Interview: Mods of a German Darkweb Forum
Former moderators of the German darkweb forum “Germany in the Deep Web” conducted an interview with a German website. The interview covered important topics and the future of freedom of speech on the darkweb.
The interview, in its original German format, can be found on the site where it was originally published: tarnkappe.info. All credit for the interview belongs to them.
An Interview with the DIDW Moderators
Since Tuesday morning, Lucky, the former operator of the DarkNet forum “Germany in DeepWeb” (DiDW), has to answer to the Karlsruhe district court. Eight days of trial were scheduled for the trial. The judge commented that he was entering largely new territory . Some of Lucky’s moderators have meanwhile provided a replacement. They wanted to fill the gap that had arisen in the summer of last year after the raid. We recently talked to Sudo and Younam from “DiDW Zwei”. Many thanks to all readers who contributed so many questions to the interview in advance.
Lucky is accused of having allowed in his forum the trade in drugs and firearms. At least he has not done enough to stop it. Whether he himself was involved in the sale of illegal services or goods and is therefore convicted remains to be seen. At its best, more than 23,000 users were registered at DiDW, the successor was able to attract just over 1,000 users so far. Of course, the start of the process is also an issue for the new board. However, the discussions about the possible sentence of the 31-year-old man are not particularly deep. For this purpose, the .onion address didwzweiypgcznon.onion has given much more thought to how the special police forces on the evening of 8 June 2017 managed to convince the technology-savvy administrator.
Designation and creation of “DiDW Zwei”
Tarnkappe.info: Why did you choose “DiDW Zwei” as your name? Is not that rather a disadvantage, because the former operator was picked up by the police ?
Sudo: Why should a different name be chosen for that? DIDW1 was the leading German DarkNet forum and had a very good reputation. DIDW2 will continue as Lucky did in the end. And so everyone knows what to expect from DIDW2. As with all scene forums, it is usually only a matter of time before they go down or the operator is caught. As the past has repeatedly taught us, sooner or later a successor will come and continue it. And why should not DIDW be continued?
Tarnkappe.info: What were Younams motives to start the forum? Why is even the structure a veritable copy of DiDW?
darknet stefan meyYounam: Most members of germanyhusicaysx will agree with me that suddenly there was a big void after Lucky’s platform was being busted. Luckyspax had created something genius, which attracted a large community. There was nothing comparable after the bust where one could feel at home. There were also numerous attempts to stomp something similar out of the ground. Unfortunately, all without success. My main concern is that there is again a German-speaking forum where (almost) can be posted without censorship and you can write things that are immediately censored in Clearnet (CN) or even brought to the display. It will probably never be the same again. But I would be happy if a part of the old forum as DiDW2 lives on.
Tarnkappe.info: Could not it be that some former presenters are looking for revenge? After all, you take their brand name in fog. Or do you have an official permission to use the name?
Sudo: how funny! Everyone is happy that there is a DIDW2. Something like registered brand names for us, does not exist. And that’s why you do not need official permission! That could if only give lucky or forbid it. Well, and unfortunately he is behind bars. I am sure that Lucky would be happy about the DIDW2. The moderators and the operator are themselves all old hands from DIDW1. We are also well connected with the old members. There is no revenge or something similar!
The DIDW has always been a community that has paid attention to a well-kept relationship. “
Tarnkappe.info: Do you have the legal risk of the operation in advance knocked off by a lawyer? What came out?
Sudo: We assume the question was not serious.
Tarnkappe.info: Yes, she was. At least it would be important to know what penalties you might get. How many people actually belong to the team, what are their tasks?
Sudo: A team of admin and moderators, make sure that a few rules are respected and we intervene if necessary. On DiDW2 no kipo content (short for child pornography) or further links as well as KiPo requests or offers in any form whatsoever will be tolerated. It looks similar with weapons, Hurt Core, Snuff (editorial note: Violent videos) and contract killers. Of course, these topics can be discussed and opinions exchanged.
Censorship vs. Darknet Market Place
Tarnkappe.info: Should “DiDW Zwei” primarily be a forum or a market place (trading center for illegal goods and services)?
Zwei: The primary aim is to be a place for all sorts of users who are free to voice their opinion without censorship or banns. This includes the sale of “illegal” goods.
What ultimately comes to the fore, determine its users, as the team nor the operator steer it somehow. It is only ensured that the minimum rules are observed.
Tarnkappe.info: Why do you even take the risk and let the advertising of the drug dealers? What does that have in common with freedom or the absence of censorship?
Sudo: Freedom does not mean to be afraid of nothing or anyone, and for us, the freedom of everyone to decide which substances he / she wants to consume.
