UnderSteem - Steemit without censorship (NSFW filter removed) (via TOR)

in steemit •  3 years ago  (edited)

I know many people have been very concerned with the block on NSFW content from all categories, and have been concerned about the chance of the platform continuing to block other content.

I think Steemit are doing a great job, and I understand some of their position if they end up censoring content. Being a US business means they will quickly run into legal issues with the content on their site, and may have to do some censorship.

Of course thanks to the blockchain, it's never truly censored, and sites like UnderSteem can show it.

This is a follow up to my post from a few days ago, where I launced the first TOR RPC and SEED node for STEEM..

As people should know by now, I'm strongly concerned about privacy and freedom. In the past week:


What is UnderSteem?

TL;DR

  • Uncensored - UnderSteem promises to have no censorship, including on pornography and piracy
  • Private - UnderSteem is only accessible over TOR. This means your IP address is never disclosed, so you're protected
  • Secure - Because UnderSteem is over TOR, the server locations are unknown. This makes it much harder to be hacked, because the attackers do not know the IP address of the servers, and they're only able to access the website
  • Open Source

UnderSteem is "Underground Steem". It is a fork of Steemit (not STEEM. It's on the same network), and is fully open source, available here. UnderSteem promises to avoid censorship on the client level, and operates it's servers within a safe jurisdiction, since just like steemit, it does not store any content at all, and cannot be held responsible for any illegal activity.

To allow the safest, most private experience, it's only available over TOR. I strongly recommend downloading TOR Browser - it's free, open source, and available on nearly every platform, even Android and iOS. (Don't worry, TOR is completely legal almost everywhere, including the US, practically every European country + the UK)

Once you have TOR browser, you can just enter the following URL into the address bar, and you'll be on UnderSteem:

usteempccoapgood.onion

If you just want to take a quick look without TOR, you can access the site through a gateway such as ONION.TO, however the site will not function fully through a gateway because of the JavaScript trying to communicate with my TOR node:

Outside of TOR: usteempccoapgood.onion.to

Want to remember this URL? Just split the words up!

usteem pc coap good

Do I need to sign up?

You don't need to. If you already have an account made on Steemit, or AnonSteem, you can log into the website with your username and password just like normal.

Is it legal to access this site and use TOR?

UnderSteem is not designed for illegal content any more than Steemit is, however the laws vary in every country.

UnderSteem believes that the content should be free for the person to decide if they should view it or not, rather than their governments laws.

While UnderSteem will avoid any form of censorship at all costs, there's nothing illegal about using TOR (in most countries), or UnderSteem unless you are purposely trying to access illegal content.


Try it out!

usteempccoapgood.onion

Outside of TOR: usteempccoapgood.onion.to


Frequently Asked Questions

Why can't I see the upvote button?

Your security settings on TOR browser are too high. On the "high" setting, SVGs are blocked, which means the upvote button and other icons can't work.

Click the TOR icon in the top left, and press "Privacy and Security Settings", and turn it down to at least Medium-High.

Why can't I log in?

You probably need to enable javascript. Click the NoScript icon in the top left and whitelist the site.

Why are other categories/tags broken?

You probably have Javascript disabled. Click the NoScript icon in the top left and whitelist the site.

Be aware that the clearnet gateway (onion.to or onion.cab) isn't fully functional because of the javascript used on UnderSteem. To get a proper experience on UnderSteem, download TOR

I don't trust UnderSteem with my password, can I still use this service some other way?

YES. You can use your posting key as your password. Go to your Steemit account, click on "Wallet", then "Permissions". Click "Show Private Key" on your posting key, and paste that into the password box of UnderSteem.

This will only give the site the ability to make posts/comments, and upvote. It will not be able to access your wallet, or change your keys/password.

Is there an NSFW filter?

NO. We do not approve of any of the filtering. If you want filtered content (or are in a family/work setting), continue to use Steemit.


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  ·  3 years ago (edited)

I don't trust UnderSteem with my password, can I still use this service some other way? [A: use posting key]

I strongly recommend this and also consider changing your posting key before and after using this site. You by definition do not know who is operating it, you do not know how good their security precautions are, and unless you are prepared to check the javascript for anything malicious every single time you use the site your key could be stolen and used to post and vote in your name, including things you very much would not like.

Good service @someguy123, I support what you are doing, but people also need to be careful.

Sadly there's not many options out there. We have STEEM Pressure which seemed like a good idea, but got nowhere. @fabien was also working on something and it's still not released. Now @natebrune is working on an extension to solve this issue.

