Tried logging onto Galaxy2, a Tor-based social networking site I’ve participated in since its inception in early 2015. It’s been down for a while, and like many Dark Web sites, it looks like it’s gone for good. We get a rare note about its closure, though, with a note from its founder, Lameth (see below).
Galaxy2 started after Galaxy, another Dark Web social networking site (one I’ve written about) shut down in late 2014. Lameth and a bunch of “Galaxy Castaways” met up on another DWSN, Visibility.i2p, and decided to start anew.
I feel very privileged to have seen these migrations and even participating in them. I’m very saddened by the end of this site. These days, social networking on an anonymizing network sounds bizarre, but of course connecting with other people via a pseudonym is as old as the Internet itself. Moreover, Lameth ran a very civil site. There were moments of discord, but overall, Galaxy2 (like Galaxy before it) belied the reputation of the Dark Web as solely comprised of criminals and pornographers.
I have documented much of Galaxy2 (as much as I could anyway) for my forthcoming book, Weaving the Dark Web, and I know other researchers have paid attention to the site. So it will not totally fade from the public record, at least.
And, perhaps someone will take Lameth’s lead and make a Galaxy3…
—–BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE—–
So, it finally happened. The server broke down and your terrible host here (me, not the current host, mind you!) hadn’t been keeping regular backups off the server… I’m trying to see what I can salvage, but to be honest with you guys, then I’m not very optimistic.
The admins and a few other users has for a long time now been privy to my plans about either handing over G2 for someone else to run, or shutting down G2 completely. Seems like the server got tired of waiting for me to get my shit together and took the decision for me.
Why? Well, a couple of reasons, really, but the major one being purely selfish. I knew I was doing a shit job hosting G2, and as it grew more and more popular, so did my guilt and stress about not being a proper host and a proper admin. I couldn’t dedicate the time for running and managing G2 that I felt it deserved. So at some point I came to a conclusion; I think the mature decision was to give it up and hand it over to someone more capable, for the sake of the community. Turns out I also have a terrible habit of never actually doing the stuff I intend to do, so even the process of handing over the reigns to another host never really got further than me putting out a few feelers and questions to a few people.
So now we’re here. G2 seems to be done, although I try and find time to see if I can manage to salvage something that might make the admins and the new host capable of continuing G2.
I’d like to encourage people to migrate out to other Tor Hidden social Services, regardless of whether G2 can be recovered or not. I hope other social sites will pop up (Galaxy3, anyone?), but I believe there are still some of the “older” chat services around. They might be a good place to reconnect with other G2 users.
Even if G2 is recovered and continues, then this is the end of the road for me. I have little time to spare for this or any online community due to family and work stuff. It’s a bittersweet farewell for me. One one hand, it lifts a burden from my shoulders that I don’t care to carry around any longer; on the other hand I really did enjoy being a part of this community, of being part of the beginning and an integral part of its long existence. Three years (almost) feels like a lifetime for a Tor Hidden Service.
