02.17.21

Self-Hosting Where Feasible, Decentralised (P2P) Where Practical, World Wide Web for the Rest

Posted in Site News at 3:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Hosting a site and disseminating vital (but potentially sensitive or suppressed) information isn’t easy; we now use several protocols in parallel and in conjunction (part of a largely automated workflow) to make censorship more difficult, both technically and legally

THIS month has been very productive compared to last month. If we didn’t write as many stories as we had planned and hoped, that’s mostly because we were busy porting the site over to Gemini (similar to Gopher but better), creating new programs/code in the process (it’s in self-hosted Git), and speaking to people in “Gemini space” while customising our capsule to have feeds and getting it listed, indexed etc. So far this week more than half a million connections were made to our Gemini capsule, mostly to scan and index it. We still have about half the site to covert to the capsule — a process that takes about half a day for each year (there are 15 years in total).

“Those justifying the censorship are a lot more powerful than us (some even write books about climate change while owning and flying four private aircrafts; they also try to ban encryption, except when they use it), so we need technical means to stifle their agenda. The political means are bought and paid for.”Digital independence and technological simplicity remains key to durability of information. As we noted earlier this year, Groklaw had gone down in October and only came back online some time in January. This is the sort of scenario we hope to avoid. There’s a lot of planned obsolescence in software and complexity — sometimes artificially-introduced — contributes to it. It’s not a made up or a ‘superficial’ problem; it’s very widespread even outside the realm of software. Companies want to sell and sell… (even the same thing, again and again)

The above video isn’t much but an extension of a video taken with an external webcam to show an ARM laptop and SBC which manages IPFS and Gemini for us. This video shows the remaining 3 computers (3 dual-head laptops), which make a total of 5. My wife uses a dual-head laptop, but I’m not counting that. She mostly runs Tux Machines, which shares the same physical server as the Techrights site. Almost every night this past week Tux Machines was under DDOS attacks, with times of attack varying somewhat (I assume to catch us asleep, off-guard). We cannot serve 30,000 pages in 30 seconds, sorry….

Seeing the nature of attacks on the World Wide Web (ClownFlare is not a solution but part of the problem) and growing levels of censorship (typically justified by the mass media by associating the censored with “threats”, “violence” and so on) we need to put our eggs in more baskets. Those justifying the censorship are a lot more powerful than us (some even write books about climate change while owning and flying four private aircrafts; they also try to ban encryption, except when they use it), so we need technical means to stifle their agenda. The political means are bought and paid for.

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This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2021/02/17/decentralised-publication/

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