  ·  3 years ago (edited)

All of those services (though perhaps not a browser extension) will likely involve some sort of connection to the clearnet, which would compromise privacy if people used them. I think what you are doing is the right approach, I'm not criticizing at all, just pointing out the risks to users and how to best minimize them.

No comment can express how important UnderSteem will become for Steem but also for humanity as a whole. That's how I feel about this.

Why?

Understeem will become a very important tool to release information anonymously as Steem becomes more and more popular.

Do you think Steem will become more and more popular?

  ·  last year (edited)

Not under linear reward as it is. Under the current rules, those who don't engage in proof of brain get the best ROI. No matter what the price of Steem is, there will always be incentives to try to receive Steem for the least amount of work possible.

Right now the rules make it so that overall, those who work get a lesser ROI than those who don't work. Bots never get tired, bots voting, bid bots, bot creating posts.

Those ideas were all explained in the original whitepaper. It's quite easy to understand, after I've actually thought it was difficult to understand for more than a year.

Easy to understand when one understands linear vs superlinear. Linear rewards add up all the rshares a post receives to calculate a post's value while superlinear was adding up all the rshares of each posts bit then squaring this total.

The rshares a post receive can be seen on steemd.com under the detail post thingy.

Let's say bots, and exclusives self upvoters control 30% of the reward pool, while the 70% left "the self less upvoter" vote away, well there's a high probability that the people who are receiveing the vote will eventually not use 100% of their voting power and thus the total voting power of the selfless will decrease overtime.

It's not as if someone who receives a 100$ upvote, once has any substantial curation or influential incentive to back as no matter what they will do, the selfless, hard working proof of brain people will always be at a disadvantage against the smartass rule bending seekers of high ROI and low work.

Is there now some quicker/more efficient way to generate onion addresses than scallion? At least last time I was doing it, an all letters address that was better than nonsense after the first 5 letters took forever.

It depends on your GPU/CPU. In the case of Understeem, the URL was generated with a GTX 1080 @ 3000 MH/s. Came up searching for "usteem", but it's possible to get a lot of characters, e.g. anonsteem has it's entire name in the URL, anonsteemnqvfma2.onion

you know, i did see the post for anon steem, but i think my eye just slipped over the url without even looking.

I just feel the need to tell you...

You rock!

You are Benjamin Fucking Franklin!

Oops..sorry, can I say that here???

Hell yeah I can!

Let freedom ring fuckers!!!!!

  ·  3 years ago (edited)

So much awesome here. This is an incredible job.

Just a few observations so you don't have people calling it a LE honeypot -- the clearnet links in the righthand menu should either not be there at all, or at least in their own section clearly marked with a warning... honestly, all clearnet links should be fitered to show some kind of warning,.

Also, users should keep in mind that if you need javascript to log in, there is potential exposure. Im not saying its not great, and its certainly better privacy than you have on the clearnet, but there is exposure.

Possibly a good idea to mark them as clearnet, but all of them are prefixed with https so it shouldn't be too much of an issue.

JS is required. There's no way around that. Without Javascript, the service would need to handle the users keys on the server, which is obviously very bad. With JS, the keys don't need to leave the users browser.

But could there be a non-JS alternative?

Perhaps there's another way, a way that still doesn't require the keys to reach the server.

Nice , I was waiting for you to post about this - I've been stalking you on github ;)
Will test this out in the morning - love your work, keep it up!

Excuse my ignorance, but would it be possible to achieve the same with something like ZeroNet as well?

I just googled it, and it looks like ZeroNet is focused more on decentralisation rather than anonymity. They even recommend that you use TOR to avoid leaking your IP.

I'm not sure that ZeroNet could handle the dynamic content, it sounds similar to FreeNet where sites have to be static pages.

I installed it, and played around a bit. There is an email app, and a chat app, and a social network featured right on the front-page. Seems to be very dynamic, and well designed too.

TOR is supposed to make you anonymous, but AFAIK that is not really the case. You have to be on a clean device, piggybacking off someone else's network, and have javascript disabled (making most of websites unusable), and even then there are compromised exit nodes, timing attacks, etc.
Seems like TOR is just as anonymous as Bitcoin is. Obfuscated, sure. Anonymous, not really (perhaps somewhat with very rigorous precautions).

