Tagged: privacy Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 5:31 pm on June 28, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amazon, , privacy, , Wickr   

    Privacy Fatalities: Wickr 

    I think it’s time to start a new series that’ll keep a record of all the cool privacy applications that sold out.

    To begin this series, we have Wickr.
    Now Wickr has existed for a really long time. I remember seeing it when I first got into privacy. But I never checked it out. Even back in 2015, I was wary of corporate crooks in the privacy business.

    A notable app similar to Wickr is Wire.
    Unlike Wickr, Wire had a pretty rough start beginning with some technical ambiguities in their security whitepaper.
    Not to mention the fact that one of it’s cofounders and some of it’s devs had previously worked on Skype.

    Recently news hit the privacy world that Wickr had been acquired by Amazon, the company that fathered Alexa.
    I believe at this point, Wickr just shot itself in the foot. Wickr will suffer the same fate as Keybase.

    Everyone remember Keybase? They used to update their blog every few months. Now it’s been dead for over an year, since the acquisition by Zoom.

    I think Wickr sold out to Amazon because it was a dying app. I never used it. Did any serious privacy nerd use Wickr? I think not.
    Everyone moved to Matrix and XMPP and Mastodon and IRC. There just isn’t much use for yet another corporate secure messaging app at this point.

    It’s really interesting to see which privacy focused app stands the test of time. There have been dozens of new privacy apps every year since the Snowden leaks. Most of them came, made a splash and disappeared. Very few managed to make waves and establish dominance.

  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 7:42 pm on April 8, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Big Bucks Moxie, , , , decentralization, federation, finance, Joshua Goldbard, , LibreSignal, mobile transactions, MobileCoin, Moxie Marlinspike, Open Whisper Systems, privacy, security, Signal, Signal Messenger, , Threema   

    Crappy Privacy Alternatives: Signal Messenger 

    Well well well!

    It’s been almost an year since my last series on crappy privacy alternatives. And I somehow got carried away with more interesting topics, but here we are again!

    I installed Signal when I first started using a smartphone. But I never used the app much because I never really had anyone to talk to.

    The last time I used Signal was maybe in May/June last year? Then I just dropped it completely because again, I had nobody interesting to talk to.

    But I’ve always been suspicious of Signal. So, even when it was advertised as a secure encrypted private messenger, I never really trusted it enough to use it freely.
    I’ve shared more information on some of my public blogs than I have on Signal.
    And that, is a hint of what I’ve always thought of Signal.

    Now here’s my problems with Signal:

    1. Signal requires mobile phone verification to create an account.

    In the world of privacy, that’s a huge fucking red flag. And I don’t care what anyone says about it. RED FLAG! That’s it.

    I’ve got a dozen alternatives that don’t need a phone number. How about that?

    2. Signal UI is ugly.

    I’ve tried most of the privacy apps out there. Signal is the ugliest app I’ve ever used.

    3. Lack of features.

    I remember creating groups on Signal. I could add new members but I couldn’t remove anyone from the group. I could leave a group but couldn’t rejoin it unless someone from that group invited me back.
    This is the reason I stopped using Signal.

    4. Forced updates.

    This version of Signal has expired. Update now to send and receive messages.

    Have you seen any other app that becomes completely useless when it “expires”?
    What’s with these updates? What’s so fucking important in these updates that renders the old versions completely useless?

    5. Overrated.

    Signal is overrated. Okay? What was once a private secure app that intelligent people were supposed to use, quickly became a meme with all the shills advocating it left and right.

    I’m going to tell you a secret about technology, okay? The more people that use it, the higher likely a target it becomes for the hackers and spies and government surveillance crooks.

    You’re better off using an insecure means of communication that nobody would think of, than using a popular means of communication that everyone’s hopped on.
    For example, BBS. How many surveillance crooks would think of going after bulletin board systems in 2021?
    Well there you go now. I just fucked it up for everybody who’d ever use a BBS for private communications. Ya see how this works?

