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[Table] IAmA dark web expert, investigative journalist and true crime author. I’ve met dark web kingpins in far flung prisons and delved the murky depths of child predator forums. I’ve written six books and over a dozen Casefile podcast episodes. AMA (part 2/2)

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Around here nobody talks about the argument that increased regulation of the internet would help stop child predators. Is that true, and if so where do you fall on the Net Neutrality vs law enforcement spectrum? No I don't think that's true at all. Child predators have been around much longer than the internet, and I would argue child abuse was more prevalent 50+ years ago when children were seen and not heard and it wasn't talked about. The dark web hasn't created more predators, it has just given them a new place to gather and hang out.
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused.
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That's so interesting, thanks for the AMA! Can you remember any other thing that a child could do in order to protect himself from being abused? What other characteristics do the abusers hate in potential victims? That seems to be the main one. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
What do folks talk about in the child predator forums? Do they like give each other advice on how to improve their craft? Yes, quite literally. The give each other tips on how not to get caught, how to edit out incriminating details in videos, how to drug children, techniques for convincing kids not to tell etc
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Given your insight into how predators operate, do you have any advice for parents on protecting their kids? I'll cut'n'paste a response i gave to someone else about this, because it was something that really stuck out to me:
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
Has the exponential increase in Bitcoin value affected darknet dealers in any profound way? I can imagine that some drug dealers were sitting on quite a large sum of Bitcoin when the value shot up. Crypto purists hate to admit it, but bitcoin would not be where it is today without Silk Road. It was sitting at less than a dollar when Silk Road began and the markets showed a robust use case for cryptocurrency and as the markets grew, so did the demand for bitcoin. It also provided real-life use data for those who were not interested in drugs but who weren't sure if it had practical application. When SR went down, Bitcoin was at about $650 and it continued to grow as adoption became more mainstream. There are many many stories of drug dealers (and at least one faux-hitman!) who gained most of their wealth not by selling the drugs, but by the growth in value of their bitcoin holdings
Since you have a lot of experience with them online. Do you think pedophiles(not child abusers) should be treated as criminals, or as people suffering from a mental illness? Contact offenders should be treated as criminals, because they are criminals. They have abused or hurt someone. Same with those who support the creation and dissemination of child abuse materials.
Pedophiles who do not act on their urges should be given as much help as humanly possible.
Are there any mysterious or suspicious pages or communities that you haven’t been able to access? Anything that seems especially weird? there are a lot of Russian communities that I can't access, mostly because I don't speak Russian. Some of the more technical hacking communities have entry barriers that I'm not technical enough to score an invite to
How much these bad people really exist out there? Hundreds? Thousands? More? It depends what you mean by bad. If you mean people who use the dark web to buy drugs (who I do not consider bad) then there are many many thousands. There are also thousands of people who deal in stolen information to make money.
Unfortunately there are also thousands of child predators and the dark web has provided a "safe space" for them to come together to share materials and "tips". I hope this is where most of the resources of law enforcement are concentrated
Ehy mine is a rare question: what do you know about art on dark web? I'm talking about the black market made of stolen important pieces from museums, art used as value to money laundry and other criminal affairs I'm an artist and what I know is people don't think too much about the dark side of art and probably they need to open their eyes about I really haven't come across much in the way of that. Some of the markets have an "art" section, but that is mostly blotter art
How accurate are the legends? Any legends in particular? For a lowdown copied from a post I made in another forum:
1Red Rooms  The one that is most persistent is the myth of the "Red Room" - live streaming of torture/rape that ends in the murder of the victim and which people can pay to watch, or even bid to type in commands for the torturer to carry out (highest bid wins!). The most famous was the “ISIS Red Room” pictured above, where people could provide instructions to torture captured terrorists - you can read what happened here.
People have this idea of Hostel with webcams exist all over the dark web, but you just need an invite to get into them. It's ridiculous. They don't exist. They certainly wouldn't exist on Tor. But people are desperate to believe and they always come back with "You can't prove they don't exist, people are crazy, therefore they must exist." Picture my eyes rolling here.
2.Hitman sites
I don't think many people are taken in by the hitmen sites anymore, though the press loves playing up the fact that there are sites offering up hitman services. But every single one of them has turned out to be a scam, especially Besa Mafia, the one that did the most marketing. Again, you can read about it at the same link as above.
3.Exotic animals  People are always asking where they can find markets for exotic animals. Obviously the illegal trade in exotic animals exists, and some communications and transactions may well take place over Tor, but there are no markets like the drug markets where you can go and look at a picture and then put a tiger or ocelot or something into your basket and buy it with bitcoin.
SO WHAT DOES HAPPEN ON THE DARK WEB?
1.People buy and sell drugs.
The drug markets are more busy than ever. You have probably heard of Silk Road, the most famous online drug market that got busted a few years ago and the owner sent to prison for two consecutive life terms? A lot of people thought that was the end of drugs being sold on the dark web. In fact, dark web sales of drugs have tripled since the shutdown of Silk Road.
The reason people buy drugs this way is that for many they offer a safer alternative for people who are going to do drugs anyway. There is no possibility of any violence. The vast majority of the time a buyer knows exactly what they are getting, because of the feedback and rating system. That's not the case in a nightclub, or even friends-of-friends, where you just blindly accept that the pill, powder or tab is what the seller says it is.
2.People buy and sell other illegal things
Mostly they buy and sell stolen credit cards and financial information, fake IDs (though lots of these are scams), personal information, “dumps” of hacked data and fraud-related items. For a long time, a seller was making a fortune selling fake discount coupons that really worked.
3.People access and create childporn  Unlike the other markets, the CP market is generally not for money, but rather they are groups who swap vile images and videos for free. The worst of the worst is called “hurtcore’. Thankfully, most of the people behind the worst sites have been arrested and put in jail.
4.People talk about stuff
There are plenty of sites, forums and chatrooms where people talk about all sorts of things - conspiracies, aliens, weird stuff. They take advantage of the anonymity.
5.People anonymously release information
Whistleblowers use the dark web to release information and make sure their identities won't be compromised. You will find Wikileaks, for example, on the dark web.
6.People surf the web anonymously
The number 1 thing people use the dark web for is just to surf the web completely anonymously. Not everybody wants to be tracked by advertisers.
I have a question: what are the odds of the casual Darkweb drug buyer - not buying mega loads all the time - the occasional purchase - what are the risks of being busted? Kinda figuring pretty low. But you’re the expert. What do you think? Obviously there is always a risk, but the risk is very low. It is rare for personal amounts to be seized. Even if a package is seized, there's usually no resources to follow it up. Many people report simply receiving a letter from Customs saying they have seized what they believe is contraband and the person has a choice of going to claim it or it will be destroyed. Even if LE does knock on the door there is plausible deniability: "I don't know who sent that stuff to me".
So yeah, rare, but it does happen. You might be the unlucky one
How do you find things on the dark web without search engines? There are a lot of entry sites, set up with links to the most popular places. You can generally get a link to one of them by browsing places like reddit. From there it is a matter of checking out different places, people will put links in forums etc.
I also use a Pastebin where people paste sites they have made/found, and a Fresh Onion site, which crawls all the newly-populated .onion addresses
Hi. there!! Thank you for answering questions. Mine is very simple. How do sellers get the drugs to people? Regular mail? That's always puzzled me bc I'd assume USPS, UPS, fedEx or any other mail carrier would catch at least some goods. If people are ordering drugs, particularly in powder form, for personal use, they can be flattened, sealed in MBB (moisture barrier baggies) and sent in a regular business envelope, indistinguishable from billions of other envelopes going through the postal system every day. The chances of a particular package being intercepted is very low.
Some people take the extra precaution of having the person taking delivery of the drugs different to the person/household that is ordering them.
How did you move from being a corporate lawyer to researching and writing about dark web? I was in London, working for one of the most conservative law firms in the world when the Global Financial Crisis hit. I liked the job but it struck me when people were losing their livelihoods that I was working for the bad guys. I'd always wanted to be a writer so when I came back to Australia I quit law and enrolled in a writing course planning to be a novelist, but I discovered I was better at journalism. I first wrote for newspapers here about Silk Road and it grew from there
I've always wanted to check out the dark web, what is a normal day for you look like on there? Can you give me any tips on how to safely surf the dark web? A normal day looks like me sitting at my desk writing things on my computer. When I'm researching a book or a case I venture away from my computer to trials and to interview people (at least I did pre-COVID)
There is nothing inherently unsafe in surfing the dark web. All the usual precautions you take surfing the clearweb apply. Don't visit any child exploitation sites - it will be pretty obvious that's what they are by the names/descriptions before you log in.
It is only when you want to do more than surfing - e.g. buying drugs etc - that you need to do a LOT of homework or you will absolutely get scammed
Is there anything good about the dark web? It depends what you are into. A lot of academic research has concluded that the darknet markets provide a safer way for people to buy and use drugs, due to the ratings of vendors, services that independently test and report back on batches of drugs, doctor on staff ready to answer questions, no violence in transactions etc.
News sites provide a dark web option so that whistleblowers can safety provide information and upload documents that get stripped of any identifying metadata before being available.
It bypasses firewalls and allows for secure communications under hostile regimes
