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[#] Tue Sep 18 2018 07:34:31 EDT from wizard of aahz

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There's a reason that everything made you agree to new terms and conditions this past summer. It was GDPR. And if I was running a service in the EU and was storing data, even at no charge I might go visit a lawyer just to make certain I'm not in violation. Part of GDPR is the requirement of the service to be able to remove all details about a person on request. All references, etc... So I guess for bbs100 it would mean not only deleting the contact, but removing all posts, emails, PMs, etc....

[#] Wed Sep 19 2018 06:24:49 EDT from fleeb <>

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Heh... 'remove all details about a person'... in software, that can be kind of fuzzy.

At least, worded that way.

I can remove anything identifying someone from our system, yet leave behind other information that is anonymized. This would allow us to follow what I hope is the spirit of GDPR without losing the value of the data in the first place (providing metrics that help us improve our courses).

Unless the spirit of GDPR is to fuck over companies.

In this kind of software, adhering to GDPR would require tagging information added by someone with an identifier for that person, then performing a lookup for anything by that person, compiling all of it into a huge blob of data (you can format it any way that makes sense), then remove it from your system to expunge someone from your system.

So, imagine someone has commented on a message. Then someone else comments on their comment. Under GDPR, you have to remove both messages, if I'm getting it right, which seems rather draconian, and perhaps unfair to the second person who might not want their message removed.

[#] Wed Sep 19 2018 10:40:37 EDT from winzlo

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AFAIK, the biggest issue that has hindered most BBS's is that the data is not stored or transmitted in an encrypted format, making it able to be "hijacked" by evil dooers. If the reasons given for BBS100's demise were true, anyone running a web site with a shopping cart/payment system would also be in breach, unless they were 100% HTTPS on the front-end and using encrypted data transfers between any backend servers.

How would that ever be proven without someone calling a witch hunt and sniping a specific service to seize their assets and audit their compliance. I don't think anyone would bother - there are much larger issues to be dealt with than bullseyeing BBS's, whcih are already needle-in-a-haystack as they are.

Of course, dial-up itself is insecure, so that could be the primary focus of the reasoning given. But now I'm moving into speculation...

[#] Tue Sep 25 2018 09:49:03 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Walter (of bbs100) didn't go into detail about what exactly he believed had become illegal about running a small online community. I don't see how bbs100 , or Citadel (on which bbs100's user interface is modeled) could harbor any risk that isn't also borne by every web forum, every blog with a comments section, etc. One would think that if such a risk existed, he would have gone into detail about it, or at least he would have sent a message to other developers and site operators explaining the perceived risk.

Based on Walter's unexplained recusal from the community I have to assume one of two things happened: either someone/something spooked him into shutting down because he felt threatened, or he just didn't feel like bothering with it anymore and made up a lame excuse.

bbs100 had an interesting but limited design. It was a single threaded state machine that served up telnet sessions directly, without requiring the use of the host system's telnet server.
Based on that, it was very compact and very portable. But it was also an evolutionary dead end, which is why Walter had begun work on something he called bbs101, a multithreaded server with a database back end. Does that sound familiar? :) That project was binned as well, presumably for the same "reason".

[#] Tue Sep 25 2018 11:40:59 EDT from winzlo

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Maybe he was told that he had a warrant for his arrest by the IRS for tax farud. You know how fun those calls are to lead down a black hole? :) "Oh my goodness, what must I do to not be put in prison? How much money will it take for me to be safe again?" Mooahahaha...

[#] Wed Oct 03 2018 11:41:30 EDT from fleeb <>

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Ugh... those IRS tax fraud guys from India call me entirely too often (meaning: at all).

As do all the individual looking for Sandi Owens from Cumberland, MD. Whoever that is. May she rot in hell.

[#] Fri Oct 05 2018 15:15:19 EDT from Freakdog

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Wed Oct 03 2018 11:41:30 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

Ugh... those IRS tax fraud guys from India call me entirely too often (meaning: at all).

I had to move to Comcast when I moved into my new (to me) house...their VOIP offering includes Nomorobo, which has done an admirable job of screening out most of these fraud calls.

On my cell (AT&T Mobility), I'm using the AT&T Call Protect app, which has been doing a pretty good job between its own database and my manual entries.

[#] Fri Oct 05 2018 15:45:30 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Nomorobo works on any telephone service that supports "simultaneous ring" (pretty much all the VoIP ones). It's free. So all of the consumer telcos have figured out that they can "offer it" as part of their service but it's really just them pointing you to it.