Tarnkappe.info: Are there any plans to protect you against the propagators of crude conspiracy theories? Or do you rather rely on the swarm intelligence of your users? Do you want to give Aluhüten, if you call them so negative, because even a stage? And if so, why? Does this really have something to do with freedom of expression?
Sudo: This would be a form of censorship again … so NO! What each individual believes or how he participates is beyond our control. We are also not there to protect users from fake news or conspiracies. Everyone has to decide for themselves and protect themselves.
Tarnkappe.info: Are there any plans to expose threads with database leaks from hacks and corresponding news on “DiDW Zwei”?
Sudo: We provide the platform. Anyone who offers or creates something is up to anyone, as long as he sticks to the rules.
Tarnkappe.info: How much do you spend per month on your infrastructure? How do you cover the costs?
Sudo: No comment!
Tarnkappe.info: What is being done for the security of the forum and its users?
Sudo: No comment!
Tarnkappe.info: Are you not afraid to get caught, especially since this has already happened to your predecessor?
Sudo: No, statistically, the next comparable bust will take place in 37 years. : D
Tarnkappe.info: Why do not you use the next-generation (“v3”) gate hidden service protocol? Would not that be safer?
Sudo: Oh, if the day had only 48 hours.
DiDW Zwei - barrier-free is different
Tarnkappe.info: Are there any plans to make your forum available on the I2P network or on the Freenet ? Or, for example, in ZeroNet or other networks based on strong encryption?
Sudo: No. I2P is not really a serious alternative in my opinion.
Tarnkappe.info: topic DDoS. An anonymous commentator had fun taking your forum offline with an L7 DDoS attack. How do you want to prevent such attacks in the future? Is it worth it for the attacker to apply to you as an anti-DDoS consultant, if his request was meant to be serious?
Sudo: Congratulations: D
There is now an anti-DDoS solution on both mirrors. The second mirror is currently testing a CAPTCHA based solution.
Tarnkappe.info: Then this has done with the application well. Something else: What’s up with the mirror http://3kzvxiw3ocihfjce.onion? Is that still active?
Sudo: Apparently not.
Tarnkappe.info: Aha. And what’s up with Bitmessage ? Why is this client used during registration? Could not this be better regulated with private messages (PNs) in the forum?
Sudo: Bitmessage is a cryptographic protocol that allows a confidential and anonymous exchange of email-like messages in a peer-to-peer network.
Decentralization and independence from central offices.
Tarnkappe.info: Why do you set with Bitmessage such high hurdles, the normal mortals are barely overcome. You want to scare off the Fraud Kids, but they have the stamina and technical understanding to install and configure this software. However, many interesting conversation partners refrain from participating in this procedure. Why? Not interested in growth? Or are safety-relevant aspects in the foreground?
Sudo: In the old DiDW, the entry barrier was even higher. For registration, the link is clearly visible and was not hidden. If you want, you can even specify a fake Bitmessage address (BM). All this was not so easy in the old DiDW. Maybe in the future the specification of a BM address will be voluntary.
Tarnkappe.info: What happens, should the bust repeat itself, does the forum go online anyway? Do you have a plan for the worst case scenario? Is there an emergency button, with which one can delete all data of the server immediately in the case of the case?
Sudo: No comment
Tarnkappe.info: Since the Tor network should actually serve the fight against censorship, why are most points of contact nothing more than 100% copies of portals from the Clearnet, or the many illegal Darknet marketplaces? With politics or freedom of expression, both variants have only in the rarest cases something in common.
Sudo: Maybe that’s because on portals in ClearWeb (CW) you can not voice your opinion uncensored. Dark Markets are actually just the Amazon of Darknet, where anyone can shop what they want without being condemned by their fellow human beings, or even worse, by the legal system.
Tarnkappe.info: What do you think, as the Internet will continue to evolve: Even more monitoring, data octopi, and even more cutting of civil rights (keyword clear name obligation, etc.) in the next five to ten years? Or is the maximum degree already reached?
Sudo: What’s an old saying? It could always be worse!
We assume that the three-letter authorities will keep trying to monitor us. Basically, it’s about creating a glassy citizen and that should not be supported by us.
Basically, it’s about creating a glassy citizen and that should not be supported by us. “
Tarnkappe.info: Well, well, and what is your answer to that? For example, the Tor network, which is funded by some US authorities and at the same time actively fought by the FBI and NSA? Or in the long run, a completely different technical solution? How would that look in concrete terms?
Sudo: We will continue to stand in the way of this move towards surveillance and provide a home for anyone who wants to. The TOR network , if used correctly, is secure. It will remain our home in the future