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How does this make you feel about the idea of the decriminalization of drugs? I've always been for full legalization of drugs, and studying the darknet markets just proved I was right.
I was invited to an experts roundtable in Portugal about drugs and cybercrime a few years ago and the Portugal model of decriminalisation has been a great success
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Hey, you are still answering. Been reading this thread for 1-2 hours now. Thank you so much for all the good work and info! Always been intrigued by this topic, downloaded tor once to explore a bit but couldn’t and deleted it right away, to be on the safer side. Great insights. Thanks! I've been writing it for about 14 hours. Going a bit loopy
How was working on Casefile? What's the production process like? Which episodes did u do?? I have listened to... all of them.... I absolutely LOVE working for Casefile. I am a freelancer, so I source and write my own cases and then sell the scripts to Casefile. I've done at least a dozen, but some of my most popular are Amy Allwine, Mark & John, Ella Tundra, Leigh Leigh, Rebecca Schaeffer...
As for the production process, once I have sold the script to them, a staff member edits them and then they are passed on to Casey to narrate. After that, they go to Mike for sound editing, music etc. They are the best team ever
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Oh, Leigh Leigh was so well written!! How do you choose which stories to write? Do you just pick true crime you're interested in? Thank you! I have a huge list of potential episodes. Any time I come across an interesting crime on reddit, or in the news or wherever I make a note of it. Then I just pick one when it comes time to write a new script.
Sometimes I've been personally involved (e.g. Amy Allwine), gone to trials etc. Those are always the best ones
Hi Eiley, your twitter just reminded me of this AMA :) What are your thoughts on bitcoin? And would you prefer to be paid in crypto or fiat? OOOOH, I know that name! Love & Light to you!
I like Bitcoin and I wish I had a whole lot of it and like many many people, I wish I had kept the first crypto I bought at something like $4 a coin :D I do not have a whole lot of it but I do have a little bit. I like the philosophy behind it and in theory it should change the world. However the reality is that the vast majority of it is concentrated in a very few hands which allows for market manipulation and stops it being useful as a post-fiat currency.
As long as I'm getting paid, I'm pretty happy!
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I too remember your name Pluto! Such a decent human ❤ he is!! True OG right there <3
Is the dark web subject to more racism than its counterpart, the world wide web? There are some white power sites and that sort of thing and the chans are even more uncensored than the clearweb ones (4chan, 8chan) but to be honest they are the same cesspools in different spots. Drug forums don't seem to be very racist. I've seen worse on Twitter
Have you seen any consequential political or social organizing being carried out on the dark web? Not directly, but the dark web helped facilitate the Arab Spring uprising in 2010 by allowing activists to remain anonymous and to access blocked websites and social media. Wikileaks, obviously. Some white supremacy organizations seem to use it to coordinate attacks, but they are not places I'm keen to hang out in.
What’s the most expensive thing for sale you’ve seen on the dark web? What was surprisingly inexpensive? I can't remember specific listings, but there were sometimes sales of things like coke by the kilo, so that sort of thing I guess.
LSD could easily be found for $1/tab and one huge dealer gave it away for free if it was for personal use
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1. I’m going to ask a couple in hopes that one will catch your interest! I know you’re anonymous on the dark web, but even so, have you ever felt worried about your safety? I actually made the decision to be upfront and honest about who I am on the dark web, so I use the name OzFreelancer (which is easily traceable to my real name) on all the dark web sites where i went looking for interviews. The people there had the option of talking to me or not, so they had no reason to want to harm me.
2. I’ve found your comments about your relationship with Yura fascinating. Did y’all develop a friendship? Did you build any other relationships that stand out in your mind? Since you were straightforward about being on the dark web for stories, did people seem reluctant to communicate, or were they excited for the opportunity to divulge a secret? We do have a friendship of sorts, it is really quite weird. I do hope to met him one day. I met all of the senior staff of Silk Road other than the Dread Pirate Roberts himself and keep in touch with some. Some people wanted nothing to do with me of course, but many more were happy to talk to me. i think sometimes it was a relief to them to be able to talk to one person who they knew was who they said they were.
3. On violent forums, did users ever express remorse, guilt, shame, or anything indicative of some recognition that what they were viewing/seeking was awful? Do you see doxxing teams on the dark web working together to uncover info, or is the info already there through previous hacks/breaches, and someone just accesses and releases it? Sorry if any of those don’t make sense! I’m not familiar with the dark web lingo but am so intrigued by your work. Not really. I think if they were contributing to the forums, they were comfortable with who they were and what they were doing. Many of the "regular" pedophiles expressed revulsion about Lux and hurtcore sites though
these have probably been asked before but has there ever been a time where you where genuinely been scared for your life and whats the most messed up thing you've witnessed did you have any help? Yeah both things have been answered in this thread, so I'll cut'n'paste
The only time I've felt even slightly in danger despite all this nosing around in there was when I helped uncover a hitman scam. The owner of Besa Mafia, the most profitable murder-for-hire site in history, came after me when I started writing about him. He made loads of threats ("you don't know who I am, but I know who you are and where you live") but that wasnt scary, as I had access to the backdoor of his site thanks to a friendly hacker and knew he didn't really want to hurt anybody.
It took a bit of a darker turn when he told the people who had signed up to work as hitmen on his site - and who he made video themselves burning cars with signs on them to advertise how legit his site was, then never sent them the promised money for doing so - that I was the owner of the site who had ripped them off. That could have become ugly, but luckily even the thugs weren't dumb enough to believe him.
The only other time I've been a bit nervous was when Homeland Security wanted to have a "friendly" meeting with me on one of my trips to the US to attend a trial. They were friendly, but scary too.
The most frightening experience I've ever had is coming face to face with Lux, the owner of Pedoempire and Hurt2theCore, the most evil and reviled person on the entire dark web. He was responsible for procuring and hosting Daisy's Destruction, the most repulsive video ever made, created by Peter Scully, whose crimes were so bad, the Philippines are considering reinstating the death penalty especially for him.
It wasn't frightening because Lux was frightening - he was anything but. It was frightening because he looked so inoffensive and normal.
It was frightening because he was living proof that monsters walk among us and we never know.
[deleted] It is absolute crap for browsing the clearweb, and a lot of sites detect that it is odd traffic and you have to solve their CAPTCHAs before doing the most basic things
I’m sure you’ve seen some really bad stuff, do you regularly talk to a therapist to help? I've never seen a therapist (they don't really seem to be a thing in Australia they way they are in the US), but I have been known to unload on my partner and my dog
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Yo, speaking as an Aussie, they absolutely are a thing, you can get them covered thru medicare, and I recommend it if you possibly can! Bro, therapy is awesome. I'm not against therapy as a thing, but I've honestly never been so traumatised that I feel I need it. Also I had a bad experience with a psychologist after I watched my partner die in an accident - they suggested I find God, and I noped out of there
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Therapist is an American term- we call them psychs. And the one who told you to find God was terrible and out of line. Yeah she didn't last long before I was over it. Also a doctor decided I needed Xanax, which was also a bad move, because what I really needed was to grieve and Xanax doesn't let you do that properly
Do you find any good things on the dark web? Happy stuff that gives people hope? Or just the trash? I like the psychonaut communities. They just want peace, love and mungbeans for everybody
Have you heard of "The Primarch System" rumor of the dark web? Sounds downright silly to me. But I'm curious if anyone who spends time on the deep web actually takes it seriously, or if as an idea it is connected to anything serious at all. Nah, up there with the Shadow Web and Mariana's Web. There's always people who want to find out where the "deeper" "more secret" "really dark" stuff is. To them I say what, hurtcore isn't dark enough for you?
Doesn't delving the murky depths of child predator forums categorize you with the child predators in the eyes of an investigating law enforcement agency? Do you have some sort of amnesty due to your journalism, or is that something you worry about having to explain away? Has your presence there ever caused some sort of a scare? No, I never went into any of the sites that had actual photos or videos (you can't un-see that shit), but did spend a lot of time in pedophile discussion forums. I also went to a hurtcore hearing and saw screenshots in the police files, as well as listening for two days to videos being described frame-by-frame and private communications between the site owner and the sadists.
Besides drugs and sex crimes, what else is going on in the dark web? Are there other interesting nooks and crannies? I often post screenshots of bizarre sites I find on my Twitter. However, the main uses for the dark web are drugs, digital/fraud goods and child exploitation
I have one, it might be rather boring though, but here goes. On these "child predator forums" are they actually forums devoted to stalking children and do they share social media profiles of children among themselves? That would be kik ids, snapchat and facebook ids, instagram, stuff like that, info that would allow online access and that may have been chosen for suitability? Creepy question I know, but anyway I would be interested to hear your answer. I came here from TrueCrime, you referred to these things in your post on that sub. I suspect I already know the answer yet would like to hear your take on it. Yes, they provide information and tips on how to approach children, how to ensure they won't tell, how to sedate them in some instances, where to find child exploitation material, how to remove metadata and any identifying characteristics in photos and videos before sharing and so on.
They don't tend to share socia media, as that is the sort of thing that can be traced easily. They do talk about how to approach kids on social media and on the worst forums how to blackmail children into stripping/meeting etc
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So you're saying they have a more general approach rather than identifying individual children on the internet? Again a creepy question because what I suggest is that a child's social media could be used and circulated on the dark web as potential information to gain access by anonymity, even if it was just online access only. I actually wonder as I have recently read of the anonymity of apps like ''kik messenger'' and how the police are often unable to get any information from the communications as they remain encrypted and off the server and require little if any valid ID to make an account. No doubt photos from social media are uploaded as part of the materials they have. I haven't seen anything where they get together and try to track down a specific child, but I'm sure some predators do this. Most are more likely to abuse children in their orbit - family, kids of friends, or they work where they have access to children
