Tips for 3-letter agencies wishing to infiltrate and subvert the SAFE Network project

Definitely and my opinion of the situation at this point in time was in no way meant to be a “lets do/consider nothing” scenario. But one where we can not use Hollywood/novel writers scenarios but use reality and the hurdles they need to overcome in order to infiltrate the project. Me thinks my motives/points were misunderstood. Forgive my attempt to provide a counter balance to the conversation.

That might be able to expose malicious code inserted. But doubtful it can detect derailment by social engineering means.

Good point. Whatever the ABCs do it will have to be subtle and not inadvertently advertise the benefits of the SAFE network.

This is where I think the project is at the moment too. It will be interesting to see at what point their view of SAFE will change. Personally I think they will be too late in recognising what SAFE is and its potential to free the world, and be unable to stop it or derail it. Historically they have been too late with most of the new end-to-end encrypted services. Its only after years they now try and subvert them.

Anyhow it seems the OP wasn’t after the reasons why not but what they could do to subvert/divert/destroy the project.

True, I didn’t pursue that, Perhaps the triple question marks in the beginning and the couple of smileys threw me. I think that must have been it. Such items tend to have that effect on me.

OK, you’ve worked on a few research & development projects (one secret), and you get to know people when you all go out for beer every once in a while. And you think that would make it hard for someone to hide their nefarious agenda from the rest of the gang? Well, perhaps that agenda is simply to make analyses of the project’s progress and evolution and submit their reports to their handlers? Perhaps those who receive these reports have access to a full survey of all academic research that has ever been made on why good projects fail? (Perhaps there is a specific discipline inside the social sciences, perhaps where they interact with “business science”, that studies this solely, with professorships and doctoral theses…) Perhaps they possess perspicacious understanding of the various mechanisms that are involved, perhaps very subtle and indirect mechanisms, perhaps involving interpersonal interaction of specifically identified and categorized personality types. Perhaps they have this down to a fairly precise science and know how injecting certain inconspicuous stimuli can cause friction, can cause certain key people to go tired and quit (perhaps even with a public exchange of recriminations, a nice bonus). Just to elaborate on one such possible angle, I’m sure there must be several.

Perhaps they know how making a series of structurally characteristic decisions will invariably cause a project to become drawn-out beyond the endurance-limit of many people?

Those are my immediate thoughts on how a truly intelligent intel community (as opposed to the fumbling, incompetent one you envisage) might attack their derailing task.

And what’s more, speaking of fumbling and incompetent intelligence agencies, should we even use that as a tentative premise for our discussion? I think not. Quite contrarily I must assert that we should clearly reject and rebuke anyone attempting to introduce that as a premise, even a would-be premise. Because it makes us less vigilant, oblivious to facts and events that ought to trigger in us reflection and consideration (not to mention suspicion), and pointed discussion. Who would be the sole beneficiary of a general appraisal of intelligence agencies as oafish, slow-moving, blunt, not really very intelligent at all? Well, the intel community itself, naturally. Cui bono!

Thus, our axiomatic attitude towards infiltration and corruption from actions by malevolent powers (and they could be private also, who destroyed the Occupy movement?) should be one of clear and present danger (by assumption if not evidence).

And, of course, “fumbling and incompetent intelligence agencies” could hardly be expected to distinguish the SAFE Network project from “10000+ crypto projects”…

Are you kidding me?


What do you mean exactly with the ABCs? Is that a synonym for Three-letter Agencies?
TPTB = The Powers That Be, that was easier to find.
Ps: the agressive approach, divide and conquer.

Weell… :blush:

At this point, I would go with trolls.

I would start with sending someone like you to stir up collective paranoia just to test how alert the community is. I would definitely instruct you to go overboard, as to induce a careless attitude and negligence to balance out your overzealous act.

In line with you, another agent would repeatedly explain that it’s either that intelligence agencies don’t care because the entire project is a pipe dream, or they will act by ruining it when the completion is nigh and the launch flickers on the horizon, thus it’s always just a pipe dream anyway.

I would try to sabotage the project financially by attempting to drive the community to implode through paranoia and distrust that would entail a heavy sell-off of the proxy token.

Either way, I would always start with someone who is so overly cautious they would cause the community to ridicule even the slightest notion of this project being on the radar.

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Yes, used to be commonly used years ago. Maybe not so much now.

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Here is a post from a long time ago that might be useful for this discussion. This would be in the area of subverting the community’s perception of SAFE And yes @Halvor I did get the point of the topic and would have engage further if I wasn’t so dismissed out of hand with handwaving and things like “are you kidding me” well no I was not kidding and have been around the block a number of times. (also look at other projects and see what has happened in them, history is a good teacher that one should not ignore)


Moderators especially need to pay attention to the above. Trust your gut feeling after reading the above. If you get that feeling in every sinew … but think to yourself “just this once I’ll let this poster distrup, to demonstrate what a balanced mod I am” your going to lose.

Get the gavel out. Smack that mole down.

Keep forum membership hoops up,make people do some work for their membership. Doing it once, as a legit user is absolutely ok. Someone creating multiple accounts will bitch and moan as you remove their army one by one.