    6. No desktop features.

    Signal has been around for a few years now, but the company – what’s it’s name? Open Whisper Systems – yeah, Open Whisper Systems and their overrated CEO Moxie Marlinspike never had any time to make the desktop app work like a regular desktop app from any other messenger.

    The last time I installed the desktop app, I couldn’t use it without scanning a fucking barcode from my phone. Now what the fuck is this bullshit?

    You just can’t sign into the desktop app like a normal messenger. No. Moxie Marlinspike and his team of retards want you to scan a fucking barcode as if you’re at the fucking grocery store.

    You’re goddamn right I went there! Who came up with this brilliant idea of scanning barcodes? You fucking morons!

    And then, the desktop app only works if you have a goddamn phone, where, of course, you have to register using your mobile number.

    But what if your phone camera breaks or cracks? And you can’t scan the fucking barcode?
    That happened to me. Now I had a fucking broken phone with a shitty app, and a fucking computer with a useless fucking app.
    Moxie Marlinspike didn’t think of that one, did he?

    So instead of working on the desktop app and making it more user-friendly, Moxie and his team of retards spent all their time planning on going full capitalist corporate crooks.

    7. Signal was never decentralized or federated.

    Remember when people were talking about decentralization and federation? Moxie the pinocchio led everyone to believe that this would happen at some point when Signal had matured in development.
    Anyone remember LibreSignal?

    It’s been 6 years and not a whiff about decentralization and federation.

    You know why?

    Because Moxie and his team of crooks were busy forming a scheme to make some big bucks! And everyone knows, you can only make big bucks when you have a monopoly in the market.
    That’s why Moxie didn’t give a shit about the people’s demand for decentralized servers and federation.

    Look at Matrix. Matrix was rolled out way after Signal gained popularity. You have to remember that Signal has it’s from RedPhone and TextSecure. I distinctly remember installing both of those apps when I got my smartphone. But they weren’t updated and were later killed off as Signal became popular.
    Yet Matrix already had decentralized server by the time I started using it.

    So the problem wasn’t that Signal couldn’t be decentralized. It was that Moxie wanted to maintain a monopoly on it until he could cash out and make big bucks for all his hard work.

    And that brings me to the recent news about Signal implementing cryptocurrency for beta-testers in the UK.
    Big Bucks Moxie, as I shall call him from now henceforth, decided to spend 2020 implementing a currency called MobileCoin into Signal. Yeah, that’s going to be a seller.
    People don’t think about privacy and security when they think of a messenger, oh no no – they think of a cryptocurrency called MobileCoin. Priorities folks!

    Big Bucks Moxie’s partner in capitalism is a man named Joshua Goldbard. I don’t know anything about this guy, and I’m not going to bother wasting any time looking him up.

    The bottom line is this – nobody wants some fucking crypto coin in their messenger, okay?
    If you look at the previous series of crappy privacy alternatives, I’ve already mentioned it. Blockchain’s tried it and failed. No respectable man has given blockchain based bullshit apps any time of his day.

    This reminds me of Keybase in many ways. Keybase had a solid foundation in the identify keys authentication nonsense, which sold out to every nerd on the block. Then they fucked it up with the cryptocurrency bullshit. What was their coin called? Never mind. Nobody cares.
    See? This is how irrelevant cryptocurrency is in the real world. Nobody cares!
    Th only people investing money into this bullshit are the scumbags who invented these coins, the miners who’ve got plenty of resources laying around, and the retards who’re gonna lose everything to make the other two richer.

    It’s all gambling, okay? Cryptocurrency is gambling.
    The only real monetary value is in physical assets. Don’t rely on some virtual shitcoin whose prices rise and fall like a cardiogram on steroids.

