Dear FCC – I Care About Net Neutrality

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It occurred to me that as a writer, particularly one who talks about controversial subjects, that “net neutrality” should matter to me. And it should matter to you too.

Without it, ISPs (the big guys like Comcast, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable) would have full ability to create so-called “Internet fast lanes” that give preference to certain websites over others. Is that what you want?

On July 12, 2017, net neutrality allies sent 1.6 million comments to the FCC, many in creative ways, demonstrated what would happen if net neutrality were abandoned, and the reins given over to such big-name ISPs. For a few examples, stop by Massive protest to save #NetNeutrality sweeps the internet

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While the big day of protest is over, on the site Dear FCC, It’s Our Internet and We’ll Fight to Protect It, they give you a chance to write a letter to the FCC and explain why net neutrality is important to you.

I did so today, and you can too – I urge all of you who care about freedom on the internet, and the liberty to use and access what you want, to do the same!

It feels as though we’re going backwards in time, with a whole lot of pro-censorship laws being enacted right now, such as the anti-encryption bills in the US, Australia, and the UK.

We, the people, need to speak out. Join me in this fight.

And of course, if you have suggestions, feel free to add them here!

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Are Dark Web Red Rooms Real?

EDIT: At the time I wrote this, I was less informed about Tor, and believed that red rooms could exist on it. Given what I know now about how Tor works, I find this very unlikely. If you can prove otherwise, let me know.

One frequently asked question, with regard to the deep web and dark web, is about so-called “red rooms.”

And before I get into this, let me clarify a few terms: the term “deep web” generally refers to sites that aren’t indexed by major search engines, like Google.  The term “dark web” refers to sites that are purposely hidden, and require specific software or configurations to access.  The Tor network is one of these.

There has been much debate, on both the dark web and surface web, as to whether red rooms exist or not.  There have also been numerous horror stories on Reddit, YouTube, and other social media sites about this terrifying legend.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a red room, in theory, is a live stream of a victim (male or female) being graphically tortured and murdered.  An audience member generally pays a certain amount of bitcoin to be admitted to the show, and pays a higher amount to be in charge of what happens.

I only say “in theory” because I have yet to directly witness anything like this, and many people, even on the dark web, deny its existence.

You may think this strange, but I still tend to believe that they exist.  I’ve seen a number of other incredibly sick things on the dark web thus far, and it doesn’t seem too farfetched that something of this nature could be real.

I have, in fact, found three sites that claimed to be red rooms (or to link to them), but I don’t have absolute proof that they’re real.

The one that sticks in my mind the most was a blog post (on Tor) that claimed to have access to a list of red rooms.  The post, written in somewhat broken English, said this (and I’m paraphrasing):

“Send me an email, and I give you the bitcoin address to pay for access [sic]the list.

For be [sic] spectator of the show (you just see people tortured and murdered), send 0.40 BTC with the text, ‘SPECTATOR.’

For be [sic] master of the show (you decide how to torture and how to kill), send 0.70 BTC with the text, ‘MASTER.’  I then send you the bitcoin address to pay.  Once it has received confirmations, I send you the password for access [sic] the list.”

Mind you, this could have all been a scam, as scams run rampant on the dark web.  Still, you have to wonder – if enough people had been ripped off, you would think word would get around.

YouTube user mutahar addresses this in one of his videos, entitled Are Deep Web Red Rooms Real?  According to him, they do exist, although he hasn’t said how he knows this for certain.  Also, YouTube user Corpse Husband shares a horror story that involves red rooms, called Horrifying Deep Web Stories: “Why I Quit Hacking”.  I have no proof that the story is real, but it’s very scary, nonetheless!

I have a couple of other theories regarding red rooms: it’s possible that they’re just so difficult to find, even on the dark web, unless you’re actively looking for them.  Plus, they may have such stringent security protocols that it’s difficult to access the site(s) in the first place.

On top of that, some of them may simply be staged with special effects and makeup, but presented as if they’re real.  This has happened before, with such films as Snuff (1976) or Cannibal Holocaust (1980).

So, what do you think?  Are red rooms real? Has anyone experienced anything like it?  Feel free to comment!