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It’s been a loooong time…

on Oct 05, 2017

Obligatory Portal 2 reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tax4e4hBBZc

To the people who knew me before I went AWOL for a year:

First of all, sorry for suddenly vanishing without a word. Anxiety got the better of me, so instead of doing the right thing and saying I’ll be gone for a while I vanished like a coward. So I’ll just say it outright: I royally fucked up, no excuses. Feel free to call me names for it, I won’t hold it against anyone since it is well deserved. I just ask for the names to at least be creative so that other people reading them can have some fun too.

Saying something wouldn’t have changed much however, health problems made it impossible for me to continue working on my ZeroNet projects, or anything really, for a long time. My condition effects my brain, I can’t think straight for days until I can again for a few days, like being completely drunk for days on end, so the time I can spend productively is limited as you can imagine. Had to move back in with my parents, I live in a different city now, but at least the internet is better here. My condition hasn’t really gotten better, just different, despite dozens of visits to doctors, but I’m starting to get back on track despite the situation.

I still love ZeroNet and still strongly believe fighting censorship is a fight worth fighting at almost all costs and decentralization is the way to do it, especially now where censorship is on the rise again all around the world, so here I am again.

I’m not going to go into too much detail of what exactly happened, because as you know if you’ve followed me before on ZeroNet, I’m here anonymously and want to remain that way as long as I can.

I won’t be able to be as active as I was before, and I’ll likely need some time to get reacquainted with the source code of my ZeroNet sites, especially the SQL parts which I still hate passionately, and there are probably lots of new ZeroNet features I need to learn, but once I’ve managed to do that there’ll be new updates to my current projects and new projects for sure.

And please don’t see this post as me fishing for sympathy due to my medical situation, I’m not and I don’t want it, if it were up to me I’d say this is the first and the last time it is even mentioned, I just feel I owe it to people to try to explain at least a little bit of why I was away for so long, as much as I can without risking my anonymity, and why going forward I might be unavailable for a few days every now and then when my condition kicks in again too hard.

Also, a big thanks to whoever paid the fee to keep the ZeroPolls namecoin domain running in my absence. I said before I so rudely vanished that’s why I don’t like the idea of using domains, and instead prefer using just the hashes. If someone hadn’t kept the domain registered, all of the ZeroPolls.bit links people shared would have stopped working in my absence, while the hashes just keep working forever, so they are way better in my opinion.

Alright, I think that’s it for now. Oh, one more thing… You won’t believe how sad I am that I missed the launch of ZeroMe. I was looking forward to that so much T_T.

PS: I posted this to both of my blogs just so people see I’m back, just so you aren’t confused if you follow both blogs, if anyone still is.

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Hungary Vs Encryption: ZeroNet, be careful

on Apr 08, 2016 ·

I said it in my last blog post, the biggest threat we are facing right now is governments trying to outlaw encryption. And then today I read this:

According to an action plan to fight terrorism being drafted by the Hungarian Ministry of Interior, a person using a service providing encrypted communication could be imprisoned for up to two years.

If you don’t know, ZeroNet’s creator lives in Hungary, so this is bad. If I understand it correctly the plan has been put on ice for now, but that they wanted to do it in the first place is bad enough and they still want to put backdoors in encryption software like ZeroNet.

Even though the government has backed off the plan following a five-party consultation, it still plans to target those applications whose aim is to encrypt communication and try to force them to open backdoor access.

So we need to keep a close watch on ZeroNet’s and especially ZeroMail's encryption source code from now on, so that we see if the Hungarian government forces ZeroNet’s creator to add a backdoor. And by "we" I mean people who are experienced with encryption, which I am not. It’s also a reminder that it might be a very good idea to make regular backups of all of ZeroNet’s Github source code repositories, so if the Hungarian government should come back with it’s plans to outlaw encryption, ZeroNet won’t be removed before anyone is able to make a copy to continue it’s development in another country.

More information can be found in this Hacker News thread.

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Reddit received a National Security Letter

on Apr 01, 2016 · 2 min read ·

Reddit has been served with a National Security Letter, a gag order used by the American government, specifically the FBI according to Wikipedia, to force companies to become government spies and spy on their customers without being allowed to tell anyone about it or face jail time. This is, as absurd as that sounds, perfectly legal in the United States.

There are right now two top Reddit threads about this: 1 2

A few big companies, including Reddit, have gotten into the habit of releasing yearly transparency reports with something called a “warrant canary”. It’s a reference to the canary used by coal miners to warn them of poisonous gas, the canary would die a bit sooner than a human from the poisonous gas, so if the miners see the bird dies, they run for their life. In this context, it is a sentence in the transparency report that says something along the line of “We have never received a National Security Letter”. Once they do receive one, that line will not be included in the next transparency report and this is what happened with Reddit. If using a warrant canary is actually considered legal, nobody knows for sure, a judge might decide that using such a warrant canary is the same as speaking out and therefore illegal, so Reddit showed quite a bit of courage here to warn their users.

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MaidSafe's SAFE network Vs ZeroNet, FIGHT!

on Mar 21, 2016 · 11 min read ·

Sorry for not being on ZeroNet the past week, was a bit under the weather and had lots of things to do which is always a great combination. But now you got this huge blog post for your trouble that I'm sure next to nobody will read to the end :)

Recently, the first very early test version of MaidSafe's SAFE network and the first version of their API for developers was released, finally after ten years and some accusations of it being vaporware or a scam, and I decided to take a look and see how it compares to ZeroNet.

SAFE client

(Screenshot taken from MaidSafe's blog)

This is going to be very long, I will describe everything I have learned about SAFE so far, the TL/DR is ZeroNet is objectively better right now, and in some ways will be forever, but you might still be interested to use both when SAFE is fully released, I certainly am, because due to it's design it will also have some really amazing properties ZeroNet doesn't have (and vice versa). Scroll to the very bottom of this blog post for a big collection of links all about SAFE.

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A new blog because why not they're free

on Mar 15, 2016 ·

I decided to create a second blog on ZeroNet, to write about things not related to the sites I develop for ZeroNet. This way people can follow posts from one without having to see posts from the other if they are only interested in my sites or only interested in my thoughts. And it keeps everything nice and tidy :)

I will probably mostly write about decentralized networks here, I've started to check out MaidSafe for example which I crowdfunded and just released a first test version (don't worry, I'm not going anywhere), free speech, censorship, these kind of things. Maybe also books, I love books! And I probably also will talk about other ZeroNet sites that I find and love. We'll see.

This isn't going to be a blog about my private life since I do try to stay anonymous. Not because I really have anything to fear (I believe), but because I like the fact that ZeroNet (with Tor) gives me the freedom to do whatever I want, develop all kinds of websites here on ZeroNet, without having to live in constant fear that I break some insane bureaucratic law and get fined outrageous amounts of money for it, we have a lot of these insane pedantic laws in my country.

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