    Now where was I again? Keybase. Keybase did the cryptocurrency thing where they gave everyone a bunch of free coins then sold out to Zoom.
    Now here’s what I suspect – when a reputable company invests in crypto, it’s going down the hill. That’s the best time to jump off the fanboys wagon before it crashes into the valley of corporate crooks.

    How’s Keybase doing nowadays? Does anybody know?
    Looks like the website has been redesigned. Last blog update was from their acquisition by Zoom, 336 days ago.
    This is what happens when open source free software is handed over to a capitalist corporation.

    Big Bucks Moxie, are you taking notes? Yeh, I got you all figured out.
    One year from now, Signal will probably be acquired by Facebook, won’t it? Won’t it Moxie? Come on now. You gotta have a game plan here. What’s plan B when the cyptocurrency bullshit lands on it’s arse and the poop splatters everywhere? Selling out, acquisition… no? Are you going to let your company die just like that? You gotta make some money now! Come on now! I know you want some money! Don’t you? Don’t you? Someone’s been very naughty at work. Santa’s going to be upset.

    On the other hand, Signal could’ve gone with a business model like Threema. I’m sure a lot of people would’ve paid for it, considering how popular Threema is in the privacy world.
    Is that Big Bucks Moxie’s plan C? It’s not guaranteed to work like plan B. Selling out would be much more profitable than adopting a premium model. Decisions decisions!

    There’s already a petition on Change.org from the loyal fanboys.

    7. Pins

    Here’s something that I just remembered – the pins. I had to enter a verification pin a bunch of times to continue using the app. Which genius came up with that idea at OpenWhisper Systems?

    Oh wait! They’ve changed the company name a shitload of times too. I’m just going to call it Big Bucks Signal!

    There’s a bunch of fanboys calling Big Bucks Moxie’s MobileCoin groundbreaking and innovative.
    These are probably the same people who still use Keybase.

    I’m pretty sure there’s some blockchain apps with chat and crypto transactions implemented. Though I’m not going back to look into them to confirm that.

    I noticed that there’s a bunch of essays on the MobileCoin websites in terms of rules and regulations and agreements and all that nonsense. Who the fuck has time to read through all that nonsense?

    The biggest realization I’ve had, is that anyone can come up with a currency of their own, provided they have some resources to get it off the ground. There’s hundreds of cryptocurrency coins out there, and they’re all useless. What makes you think I’d want to invest in your currency anyway? Why can’t I just invent my own currency and run on that?
    This is the future of cryptocurrencies.
    At some point, everyone will have their own coins, and they’ll all have as much value as diz nuts. John will have JohnCoins, Jane will have JaneCoins, and all the Johns in the world will band together to form an organization to make JohnCoins the most popular currency in the world. Sounds like fiction?
    Well, so are all the coins today.
    Fuck your cryptocurrency.
    I’ll hold onto my paper.

    I can’t wait for someone to pull the plug on all these cryptocurrency servers and watch all the nerds pull their hairs out.

    Everyone wants to be like Elon Musk with his Paypal startup, Well your cryptocurrency ain’t it.

  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 4:37 pm on April 7, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: author, , css, cyberpunk, gemini, , , , gopher, , , html, main-street.nightfall.city, , , privacy, pubnix, story, The Midnight Pub, writing, www   

    The Midnight Pub 

    Y’know, I like writing.
    I enjoy writing. It clears my head for fresh new thoughts.
    For the past decade, I’ve consumed a lot of content; a ton of books, seminars, lectures, YouTube videos, movies, standup comedy, documentaries, and music.
    It’s great to consume content because it makes you more knowledgeable, perhaps even smarter; maybe even a genius, who knows?

    But what good is a genius mind if it doesn’t produce anything?
    So while I enjoyed consuming all that content, I also enjoyed writing on the side.
    Writing was always my passion, dating back from my school days. I read a lot of books. Then I wrote some amazing stories.
    Input and output folks – that’s what I’m talking about here.

    I listened to a lot of music. And I wanted to share that music with others. It took me a decade to find that platform. But it finally happened.