I heard there are forums to download books but it was really dangerous, Is it true? I'm just a poor guy who wants to finish the young Jack sparrow series Whenever you download anything from a pirate site you run the risk of infection
What do you think of QAnon? Wackjob conspiracy
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Who should the conspiracy theorists actually be worried about if they actually care about thwarting pedophilia? The vast, vast majority of child abuse takes place within the child's personal orbit - relatives, family friends, parents of their own friends, people involved in their activities (coaches, leaders, etc)
So, those people
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Also how to we get people to stop believing in QAnon? Outside my area of expertise, sorry
do you personally believe there was/is any truth to the "defense" (story) that DPR was a title handed down to different admins for the original silk road, or was it just a convenient defense? do you have any theories as to who satoshi nakamoto is? besides the original SR, are there any other darkweb markets that you think have a good enough story to turn into a book? eg sheep market? i've seen you talk a little about the child predator forums, and (as with h2tc) noted are mainly populated by males. i'm curious if you've ever encountered females on such forums/websites (eg. btfk) No. There was a time that I believed the person posting on the forums as DPR changed, but the ownership and administration of the market I believe never changed hands. Variety Jones is claiming a part ownership (which may or may not be true) but I believe that is so he can run a Fourth Amendment argument
So many theories have some credibility to them, but no one theory ticks all the boxes. Highly recommend the 3-part youtube deep dive by Barely Sociable
I'm not sure any one market has the story that Silk Road had, but I would like to write a definitive history that encompasses the most compelling features of all the markets. Backopy of BMR apparently got away clean. The admins of Atlantis got wind of a security issue and closed shop, trying to warn DPR. AlphaBay ended in Alexander Cazes death in a Bangkok prison cell. Then everyone flocked to Hansa, which by that time was being run by law enforcement. Evolution ended in the most brazen exit scam, followed by a bizarre cloak'n'dagger situation played out right here on reddit. The WSM/DDW follow-the-money case. And these are just some that come right off the top of my head. I just need a publisher to provide me an advance I can live off while I write it!
There were a very few people on the forums who identified as female (obvs anyone can be anyone on a dark web forum) and there have been one or two arrests of women in relation to dark web child pornography. Peter Scully's female assistant who carried out some of the torture was originally one of his victims, turned into a sadist.
What’s the one lingering unanswered question you have about SR? I am hanging out for Joel Ellingson to go to trial so that I can find out once and for all whether redandwhite, lucydrop and Tony76 are one and the same person.
There are several people who I got to "know" by their handles who I wonder about from time to time, but mostly I hope they are safe and well and i don't want to track them down or expose them
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Eileen, I am fangirling PRE-TTY hard right now. Talking SR and Tony76 with you is how I imagine it feels to talk to a royal correspondent about Prince Andrew 😅 Ellingson being all three would be a very neat end to an otherwise insane story. Part of me wants to pin Oracle in with that trio too but that’s mostly a desperate attempt from me to add another layer to the madness. I miss the twists and turns that came with the rise and fall of SR. From your own experience - would you agree with the idea that more than one person staffed the DPR account? Thanks for the reply! Ha! You have no idea what it is like when I find someone who really knows about this stuff and can have informed conversations about it. I latch onto them and don't let go. The very BEST was meeting up with DPR's three deputies (SSBD in Australia, Inigo in US and Libertas in Ireland) so I could actually have conversations with people who knew more than I did! Variety Jones was cool too, but the conversation couldn't flow too freely thanks to him being incarcerated in Bangkok prison at the time.
I think others sometimes posted from the forum account, but Ulbricht kept a vice-like grip on his market account
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I can imagine it’s so satisfying and exciting to get those tidbits of info that piece the jigsaw together. The bedlam that played out over the forum in the aftermath was a cloud of paranoia and adrenaline that kept me refreshing pages for days. Would love to hear accounts from SSBD, Inigo and Libertas from this time. One last question: what were your thoughts when the Chloe Ayling story first broke? I assumed it was a publicity stunt. I don't think that any more. I guess I can't blame her for milking her kidnapping for publicity in the aftermath, though I don't think she does herself any favors the way she goes about it sometimes
Sorry if this has been covered before but in your research, mainly related to child abuse, where are these children coming from? Children in their care/ family? Kidnapped? The vast majority of child abuse is carried out by someone within their social circle - family and acquaintances. However, the hurtcore stuff was often carried out in third world countries on orphans or where desperate families gave up their children to "benefactors" who they believed were going to provide food an education
What Casefile episodes have you written? I became obsessed with it and ripped through all the episodes and now nothing will fill that void. Thanks for your efforts! Casefile – the murder of Amy Allwine
Casefile – Blue Skies, Black Death
Casefile – Ella Tundra
Casefile – Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs
Casefile – Motown Murders
Casefile – Rebecca Schaeffer
Casefile – Sian Kingi
Casefile – John & Mark
Casefile – Shauna Howe
Casefile – Chloe Ayling
Casefile – Johnny Altinger
Casefile – Killer Petey
Casefile – The Santa Claus Bank Robbery
Casefile – Martha Puebla
Casefile – Leigh Leigh
Is there any way parents can keep their kids safe from this without being helicopter parents? I'll cut'n'paste a response i gave to someone else about this, because it was something that really stuck out to me:
The one thing I found really interesting when I was lurking the forums of the child predators was their frustration about how children are now taught from a very young age that certain touching and acts are wrong and that they shouldn't keep certain secrets. It came up over and over again that they could not abuse certain children because they knew those children had someone they would tell. It was pretty clear that education was a child's best defence against getting abused. Kids who speak up and who have close relationships with one or more people they are likely to confide in
What does it take in terms of degrees and experience to get into this business? Nothing official. I was a lawyer, but that had no bearing on what I do now (I did corporate law). I didn't have any official credentials when I began as a freelance journalist, though later I got a diploma of professional writing and editing. Anyone can be an author, provided they can write
If you could take a guess from your findings, what would be some speculative statistics on these abuse/torture sites? How many people (tens of thousands?) are involved? Do they generally come from the same places in the world or are they seemingly geographically random (based on victim ethnicity, or language spoken, perhaps)... what are some quantifying stats to wrap our heads around how prevalent this shit is? Most dark web users come from western countries, just because infrastructure supports it. The sites often have tens of thousands of registered users, but a lot of them would be people for whom curiosity got the better of them and who signed up then left. Active users more like in the thousands, hyper-active users the hundreds.
One of the things that makes life difficult for law enforcement is that most of these sites don't operate on a commercial basis - people aren't making money from them, so there is no cryptocurrency chain to follow. They operate on a sharing basis and to get access to the more private parts of the sites, a user has to upload "fresh" material and/or prove they are actively abusing a child. Hurt2theCore used to get users to have the children hold up signs or have the site name or a username written on their bodies with a marker. This stopped law enforcement from getting access to those parts (like the "producers lounge") of the sites unless they were able to take over an account of a user who already had access. Even then, the rules of the hurtcore sites would require constant new proof in order to maintain access.
Some sites allowed people to buy access, such as one called "Welcome to Video" and then were taken down by law enforcement carrying out blockchain analysis of the Bitcoin transaction that led to the owner when they cashed out to fiat without moneylaundering precautions
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Do you think LE uses deep fakes to simulate a picture to gain access? Is that possible? It is definitely possible, but I don't know whether they are doing it as they are understandably secretive about their methods. I know it is deeply problematic, as even fake child porn is still illegal (even cartoon stuff, including some Hentai in some countries). But they have used questionable methods before, most notably running the dark web's largest site, Playpen, for over a year in order to identify contact offenders
the below is another reply to the original answer
Am I hearing you that many people are NOT doing this for financial gain? Just to do it and share it?? Child exploitation, yes, it is mostly a sharing community. Some people make some money out of it, but it is not like drugs where a lot of people are making a LOT of money
On the subject of abused kids... did you ever help the kids in any way? I never met any of the kids. I never saw any of the photos and videos. I don't know who any of the kids are.
Daisy has been taken into care and her identity changed. I hope she is doing okay
What exactly does the dark web look like? You hear about it often, but don’t know if it looks like Google Chrome, Safari, or just a page full of code. It looks like a normal browser and operates just like a normal browser. It's just that it can access sites that your normal browser can't.
e.g. http://thehub5himseelprs44xzgfrb4obgujkqwy5tzbsh5yttebqhaau23yd.onion/index.php is the URL of a dark web forum. If you plug it into your normal browser you will get an error. If you plug it into the Tor browser you will get the registration page for The Hub
How do you keep yourself from hating all humanity? I am happy to report that, even on the dark web, the good people outnumber the bad
Hi! First off I'd like to say that I find what you do quite fascinating and would love to do something like that in the future. My question is in regards to art and other forms of artistic expression on the dark web. Is it true that the dark web is a place where you can also find awesome things such as art and literature? Not really, because all that stuff is readily available on the clearweb. There are sites like the Imperial Library of Trantor, which is a pirate site for books, where you can read thousands of books for free, but that's really no different to The Pirate Bay. Some people share their LSD art, but again, nothing you won't find on the clearweb
submitted by 500scnds to tabled [link] [comments]