Nomorobo's free service makes your phone ring once before they seize the call and drop it. That uses simultaneous ring. The service that they *sell* to carriers is the one where the carrier can query their database first and make a determination about whether to put a call through or drop it.

Deepest condolences to you for having to use Comcast.

[#] Mon Oct 08 2018 10:48:04 EDT from fleeb <>

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I'm guess, then, having a real wire phoneline works against me in this regard.

[#] Mon Oct 08 2018 11:50:22 EDT from Freakdog

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Fri Oct 05 2018 15:45:30 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored
Deepest condolences to you for having to use Comcast.

Thanks...I'm hoping that some other options come through in the near(ish) future.

[#] Thu May 23 2019 18:36:02 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Some number of months ago, we completed the removal of inter-node mail and room sharing from the Citadel system. This roughly coincided with the shutdown of The Dog Pound, a site with we'd been networking for decades; it was one of the first to join the network and the very last to leave.

So technically there is no more "IGnet" -- and I'm not really interested in starting up another network that depends on our own protocol to work. That concept had dialup assumptions baked into its DNA, even though we ran it over the Internet for many years.

However, we are regularly accosted by folks who are interested in sharing content, and as has been pointed out many times, if you're not one of the big Social Pravda Networks, you want to reach the biggest audience you can get to. I think the modern term wouldn't really be "networking" but rather "syndication".

I'm interested in hearing any ideas. It can't be Citadel specific, though. Ideally I'd like to be able to syndicate in BOTH directions between Citadel and other software.
For example, if I have a buddy with a Wordpress blog, I'd like the comments to sync in both directions. There have got to be other people trying this sort of thing. If any of them have taken hold even a little, we should explore it.

For Citadel-to-Citadel, we could probably share rooms by having two sites scrape each other's RSS feeds. I'd probably have to throw in a little hack to do split horizon (don't send another node its own messages, and/or filter out incoming messages that originated locally).

And of course there's always NNTP. I don't even know where one would get a "real" newsfeed anymore (as opposed to an access account on someone else's server).

[#] Tue May 28 2019 13:35:08 EDT from fleeb

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I thought NNTP feeds had problems with security or something. Or, maybe, most of the dominant NNTP feeds are so riddled with spammers as to have destroyed their utility anymore.

So whatever one does in this space, one probably needs to be able to exclude content from rogue servers, or something along those lines.

[#] Tue May 28 2019 15:21:38 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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NNTP doesn't necessarily mean joining the global "UseNet" feed, or what's left of it. Just having the protocol available makes it possible to share content with operators of any other site which supports it.

Waaaaaaaay back in the early days, our Citadel implementation supported netnews, but only over UUCP. I hacked together a translator so we could network with Spies in the Wire, a nearby BBS built on a WICAT minicomputer by a dude named Andy Rubin, who later went on to create a little thing called Android (Google hired him and bought the company). He called his implementation "CitaSim" and I think he just built a Citadel-like UI over the stock netnews software.
It was easy over UUCP, all you had to do was translate the data format and feed it into an external program. NNTP, not so easy.

I think Andy shut the BBS down when he was getting ready to head west and find his fortunes in Silicon Valley. He carried a select few UseNet groups but we didn't share them. This was before UseNet became 99% spam, but I think he was getting frustrated with local twits trying to post their nonsense to a global audience.

I'm not committed to NNTP. I'm committed to "whatever becomes the standard" for keeping people connected outside of the big networks, who are now drunk with power and openly silencing anyone who is in opposition to their favorite agendas. ParanoidDelusions called this concept "the sidenet" and it seems like a good enough name for now. OpenSocial, StatusNet, Mastodon, whatever breaks out ahead of the pack is what we'll implement.

[#] Thu May 30 2019 02:02:46 EDT from ParanoidDelusions

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Actually - my super libertarian Mormon friends in Seattle - who are really a bunch of brilliant dudes, called it the Sidenet. I agree, I love the concept - for all the same reasons you do. 

I am pretty sure I've been successful in IT not because I'm a brilliant dude - but because I'm the average dude that understands brilliant ideas and connects actually brilliant people together. 

I'm okay with being mediocre but really damn good at it, though. 


[#] Thu May 30 2019 12:15:36 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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So do they *have* a Sidenet running, or are they still in the early stages of exploring the possibilities, like we are?