    I’ve watched movies and YouTube vlogs and skits. But I still don’t have a camera. The day I get one, I’m going to be famous.

    I write a lot and over the years, I’ve found different platforms to suit my different writing styles and content. It’s great.
    This site for example, provides a great platform for me to push a message to a large audience, considering that it’s one of the top results on search engines.
    From the very beginning, I had decided, that I would use this platform to talk about things that mattered to me the most – no matter the subject. It could be my personal lifestyle, or an event, or something from the news, or technology, ethical issues, moral issues – it’s all here.
    And I decided not to get too personal, but to focus on the bigger picture, on the greater good, on topics that didn’t just concern me, but humanity at large.

    I managed to find some perfect places to talk about my personal life, both on the www and other, lesser known protocols.
    My personal life is right up there, among the top search engine results.

    After the pandemic forced most of us into isolation, I was constantly looking to pursue new adventures on the internet, with the exception of dating.
    What more does the internet have to offer for a guy like me?

    All my writing has been focused on real life since my appearance on the internet.
    And the past year of lockdown has really jerked some strings inside my head and shaken things up.
    I was getting tired of the reality and the news and shitty world that we live in today. It made me really irritated, and left me highly explosive.
    If you look at some of my articles, I go in – I go in hard, armed with logic and facts, and I absolutely destroy it.
    I will confess this – I do regret how hard I go sometimes. Reading the articles almost feels like being smacked upside the head.

    I needed a place to cater to fiction. I’d been planning to pursue writing fiction for a while but didn’t make it happen, until recently.
    There are venues for my fictional writing – specifically those that meet my requirements, but I wasn’t quite ready to dive right in.
    Cosmic Voyage for example, is a wonderful place to write about space travel. The problem is, my knowledge about space travel is limited. I don’t watch a lot of science fiction movies or read comic books or novels of that genre. And so I had a plan to make it realistic, using scriptural evidence, to explain space travel or interplanetary communication. But the scriptural information is just so complex, that it’s put me off from diving right in. Because I have to break things down simply and then explain it in a sensible way any ordinary man would understand.

    There was a Geocities site where I planned on writing romantic fiction. But that was held up by the fact that I hate, absolutely hate writing HTML code.

    These are all on the list of projects to do, however, and I will eventually get them rolling. Once I’m in, there’s no stopping me. I just want to get things right and have a perfect story line in mind before I begin.
    That’s the problem with me – I’m a perfectionist. I have to get absolutely everything right. It all has to be perfect. And I hate, really really hate, making mistakes.

    If you got to this point, well, congratulations.
    Introducing The Midnight Pub – a place where facts meet fiction. The Midnight Pub is a place where you can talk about anything – whatever’s on your mind; it could be your life updates, about your work, school, relationships, technology, your project, anything!

    When I came across Midnight Pub last year, it was a strange site, which looked like the among sus game my friends had played on IRC, but without the gaming bullshit. Just text.
    But the name Miso.Town did not inspire confidence. There was talk about a pub and a bartender who served drinks – I don’t drink! What the fuck was I supposed to do in here?
    And I looked at the ASCII drawing of a map of the pub, and I just didn’t get it.

    In all honesty, Miso.Town looked like a place that would fail, very soon.
    I’ve seen a lot of sites pop up and disappear because of a lack of public interest, many of them, were pretty damn good.

    But this was a fresh concept, a novel idea, and I made a mental note to come back in the future and see how it had evolved.
    When I did some back, sometime in January, or was it February? Miso.Town was gone.

    It never occurred to me to do some research and look into the site. Not even once. Perhaps that’s because I wasn’t quite impressed during my first visit.

    If I did, then I would’ve found the alpha site, which was quite good, although it had it’s quirks.

