Discourse for Darknets?


(Scott Trager) #1

So I was thinking that Discourse would be an amazing addition to many Darknet communities- however because of its dependence on Javascript, it would be very difficult to maintain user anonymity. I wonder if there is a way to make Discourse work in an anonymous way so that user IPs etc. are not tracked, no email requirements, TOR on the back-end, etc. Just speculating on the feasibility (no plans to do anything like this myself) but considering how most “off the grid” communities are forced to use ancient versions of phpbb etc. in order to keep their users identities safe, if something like this could be done it would be a huge boon to that scene*.

*By ‘that’ scene I mean any site which privacy is of paramount concern such as Wikileaks-like sites, political activist sites in countries where such behavior may not be permissible, etc.


(Caue Rego) #2

No idea.

But just wanted to point out there is some efforts being done in direction of anonymity (more links inside):

Far from what you ask, but at least looks like it could eventually be going in the same direction. Specially if “healthcare and related communities” start asking for such things.


(Scott Trager) #3

Here are some observations from visting with Javascript disabled in the TOR browser:

  1. It looks super-basic. Some effort could be made to enhance the look/feel when Javascript is disabled. Better fonts and spacing would help, and graphics can still be used (although should be kept minimal to keep loading times down as much as possible) as indicated by the discourse logo.

  2. Log in does not appear to be functional.While using external login providers might prove challenging, the built-in user database should at least function.

  3. Better pagination needed. Right now there is only a “Next Page” and “Previous page” button.

  4. Minimal Navigation. While you can get to places like categories from links in the footer etc. there is no easy way to move around, change views etc. While there are understandably limits on what can be done here, some basic HTML navigation would go a long way.

  5. User Profile pages are a little TOO basic. Some basics like the user image and badges etc. could be shown here.


(Caue Rego) #4

I wonder if there is a framework in ruby which would already do this kind of job. :smirk: