A bit about Tor and the Russian-speaking .onion space

Instead of joining

Articles about Tor are not uncommon. Indeed, over the past few years, this remarkable network has been gaining in popularity. It is a pity that this is not happening so swiftly and not at all as we, its inhabitants, would like. At first glance, the causes of these events lie on the surface. But if with the growth of popularity everything is relatively clear, then its speed and structure should be dwelled in more detail. Let's try to figure out how and why we came to the current state of this network, what to do and even who (or rather what) is to blame (o).

About popularity

Actually, the popularity growth factor itself is made up of three main functions of Tor today: anonymization, use to bypass all kinds of locks and access to .onion resources. It is in that order, from the most popular destination to the least frequently used. Let us dwell on each of the three points in more detail:

1. Anonymization

As you know, Tor is an anonymous network of virtual tunnels that provides encrypted data transmission. Accordingly, its main and most logical purpose is to allow you to browse websites anonymously, to hide the identities of network users. The task is very relevant these days, and Tor does a pretty good job of it. However, let's think, who might be interested in this functionality? Obviously those who wish to hide their identity when using the Internet. This is followed by a disappointing conclusion about the majority of the public who use this software - all kinds of villains and paranoiacs. It is difficult to imagine an average user intentionally complicating his life in the pursuit of anonymity. How much this conclusion is justified will be decided later.

2. Bypass locks

It’s not a secret to anyone that in different parts of our planet users are blocked from the full access to the global network. Recently, this trend has been observed in our country. Without going into details, we note that almost everyone who has been affected by these prohibitions includes Tor in the list of recommended software with which it is easy to bypass these same locks. However, in view of the existence of simpler ways to combat prohibitions and the collaterality of such functionality in the Torah itself, this use case is less popular. However, paying attention to the target audience of this functionality, we will be amazed at its breadth - after all, almost all users of the Runet in one form or another may encounter a blockage and some of them will choose Tor as a way to deal with the latter.

3. Browse .onion sites

Among other things, Tor provides access to the .onion intranet domain, which hosts sites that are accessible only within the onion network. It is this aspect of Tor that is the most interesting and least illuminated. Let's try to fix it by telling more about it.

A bit of history

The Russian-speaking .onion-space cannot boast of a history comparable to the history of Runet, and it is stupid to consider it in isolation from the latter. The first more or less significant rudiments of ru-onion began to appear in 2012 with the advent of more or less stable versions of Tor. Also, do not exclude the influence of Bitcoin, inextricably linked to the development of the network.

The first platforms could not boast of anything interesting to a decent public: forums of a nationalist and pornographic nature, a couple of small imageboards and other medium-sized sites, such as the infamous RussianRoad. However, in March of the twelfth year Runion opens, then R2D2, RAMP and a couple of smaller resources keep up.

2013 brings with it the popularity of Tor. Amberoad, a dozen imageboards, trading floors and other sites are opening. Due to the increase in fame, the network is invaded by schoolchildren and other socially failed elements who decided to look for everything here that is attributed to rumors arising from a weak acquaintance with reality and the wild imagination of bloggers and the media.

August 2013 is usually associated with the fall of FH. I think that the respected public should not talk about this in detail, it is only worth noting that it almost completely passed the ru-onion, which cannot but be good news, given the reputation of FreedomHosting.

2014 brought with it news of a critical vulnerability in OpenSSl. This news shocked not only Runet, but Ru-onion, however, the most active administrators took prompt action, covering up a dangerous vulnerability.

Modern ru-onion

The big four

The Big Four are the four largest resources of the ru-onion as of this fall. It is from them that one can judge the current state of the network. Someone might grin at the webdwan forums, but minimalism is dictated by security considerations and the Tor restrictions.

Ambroad is the youngest resource in the four, positioning itself as a free general-purpose trading platform with a forum for communication. The only resource that has chat combined with the forum.

P2D2 is a closed resource with a trading bias, recently due to poor availability and low influx of newcomers giving weak signs of activity. Trade invites flourishes. A number of topics are prohibited for discussion. The only one in the Big Four that requires constant javascript to enter the site.

RAMP (Russian Anonymous MarketPlace).
Rump is a highly specialized trading resource. The most visited in the four, which clearly shows the regret of the current situation in ru-onion.

Runion (Russian Onion Union).
Runion is a security forum that has positioned itself as a free communication zone with a trade branch. It covers the widest range of topics discussed and is the most open platform in the four.

Other resources

RUForum, Russian Road - trading floors with unscrupulous administration and zero traffic. Simply put - scam.

Brave Bunny is Blokchain's Russian answer. According to the idea, it should be even more anonymous and secure, in fact - performance is a big question.

MALINA is another half-dead marketplace.

PsyCo - Ukrainian Psy Community. The whole point is in the name.

Maxima Culpa is a virtual confessional. Well, why not.

Sat-forum in the deep web - forum of satellite pirates.

A dozen imageboards and a hundred site mirrors of the so-called clearnet (as sites outside the .ion-domain are called in the torus), a couple of hundred site pages, personal sites, shops and ghost sites.

Network position

By visiting the sites from the list, you yourself could notice all the poverty of the current situation within the network. With such rich opportunities, most resources are blocked only by the most applied minimum of functions - to sell something forbidden, discuss the latest news and absorb another stupid question.

It is worth noting that this trend has existed from the very beginning of the operation of the ru-onion, and those few who are trying to change something have failed and are forgotten.

Who is to blame?

Guilty, first of all, human ignorance and laziness. Few people nowadays want to leave a cozy social network for the sake of a forum on an old engine, people see no reason to do this. Most of those who visit the network, go here by no means share their knowledge, learning new things and filling in the gaps, not for the sake of communicating with people who are close in spirit. And here you can point out the next culprits - the media, diligently showing Tor with only one, least attractive to those people whom we would so much like to see here, parties. People zealously fanning rumors and fables. People intentionally denigrating all onion-space. Here it is worth mentioning the third guilty party - the creators of those same resources, showing the worst side of Tor.

The question about network users was mentioned above. We can say with confidence that about 40% of these are schoolchildren who have heard enough of fairy tales about her. Another 30% are all kinds of drug addicts who came to buy themselves a portion of the poison. 25% - average Runet users who accidentally wandered here, decided to ask another question of concern to them. And only 5% are people who come to learn new things and share their knowledge.

And what to do?

As already mentioned above, the situation is fundamentally unsatisfactory for the most passionate inhabitants of the network. The first and most obvious step is to show you the other, better side of Onion, dispel ridiculous rumors and tell us why we are all happy to be here.

Let's get started?

PS I decided to do without links so far, everything is on hiddenwiki.

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