Will Safe Network be seen as another "Dark Web"?

The Dark Web has been in the news lately and it has occurred to me that some might get the impression early on that the Safe Network is just another version of the Dark Web, with all its accompanying negative connotations. Is this a potential problem that should be prepared for? Should MaidSafe be proactive in addressing this possibility in the early stages of the network or just wait and react to whatever develops after launch?


I think there will be a lot of legitimate stuff early on. If we can get a standardized web of trust model on the safe network that apps can plug into then society will be able to see the safe network more favorably. I think having legitimate apps with moderation or WoT will take away from that rhetoric a bit. As a side note, don’t forget how bitcoin got legitimized/popular :wink: not advocating anything here but the Silk Road wasn’t the worst thing in the world.


Of course it will.

The media needs stories and they will latch onto that quick smart.

The stories of Tor being the dark web has only increased its usage. Not much for helping to get people to run relay/exit nodes though afaik.

Bring it on. The attention will only help.

But on the other side the dark web does not offer universal usage APPs for everyone to use. SAFE will be doing this and so the negative aspect will be hard to maintain since anyone can access it and all the APPs. The dark web is mostly inaccessible to people unless they have contacts or find out how. SAFE is open to all


I don’t think it will be seen as another dark web at all. Tor was built by US Naval Research. Bitcoin was built an anon. SAFE is being built by a 10 year old company with reliable, credible, trustworthy engineers with I presume no criminal history. It’s taxed, it’s legitimate everything is out in the open for all to see.

But also I think with IoT and the connected world companies and individuals are understanding that personal security and data protection is a huge problem and so solutions are needed. In other words we are at a different point in time and people no longer believe what they used to.


Couldn’t agree more. The safe browser/authenticator is similar to the TOR browser bundle but on TOR it’s hard for an average user to even find a search engine that crawls the deep web. I think with SAFE we’ll have to solve this early to avoid the same problems of adoption, at least to an extent. We’ll surely have an App Store or site to easily find apps that are as said earlier, legitimate. Also there is monetary incentive to provide storage, CPU, and bandwidth but not to simply browse. Although there are reasons to browse such as sites that provide features unique to SAFE perhaps. I’m sure I could think of more but my point is browsing should be easy and appealing to really foster adoption and draw in more users so we don’t suffer the same fate as TOR as far as searching for data goes.


It is a possibility. But this kind of misuse may not be possible to be avoided, when the network itself is decentralized and the base foundation is built on privacy and safety of data

I’m thinking David has hit this on the head.

If any technology can be exploited so as to provide an anonymous marketplace for highly profitable criminal enterprises, then it’s going to merit consideration.

If that technology has been carefully and robustly developed, it will gain significant attention.

If that tech is as anonymous, or more anonymous, than Tor, then it’ll be very attractive. This includes sufficient volumes of exits/relays, encryption, lack of known admin backdoors, etc, etc…

Providing a more secure environment will propel its uptake by the ‘darknet crowd’, increase public exposure, increase user base size, attract hackers and those wishing to exploit those darknet marketplaces, encourage scriptkiddies and DDoS’ers - and generally pull in mass users very rapidly.

I’ve not read anything about SAFE that would give me pause, if I was one of those darknet market types. The fact this is such a thought-out platform only makes it more attractive. The fact it’s going to encourage mass ‘legal’ use, just makes it that much more attractive, as the DNM types will be even harder to spot with all the legit transfers going on.

I’m not sure how well I like the thought that someone would be selling illegals around the world, using shared space on my machine, but I guess there’s plenty of plausible deniability - and the fact that you’re bound to get a bit of this by providing a massively secure space for internetizens.


Governments and media always like to point out the criminal potential of any new technology. In other words, they look at the “dark side” of things, and have a natural preference for wanting to restrict such tech.

However, I simply don’t accept the argument that because some people will do bad things the technology should be banned or restricted.

For example, how many bad things are done with cash? What about cars? And of course guns. Literally any technology can be used by bad people for bad purposes, but the rest of us should not be denied such benefits because of the few "bad apples.


This has been discussed a lot before.
The SafeNetwork must be used for legitimate reasons at first, otherwise it will get stigmatized as a “dark web” shit and popular adoption will take longer.

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I am not sure anyone will get to choose which comes first. It will depend on who gleens the most value from it.


The SAFE network is a darknet, really. That’s part of what’s good about it.

I predict that the world will shift to having two webs. The SAFE network, or something like it, and the corporate web.


Many times appearances and labels mean everything. I’m wondering if the description above becomes the accepted identity of SAFE among the uninitiated how much that will hurt its chances of widespread adoption.

The darknet being called the darknet hasn’t hurt its adoption at all, really. It’s just that it’s cost/benefit is only really good for a few situations.

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Won’t hurt it’s chances one bit imo. Bitcoin’s utility value has been largely based on darknet payments for a long time. It is attacked/villainised for this, but the public don’t seem to care really. Some people find it useful and some make money from it. That’s all you need imo, people don’t turn those things down because they hear some other people use it for illicit things. People love useful stuff and they love money, it is very hard to persuade people not to use something useful and not to make money based on simple ‘bad press’ and negative associations.