What's Happening At Dash? | Continually Updated News & Announcements Thread

Welcome to dashpay!
If you are new to Dash, we encourage you to check out our wiki, where the Dash project is explained from the ground up with many links to valuable information resources. Also check out the menu bar on top and the sidebar to the right. We have very active Discord and Telegram channels where the community is happy to answer any and all newcomer questions.

Purpose of this post

This post is directed towards community members who wish to rapidly access information on current developments surrounding the Dash cryptocurrency.
Lately we've noticed how the pace of events picked up significantly within the Dash project due to many years of hard work coming together and pieces falling into place ("Evolution" is finally here. It's called Dash Platform). For the purpose of keeping these many pieces of information together, however, singular Reddit submissions are insufficient. Thus we decided to maintain a pinned thread collecting blog posts, interviews, articles, podcasts, videos & announcements. Check back regularly, as this thread will always feature the latest news around Dash, while also serving as a mid-term archive for important announcements and developments.
Journalists looking for news and contact opportunities wrt Dash, please bookmark:

Dash Press Room

"At Dash Press Room you will find the latest press releases, media materials and product updates on Dash - Digital Cash."

Dash Platform Video Series (formerly known as "Evolution") with Amanda B. Johnson

  1. Dash is Becoming a Cloud | Dash Platform #1
  2. What is Dash Drive? | Dash Platform #2
  3. What is Dash's Decentralized API? (DAPI) | Dash Platform #3
  4. Usernames & Dash Platform Name Service (DPNS) | Dash Platform #4

Dash Core Group News

(last updated: Oct 9th, 2020)

Dash Insights with Mark Mason & Dash Talk with Amanda B. Johnson

(last updated: Oct 9th, 2020)

Development news

(last updated: Oct 9th, 2020)

Adoption, Partnership, Business Development, General News

(last updated: Oct 3rd, 2020)
submitted by Basilpop to dashpay [link] [comments]

BNC public chain officially launched on March 19

BNC public chain officially launched on March 19
According to the official BNC public chain, they will be launching synchronous on 19th March globally in nine countries (China, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines and Brunei) and 30 communities. This cause strong attention within the industry, especially attention to value and ecology of Proof-of-Capacity (PoC) from blockchain experts. Website and forum in Europe, America and Southeast Asia have a hot pursuit of BNC, hundreds of media vying for coverage. At the same time, attention of BNC is rising because of Proof-of-Capacity (PoC) technology development have a worldwide boom.

https://preview.redd.it/jcseqh15cem41.png?width=559&format=png&auto=webp&s=cef25e0877980f50d7c565eff679c502be62b163
Easy to say, nature of PoC is mining through hard disk, PoW is mining through CPU (or graphics cards, ASIC, these are stronger computing chips, PoS is mining through the proportion of cryptocurrency holdings, while DPoS is voting to decide super node.

