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kore wrote (edited )

this is something ive been working on recently, learning how to self-host different services. it definitely takes some know-how, but its not magic. i also dont think many people realize how cheap it actually is. a domain name and a server to host a website & email can be had for something like 50 USD/year. if you split it among 4 people thats like $1/ month. i havent looked into the memory requirements of services like self-hosted calendars, spreadsheets, and forms but now that i understand more of what organizers actually need i will try some of that. as for chat, a fully federated matrix server uses a lot of memory and disk space, but one for only the group shouldnt be too bad. also i may be wrong about this but last i checked i dont think matrix supports end to end encryption on group chats

what this article mentions is a lot of what i think about. theres some really good pieces about it from a more theoretical perspective. Return Fire vol. 4 is really good. and so is the book the twittering machine which got posted here a few months ago. ill come back with links if i remember

we must take control of networks and the tools for using them

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celebratedrecluse wrote

I think we should make our own servers, rather than rent. Various powerful forces unfriendly to us are able to shut off our internet connections, making services for hire the last people we should trust at this point unfortunately

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kore wrote (edited )

thats obviously ideal, but if you still need to be connected to the global internet, you just run into problems with ISP. also i dont think a lot of ISPs (at least in US) give static IPs to non-business accounts. what do you mean specifically by server?

worth noting that places like riseup and A/I offer many services besides email

meshnets are certainly possible but problems like long-range (inter-city) connectivity havent really been solved in a decentralized way afaik. theres always sneaker network i guess

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celebratedrecluse wrote

Inter city and rural communication will be the most difficult problems for us to solve. It is probable that we will have to set up a system like Briar has, where its half on the public internet but has mesh as a backup

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a_perfect_map wrote

Dencentralize. The future is a mesh. The client/server model will never withstand attack from a real adversary, and is a hierarchy in which censorship can easily happen.

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lautreamont wrote

How do you "take control" of networks that own you from the start?

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celebratedrecluse wrote

Good question. Some ideas:

  1. ISP monopoly power must be broken by a solution as technical as it is social. We have the capacity to turn our old routers, smartphones, laptops and modems into meshnet infrastructure, available for free. We need to do that, because the state will shut off internet eventually when people start to revolt.

  2. We must create our own electricity. For places with water, creating pools of photoelectric bacteria colonies may be our best bet long term, in addition to biomass generators. For now, consider to seek PV panels for meshnet devices, or perhaps create small community wind turbines.

  3. We need to make our meshnet as low-electric power as possible. This means using couriers and usb sticks, portable drives, dead drops. Moreover, it means that we should get used to slower speeds of digital interaction (no scrolling through "feeds"...0_o lol), and use digital technology for more long-form and higher latency communication styles.

  4. We need to find ways to build resilient community forms despite the virus, because otherwise this meshnet has neither purpose nor trustworthyness nor possibility to exist. For example, we must find ways to communicate in person while maintaining safety and avoiding curfew.

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lautreamont wrote (edited )

A secret society of sorts is the only thing that can work for us. The Outer must become Inner, while the Inside must be turned towards the Outside. Doing almost totally the opposite of what we've been doing for about two decades.

We can not rely on the "affinity group" structure, as it proven self-defeating, in both sense of the term. I believe we need a strong society that is opposed to Society and seeks to build its own social relationship. Encryption and meshnets are a necessary part of that, but irl communications are also key. The relation is what matters, the technology is just there to support it.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

I think i pick up on what you speak. The difference between affinity group politics and secret society politics is perhaps, to me, the difference between a sort of whimsical meeting of desires which might shift with the wind and where participants regard themselves more as individuals than as cohering or cooperating agents, versus a disciplined and tight knit social structure with clear goals and a willingness to labour, sacrifice, and most importantly risk for consensual shared ends

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lautreamont wrote (edited )

A secret society could be pretty much the same as an affinity group in the way people relate to another, yet it overcomes the limitations of the latter, especially for being able to spread across the world, being across languages and cultures. It also engages with the possibility of a lasting bond between people who're part of it.

It doesn't have to be that disciplined... more like shared codes and maybe a level of common ethics.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

If a group is not disciplined, it is just as reliable as the shifting sands of our desert

How could something scale so largely, when it does not have cohesion and trust?

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lautreamont wrote (edited )

Cohesion becomes very problematic, as it quickly becomes a vector for gangsterism, corruption, elitism, i.e. the same old shit. Imosto cohesion is also the place where religions screwed up, and become fascistic.