    When I go out and enter a bar, I love being surrounded by people and potentially meet new faces. The bar is finite, there aren’t a million people. I can hang out with my friends and engage with others to have meaningful discussion. I can talk about my day and struggles, have a laugh, and go home. But on internet everything seems to be at scale. The world is connected and it’s a huge network. Can’t we just recreate the local bar, figuratively, online? A small place, not overcrowded, that lets you go home without following you with notifications or ads. You can come with your friends or alone. I think that should exist online. Even better if it’s an online speakeasy or only a few people know about it. The service can only be better. Just like when you drink it’s easier to talk, maybe it’s also easier to write? At least when you are in a speakeasy you have an excuse to drink. When you are in front of your computer, alone it’s probably harder to justify. This can be your excuse! But writing is also a therapy. When it’s shared with people at least we’re heard. Much better to write away our thoughts when it’s midnight and we can’t sleep than keeping them in our head.

    If this place is a virtual bar, then you should be represented somehow. Not a big fan of using a picture, where’s the imagination? Remember geocities? Say what you will, but I miss that type of web. People were able to customize everything. The background midi file playing added something too. It made it less generic. Not only pictures of yourself show who you are. That level of customization is important.

    Right, so we’ve described the pub and your representation. Now you can enter the pub anytime. You won’t deal with a million people, maybe 1 or 2, but hopefully you will have a good, deep conversation. If not, you’ll still have a good time. Enough analogy for now and let’s discuss what are the things I absolutely don’t want to see. No metrics, no habit tracking, no word count, no click-bait, no notification, no email, no push. Yeah I know it’s possible to add them, but honestly we’ve got enough noise around us. No ads. Ever. This needs to be peaceful. As I said before, that should be a boring service. The place you go to after a long day and you want to take things off your chest. The focus is on longer-form writing and engaging. Engagement should be central actually, but scarce and meaningful. They should add something and help generate new ideas. It’s a place to create and build, not to consume. To write a lot and often, without worrying about writing well. Write as if you were anonymous. Actually, it’s encouraged to use a pseudonym. What people read here, they read it for the content, not for who wrote it. All of that while remaining simple. Internet in 2020 feels a lot like walking in a huge cyberpunk city with corporation everywhere. Let that place be the little quite bar that doesn’t judge you. No politics, but philosophy encouraged.


    I found this yesterday, when I was planning to write this article.
    No politics? haha
    I just made you The Mayor of Midnight City. What’s done is done, and I’m not in the habit of erasing history.

    And I wrote this – The Morning News which could be taken as slightly political, don’t you think?

    I did read the guidelines before signing up though, and I think my post aligns with them.


    • Respect others
    • Be friendly
    • Have fun
    • Drink virtual cocktails responsibly


    • Pure self-promotion
    • Spam & Phishing
    • Hate
    • Share anyone’s private information
    • Harmful and illegal activities
    • Not Safe for Work (NSFW) content

    Well, there goes the romantic romping I’d planned to include in future chapters of my story. Can I get an exclusion?
    Maybe that’s asking for too much!
    Well, off to Geocities we go!
    Oh yeah, Geocities still continues to exist. I just haven’t linked it up.

    It’s late. You are seconds away from the main street in a small alley. It’s quieter here, but you can still hear the sound of chatter, footsteps, and cars from busy downtown. The city is buzzing, the streets are like arteries. You see an intriguing place in the alley, with a moon on its door. It reads “The Midnight Pub”.

    This is the passage that led me to sign up for Midnight Pub.
    Fiction. This was home. This is where my therapist lived. This is where my girlfriend lived. I could be a hero, or a villain. I could paint myself in a positive image, or a negative. And I wouldn’t be judged by it. I could fly a plane, or own 10 mansions, I could be the President of an island nation. Or I could be a tiny man that lived in someone’s bra. I could be a warrior, a mercenary, or a coward living in the basement. It’s all up to the imagination. And that’s the beauty of fictional writing – it just keeps getting better!

    A fictional story has no constraints.
    Factual writing on the other hand, like I’ve been doing, is constrained by the real world. And what a shitty world we live in!