If you are visiting a .onion site there is no exit node involved. Traffic is encrypted and inside tor all the way from you to the server hosting the hidden service ... usually you need to have some trust in the operator of the service anyway. Here for instance that they don't log all the steem-passwords ... if you trust them not log your steem-password you can probably trust them not to run attacks against your connection to try and determine your location also....

It would be awesome if a ZeroNet version could be achieved. I wondered about this for a couple of weeks already.

I'm not sure what I will use it, but you do the great work!
Thank you!
RiseUP still need some support?

Though I think it's cool that you're running this, I am not looking forward to what this brings. Uncensored + Tor leads to bad things when mixed with something meant for the non-darkweb like Steem.

It's just another client for steem. Steem is supposed to be uncensorable.
If anything it's a huge plus because people can participate and voice without the censorship tools on steemit being an issue. Conversely if you really want censorship on the blockchain, you can contribute code to filter what you don't like to steem proper.

There is a certain potential friction that might prevent people from posting child porn to Steem, which is reduced by having a Tor website.

This is such an overused and ignorant criticism of Tor. The alternative is unarguably so much worse. So you're totally fine with censorship then..?

  ·  3 years ago (edited)

Pragmatically speaking, on Steemit, yes. Steem can have whatever, but Steemit will mirror whatever is on Steem unless it needs to be removed from the front-end. If Steemit can't adequately moderate illegal posts (and at the moment, they really can't handle much I'd say), it won't be good for Steemit or the value of Steem.

@pfunk It won't let me reply to you so I'm just replying to myself. Fair enough though. I was assuming you meant general use of Tor was wrong, not Tor users' effect on Steem's public image. I think we mostly agree, but I don't think illegal activity will necessarily be bad for Steem. Wikileaks for Steem would be huge, for example.

I just add a porn gif and the post show in normal steemit.com and the users down vote my post these is censorship.
I submit post in usteempccoapgood.onion but shows in steemit?

Not sure why you were downvoted. You tagged it with NSFW which is correct. I think if you gained an audience, with unique content, and ensured your posts were tagged with NSFW, then you should be fine. Maybe complain in #steemitabuse-classic on the Steemit chat.

The key difference between UnderSteem and Steemit, is that NSFW can show in ALL categories, where-as steemit restricts it to the NSFW tag (i.e. you have to go manually looking for nsfw to find it)

I'm using Tor (TAILS actually) but usteem doesn't seem to be available at the moment. But I'll check back later. Thank you for taking the initiative.

It's working fine. However, one of the links in the article was pointing to HTTPS, which is wrong. I've edited it and fixed it now.

Try accessing it again, make sure it's not via HTTPS. (onion addresses are encrypted end to end automatically, thus https doesn't matter)

Awesome, now we can talk about all these tools under the NSFW tag (so they can't see our secret coded conversations) lol

Kidding...... maybe?

Wow.

You are winning in every respect. Very interested to see what comes from there.

Also, as a proof of concept, I imagine there will be some interesting use cases out of this.

Nice

Good info thanks for posting

Awesome work @someguy123. Hat off to your effort. You got my vote.

Very cool mr anonymous someguy123. :)
Thanks

Great post @someguy123.

—FBI

Would under steemit have its own block chain separtate from steem? Can I mine under steem?

Understeem is just a fork of Steemit. It uses the same blockchain.

It isn't called "UnderSteemit" because Steemit is trademarked.

well if its a fork then wouldn't it be it's own blockchain that we could mine understeem tokens? Bitcoin classic was a fork of bitcoin core and has a different blockchain and same with ether and etherclassic.

STEEM and Steemit are two different technologies.

Imagine Steemit and Understeem being more like the difference between Bitcoin Core and Electrum-BTC. Both are on the Bitcoin network, but they work differently.

In the same way, Steemit and UnderSteem both operate on the STEEM network.

Got it thanks!

Thanks for sharing this material. I like what you posted. Thank you so much

People follow me. I am working on something for Steemit users but I am not on any bot lists. So, it probably won't get to trending. So I ask those interested in things for the blockchain to follow me.

Oh alright then you get a follow, I'm curious what steemedit is :)

Excellent post, thanks for the info.

Where did all the people I'm following and all those following me go?

Screenshotfrom2016-09-13041202423e1.png

Follower API has been partially broken ever since they tried to release Steem 0.14.0.

Because of this, the follower API was disabled on my TOR node until 0.14 is properly released (maybe in a week or so).

Apologies for that issue, it will be fixed as soon as 0.14 is properly released.

Good to know. I like using Tor sites when that's an option.

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The domain is dead now.

interesting

Is it offline? I can't connect