Adherence to base codes or rituals that are not related to any person's sensibilities and morals are much better, in how, while being helpful for self-improvement, are hardly dogmatizing.

Look at the freemasons, for instance. Their rituals are made for spiritual purpose and also for relating to one another. But beyond that, AS FAR AS I KNOW, members aren't pressured in fusing with a herd morality. But freemasons don't have a central cohesion... there's several lodges spread around the Western world with different rites and reaching to different crowds. Freemasonry in itself is very global, tho.

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celebratedrecluse wrote (edited )

Cohesion is when groups become effective, and thus accessible and relevant to the struggling people of this world, rather than remaining leisure pursuits and social arenas for people with social capital.

I would lodge the latter characterization against various: freemasons, trotskyite newspaper orgs, and anarchists alike.

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lautreamont wrote

I sure know 2-3 gangs of local "anarchists" who perfectly fit the characterization. But my take is that they're mostly privileged people in the first place, when they aren't agents of shady interests. Tho them, too are cohesive. Very cohesive, but at their own game.

I don't believe, tho not totally sure, it's cohesion that makes some group effective, and relevant to others who're in similar struggles.

Think about this group that might exist but you never met. Like an urban version of the tree falling in the forest. It's not the group's cohesion that makes if being heard, it's the very simple efforts at outreach, and more importantly building ties with new people. Just postering around won't make come any close to that. You (or I) may be needing some sincere efforts at bonding with others.

This is what rituals do. Look at the stupidest example: sports teams and their fans. Yes, it means cohesion-building, but when there's something that relates to a shared experience, this gets more into trust.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

we absolutely need to bond with others, and it does start from small beginnings: getting a drink together, cooking a meal for sharing with others, playing games, etc. These rituals serve a purpose, but are also ways of vetting and getting comfortable around each other.

But if this is just going to be a low-risk endeavour of leisure times, anarchy or any form of social transformation will never really come of it beyond the most fleeting and symbolic of gestures.

Trust is built from risk, which must be escalated gently. Like a lover with her partner, we bring each other closer to pleasure, stop when the others need to break, and approach a shared goal with tact and grace

However the challenge is how to consensually bring others toward tasks which are time-limited and entail actual risk, opposition, pain, fear, opponents. This requires cohesion, and I believe anarchists and anyone else concerned with remaking social relations in their own vision...well, we get nowhere without it.

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celebratedrecluse wrote (edited )

Further Hypotheses

The technical solution to ISP monopoly power must have the following properties:

  1. TRANSMISSIBILITY: the solution must be able to move quickly through digital space, with each node being able to securely transmit the installation files to any other device within range.

  2. COMPATIBILITY: the solution must be cross platform, working on embedded systems as well as servers and end consumer devices.

  3. ACCESSIBILITY: the solution must be easy to operate, functioning to operate and attempt to spread the network mostly automatically

  4. CONSENT: the solution must not expose users to data theft, manipulation, or forcible unwanted installation. This will break trust and socially compromise the purpose of the network.

  5. CONTENT: the network must provide access to functions comparable to existing internet services, or at least sufficient for emergency social networking as a backup. The solution should offer exclusive content which is difficult or impossible to obtain any other way, to encourage collective filesharing and other appealing features.

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kore wrote

meshnets. i dont think any decentralized project could really keep up anything wired.

also check out something like scuttlebutt/gossip protocols. technically requires no internet infrastructure, just meeting with various people

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hardwarecult wrote

meshnets are totally unencrypted/lacking strong crypto. you can't ''change society'' if all your communications are being intercepted in plaintext.

gnunet and secureshare are the only projects adressing problems of a scalable and E2EE FLOSS decentralized mesh internet.

http://secushare.cheettyiapsyciew.onion/

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kore wrote

theres also cjdns for example.

what do you mean by "meshnets are totally unencrypted/lacking in strong crypto" like what are deployed meshnets with those characteristics

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lautreamont wrote

With a Stingray and similar hardware, aren't the police able to intercept comms within a meshnet anyways?

What the intel agencies and then the police have been doing already is to be using hardware-encrypted networks, like SIPRnet. This is the toughest thing to crack. Unless we get into this, end2end encryption can be solid, assuming there's no mole in your net of buddies.