    I’ve been living in self-isolation for over an year now. It stopped being fun after like 2 months? Then started the constant torture of being stuck with your thoughts in your own head.
    Does it help living with your family? No. Trust me. Without love, and regular sex, no families can exist in one home for extended periods of time. And married people don’t make love, we all know that. Married people have fights and arguments about stupid bullshit. How many married women are tired of seeing their fat slobs of a husband sitting on the couch watching TV or on the computer all day?
    Don’t answer that.
    How many married men can’t stand their wives’ nagging any more?
    Answer that.

    What’s the number of married people who had an affair online in 2020?
    Has anyone thought of that?

    You think you’d want to spend all your time with your loved one, until you actually live with them. And then you don’t. And the longer you spend time with them, the more noticeable their annoying behaviors become. Until you can’t stand them anymore.

    Psychology. I think I’m going to be a psychotherapist in Nightfall City soon! Where I can dump some of these depressing facts on married people and watch them get divorced. I could be a divorce lawyer! And, as a bonus, I get to “offer comfort services” to the newly divorced women!

    Oh yeah, and there’s The Nightfall City!

    If life in the pub was too restrictive for you, there’s an entire city out there, which resembles the cyberpunk future we’re all looking forward to.

    That requires some general knowledge of how pubnixes work, SSH, Gopher and Gemini protocols. It’s all quite simple, actually. So do not be discouraged to explore the future of open internet.

    The Midnight Pub and Nightfall City are like an oasis in the desert of the corporate surveillance networks and the storms of the Covid-19 pandemic.
    Seek shelter in one of the mud huts, and adapt to survive. This storm’s just getting started.

    The beauty of Midnight Pub is that you can access the site from the regular web or from gopher and gemini. And that’s a really cool concept. Cosmic Voyage has also implemented web, gopher and gemini. And Midnight Pub will be the second to implement all three protocols for a single site. And it gets a thumbs up from me.

    Now someone may wonder, “Why implement gemini and gopher when the regular web already exists?”
    Because the web absolutely sucks!
    The moment some capitalist corporate crooks decided to inject advertisements and trackers and all that bullshit into regular webpages, thus clogging the internet with all that crap, the www was doomed.
    There are no ads or trackers in the gopherholes or geminispace.
    Intelligent people love that.
    Stupid people, don’t use adblockers when browsing YouTube.

    Anyway, 2021 is the year of Gopher and Gemini protocols. The users are taking their internet and freedom back. And the capitalist corporate crooks can kiss my ass!

    Update: Initially I said Cosmic Voyage had implemented only the web and gemini. I forgot. It’s also implemented gopher! Officially making it the first site to offer all three versions in my books.

  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 7:06 pm on August 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , data harvesting, , , privacy, ,   

    Judge Esther Salas – The Importance of Privacy 

    Today I watched a video of Judge Esther Salas, who’s son and husband were recently shot by an intruder at their home.
    The poor woman lost her son and her husband is still under intensive care in the hospital.

    Apparently the intruder dressed up as a delivery guy with a FedEx package.
    This intruder was later found dead in his car with a package addressed to the judge.
    He was an attorney, had a complete dossier on the judge and her family.

    Now, there are several conspiracy? videos on YouTube claiming that the judge was attacked because she did high profile cases and had taken on Epstein’s case.
    Since the judge herself hasn’t admitted any specific correlation between taking Epstein’s case and the attack at her home, I’m not going to pursue that lead.
    I’m not a crime detective so I prefer to stay out of the murk.
    Every time someone gets murdered, Hillary Clinton’s name comes up.
    How much money does Hillary Clinton have? It must cost a lot to hire all those hitmen.
    Anyway, Hillary Clinton and her crimes don’t concern me. If Trump didn’t throw her in jail, she must be innocent, right?
    I’ll leave that to the Democrats and Republicans to battle over.

