Do you ever walk down the streets, and the city makes you feel a rush of euphoria and sadness at the same time? That’s how Berlin feels to me. I don’t know if I live at different hours than most people here, but for a city with more than 3 million inhabitants - not counting tourists, the streets of Berlin look quite empty to me. The only noise is from the traffic.
Once upon a time, many moons ago I moderated a darknet discussion board (don’t bother asking any questions about what, when and where – you won’t get any answers). This is a story about my personal experience on the dark net - things it taught me, how I grew from it and what it means to me. This refers to a specific part of the darknet, which I like to call “darknet culture”.
HCPP is that time of the year when at least 500 people get to experience and participate in a second realm community for three days straight. That black painted building sticks out to everyone who passes by and doesn’t know what’s going on inside – you can see the confusion on their faces. And when you push through those heavy glass doors it feels like you left the rest of the world behind.
With recent take-downs of darknet markets and websites the whole “scene” seems to be going silent. There are less and less public hangouts of any kind, and future sysops being willing to run something similar. To some it may seem that this is a bad thing, that this will lead to the darknet becoming obsolete. However, the “dark ages of the darknet” might not be such a bad thing. When people talk about “dark ages” they have misleading images in their mind.
The darknet has been one the most fascinating topics for me, ever since it started to shape my life years ago. These days it seems that it is becoming a buzz word, along with the word cryptoanarchy. For this reason I thought it would be interesting to sit down with two known thinkers, but more important doers, from the “scene” and discuss these topics with them. To keep it in style, the interview was conducted on the oldest darknet IRC server there is, home of both Frank Braun and Smuggler, and one of my favorite virtual hangouts.