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kore wrote

depends on technology used. in theory without any oversight you could just blast packets cross country on any old frequency band you wish, and then your options are endless. electromagnetic waves are cool like that. even if you were to just use normal wireless cards which is definitely possible as long as there enough "repeaters" the security would be the same as normal internet communications, which is fairly high all things considered.

you got any info on how stuff like SIPRnet works? wikipedia doesnt really say much

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lautreamont wrote (edited )

I don't know anything beyond what a web search will tell you. I guess given SIPRNet being a secret net protocol, the DoD won't be revealing how it works. I guess Russian or Chinese intelligence could answer that. ;-)

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An_Old_Big_Tree OP wrote

Maybe link to those pieces here. Also if we had a forum that focused just on this kind of tech building, that would be cool.

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a_perfect_map wrote

Remember that Privacy, Security and Anonymity are three totally different things, and that sometimes you must make a trade off between them.

Remember that all software has bugs. Remeber who owns the infrastructure.

What is priority? What are your threats? These questions inform your software and hardware choices.

If you are new to computational safety start with these two: https://ssd.eff.org/ https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.en.html

Things to look into:

Tor and Tor Hidden Services - Tor works and is used by many. Speaks for itself. If you don't know how to use Tor Browser, learn now! https://www.torproject.org/

TAILS - This is the OS Snowden leaked everything on. Generally a great combination of usability, community support and strong privacy and anonymity. Not quite foolproof, there are still attacks on TAILS such as Lighteater but it generally pretty effective. https://tails.boum.org/

I2P - This is more like a second web, but crypto anarchic. Many fancy things are available, like torrenting, hosting your own site. Essentially a software router that connects to a big mesh of others using layered encryption similar to Tor. Fairly mature project with many users. Not super hard to use but not super easy either. Pretty interesting and deserves more attention. https://geti2p.net/en/

MAID SAFE - This is like a genuine second Internet in a lot of ways. Or like a giant RAID device. I'm lukewarm on this as it is cypto currency backed. However, it has been in development, actively for over ten years so that seems promising. I don't think it's out quite yet? https://maidsafe.net/

Above all, always use Free and Open Source Software. Always. Power loves darkness.

Open hardware is coming, check out RISC V, an open hardware processor.

Also, in meatspace, simply do not tell anyone something unless they need to know and you consider them trusted. If you're in a room with 10 people and 9 of them are known and trusted by you, keep your mouth shut.

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kore wrote

this article doesnt even mention infrastructure... i need to remember to get into amateur radio

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lautreamont wrote (edited )

"Getting the contact info of people outside your immediate circles is crucial. This way no group of friends is necessarily isolated if access to Google or Facebook’s platforms is lost. Something like a phone tree can help organize this into more than just ad-hoc calls when someone is in need. If you’re thinking in terms of “pods,” the goal is to keep pods connected, so that if one pod has a request, it can reach all the other pods."

Oh my god...

Bravo, you're totally going to walk the line of collective cell phone tracking through your contacts.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

Sure, but after an initial contact you can and should switch to an encrypted DM application. If youre an anarchist, you already should change phone numbers often.

We need to act quickly, so it will have to be a balance between protecting ourselves and being effective.

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lautreamont wrote

Apps that use real sandboxing and p2p encryption without requiring a damn phone number should be the way. My issue with Signal is that it is still tied to the phone number, and I think to the contacts as well (unless they improved that part lately).

There's zero fucking reason for phone numbers, even a SIM card. We could totally communicate through wifi and bluetooth, and that's what, for instance, Briar and Riot has been trying to achieve.

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celebratedrecluse wrote (edited )

When starting to organize with new people, do you think it is more effective to:

  1. Immediately refuse to digitally communicate in any way except through a new platform, or

  2. Attempt to transition communications to a more secure platform after building rapport and trust?

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lautreamont wrote (edited )

Look, I can only acknowledge my poor competence on the matter of organizing with others online.

I've been trying to set up a ind of bookfaire/skillshare event for a while, but it always falls flat online. It doesn't seem to be like online comms, without at least some parallel trust-building gimmick happening offline, are of any use for building trust.

Many people are genuine, online, but you never know where's the cunning snitch or manipulator, other than through your "gut feeling".

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celebratedrecluse wrote

Indeed. We are in a very difficult position now because globally, there's been this shift to online only. It's quite unprecedented, and very helpful for the control society because it will hamper insurgent attempts to socialize and build trust, let alone act.

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