[zooko at zooko.com: Re: [p2p-hackers] darknet ~= (blacknet, f2f net)]

Tyler Durden camera_lumina at hotmail.com
Fri Dec 2 11:03:47 PST 2005

>"My proposal to rectify the lack-of-words problem is to use "blacknet" to
>to 1 specifically and "f2f net" to refer to 2 specifically.  I don't know 
>there is any way to rectify the ambiguity problem."

In this post at least the guy does not qualify what he means by 
"information". Indeed, his focus on P2P architectures would imply that he's 
largely unaware of May's Crypto Anarchy manifesto, wherein the term 
"Blacknet" was defined to include information (as this guy seems to 
understand it) as a mere subset. A blacknet allows for completely anonymous 
transactions of any form, including monetary.

This knucklehead seems to want to define "black" and "dark" in terms of some 
perceived scale of illegality, whereas even in Microsoft's case the term 
"darknet" was not developed for that purpose.* A "darknet" may include the 
possibility of no anomymity between pairs or groups of transactors, though 
the identities (as well as the transactions) are effecitvely "black" to the 
outside world. The term "darknet" is therefore often equated with P2P/F2F 
architectures, but those are obviously only one set of instantiations of a 


*: Am I wrong in assuming that Microsoft's own usage of the term "darknet" 
derives largely from the term "blacknet" which may had coined?

>From: Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org>
>To: transhumantech at yahoogroups.com, cypherpunks at jfet.org
>Subject: [zooko at zooko.com: Re: [p2p-hackers] darknet ~= (blacknet, f2f  
>Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2005 16:47:36 +0100
>----- Forwarded message from zooko at zooko.com -----
>From: zooko at zooko.com
>Date: Fri, 02 Dec 2005 11:45:57 -0400
>To: ian at locut.us, "Peer-to-peer development." <p2p-hackers at zgp.org>
>Subject: Re: [p2p-hackers] darknet ~= (blacknet, f2f net)
>Reply-To: zooko at zooko.com,
>	"Peer-to-peer development." <p2p-hackers at zgp.org>
>Ian, p2p-hackers:
>It's not my goal to quibble about etymology (except inasmuch as it is 
>preserve the historical record).  My goals are:
>1.  Avoid ambiguity -- where some people think that word X denotes concept 
>     and others think that word X denotes concept 2.  Especially if 
>concepts 1
>     and 2 are related but not identical.  Especially if one of them is
>     politically incendiary.
>2.  Make sure we have names for our useful concepts.
>However, before I get to that I am going to go through the history one last
>time in order to cast light on the current problem.  I turned up some
>interesting details.
>Let's start with a Venn diagram:
>          _______      _______
>         /       \    /       \
>        /         \  /         \
>       /           \/           \
>      /            /\            \
>     /            /  \            \
>    |            |    |            |
>    |        1   |1^2 |   2        |
>    |            |    |            |
>    |            |    |            |
>     \            \  /            /
>      \            \/            /
>       \           /\           /
>        \         /  \         /
>         \_______/    \_______/
>Let 1 be the set of networks which are used for illegal transmission of
>information, and 2 be the set of networks which are built on f2f 
>and 1^2 be the intersection -- the set of networks which are used for 
>transmission of information and which are built on f2f connections.
>[bepw2002] introduces "darknet" to mean concept 1.  In their words darknet 
>"a collection of networks and technologies used to share digital content",
>they use it consistently within that meaning.  They refer to concept 2,
>starting in section 2.1, using the term "small-world nets", and they 
>distinguish between what they call "small-world darknets" and
>However nowadays some people in the mass media seem to think that a 
>means primarily a network which is "invitation-only", i.e. a "small-world" 
>"f2f" net [globe].  When did the meaning shift?
>Ooh -- how interesting to examine the evolution of this word on 
>The original definition on wikipedia was written on 2004-09-30.  It read in
>full: "Darknet is a broad term to denote the networks and technologies that
>enable users to copy and share digital material.  The term was coined in a
>paper from four Microsoft Research authors.".
>The next change was that two months later someone redirected the "Darknet"
>to just be a link to the "Filesharing page", with the comment "Just another
>word for filesharing".
>The next change was that on 2005-04-14 someone from IP wrote 
>definition beginning with this sentence: "A Darknet is a private file 
>network where users only connect to people they trust.".
>By the way, I should point out that I have a personal interest in this
>because between 2001 and 2003 I tried to promulgate concept 2, using Lucas
>Gonze's coinage: "friendnet" [zooko2001, zooko2002, zooko2003, gonze2002].
>I would like to know for my own satisfaction if my ideas were a direct
>inspiration for some of this modern stuff, such as the Freenet v0.7 design.
>So much for etymology.
>Now the problem is that in the current parlance of the media, the word
>"darknet" is used to mean vaguely 1 or 2 or 1^2.  The reason that this is a
>problem isn't that it breaks with some etymological tradition, but that it 
>ambiguous and that it deprives us of useful words to refer to 1 or 2
>specifically.  The ambiguity has nasty political consequences -- see for
>example these f2f network operators struggling to persuade newspaper 
>that they are not primarily for illegal purposes: [globe].
>My proposal to rectify the lack-of-words problem is to use "blacknet" to
>to 1 specifically and "f2f net" to refer to 2 specifically.  I don't know 
>there is any way to rectify the ambiguity problem.
>  Ian wrote:
> >
> > ...
> > defining the term "darknet" as a f2f network that is designed
> > to conceal the activities of its participants (this being, so far as I
> > have seen, one of the main motivations for building an f2f network),
>So you think of "darknet" as meaning 1^2.
>That's an interesting remark -- that you regard concealment as one of the
>motivations.  I personally regard concealment as one of the lesser
>-- I'm more interested in attack resistance (resisting attacks such as
>subversion or denial-of-service, rather than attacks such as surveillance),
>scalability, and other properties.  Although I'm interested in the
>properties as well.
>P.S.  Here's some obligatory link juice for Gonze's latest sly neologism:
>[bepw2002]  "The darknet and the future of content distribution" Biddle,
>             England, Peinado, Willman (Microsoft Corporation)
>             http://crypto.stanford.edu/DRM2002/darknet5.doc
>             http://www.dklevine.com/archive/darknet.pdf
>             (The .doc version crashes my OpenOffice.org app when I try to
>             it.  Does this mean something?  The .pdf version has screwed 
>             images when I view it in evince.)
>[wikipedia] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darknet
>[zooko2001] "Attack Resistant Sharing of Metadata" Zooko and Raph Levien
>             presentation, First O'Reilly Peer-to-Peer conference, 2001
>             http://conferences.oreillynet.com/cs/p2p2001/view/e_sess/1200
>[gonze2002] http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/wlg/2428
>[globe]     "Darknets: The invitation-only Internet" globeandmail.com
>             2005-11-24
>[lightnet]  http://gonze.com/weblog/story/lightnet
>p2p-hackers mailing list
>p2p-hackers at zgp.org
>Here is a web page listing P2P Conferences:
>----- End forwarded message -----
>Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
>ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820            http://www.leitl.org
>8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A  7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE
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>had a name of signature.asc]

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