I might be reachable on the following mails, but please forgive my response times…:
Please use PGP to encrypt messages to me. The key below will expire soonish, but ask me for a new key once this one no longer works.
- -----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK----- mQENBFhhpHEBCADNRFdZUvltCAu1YAWwP1SnGAdAWvYovhD2zZltyMOCjzRTzEJC o8NzxAV7bGlyUwZhHjIPxYSMTkvy10PEvYa6h3OiN3uP0xANZU7VpbLsLmCsjcrT fmhxozo7xbhVGHup6UI8wRTIM4EI92hPW98HyXlEI7hbTUMT+vl5XhLmFA6Wkzrr 4V4AUJWiF6y+k7ZIJntfNIq0Uc/E1U19f2ged2VVMTy3qQS0mZaXnQD1ZtKeivoP iSsTMHQIe87r8WJ4QojVqfl73OqAS9q+EShonYLPFxpF31DFGykXPMNrVKGMme9K Sv5h1QcykdZsB2SIyAfyEcl88VVZsD9jH5MlABEBAAG0I0xhbWV0aEBHYWxheHky IDxsYW1ldGhAc2lnYWludC5vcmc+iQE9BBMBCAAnAhsDBQsJCAcCBhUICQoLAgQW AgMBAh4BAheABQJYYav+BQkB77uNAAoJEKfMzsEterg9hoQH+wa55gHjbonVMaSD bKnyfmOl+sB5MhFhBDjRwY+8E6Wk0+EcISFLQLvRivCTu+SFFjXhWdHEreS6MV6B qTchaxkKIkSG9BVHjpZ4+lPOkvRFT81InX0t7wmn2R/v3uyeBpwxKDRCMYbMVXON GFLXi3il1aFBiKyKfwlcRQxXvAD0iRBwhtt4oBWNbJdlOtsBqzaWJc2ymhB054dV gW9xloks9vBkKVNXlqQ1+36Ph8lm5mstd4xZIH6KYiXorJT+rJb0TuIxvcGKariV PXWFODGBUH6dPBMLUwkk73a4ht85RRA6AgYu46gsirX2s7mf/RpJg/5D8yjlJROp mG9vtPWJAhwEEAEIAAYFAlhhrUkACgkQlIkHGbe/l9xfnRAAg3mJDUDMTzCEooKq TZTPYRUAM0ayOl0V5K3h7gMyWJH6eFVwQFC5qNE2Fbb3rjov7iqvW1dl6qJOlOiZ 7rWZVwn7YG53rrvGyi7O1DJjtrc89Dgf9qJbKlm31XeIxEolCFO6rLG20gcEzjt/ h25eYOaLAcib2pZEwAdWvzXNrYzfUS/wFRh0VU/7yNKriR7tDQmdYIvMQAvZYaNo j+O0hEVQvG0On3tzdlbLiRnScrYKSZ2zSMGqjio3w8DGBHf+/YNCqFfqg7JEr0vs jHzRxc0Wv6o+k2C4uDv7dWkh3r/fwUF95B8h23Yz3rX9pCRdHsHUz+6uz3pjFPi2 Lv9cltmID+7pEEEi/Wma/R/XASnfMWUivTnJEfU/Ic2ac1B2UVNd0zErwhPJ3GRV H2nxpMs7mlqbC+tzPeKr2MFWL5rTq0UCNpnZtujErjgdAl6vs87KjJnONauHGFBB Lyc1qjO4ZFR8uVibFOwqyzXcIe64GuFnR/SxVMYRoJRC5swTAMxpoE89AlZAh7dn siTufaEPe2ZRSb3nril4y0aGS6YE/iuHjnl8c1t5FwVtWvR2t4gnpaVNU7dfB6op vlx0DjeK/d02kaII0mZqhfo54a5EkeT8y9P5c3LOInFMUwQpMlvhAU6g7yLqt02F 9G4uKtG2QgocHYYv+2vKPy4NUvm5AQ0EWGGkcQEIALec9jFXb2NB7tU9trcGka2z zgmuZW4883D6s1GstNJ2DJ2nmMqSwsMgzFn99HSaC00hPbdJYDYQhUIZquEIBzOy ydwCq7hD47cILsjJVwrjhE9HF4/I3Z9cgzto5qJbQlZWNBkn+SW4P0ouSFtMzscR 23py8nQv9P7teTQDsX+NU6QiQ9Bw6lyY2jhbIBGenvBKK5Zvd4elZJDB+LETEd6F V+1i66zJXRXMQRy9E8QmCEzFYibon1bD82nNHzZF9XCKF4vvW0jboVQB9zlwmXVr RGkPyzLPkeSkmMOkberkrtYBo+EBDnj6KrFDJdApPu75oFLOY7JxHcFZcrS5jlcA EQEAAYkBJQQYAQgADwIbDAUCWGGsHgUJAe+7rQAKCRCnzM7BLXq4PReJB/9c/+U8 Rt8ETvNRBqiSOT+9XLFmL+vv/kRXuL4H6ApsPUSep6GkvOpTmbRwab2+fazix662 Sascgu2juh6g0rCe2kyFKztvRqgSnTvtY2PsELyCD8dR3GyRgp6/nPxsJpHwhSHz KFp9s+E3F4KNdWRKMDOKyU20CwzUDn3lJhb8Z7qLR1bmc8bdYNnAhEV3gKyqjx3T 6nAaeyEltvPw4NWPo6MJPzemzYYy2pbeY4PxvPg4M0hAVlXeBqVNAamlawWtGAJS 3EAnsEJ3h6Ej9N9eGQqYFgcQ8sH3jvXioozwg2OTEe6sC3cymMOht/UzdPr+OEyx pNTlKSwVcC4THptM =X/Y3 - -----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK----- -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- iQEcBAEBCAAGBQJZ8PafAAoJEKfMzsEterg99rsIALGXXYBKSHAFiX47egFs/9Dk dW/KZWMCqeeHkYKbmyB88gzLrt1AVOIRjvMo9eTjSQzMnUbH75igWxrUeQc+2B3s UBfFLxSVDS730lLF1tYTWyc3d2DtNqk/WYlK9HYWeVmZC8f9q5jYj0tFG4Wd9wxd yD4EHqwyZsembf1Cl8kc0KHH1IEcIkoy/3wCPd3CAOy6xUCiLKu39am+TeRLtME5 W1zRn/K5LlxxCpB8YvieA4s/kaipoAjka8e0ltyRirtosVewQEzZZDN6mlAC70se 2We5G0Irjs9WSyEcXgCdGFDxZ/yzJMDsEj1AGHxRyhUD4uB07KzB34bDeBS/Ihs= =bdFD -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----