Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"It was my preferred entertainment when I was a kid, so when I set out to be a writer, it was perfectly natural that I should write the sort of stories that I used to enjoy reading."
- John Brunner

Blacknet  
  An antisocial networking site.  

Forming a criminal network is time-consuming and dangerous. What if you could just post your requirements online, and have proper villains reply?

"Is a blacknet what I think it is?" asks Elaine...

"Probably... At the protocol level, it's an anonymous peer-to-peer currency system. It asks you to do favors, it does you favors. Like, be in front of a building with a running motor at such a time with the back doors open, and drive to an address where someone'll be waiting for you with a wallet full of cash and another stolen car." At least, that's the innocent-sounding version, because, let's face it, burglary and criminal damage go together like love and marriage, or robbery and a get-away carriage - and most of the stuff blacknets get used for starts there and gets worse real fast. None of the perps know each other, because it's all done with zero-knowledge proofs and anonymous remixers running out of zombie servers on some poor victim's home entertainment system that's downloaded one piece of X-rated malware too many.

From Halting State, by Charles Stross.
Published by Ace in 2007
Additional resources -

Stross makes a generic word "blacknet" out of a specific experiment performed in 1994 by Tim May. He set up what he described as a "working information market" using PGP for secure communication. May describes it as follows:

BlackNet allowed fully-anonymous, two-way exchanges of information of all sorts. The basic idea was to use a "message pool," a publicly readable place for messages. By using chains of remailers, messages could be untraceably and anonymously deposited in such pools, and then read anonymously by others (because the message pool was broadcast widely, a la Usenet). By including public keys for later communications, two-way communication could be established, all within the message pool. What was missing at the time of this experiment was some form of untraceable payment, i.e., digital cash.

Read more about Untraceable Digital Cash, Information Markets, and BlackNet and the Introduction to Blacknet.

This is a better way to do it; in the old days, when a criminal hacker wanted to get his dirty work done, he used the old-fashioned method. Here's how John Varley described it in his excellent 1984 novella Press Enter.

"...That page was torn out of the records."

"I don't get it. Kluge never left the house."

"Oldest way in the world, friend. Kluge looked through the LAPD [computer] files until he found a guy known as Sammy. He sent him a cashier's check for a thousand dollars, along with a letter saying that he could earn twice as much if he'd go to the hall of records and do something. Sammy didn't bite, and neither did McGee, or Molly Unger. But little Billy Phipps did, and he got a check just like the letter said, and he and Kluge had a wonderful business relationship for many years. Little Billy drives a Cadillac now, and hasn't the faintest notion who Kluge was or where he lived. It doesn't matter to Kluge how much he spent. He pulled it out of thin air."

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Halting State
  More Ideas and Technology by Charles Stross
  Tech news articles related to Halting State
  Tech news articles related to works by Charles Stross

Articles related to Computer
String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Superstrong Multilayer Metal-Graphene Composite Material
Negligible increase in weight increased material strength by hundreds of times.

Deepfakes Imperil Democracy (George Orwell, Right Again)
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'

String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
The number of different ways to span a thread between a larger number of hooks is astronomical.

Still Wondering If You'd Work For A Robot Boss?
'This is all coming to you courtesy of the simstim unit wired into your deck, of course.'

World's First Autonomous Tram In Germany
What's it like for autonomous trams when they're turned off at night?

Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.'

Inspired By Japan, Nap Pods For Hajj
It's always a good time for a nap.

Amphibio 3D Printed Gill Shirt
'... we can descend and live down there at one of those year-round aquatic resorts.'

How Do You Put An Asteroid Into Earth Orbit? Carefully!
'...she would have to be coaxed by another series of pats into a circular orbit.'

PD Aerospace Space Plane By 2023
'The sleek, tapered space shuttle lay immobile upon the private landing field...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.