The following might not be popular here… but we don’t have a SAFEnetwork yet,

Subscribe to and rotate daily an IP block list.

Rotate and block a list of tor exit IPs.

… start a forum on the test net asap so any legit users won’t suffer from above.

If not fully block users, stagger what people can do on the forum from different IPS.

Forbid registration and "read time’s from one set of IPS

Allow reading from all…


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That is an excellent reference for counteracting one type of project sabotage! In our case, however, that may not be the biggest threat. But all the same, an important reminder.

I think the most obvious way to attack the network would be to attempt to control a large portion of nodes in the network. Tor has already had this problem, where it is believed the NSA controls a good number of exit nodes, possibly even a majority of them.

In the same way, they could disrupt the network, introduce nefarious code, or block consensus with enough control. This project doesn’t have quite the vulnerabilities as something like Tor exit nodes, but maintaining control of enough nodes could certainly introduce issues, especially if they move in early on with little competition.

Thus, I would propose purposefully marketing to these “ABC” agencies across the world once the project hits Beta. Contact them and show them the potential power of the network. Why? Because there is no doubt in my mind that the NSA knows of this project and has a plan for it if it were to come to fruition. They have virtually unlimited resources numbering in the tens of billions of dollars, and possibly hundreds of billions when you bring in inter-department cooperation between the DoD, and DHS (not to mention defense contractors). To assume that they don’t have analysts on staff studying these crypto projects is naive, IMO.

However, there are a lot of other agencies outside the US, none of which come close to having the resources of the NSA. It’s possible, and maybe even likely, that many other international spy agencies are not aware of this project. So, to combat the NSA, make sure all of them are aware of the project and its potential. Make these countries want to invest resources in trying to one up each other to keep any one organization from gaining control of too many nodes. Use their own distrust and competition against them. Thus, governments around the world would end up jockeying for the most nodes and more control, giving the network more resources, and keeping any one power from manipulating the system. It’s a win for the network, and security.


The ABC’s are staffed with arrogant people - some deservedly so, but arrogant nonetheless. They see Maidsafe’s work as incomplete and so haven’t done much to even develop counters for it yet.

Tor has been around a long time and I2P is out there and better than Tor for security but not so good as an out-proxy system … then there is freenet - super secure, super sluggish, and more recently zeronet … basically though these are all fringe and not a huge threat to the status quo.

I expect they envision Maidsafe’s efforts to be of the same or similar quality and that in the end it won’t attract the kind of attention needed to be a threat.

So, sure they will develop ways to attack it down the road (it has to be completed first) and I’m sure they written up a few reports on it and the team and those are sitting in a stack of reports on some administrators desk.

Understand that Statist government is highly bureaucratic with many higher priority (more political) items/agendas on their plate … they also don’t move anywhere near the speed of technology.

In short, don’t worry so much. The tech is open source and on the web - so it’s not going away. In time, it will reach the level of security required to achieve the goals of it’s founders and supporters - as we will all keep pushing it down that path. The ABC’s can only slow it, they cannot stop it and at this stage it’s just a tiny blip among many on their radar.


I’m sure there are some who are interested in your views of how they will approach it and/or actually do it.

ABCs seems to be reactive rather than proactive when it comes to technology for the public. Seems like they wait until it is popular enough before throwing resources at it.


I have already mentioned some. Please re-read what I have written.

I have re-read them and cannot see actual scenarios, just calls for recommendations on how to do it (scenarios) in the OP and giving some starting points, and the post where you tell me how wrong I am is just general stuff. I thought you were calling for

And I’m sure we want to hear your recommendations (scenarios) on how to defuse, attenuate the future threats to TPTB. Might get others thinking on how they would approach it and get the discussions flowing.

Anyhow if you have none or I am so daft to not see the scenario in your posts then no need to answer as everyone else will see how daft I am and nicer to leave it at that.

Pretty sure they study the internet and its possible evolution. They have contacts in academia that watch areas and risks. They also look out for what can be used by them or against them. This project will have attracted their attention just through affiliation with Solid. Every good crypto expert will have heard of it. Look at the EUs Article 13 global spyware proposal and its censorship effect. Look at the US’s total info awareness- SAFE would break that program.

But any good people that work for these outfits might actually aid and abet SAFE.

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Jippy I live in the Netherlands :stuck_out_tongue:


What is ‘Solid’? [20 characters… blah]

“Solid (derived from “social linked data”) is a proposed set of conventions and tools for building decentralized social applications based on Linked Data principles.”


imho TLAs (three letter agencies) would be targeting SAFE once things like child pornography etc would be found to be stored on the network. until then we’re probably good. perhaps we’re heading towards some form of futuro-archaic direction where each individual would have to learn how to protect themselves outside of highly controlled enclaves where you can only use ‘approved’ digital products, or else. for the ones that are strong enough to call themselves free would have to learn to not rely on protection from police, provided energy sources etc… i hope im wrong!

You mean, you don’t see how they would consider the ramifications of the project’s success a threat to their power monopoly?

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