So far, all attempts to do this have faced the same problem: only techno-libertarians like us have expressed any interest in getting everyone out of the Silicon Valley concentration camps. Most of our friends and families have Stockholm syndrome and are very happy to simply let Mark Hitler Zuckerberg and Jack Hitler Dorsey continue to abuse them and program their brains.

There's probably an opportunity over the next year or two, as the Hitlers of Silicon Valley are working very hard to suppress wrongthink, and enough people are noticing. They also have a habit of trying to silence the truly free platforms, claiming that they are "hate speech" sites. This is magnified by the fact that when sites like Gab really do try to be completely free of bias, they attract *actual* hate speech people. That's a problem we'll have to address eventually.

[#] Thu May 30 2019 15:50:46 EDT from ParanoidDelusions

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I bought about 8 years ago planning on making some sort of anti-social networking site as an alternative to FB and Twitter. Citadel and The Sanitarium are kind of my first step in delivering this. 

One of the guys who was talking about the concept of a sidenet - hosted wallofhate on his servers for a while - but... here is the funny thing... my registrar sold the MANAGEMENT of my domain to some subsidiary, didn't tell me and it broke everything, so I thought there was my own placeholder but instead it was domain parking on hostgater that my domain resolved to. Took me a while to prove who I was and take control of my domain back. 

Anyhow - they're real theoretical guys - but I think something like this grows organically, with guys like you and I coming across guys with ideas like these other guys have, and eventually someone will get the right combination together to create something that starts to gain momentum. The more Twitter and Facebook squeeze and people get frustrated, the easier it will be for us to snap up parts of their user base. 

We should talk about my experience with DIGG.


[#] Mon Jun 17 2019 17:53:01 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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I think everyone wants a sidenet, but no one seems to have gotten enough momentum going to make one stand out from the pack and really fly.

I'm thinking of moving my domains to EPIK, a registrar that doesn't take shit from the establishment. They are the registrar who hosts GAB and some other sites that have been attacked. Unsurprisingly, Wikipedophilia describes them as a registrar best known for far-right/nazi/white-supremacist/hate sites.
I think it's inevitable that if a truly uncensored sidenet emerges, the establishment will call it a far-right/nazi/white-supremacist/hate network, and anyone participating in it will become a target for the inquisition, just like the pigopolists went after anyone who was joined to music sharing networks.

"It doesn't matter if you're a grandma
or a seven year old girl
They'll treat you like the evil hardbitten criminal scum you are..."
-- Weird Al , "Don't Download This Song"

The ironic part is that once a sidenet *does* go mainstream, it'll be immune to the kind of takedowns the establishment is used to doing. With no central point of control, no company to put out of business, no funding to cut off, they will have unwittingly bred a highly resistant superbug.

And Citadel will be a part of it.

[#] Mon Jun 17 2019 22:28:29 EDT from ParanoidDelusions

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Mon Jun 17 2019 17:53:01 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

The ironic part is that once a sidenet *does* go mainstream, it'll be immune to the kind of takedowns the establishment is used to doing. With no central point of control, no company to put out of business, no funding to cut off, they will have unwittingly bred a highly resistant superbug.

And Citadel will be a part of it.

It'll be interesting to see it arise if it does. I feel like modern hardware and OS platforms, including Linux - can't really be trusted. I forget what application it was where they discovered there was a fed on the development team putting backdoors in the code - but there was. With rootkits being undetectable - and reputable stories of machines being intercepted and modified to add hardware back-doors before being shipped on to the purchasers - you really can't trust anything modern. 

Which is kind of my interest in older 16 and 8 bit platforms and traditional telecommunication methods that are simply off their radar. They may not be any encryption or security - but there is obscurity *and* the fact that the OS on something like an Amiga, ST  or C-64 is pretty well documented and known so... the vulnerabilities aren't likely to be able to hide for years in millions of lines of code. 



[#] Sun Jul 07 2019 22:37:12 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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An occasional user of Uncensored (kc5tja) is building a unique computer called the Kestrel for exactly that reason. [ ]

The idea is that it isn't a particularly powerful computer, nor one that has a vast library of off-the-shelf software, but it can be built from off the shelf components and is simple/understandable enough to be audited for back doors.

Obviously if a sidenet emerges, homebrew computers will be big participants in that. That was part of the allure of the early Internet -- everything was text based and there were lots of implementations on many different platforms.

[#] Thu Jul 11 2019 17:12:03 EDT from ParanoidDelusions

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The rub that I see is that without sufficiently powerful computers - meaningful encryption of data and transmissions is impossible. That seems to be the major hurdle with this idea of DIY PCs and sidenets. 


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