OpenNIC Project: DNS Neutrality!

Lately, the subject of internet censorship has been on my mind a lot, and that shouldn’t be surprising, given this whole net neutrality debate.

So, I was intrigued when a friend introduced me to OpenNIC, which aims to be an alternative, decentralized DNS root.

openNIC

OpenNIC is a user-owned and controlled top-level network information center (NIC). Its intention is to offer an alternative to established top-level domain (TLD) registries, like ICANN. The list of servers can be found here: OpenNIC Public Servers

The idea behind it, in a nutshell, is like a decentralized internet, somewhat like ZeroNet or Freenet, although OpenNIC hasn’t quite been developed to that point yet. I’m sure if you get into the technical details, they’re quite different – it’s the “decentralized” concept that they have in common.

Actually, this may interest some of you – I know how people like to access unusual TLD names that aren’t part of the usual registry. Well, you can do that with OpenNIC! Among the top-level domains available through OpenNIC are: .bbs, .chan, .cyb, .dyn, .geek, and .pirate. Just those domain names alone make me want to explore this further!

Here’s a list of the current TLDs available on OpenNIC (see OpenNIC – Wikipedia for more info):

Top Level Domain Names on OpenNIC

Name Intended Use
.bbs Bulletin Board System Servers.
.chan Imageboards and related communities (like 4chan).
.cyb Cyberpunk-related content.
.free Organizations that support non-commercial use of free internet.
.geek Geeky and nerdy stuff.
.gopher Content delivery using the gopher protocol.
.indy Indy media and arts-related sites.
.libre Similar to .free.
.neo General purpose (might include Keanu Reeves – whoa).
.pirate Internet freedom and sharing.

…and a few others, which are listed on the Wikipedia article. If you’re interested in discovering some of these sites, check out their search engine grep.geek; at the moment, you could say it’s the “OpenNIC Google.”

grepgeek

Now, like Tor, it may be hard to navigate at first, but that’s part of the fun I’m having with it, personally – just exploring. I have noticed that, as on Tor, a lot of the sites go down frequently, but that doesn’t really bother me anymore. So, let me guess – you’re wondering if there are any “disturbing” links on it?

I’ve come across very few so far, but if I find others, I’ll let you know. There was an interesting site called url.oz, which featured the art of Alex Milea:

urloz.png

Would you consider that disturbing? There was also a site for an organization called Nationalist Front, which is a white supremacy (or is it “alt-right”?) group.

nationalist_front

That didn’t surprise me all that much, because there are similar sites on Tor, Freenet, etc., that I’ve come across. Complain all you want, but I’m not linking to that one – it’s easy to find if you join the network.

One other site that I found interesting was called Anarplex, which is at shadowlife.bit. It’s a site involving “crypto-tribes, phyles, crypto-anarchy, [and] agorism.” I had been on their onion site (y5fmhyqdr6r7ddws.onion) before as well, and it had always intrigued me.

anarplex_edited

Anyway, as I’m fond of saying, disturbing sites aren’t really the point, and they never were. As with Tor and the other networks, the idea behind OpenNIC is to have an independent “internet” that isn’t controlled by ISPs and large corporations.

Oddly, all the people who are obsessed with things like “Marianas Web” might want to check this out – it’s kind of the same idea, being that it’s not part of “the internet” and is run independently.

Questions? Comments? Feel free to ask.

P.S. Here are a few more OpenNIC links for you to explore:

bortzmeyer.bit

shadowlife.bit

weblionx.geek

vedge.bit/hw/marconi

ogness.bit/og/stats/verbraucherpreisindex/

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Dear FCC – I Care About Net Neutrality

what-is-net-neutrality-video-blocked

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

twitter_netneutrality

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!