Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Continuation on the Topic of Anonymity and Invention

To begin, let's take a look back at Tuesday, September 29th's class. A public, non-moderated Google Document was put up for the class to discuss, edit and define the term "Invention". In this short, but effective social experiment we began to see what "Invention" means in the internet age. An eloquent deeper meaning was revealed to lay beneath the shit-posting of a classroom filled with tech-savvy, and often grammar illiterate undergraduates (I truly am sorry for missing the apostrophe, Anonymous Wombat). After this experiment, I was inspired to continue writing my blog posts on Anonymity and invention, and how in recent years the world has experienced some wild things for better or worse.

Since my last blog post I have delved deeper into researching TOR, and some of the history behind it. The most notorious site in the history of TOR is arguably "The Silk Road", and I would like to discuss an aspect of the site that the general public was not aware of. I don't want to talk about the millions of drug deals, firearms trades and countless other illegal activities that were conducted on the site; I believe these are already well known, and should serve to show that anonymous invention in the modern day can also be very dangerous. That is one reason why the site's main operator- Dread Pirate Roberts hired a Spanish doctor who specialized in drugs in addiction to post and respond to questions on the forums. Going by the screen name 'DoctorX', Dr. Fernando Caudevilla was paid $500 per week to provide harm reduction strategies and various other services (all completely anonymous) to anyone who visited the forums.

Here is a screenshot of one of DoctorX's posts on the forums:

After my last blog post, I felt it necessary to delve deeper into what the DarkNet entailed, and how it became what it is today. While the Silk Road was shut down in October of 2013, many other sites have risen in it's ashes. The DoctorX types still exist, and more cutting edge inventions continue to surface after the seizure of The Silk Road. These completely anonymous forums, and sites such as The Silk Road have sparked a need for invention in the way of communication. 

If this topic interests you, I highly encourage you watch the recent documentary "Deep Web". Much of the information I found for this blog post was found on there, in addition to sites such as Vice, and The Daily Dot.

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