https://preview.redd.it/c2kwytw8cem41.png?width=600&format=png&auto=webp&s=169a41f4c4577049ea799b61a14827b2f29fc715
Our main character today PoC has something in common with Bitcoin PoW, but there are some substantive differences. As we know, Bitcoin PoW requires miners to perform hash calculations continuously and repeatedly. miners need to run their computing chips with high intensity and consume extremely high power resources.
BNC will change the pyramid situation that BTC facing at present: The high monopoly of the big mining farm caused the increasing centralization of mines leading to monopolization of large households and national policy pressures.
Large electricity consumption and noise and heat from mining machines do not meet environmental restrictions in more than 159 countries so the whole mining was ruled by the elite. As a result, ordinary users can't participate in BTC's decision-making at all.
BNC's ultimate dream is to focus on the pain of the existing market, achieve low threshold entry mining for everyone! Everyone mining!

https://preview.redd.it/r3rl26vbcem41.png?width=436&format=png&auto=webp&s=1c3d1377febf5993b1158c24a8f5a0c961f15d4a
Computing power cost is also one of the important indexes of mining revenue. Computing power cost include competition for performance and equipment, mining machine's computing power determined the day's mining earnings. Quality of PoW machine depends on computing power, but the higher the power, the higher the price. The impact of a mining machine worth tens of thousands on the return cycle is also significant. The greater the computing power, the greater the energy consumption. Electricity consumption of mining is staggering, so mining farm have to relocate to low electricity fees area, but a lot of power is wasted. By comparison, power consumption of BNC hard disk is lower, energy consumption is the same as running a computer.

https://preview.redd.it/psbezjjecem41.png?width=640&format=png&auto=webp&s=95c88aa9241d184a46fd1a3525bdf2183137614e
After the industry goes through the bull bear cycle, heat and cold alternate reshuffle period, PoC hard disk mining direction effect will become more and more obvious. Failure to focus on compliance, lack of quality asset-selection capabilities, lack of technology build-up and business innovation capabilities will be difficult to survive.
BNC cling to the front of the times, each time the layout is only for better brilliance. At a time when the mature Internet is combined with blockchain, BNC will create a new wave of wealth, bring more investors to believe that everyone can mining, every investor in cryptocurrency is back at the top of wealth. BNC strive to build PoC hard disk mining, creating unparalleled wealth myths.

https://preview.redd.it/f8s7yuogcem41.png?width=531&format=png&auto=webp&s=92785eb07805d4b9f3970f8303eaae81943e7f6a
BNC knows that innovation can drive development and create new brilliance.
BNC lets you experience the explosion of POC hard disk mining mode! If you have a dream, come to BNC to make your digital assets truly valuable!
submitted by BitcoinNC_BNC to u/BitcoinNC_BNC [link] [comments]

