What is a darknet?

On to what I like to call “Fair Use Stealing”, or, how to use wikipedia in the blogsphere.

Originally coined[citation needed] in the 1970s to designate networks which were isolated from ARPANET (which evolved into the Internet) for security purposes, darknets were able to receive data from ARPANET but had addresses which did not appear in the network lists and would not answer pings or other inquiries. The name is derived or related to the term black box[citation needed], which meant a system or device whose contents were unknown.[citation needed]

The term gained public acceptance following publication of The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution, a 2002 article by Peter Biddle, Paul England, Marcus Peinado, and Bryan Willman, four employees of Microsoft who described the concept as follows:

The idea of the darknet is based upon three assumptions:

Any widely distributed object will be available to a fraction of users in a form that permits copying.

Users will copy objects if it is possible and interesting to do so.

Users are connected by high-bandwidth channels.

The darknet is the distribution network that emerges from the injection of objects according to assumption 1 and the distribution of those objects according to assumptions 2 and 3.

The Microsoft researchers argued that the presence of the darknet was the primary hindrance to the development of workable DRM technologies. The term has since been widely adopted and seen usage in major media sources, including Rolling Stone and Wired, and is also the title of a book by J.D. Lasica.

Stolen Directly From the wikipedia entry for “Darknet (File Sharing)

Now, there are some differences to my vision from a “typical” darknet. In order to explain those, let’s take a look at what I consider to be important.

Privacy is the most important aspect of Project Obsidian. Everything revolves around it. Let’s look at Facebook as an example. Facebook is a rather public site, with private areas. I want to reverse that outlook. Project Obsidian will be a Private network with public areas. Only information that you CHOOSE to be public will be public. Three methods will be used: Encryption, Obfuscation, and Trust Levels.

Encryption is self explanatory. Everything is encrypted. From your bookmarks to your chat to your downloads. Everything. Period.

Obfuscation will assist users in getting data without being able to be tracked by there ISP, Google, what have you. Sense the internet relies upon static domains for information (i.e. http://www.google.com) everytime you go to google.com you go to one of a set number of servers. But what if you pulled http://www.google.com from 80 different servers. At the same time. Your ISP would have to track all of that! And those servers weren’t registered to google, but simply places that held the html for google.com. A DNS would be constantly updated. And yes, the idea isn’t perfect, or even close to that, but it’s a start.

I envision a future internet where people can only track those movements that you WANT to be tracked. Where information is free, but not necassarily public. Even though I believe very much in Freedom/Open Source, etc. and the concept that information should be free, I also believe that the individual should have a choice about what information the individual sees and shares. I mean, try googling your username. You’d be surprised at what you’ll find.


2 Responses to “What is a darknet?”

  1. Yes, I know I didn’t explain trust levels. Or anything, really. The design document is twisting my brain right now. I’m currently looking for some like-minded people to assist me. I’ll keep all of you abreast of what’s happening.

  2. If you want help, I’m here. Give ma book to read or a project to work on or both!

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