[Almost] Any publicity is good publicity for something like SAFE imo. If it has security flaws or hacks then that’s a different matter I guess. If it gets bad press because it does work as we hope (robust security etc) and facilitates a lot of DM activity that will just speed things along I reckon. I didn’t hear about BTC until I read about silk road in 2013. Tor, PGP keys and bitcoin all confused me enough to put me off diving deeper. But if it had been easy, intuitive and simple I would have become a crypto evangelist two years earlier most likely :crazy_face::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


You’re comparing apples to oranges. Sometimes members of this forum forget we are a minority. Most of the world still does not even know what bitcoin is. The kind of mass adoption Safe is aiming at is comparable to the mass adoption of the current “internet”. Now the internet is something that most of the world is familiar with. We all want Safe to be the new internet and if there are preventable stumbling blocks out of the gate they should be considered. I would wager that there are as many people familiar with the word “darknet” who have chosen not to investigate it because of the negative connotations as there are people who have chosen to look into it and, maybe, use it. We do not want that same kind of stigma attached to something as potentially world-changing as Safe. If there is something we can do to mitigate this potential bias we should do it.


I don’t think that’s true at all. Most of the world don’t have much use for BTC atm and they don’t care about it. I would say we are at the point now where very few have not heard of Bitcoin. Adoption may be small but notoriety is huge with BTC.

SAFE is indeed much more useful. Why and how would hearing any negative associations with the darknet affect or slow down adoption? What examples can you give where that has happened with other techs? I certainly can’t think of any. Tor gets bad press, but those who find it useful use it. Sure, not everyone uses BTC, or Tor, or Bitorrent. Only some people find those products really useful for their needs. SAFE has wider appeal. How does bad press play into that? Have Tor or Bitorrent suffered slower adoption because of bad press? Not to my knowledge?! The bad press they get is the only coverage they get. Any coverage is good coverage. Silk road traffic sky rocketed after the first few articles about it.

You can’t expect the whole world to start using SAFE immediately, it takes time and it will evolve into mainstream use bit by bit and group by group. That will only happen if mainstream groups find it useful AND they are aware of its existence. We know there is something useful in SAFE for everyone, so all we need is to make sure everyone is aware of it.

I would wager a lot that this is not true! If people have not bothered looking in to the darknet it is because they don’t have much use/need for it. If they do have use for it then that use would likely be buying drugs etc (since that’s what is most useful for). If someone is interested to use the darknet (to buy drugs) then they would not be put off by the fact that it is used for drugs?! Likewise, someone who has a use for SAFE will not be put off by the fact that it does what is says - offers security, privacy, anonymity etc.

I’m always surprised to hear people talking about bad press. Some grandparents might be put off when they read a negative article or two in the papers, but for every one of them there will be far more who are turned on to it rather than off it imo. And if it is really useful then those conservative and conformist types will simply join at the end of the party rather than the start, just as most did with clearnet the first time around - clearnet was just for porn, piracy and games after all.


CoinTelegraph (Aug 12, 2017)
80 Percent of Chinese Have Never Heard of Bitcoin: Billionaire Investor Charles Xue

Personal Finance (2/6/2014) - That was a while ago but I don’t believe things have changed all that much in 3.5 years, certainly still over 50%
Poll: 76% of Americans never heard of bitcoin, 79% would never own one

Illicit Drug Buyers=Minority
We don’t want Safe to be used by a minority, we want widespread usage. Are you saying the largest population Safe can hope for is a population the size of the world’s illicit drug buyers? Is it okay with you if Safe becomes identified in the same category as illicit drug buyers?

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That isn’t a statistic, it’s random hyperbole from a rich dude.

Can you link the poll please? I don’t believe that is current/accurate either. I would be very surprised if the majority of the US had not ‘heard’ of BTC. I am not at all surprised most would never own one, most people don’t see the need for it or have much use for it. That is even more true in China where they have the most advanced payment networks in the world - no one in china carries a wallet or cards any more, they all use their phones… or they are pig/paddie farmers who don’t much care. Either way, you are now the one comparing apples with oranges, as you said, BTC is not the same thing as SAFE. BTC is of limited use to these people. SAFE will be more useful to far more people than BTC is.

EDIT: Even 6 months ago “What is Bitcoin” was the most searched question on google http://www.bitcoinscloudmining.com/what-is-bitcoin-the-most-google-searched-term/

Illicit drug buyers = the only audience who were interested in the darknet because it was the primary general use it had. SAFE has much wider use cases. The ‘minority’ use drugs, but it’s not that small a minority. Then you can add on all the other minorities who will find it useful. Downloading media, private chats, secure payments, farming for coin, wikileaks blah blah. Lots of small minorities will eventually make up the majority… But ONLY if they know about it! The way to get Joe Public in is not to get the approval of the press (which is unlikely given what SAFE does) it is to make sure they know about it and what uses/functionality it offers.

Each to their own, we all have to pick what we worry about. I am not even 1% worried about controversial press personally. I welcome it.


The Hackers of North Korea certainly know what Bitcoin is, according to this article: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-11/north-korea-hackers-step-up-bitcoin-attacks-amid-rising-tensions

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