Stellar Lumens HODL alert: 2017 Round up, Partnerships, Lumens vs. Other Cryptos

Welcome everyone! The future of Stellar Lumens is bright! Today we will look at the accomplishments of Stellar.org in 2017.
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2017 Round Up
IBM / Stellar Partnership
• Kik Messenger’s KIN coin to move from Ethereum to Stellar in 2018
• Stellar ATM introduced in Singapore
• Jed McCaleb confirms IBM/Stellar has 30 banks on board (Youtube Video)
Lightyear.io enables forward thinking financial entities to easily join the Stellar ecosystem.
• IBM adds 8 new validators from 8 different countries onto the Stellar network (article)
Forbes calls Stellar “venmo, but on a global scale - and for larger bodies like banks and corporations.”
• Stellar Lumens Is Up 6,300% Since March and Is Aiming for Big Blockchain Partners (article)
• Many new partnerships (listed below) that will be using the Stellar network in 2018.
Binance and GoPax Exchanges Adds Stellar
Ledger Nano S support is now available for Lumens (XLM)
• The next coin to break into the top 10 cryptos (article)
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2017 Partnerships & Financial Institutions
IBM - is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States, with operations in over 170 countries. IBM partnered with Stellar to help financial institutions address the processes of universal cross-border payments, designed to reduce the settlement time and lower the cost of completing global payments for businesses and consumers.
SatoshiPay - a web payment system that helps online publishers monetize digital assets like news articles, videos, or PDFs in tiny increments without friction.
EXCH.ONE - is a FinTech software company based in Switzerland currently working to integrate its platform and its first technology adopter Euro Exchange Securities UK Ltd. into the Stellar network. This addition to the Stellar network will bring access to currency markets of South and Central America,UK and a number of EU countries.
Novati (ASX:NOV) - is an Australian-based software technology and payment services provider. Novatti is currently working to integrate it’s platform into the Stellar network with the ultimate aim to build a global money transfer solution to provide cross border, cross currency and cross asset payments.
Pundi X - is an Indonesia based fintech company that provides POS device, debit card, multi-currency wallet that empowers individuals to buy and sell cryptocurrency at any physical store in the world. They say "buying cryptocurrency should be as easy as buying a bottled water."
MoneyMatch - is a Malaysia based fintech startup that provides a fully-digital peer-to-peer currency exchange platform for customers to transfer and exchange foreign currencies with complete ease and at great value. The company plans to integrate with the Stellar network and enable pay in and pay out from Malaysia.
Streami - is a Korea based fintech company that offers blockchain enabled cross-border remittance service and recently launched a cryptocurrency exchange. The partnership extends both on the exchange side and remittance operations.
Neoframe - is developing and marketing trading solutions for big brokerage firms in Korea and extends its business to blockchain based applications. Neoframe developed high performance centralized cryptocurrency exchange as well as secure wallet solutions and is working with big financial players. The company is planning to launch a remittance business for ASEAN countries (Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos, Brunei) using Stellar.
SureRemit($RMT) - is a Nigeria based global non-cash remittances company. SureRemit leverages the Stellar blockchain platform to connect immigrants abroad directly with merchants that provide the services needed by their loved ones back home. With Remit tokens, immigrants all over the world can access digital shopping vouchers that can be spent on goods and services at accepting merchants wherever they are.
Cowrie Integrated Systems - is a Nigerian based Value Added Service Provider. Cowrie provides services at the intersection between telecoms and finance. Cowrie recently joined the Stellar network to bring novel fintech services to the African market.
Smartlands - is a Stellar-based platform designed to create a new class of low-risk tokens, secured by real, profitable assets in the real-world economy. Smartlands is designed to promote investments in the agricultural sector by allowing investment in individual projects, agricultural companies or indexes of groups of projects. These investments will be fully collateralized by agricultural real estate, other productive assets such as fruit or nut trees or, in some cases, the actual crop.
Klick-Ex - is an award winning regional cross-border payments system delivering financial infrastructure for emerging markets. It has been responsible for dramatic uptake in digital financial services in unbanked regions of the world, and lowering costs for banks, central banks and consumers in low liquidity currencies. Its key presence is in the Pacific and Europe, and it is a founding member of www.APFII.org processing more than 775,000 transactions per second, per billion of population (source).
Mobius - Mobius connects any app, device, and data stream to the blockchain ecosystem. Our simple and easy to use bidirectional API allows non-blockchain developers to easily connect resources to smart contracts and more. The Mobius MVP acts like Stripe for Blockchain by introducing innovative standards for cross-blockchain login, payment, smart contract management, and oracles. The Mobius Team includes David Gobaud, Jed McCaleb (Stellar.org founder), Jackson Palmer (creator of Dogecoin), and Chandler Guo (notorious Bitcoin & blockchain investor).
Chaineum - Chaineum, the first French ICO Boutique, will use the Stellar network for upcoming ICOs. “Chaineum is positioned as the first “ICO Boutique” in France, providing a range of end-to-end services to companies and international start-ups wishing to develop with this new funding mechanism. Chaineum is preparing 8 ICOs by the end of 2017, for European, North American and Asian companies, of which cumulative amount could reach € 200 million." (source)
Poseidon Foundation - Poseidon will simplify the carbon credit market with the creation of an ecosystem built on Stellar.org’s blockchain technology. This technology will prevent double counting of carbon and will be consistent across jurisdictions, making it easier for companies to deliver and measure progress towards their climate targets or other goals such as deforestation-free commitments.
Remitr - Remitr is a global platform for cross border payments, licensed in Canada. Remitr uses the Stellar network for international settlements for businesses as well as other payment partners. Remitr’s own payout network of 63 countries, comprising several currencies, is extended onto the Stellar network.
MSewa Software Solution (MSS) - MSewa Software Solution (MSS) Payments provides a one-stop digital payment service available across the Globe. MSS Payments aims at serving the consumers (Banked, Unbanked and Underbanked) with mobile banking facilities on the move from anywhere by transferring funds in their mobile phone.
PesaChoice - PesaChoice is a leader in international bill payment services for the African diaspora. PesaChoice aims at making international bill payment process easy, seamless, secure, with reasonable and competitive service fees, and up to date technological advances.
SendX - Singapore based SendX, in partnership with Stellar, is the better way to move money worldwide. The SendX team believes that the future of transactions is decentralized and distributed, bringing true equity to everyone across the value chain.
VoguePay - VoguePay, with offices in the United Kingdom and Nigeria, is partnering with Stellar to become the cheapest and most efficient way to send money between the United Kingdom and Nigeria. In the coming months, they expect to expand this service to other selected African countries.
HashCash - Hashcash consultants build financial solutions for banks and financial institutions over blockchain. We leverage the Stellar platform to build products that vastly improve the remittance and payments experience for banks and their customers. Transfers happen lightning fast at a fraction of current rates and operational cost is significantly reduced. HashCash is headquartered in India, with operations across South Asia and the Gulf.
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Stellar Lumens vs Other Cryptocurrencies
Lumens vs. Bitcoin: Jed McCaleb spoke at Distributed Markets in 2017 about the advantages, but more importantly, the disadvantages of Bitcoin. Listen to the talk here. Jed said, “Bitcoin is this awesome innovation. The first thing it does is converts a real world resource, electricity, into a digital asset. So it takes something from the real world and puts it into the digital realm. The second thing it does is provides immutable public record. It’s basically a database that everyone can see but no one change arbitrarily… That’s great, Bitcoin solves the double spin problem [ of proving possession and transmitting volume]… [However, to fix the problems of bitcoin] you might think well maybe we’ll just kind of keep adding [software] to Bitcoin until we get there, but that’s not really the way software works. You want to have the design from the beginning and solve these simple issues. Bitcoin was designed to be a new currency, it wasn’t really designed to be this unifying universal payment network. So that’s what Stellar does. It solves these three remaining issues.”
Lumens vs. Bitcoin #2: According to wired.com, "Bitcoin mining guzzles energy - and it's carbon footprint just keeps growing." Wired says "Today, each bitcoin transaction requires the same amount of energy used to power nine homes in the US for one day... The total energy use of this web of hardware is huge—an estimated 31 terawatt-hours per year. More than 150 individual countries in the world consume less energy annually. And that power-hungry network is currently increasing its energy use every day by about 450 gigawatt-hours, roughly the same amount of electricity the entire country of Haiti uses in a year." Because Stellar is based on a consensus algorithm rather than mining, it takes much less energy to run the Stellar network. The Poseidon Foundation decided to build their platform on Stellar rather than Ethereum or Bitcoin because of this (twitter source).
Lumens ICO tokens vs. Ethereum ICO tokens: According to Stellar.org, "traditionally, ICO tokens have been issued on the Ethereum network in the form of ERC20 tokens. ERC20 tokens are easy to issue and are infinitely customizable using Ethereum’s smart contracting language. However, recent events have highlighted and exacerbated some weaknesses of the network, including slow transaction processing times for the network during ICOs and increasingly expensive gas prices (by fiat standards) for transactions and smart contract execution. Moreover, many organizations require only basic tokens; they adopt the risk of Ethereum’s Turing complete programming language without taking advantage of many of its benefits."
"While Ethereum has the most expressive programming capabilities, we believe Stellar is the best choice for ICOs that do not require complex smart contracts. Stellar’s primary goal is to facilitate issuing and trading tokens, especially those tied to legal commitments by known organizations, such as claims on real-world assets or fiat currency."
Stellar vs. Ethereum #2: The median transaction time on Stellar is 5 seconds, compared to approximately 3.5 minutes on Ethereum (source). Stellar has a negligible transaction fee (.00001 XLM ~= $0.0000002) with no gas fee for computation, while depending on the complexity of the computation, the median cost for a transfer on the Ethereum network is $0.094. Security: While both Stellar and Ethereum run on a decentralized network, the Stellar network has fewer security pitfalls. Stellar uses atomic transactions comprised of simple, declarative operations while Ethereum uses turing complete programming capabilities which produces less auditable code and greater risk of exploitable vulnerabilities (source). Recently, a security flaw in the Ethereum network froze millions of dollars. According to Mobius ariticle written by David Gobaud, "On November 6, 2017, Github user deveps199 'accidentally' triggered a bug in Parity, a popular Ethereum mult-sig wallet, that froze more than $152 million in Ether across 151 addresses. The bug impacted several token sales including Polkadot, which has had ~$98 million out of its recent $145 million sale frozen."
"Mobius had none of its ongoing pre-sale Ether frozen because we do not trust Ethereum’s Smart Contract based multi-sig wallets given the vast Turing complete attack surface and did not use one. Security broadly is one of the main reasons the MOBI token that powers the DApp Store is a Stellar Protocol token and not an Ethereum token."
Lumens vs. Ripple: According to Wall Street Bitcoin Exchange, "Many investors like to compare the company [Stellar] to Ripple, and there are a lot of similarities, being that some of the founders worked on the Ripple team. In what can now be looked at as another blockchain development drama that plays out on chat boards and in interviews all across the globe. Stellar declared they fixed Ripple’s problems with their hard fork, however, Ripple has failed to admit to any of the flaws in its design that the Stellar team has pointed out." The article concludes by saying, "We Choose XLM Over XRP For 2018. That is why we are going with Stellar Lumens over Ripple in our portfolio for the rest of 2017 and 2018. After holding Ripple for a long time this year, it just never seems to make the big break like other names with bigger market caps like Bitcoin Cash, Dash, and Litecoin have. While we are holding on most all our larger market caps, we feel that Stellar Lumens will be one of the break out coins for 2018."
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Conclusion
The stellar.org team is doing an amazing job making partnerships and pioneering the use of blockchain technology for various types of transactions. What we are seeing is a new technology that can actually be used to solve real-world problems. As a community, we need to continue supporting Stellar and we will quickly see it power transactions across the world. What are your thoughts about Stellar? What do you see in the future of Stellar? Any important news you want to share? Comment below.
submitted by chargingerman to Stellar [link] [comments]

In case you missed it: Major Crypto and Blockchain News from the week ending 12/14/2018

Developments in Financial Services

Regulatory Environment

General News


submitted by QuantalyticsResearch to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Amir Taaki - Breaking Bitcoin presentation (transcript)