    The judge talked about internet privacy. And that’s what this article is about.
    Esther mentioned that all the judges’ addresses and personal information is available online.
    But that’s not it.
    If you’re an adult living in America, there’s a 50% chance that your personal information is available online.
    There are numerous websites specifically dedicated to harvesting and publishing personal information.
    That information includes your full name, the names of all your family members, relatives, and associates, your address, your email, your phone numbers, your income and the list of all your previous known addresses.
    What I’m mentioning here are details that were readily available to me on open websites. And that’s without much digging.
    There are websites with a paywall that include details of criminal records, education, employment history, vehicle records and so much more.

    If someone doesn’t want to pay for that information, they can do a little digging themselves and gather pretty much everything they need by putting two and two together.
    There are websites that list the birthdays of celebrities. There are sites that list employment information and professional background e.g. LinkedIn. And of course, social media like Facebook and Twitter can provide the rest of the missing pieces.

    Now, most governments in the world are known to have some form of surveillance and they have detailed information about their citizens. But that information isn’t public. It is controlled by the government and accessible only by the government agencies.

    However, in the US, there are private companies that have set up websites that aggregate data about the population and provide them either for free or a minimal fee.
    The data business has thrived in the US. Marketers and data brokers are harvesting and selling personal information and making a profit from it.

    You won’t find these kind of publishing websites for any other country, especially India and China.
    The information is harvested, aggregated and sold among companies, but it’s kept secret. It’s not published for the general public.

    Now, will these types of websites pop up in the future? Probably.

    Imagine websites that catalogue the personal information of citizens of every country.
    That’s the future of online privacy.
    The US has proven to be a fertile testing lab for this type of privacy invasion.

    When your personal information is published online, it can be accessed by anybody. That compromises your privacy and safety. It’s easy to target someone and harm them when you have so much detailed information available online. All you need is a motive and a plan.

    I just watched a bunch of China videos by the YouTuber serpentza, where he describes the Chinese surveillance system and how he was constantly harassed by the cops and state officials for being a foreigner.
    Imagine constantly being followed by the state police who keep detailed logs of all your activities.
    Imagine how much harm these people can cause you if and when they have a motive.

    And this is the problem with surveillance and privacy. It’s not just online privacy but offline privacy that gets invaded. And you never know who might use that information against you. It could be some psychopath stranger, your colleague from work, your boss, your local cops or the government.
    Nobody can be trusted with your personal information.

    Most people aren’t concerned about privacy because they don’t care. They don’t think anyone could harm them with that information. Well, they’re wrong.
    You never know whom you might piss off and who may want to hurt you to take revenge.
    Even the most lovable folks have enemies. That’s just the way of the world.
    Better be safe than sorry.

  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 8:27 am on July 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ActivityPub, BBJ, , , , , federated, , Finger Protocol, , , , git, , , IRC, , mailing lists, , phlog, plan, privacy, , RSS, SFTP, SMTP, SSH, , Terminal, , , Unix, WebDAV, weechat   

    Tildeverse, Gopherspace and Geminispace 

    It’s been a while since my last article.
    I know I said I would post an article everyday for the month of July, but hey – I had a headache for a few days and then went exploring through the internet. And guess what I found?! It’s been totally worth the wait.

    Let’s start with Tildeverse.
    dun dun dunnnnn… boom! boom! Fireworks everywhere!
    Tildeverse is like the Fediverse but retro.
    Tildeverse is what the Fediverse would’ve looked like if it had been invented in the late 90’s.
    And I like it!
    How would I define the Fediverse? Open source, decentralized, federated social networks hosting different services that are integrated together by one protocol – ActivityPub. Phew! Did I nail it or what?

    Now the Tildeverse has some similarities with the Fediverse, and some differences.
    First of all, there is no single unifying protocol; BUT, there is the Terminal! Oh yeah!
    While exploring the Tildeverse, I discovered the use of SSH, SFTP, Gopher, Gemini, HTTP, IRC, Finger, SMTP, RSS, SIP, ActivityPub and even WebDAV! Is this cool or what?
    I think it is!

