


NOTES

  1. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – App.net / Diaspora* / Ello / Facebook page / Facebook profile / FetLife / Google Plus / MeetMe / seen.life / Tea Party Community / tsu / Twitter / VK / WordPress.com

Copyright © 2016 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with medit.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

[TGC] PSA: There’s No Such Thing as an “Accidental” Discharge

Filed under: Preparedness, Principles, Self-Defense — Tags: , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 7:44 AM (07:44)

PSA: There’s No Such Thing as an “Accidental” Discharge

November 12, 2015 — Thomas L. Knapp

SigSauerP225

At least once a week or so, I read stories about allegedly accidental shootings. These stories always puzzle me, because assuming a competent adult and a non-defective gun, there’s no such thing as an accidental shooting. The two kinds of shootings are “intentional” and “negligent.”

What’s worse is that all too often, these supposed “accidents” involve people who carry guns professionally and have received extensive training in their use. They don’t have recourse to the excuse that they didn’t know what they were doing.

For example, Clayton County, Georgia sheriff Victor Hill was indicted on November 12 for “accidentally” shooting a woman with whom he claimed to be “practicing police tactics.”

In late October, former Austin, Texas police officer Charles Kleinert was granted federal immunity from manslaughter charges for “accidentally” killing a man (he claimed to “only” intended to pistol-whip the guy).

For that matter, a decade or so ago, a DEA agent announced to a room full of students “I’m the only one in this room professional enough that I know of to carry this Glock 40” before “accidentally” shooting himself in the leg. Some professional, huh?

Let’s clear all this “accidental” nonsense up right now. There’s no such thing as an “accidental” shooting. There are only two kinds of shootings: Intentional and negligent.

Look, people: Neither guns nor gun safety are complicated.

The gun is either loaded or it isn’t — and you should always assume that it is. If you don’t, you’re negligent. Period.

If you point the gun at anything you don’t intend to shoot, you’re negligent. Period.

If you leave a loaded gun around where a four-year-old can pick it up and shoot a sibling while playing, you’re negligent. Period.

If you use a gun for some purpose other than the one it was intended for — as a bludgeon, for example — you’re negligent. Period.

Especially, not just “even,” if you are a police officer or a member of the armed forces.

Gun rights activists (yes, I am one) are fond of pointing out that guns don’t kill people, people do. That’s true. It’s true whether the killing is justified or unjustified, and it’s true whether the killing is intentional or negligent.

Negligent shooters and their supporters need to stop making excuses for negligent shootings. And the 99.9x% of responsible gun owners who take gun safety seriously shouldn’t be tarred with their “accidents.”

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.


NOTES

  1. Approximate reading level – 9.9
  2. Original article
  3. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – App.net / Diaspora* / Ello / Facebook page / Facebook profile / Google Plus / tsu / Twitter / WordPress.com
    2. The Weekly SeditionFacebook / Google Plus / Twitter / WordPress.com
    3. Albuquerque Liberty Forum Facebook page
    4. New Mexico Libertarians Facebook group

Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises. Webmaster Mike Blessing.
This blog entry created with medit.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Fooling Google and Facebook a Bit

Filed under: Humor, Preparedness, Self-Defense, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 7:34 PM (19:34)

After installing Linux Mint 17.2 on my Asus K54L laptop, I logged into Google, and got the following alert message at my Gmail account:

2015-11-15-182044-ss-gmail-google-login

Then I logged into Facebook, and received this alert message:

2015-11-15-18-19-08-ss-gmail-fb-login

Here’s the funny thing — I logged into both accounts using Mozilla Firefox.

So why am I getting messages saying that I used Safari on Mac OS X?

For the record, I haven’t touched anything Apple or Mac since April, 1994, when I had to use a Leatherman multi-tool to pull my floppy disk out of the drive slot when the “Eject” command (⌘-E) didn’t work after repeated tries.

After installing Linux Mint on the laptop, I launched Firefox, and installed the following add-ons to Firefox —

The costs of this?

  1. Linux Mint 17.216.99 + tax (It was on the live DVD glued to the front cover of Linux Format magazine – part of the price tag is for the DVD. Another part of the price tag is that it’s printed in the UK and shipped across the Atlantic every month.)
  2. A few minutes of time, a few watts of electricity to spin that live DVD in the drive.
  3. A few mouse clicks here and there . . .

. . . and to paraphrase the MasterCard advertising copy, the upside — giving a virtual single-digit salute to two of the biggest privacy invaders on the planet — PRICELESS.


FOR FURTHER REFERENCE

  1. Bananas! at liberty.me by David Montgomery — You’re a Criminal in a Mass Surveillance World – How to Not Get Caught

NOTES

  1. Approximate reading level – 9.4
  2. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – App.net / Diaspora* / Ello / Facebook page / Facebook profile / Google Plus / tsu / Twitter / WordPress.com
    2. The Weekly SeditionFacebook / WordPress.com
    3. New Mexico Libertarians Facebook group

Copyright © 2015 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with medit.

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