Below I transcribed Amir's talk from Breaking Bitcoin (see previous post here, start of presentation (youtube): here). Excuse the errors (will fix if you point me to them).
What was most interesting for me:
Amir:
Thank you for having me here.
I believe that ideas play an important role in shaping human history. What I want to talk about is how technology has been shaped by key ideas. In particular how certain mechanical ideas of human society got mixed up with with politics and technology.
What I want to talk about is the free technology movement. It was a movement that showed great potential promise to liberate humanity. At the heart of it was a idea that technology offered a new way to construct a radially different kind of society that never before was possible in history, this movement was influenced by the visions of early scientists who believed in the power of computer technology not just to serve large industry and military but everybody to have access to this new power.
Influenced of by the 60s counterculture, this movement went on to develop the first personal computers. But that's not the end of the story because this radical vision mutated into the idea of self-regulating systems which see human beings as object managed by computer algorithms. In this vision, the value of human ideas to transform the world was diminished into a strange kind of consensus where everybody satisfies their personal desires.
We now find ourselves in a strange static dreamworld while dark forces are returning to threaten to penetrate our reality and all of the dreams of the techno-utopiasts play the role in creating this fake virtual world in which human beings driven by desires, devoid of all sense of higher purpose become slaves to algorithms and vast computer intelligences.
What is interesting about this story is the significance it has for Bitcoin. A project which is created for the purpose of creating a decentralized peer-to-peer money that cannot be controlled by governments and central banks but which now finds itself monopolized by large mining cartels. A lack of vision to guide the project forwards and increasing irrelevance in a world facing a global breakup of power.
Lastly I want to explain my project to revitalize the free technology movement to formulate a wider vision to restore back the potential of the technology to transform human society and train the next generation of revolutionary hackers dedicated to the cause of using the technology to support the cause of freedom.
My aim here is to find sponsors, find the place for establishing our hacker Academy, to find partner organisations to develop new technology projects with and to find people ready to dedicate themselves in advancing the free technology movement. People ready to be at the forefront of writing history.

At the heart of this story lies a conflict between two men in 1968. One of them is good B.F. Skinner, the other is good Lewis Mumford. It was one moment when two ideas about how technology could be used to advance human society first XXX ((unintelligible)) to take hold.
There's a documentary from this time made in mid-60s called "Towards tomorrow". And in this documentary, it described two possible future visions for human society. In a society where old forms of authority were declining, what would be the way that we could organize masses of human beings in a future society.
One of these visions for this society was a world managed by an elite group of technocrats, a specialized elite who managed a large population of passive human beings who constantly needed to be monitored and managed to be able to to keep them happy. B.F. Skinner described a new way of controlling and ordering people. He posed the question in this age of mass democracy and individualism the old forms of coercion was simply not possible and he put forth the idea of using reward. And he described an experiment where you have a cage with a pigeon inside and the pigeon can be trained to peck symbols, buttons, and depending on which symbol they peck, they get a pellet of food. In this way, by giving the pigeons the right reward for the correct behavior, they train the pigeon as a mechanical object.
He then took this farther and he went to a mental hospital in San Bernardino in California and in the mental hospital, what they did is they gave the mental patients small reward every time they did a good behavior. With this reward, when it was a lunch time or a dinner time, the patients could sit at a nicer table. So, inside the mental hospital, they created a new ordered hierarchy from a system of reward in which people don't feel controlled but feel empowered. Skinner describes this model as a model for the future of humanity. What's really interesting about this video by Skinner is it there's something very eerily similar to what we see today in which there is a technocratic elite that has interest in politics only in managing human society to keep us happy to keep everything stable and to keep themselves rich. A lot of this was powered in the mid-80s with the fake consumer credit to reward us as a form of social management - much like the experiment with the hospital, the mental hospital.
Lewis Mumford put forward an alternative vision for a society. In this video I'm going to show you - he first criticises Skinner and then he puts forward an alternative vision where everybody in the society is a participant. Everybody is an active human being deciding their destiny.

There were many forms the computer could have taken. In 1800s, the computer was proposed by Babbage. And popularized by Ada Lovelace. It was seen as a tool that would have huge social uses and that should be in the hands of many people, but when the computer was first developed during WWII - for cracking German codes for the military and for guiding ballistic missiles - computers became a very large centralized machine.
By the 80s, communities of hackers started to emerge which started to be fascinated with these huge machines - which at the time you had to get the time slice, to get the appointment to get to get some time to use the machine - they started to get jobs near these computing devices, because they wanted to know how these machines could work. They started to build their own computers in their garages, in their houses and universities - and that was the birth of the personal computers, the reason why we now have laptops and telephones.
What happened was: a lot of big companies started to come along and they started to invest a lot of capital. All of the hacker community - who up until that point had never seen money before in their life - to throw themselves at, at the proprietary industry. And whereas before the culture that had created this personal computers, this liberatory technology, really believed in power to use the technology to improve the humanity for the better, who really believed in free technology, in sharing techniques and code with each other - instead became siloed off.
But there was one guy - Richard Stallman - he was just a guy - he found this ethically wrong. If enough people got together, we could give a challenge against the proprietary industry. He made that as a proposal to the community - that it doesn't have to be this way, if we together put our energies we can build our own operating system. A lot of people at that time thought that he was crazy or that his ideas weren't feasible.
This is early video of Richard Stallman.