    Now, if I examine the Fediverse in a similar light, it also uses several different protocols, but the ActivityPub is the main unifying protocol.

    So what is the tildeverse? It is a collection of communities just like the Fediverse. But they’re all centered around one thing – *nix. That is, Linux, Unix, and BSD.
    Each community has a shared Linux system that users can log into via SSH and do various things like programming, creating web pages, play games, chat on IRC, read and send emails, browse and post on Bulletin Boards(Bulletin Butter & Jelly/BBJ), mailing lists, ttbp(tilde town blogging platform)/feels, ttrv(tilde town reddit viewer), use the finger protocol (for lack of better words), use git repositories and so on.
    Each community offers a given number of services, so don’t expect a server to have all services.

    Then there’s tilderadio, a really cool radio station.

    I like it. Tildeverse is sort of like an underground network of communities free from corporate spying, marketing and advertising.

    Okay. The Gopher protocol.
    This is a protocol that preceded the www in the early 90’s when computer resources were still quite minimal. The approach is simple, minimalistic and very resource efficient.
    Unfortunately due to corporate bureaucracy, the HTTP took off, and Gopher was slowly killed due to the lack of support by newer clients.

    As a 90’s kid, I’d never heard of Gopher until I stumbled onto Tildeverse. Then I came across Tomasino’s YouTube video explaining the Gopher Protocol and a few minutes in, I had to go explore it myself and do my own research.

    The Gopher protocol is mainly used for text based websites, though there are options for documents and images as well.

    To my surprise, there are actually hundreds of Gopherspaces existing underground, with thousands of users scattered across the globe.

    The Tildeverse refers to these sites as gopherholes while the rest of the Gopher community refer to them as gopherspaces. I like the sound of gopherspace. Gopherhole sounds like some garbage pit in the jungle.

    If you want to search for gopher sites, there’s the Veronica search engine which has a HTTP proxy if you’re using a regular Browser. I checked it out and it works pretty well.

    I spent two days setting up my own gopherspace.
    And then I came across the Gemini protocol.

    Now, the Gemini Protocol is a new protocol similar to the Gopher protocol that adds privacy and supports MIME and TLS.
    Essentially, the Gemini Protocol brushes up the shortcomings of the Gopher Protocol.

    Even though the protocol is new, there are already a few communities providing Gemini hosting. That’s nice.

    If you want to search for gemini sites, there’s the Gus and Houston search engines, as well as aggregators that show recently updated sites.

    I’ve yet to set up my own Geminispace, but I’m looking forward to it.

    Okay. There’s a lot more that could be said that I can’t remember or have yet to discover.
    But this article pretty much summarizes everything that I’ve learned so far.

    Personally, this is my alternative to SSB. Ever since my terrible experience with Secure Scuttlebutt, I’ve constantly been on the lookout for a viable replacement.
    This is it.

    Gemini and Gopher are low-resource, minimalistic and quite private.
    Anyway, as far as privacy is concerned, it’s quite a relative subject. How do you want your privacy to be implemented? Who do you want to access your information? Whom do you want to protect your information from?

    Using Gopher, I don’t have to sync several Gigs of data in a span of a few weeks of casual usage. Neither do I have to worry about my slow CPU throttling and crapping itself because of one application.

    I’ve downloaded and tested several gopher clients and all of them work flawlessly. Wish that could be said of the SSB clients.

    The only drawback for Gopher and Gemini is that there are no mobile clients.
    And I’m currently wondering if I could use a Terminal on Android to access gopher and gemini sites.
    Well, that remains to be seen.
    I’m not particularly worried about it though, as I’ve limited my use of phone to surf the web, browse 4chan, Reddit and HackerNews and set my alarm clock.

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc