My story, stumbled upon a transcript of a TED-talk given by Jamie Bartlett in 2015:
How the mysterious dark net is going mainstream
10:21 - It’s easy to forget that because of its short life, the Internet has actually changed many times over the last 30 years or so. It started in the '70s as a military project, morphed in the 1980s to an academic network, co-opted by commercial companies in the '90s, and then invaded by all of us via social media in the noughties, but I think it’s going to change again. And I think things like the dark net markets -creative, secure, difficult to censor -I think that’s the future.
10:55 - And the reason it’s the future is because we’re all worried about our privacy. Surveys consistently show concerns about privacy. The more time we spend online, the more we worry about them, and those surveys show our worries are growing. We’re worried about what happens to our data. We’re worried about who might be watching us.
11:14 - Since the revelations from Edward Snowden, there’s been a huge increase in the number of people using various privacy-enhancing tools. There are now between two and three million daily users of the Tor browser, the majority of which use is perfectly legitimate, sometimes even mundane.
And there are hundreds of activists around the world working on techniques and tools to keep you private online – default encrypted messaging services. Ethereum, which is a project which tries to link up the connected but unused hard drives of millions of computers around the world, to create a sort of distributed Internet that no one really controls.
Now, we’ve had distributed computing before, of course. We use it for everything from Skype to the search for extraterrestrial life. But you add distributed computing and powerful encryption – that’s very, very hard to censor and control. Another called MaidSafe works on similar principles. Another called Twister, and so on and so on.
13:15 - So the Internet is about to get more interesting, more exciting, more innovative, more terrible, more destructive. That’s good news if you care about liberty. It’s good news if you care about freedom. It’s good news if you care about democracy. It’s also good news if you want to browse for illegal pornography and if you want to buy and sell drugs with impunity. Neither entirely dark, nor entirely light. It’s not one side or the other that’s going to win out, but both.
13:49 - Thank you very much, indeed.
13:51 - (Applause)
What approach to take when giving a TED-talk? When you don’t want to appear as a boring speaker (and just having a new book out on the subject). Maybe begin like so:
00:12 - If you want to buy high-quality, low-price cocaine, there really is only one place to go, and that is the dark net anonymous markets.
Earning him only a lot of comments like this at the time:
- It is disturbing how the audience laughs and this guy has so much fun explaining how this thing works with drugs.
- Is a pirated copy of your book “The Dark Net” available on the dark net yet?
- Interesting dynamic of how unsavory activity can lead to innovations that can be beneficial to all. Though I am not implying that justifies the bad activity—it’s just thought provoking to see how good can come out of bad.
Having learned about it did write a few times about MaidSafe and the Safe network (in Dutch) already before even joining this forum which was early '16 when client testing commenced.
Then, one could still cite Wikipedia, which I did:
MaidSafe (Massive Array of Internet Disks - Secure Access For Everyone) is an open-source program that enables a decentralized internet platform. Instead of specialized servers, data is stored and distributed by a network of internet-connected computers supplied by network users. MaidSafe handles the allocation of hard disk space and communication between the computers (ensuring redundancy in case a computer goes offline). Data stored on the network is either encrypted or cryptographically signed by MaidSafe-connected applications (clients); the network itself cannot decrypt any of the data.
Users providing storage space, cpu power and bandwidth to the network earn Safecoin, a digital currency that can be used to store information on the network.
For completeness also gave the warning shown by Wikipedia at the time:
This article has multiple issues. [hide]
• This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2014)
• This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (March 2014)
• A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. (July 2014)
• The topic of this article may not meet Wikipedia’s general notability guideline. (September 2015)