So, in 1991, the cryptography was classified as ammunitions and Philip Zimmermann wrote the first freely available encryption software for anybody to use and he uploaded it to the Internet. The American government arrested him and he was facing a decade in prison. What Philip Zimmerman did was to print the source code of PGP - of this encryption software - which he sold internationally, which is something that in America is protected under the First Amendment. And the American government was realizing that they couldn't continue with the case, they dropped the case. And since that time, because of the action of Philip Zimmermann, software became classified as a form of speech. And cryptography became widely available. It's now reason why cryptography is available everywhere.
Also, in early 90s, Stallman has started to piece together his operating system. And by now a community a community of people has emerged around him. It was the birth of Linux - a really important piece of technology. Not just in the free technology world, but in general, in hi-tech space it place a very key role. And that was a rise of the whole bunch of movements: free software movement, hacker movement, crypto-anarchist movement. Movements were invigorated with creating a lot of new ideas and a lot of new concepts about how we could use the technology to shape the world around us. These were collective movements driven by the shared sense of purpose.
Towards the end of the 90s (the baby boomer generation), the western society became overly optimistic. Something the Jean Baudrillard called 'the dead of society' and 'obsession with desert-like forms / with the simulacrum'.
Stallman free software movement failed to capitalize on institutionalizing his movement. And what happen was what emerged was the open source movement. It was a movement that said: making this technology is not a question of freedom/ethics, it's simply when you have access to source code of a program it's more efficient, it's cheaper, it makes more quality code. I don't think that's true, but that was their argument. One of the main spokesmen was Eric Raymond who released a book called 'A cathedral and a bazaar'. In that book, Eric Raymond has described the open source development philosophy as open bazaar where everybody, dozens or hundreds of people, a wide number of people all collaborated in a horizontal manner. He coined an idea that given enough eyes all bugs are shallow. When we have a piece of source code, if there are enough people - all contributing a small amount of time and looking at the source code - then if there is a bug, that bug will be found. The idea that given a huge amount of people with a small amount of contribution of each, that we can develop projects and advance technology.
Then what happened was the biggest event in the modern western history - which was the collapse of the twin towers, the twin idols of capitalism, perfect in a reflections, reaching into the skyline of New York - which realized our deepest most hidden desires to see the destruction of this passive lifeless world. And what it represented was the return of the real (of the) dark forces - that we ignored - back to penetrate into our reality.
In early 2000s we saw a lot of optimism and momentum for change. We saw the Arab spring, we saw The occupy, we saw the orange revolutions. In the technology world, we saw a lot of advances, there was a huge amount of optimism for Linux on the desktop. Every year the people were saying: this is going be the year of the desktop. Everybody was waiting for that sudden single breakthrough. One of the major developments in technology world was the confrontation that took place between Hollywood and a Manhattan programmer called Bram Cohen. ((...)) He developed BitTorrent. The concept started with sites like Napster or Kazaa - that were centralized services that were shut down by authorities.
Cohen came up with a concept: if enough people downloading files and seeding them at the same time - then the more people that download the file the more that file will become widely distributed in the network. So, that file will become shared in a self-regulating network. It was a big success and the movie studios didn't know what to do about this, they were completely powerless in face of this technology. The idea of creating a functional self-regulating system outside of power proved itself and it's something wildly popular among technologists.
The next major development is the shutdown of the Pirate bay which led to the development of the Pirate party that at one point had double digits in elections and even entered into the EU parliament. There is huge momentum behind it. Wikipedia was also developed - the idea that given thousands and thousands of people all contributing small edits, one line at time, could build this huge knowledge resource . Around this movements started to emerge the new priests of this internet-centric decentralization technology - people like Yochai Benkler, academics who would go to conferences and sell this ideology to people.
But something strange started to emerge. Wikipedia released statistics about edits on Wikipedia. We found that it was a small group of dedicated people that wrote the majority of Wikipedia, people who really believed in the project and spent all their time writing the majority of the articles on the website. When we started to look closer at these decentralized systems, what we observed was small groups of leaders surrounded by a wider community. In BitTorent, it wasn't that everybody was seeding in the network. Most people, after they downloaded, didn't continue to run the software. In fact, it was a small group of users, who wanted to challenge Hollywood and promote BitTorrent, who would leave their software running seeding torrents.
In open source, we observed that there were small groups of dedicated developers in a project surrounded by wider community. And in fact, what Stallman has done was not just to write Linux and put that in the community, but he had written articles, he had written manifestos, he had put forward a vision and an ideology that pulled together enough people and drove this movement of hackers forwards.
So what drove these projects for freedom was not a new model or a new technique. It was a vision that pulled together enough people to realize an idea. To understand why Occupy and Arab Spring and orange revolutions and the Pirate Party and a lot of these movements had a huge of amount of will and movement - fail, it's really instructive to understand what happened to Egypt. In Egypt, huge amounts of youths started to mobilize through Facebook and they started to go to this center in Cairo to front the military dictatorship. Huge amount of people died in that struggle. And after they threw out ((?)) the military dictatorship, the youth then sat down and said: "Okay, now what we are gonna do? What's next?". So they started to discuss.
And into that, came a group of people, with a vision, with an ideology, that was well organized and able to pull together enough strands of the society behind them. But they could put their vision into power. And that was the Muslim Brotherhood.
And then the same youth hood - that kicked out the military dictatorship - came back to the square to ask the military dictatorship to come back and rescue them from the Islamists.
At the same time, Satoshi developed Bitcoin. I remember on Satoshi's early website he described it as a peer-to-peer form of money that cannot be controlled by central banks and governments. And it's something that attracted libertarians, cryptographers and hackers. Bitcoin is kind of a technology - free technology project - that was a little late to the party. Interestingly, it finds itself in the same place as the movements that preceded it. The fundamental problem with Bitcoin is not a problem of missing this or that technology, it's a problem of a lack of vision, a lack of how this technology is -
And it's not just about Bitcoin - it's something to do with the wider technology movement. We have to understand the global situation now. Humanity is facing a future with a huge amount of suffering. We are facing the threats from terrorism, from immigration. There's the rise of new ideological movements - ISIS just went and took a city in southern Philippines for more than a month - which is right next to Indonesia, the biggest Muslim country in the world. And in Europe the new right movement is getting very strong, organizing training camps, becoming well-organized, getting into political power and well-funded. This is the reality of our situation now.
We have to think about how this technologies that we make -, where do they situate themselves in the wider global context.
In Rojava, there is also a really important movement with the ideology of democratic confederalism which is the way forward from anarchism. And offers a really good analysis of what is the current society and what is the crisis that we're facing. And how, in that place, revolutionaries from all over the world are going to learning the methodology and ideology of this movement. It's a new emerging movement outside of any one person's control, but new forces can be harnessed. What we have to understand is that anarchist movement and the hacker movement is something deeply connected. The problem with anarchism is that it failed in it's potential to advance humanity forward, it's simply an ideology that no longer is able to work. What we have in Rojava is a libertarian revolution of 5 million people. What is democratic confederalism? It's an ideological movement that opposes the state as a mechanical worldview and sees the nature as something that is divine, that seeks to restore the balance back between internal+subjective and external+material world. The freedom comes from reaching our destiny as human beings, not simply through pleasure seeking. (Liberalism is the destruction of the free society.) And the better humanity it's not simply a happier humanity but stronger freer humanity. The crisis in the West not simply an economic crisis, but social crisis - we're facing a deep cultural issue.
All of the ideas in hacker movement - such as BitLaw, digital governance, cryptographic economy, decentralized organization, new economic models, new technical tools - unless we are able to take all of these concepts and put them into a plan, with a sense of direction, that we can put these into practice - then it's something that's going to be lost. Now, what's presenting itself is a massive opportunity for hackers to put their ideas into practice.
So, right now we are building a hacker team. There's 3 tasks we have to do: study of all the ideas and concepts in technology. From this study we have to develop a long- term plan. And thirdly, we have to devote ourselves to build the technical base of this new emerging democratic confederalism movement, we have to create revolutionary hackers dedicated to the course. If we don't, then all of the technology we are making is outside of the society, it's a toy, and what is relevant in this world is not making new products to fill the spaces in the environment around us, but using technology to shape politics that influence the world around us.
This revolution in North Syria or Rojava is the biggest opportunity in the entire history of modernity. Through this we can give direction to the hacker movement. One of our main projects is a Bitcoin project. We have a nation of 5 million people and - and - and there is a financial situation where they're under financial embargo, they use - , they don't have the financial infrastructure so they use paper money and Syrian Lira is inflating massively. Because there's embargo so you can't send money in and out. Also there is a project to create decentralized economy and there's a lot of real concrete uses for Bitcoin. And also the ideology of the revolutionary nation is in line with the vision and values of the Bitcoin.
When we decide to look at deploying Bitcoin, what we realize is that Bitcoin is not ready and there's a lot of new things that need to be developed in Bitcoin, they should make it so it's able to be deployed on a scale of 5 million people. We are assembling a project to deploy Bitcoin as the national currency of Rojava. We want to create new products in practical use on a large scale. Products that solve real problems and serve the cause of freedom.
Towards this goal, we're assembling a team of 20 hackers dedicated for two years. We're looking to establish links with companies and sponsors to make this happen. The first step is to establish a hacker's academy in Greece - to train groups of revolutionary self-sufficient hackers that we're going to deploy on projects. Our needs now: partners, sponsors, space, support.
Our first plan is to setup exchange shops and localized wallets in Bitcoin where people come buy vouchers and use Bitcoin to create a local Bitcoin market. We have to create brochures, lots of information. Once this system gets bigger, then we also need to think of bigger financial infrastructure - so one of the things is paper wallets. At the moment, 100 thousands paper wallet cost $6000. Unfortunately the counterfeiting measures on the paper wallets aren't very well made. There needs to be a lot research done. There is a small USB device called ESP 12 which can be programmed with micro Python and C and it has on-board Wi-Fi, plus you can fit modules for radio. Through that you can create a large scale payments networks with cheap consumer devices that cost fie dollars each for people to transact bitcoins.
There is also a big market for Bitcoin because sending money between Rojava and Istanbul currently costs 5 %. Later, we also can create plastic card system where we print cards and also establish payments network using radio systems. There needs to be a lot of development and investigations in Lightning Networks and other technologies.
This is why I [want to ((?))] have a laboratory - if I take a group of people there - I can create all kinds of technology projects and a lot of concepts we've been theorizing for a long time. We can see that it works practically.
There is also the project of the Pirates to create liquid democracy - there is a system of local councils in every neighborhood which - , a lot of these digital platforms that have been developed for many years - we can deploy them. There was also the economy being based on cooperatives - all of the ideas about economic management, about collective management of resources about using cryptography and currencies to manage cooperatives. These all things we can deploy - but what it's going to take is a group of people who's doing this research, who's going deep - not only in terms of developing new concepts - but looking back into the literature about what were - , what is the history of the movement, where we situated it and also what are the concepts and how we can apply them towards our goal.
I'm gonna to finish my talk on that. Does anybody have questions?
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