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  1. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Guardian-eating, tofu-reading dormivitus Supporter Contributor

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    Secret Forums/Boards

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Iain Aschendale, Oct 11, 2017.

    First, let me say that this isn't me trying to sneak into the Mod Lounge, but it is kind of a Mod question (research only).

    Okay, my MC is a ghost hunter. Ghosts are real, and he can really see them. He's found some occult forums that are not entirely populated with stowaways from one of The History Channel's wackier shows, so he's able to get some good information to help him out from members he's learned to trust. However, as far as he knows, ghosts (residual spirits, whatever) are as far as it goes.

    Until he meets a Big Bad.

    So, my question is, does it sound plausible to have secret (unlisted in google) forums, or subsections within a forum that are "invitation only, burn before reading" type things? The idea I've got in running through my head is that after escaping the Big Bad, he posts a breathless question on his usual forum, only to find himself banned with the post erased. Shortly after that (or immediately) he gets an incoming message inviting him into the forum where the Adults Talk About The Real Things That Go Much More Than Bump In The Night.* Banned from the basic forum because they don't want stories spreading, perhaps finding himself banned from every similar forum that he either has an account with or tries to join after posting the question.

    Thoughts?


    *(ATATRTTGMMTBITN. Catchy, isn't it?)
     
  2. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    It sounds plausible to me. It could be on the deep web or the dark web or whatever they call it.
     
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  3. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Guardian-eating, tofu-reading dormivitus Supporter Contributor

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    Good point, I should look into that.
     
  4. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Even on this forum we have member only groups - there's one for forum volunteers for example
     
  5. Sir Robin

    Sir Robin Member

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    Of course. My old forum had areas most of us couldn't get in. Mods, Mentors, and Media each had their own area and then there were areas for senior staff. I don't think anything of them are searchable to the rank and file and certainly not to non-members.

    We also had the members only groups too as Big Soft Moose mentioned.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  6. izzybot

    izzybot (unspecified) Contributor

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    Deep web was my first thought as well, but honestly unless the ghosts have internet access, it could probably just be on the regular internet without any risk. I kinda wonder if the deep web route might come off a bit cheesy - might've just read one too many cheesy creepypastas featuring it, though.
     
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  7. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    I think deep web is more exciting, story-wise, than a private subforum, but I haven't seen any stories featuring it. I would definitely stay away from overused things.
     
  8. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    there are loads - I mean a metric fucktonne - of stories featuring the dark web .... generally in regard to terrorists, paedos etc using it for nefarious purposes
     
  9. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Sure you could set up a forum with a sub-forum for whatever your needs are.

    The deep web is full of conspiracy, and other weird stuff. There is actually
    a library of like every book written up to a certain point, which was started
    by an underground movement in a foreign country.
    There are even places like this or any other average forum in the deep web
    as well. It is not an illegal place to go, but has places in it that are.
    TOR was invented by the Navy, and later on it was released to the public.
    Though if you want to go traverse the deep web, do some research before
    hand. But I can say that a site like your talking about probably is hiding out
    somewhere on the surface web. It is kinda interesting how many of the
    'normal' sites in the deep web, also have a surface web location that has
    all the same content.
     
  10. Wen Q.

    Wen Q. New Member

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    Apart from secret groups on these kinds of forums, there are also secret groups on mundane places such as Facebook, where you can't read the posts or tell who is a member. Not sure how well that will fit your story, though.
     
  11. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    not to mention that its perfectly possible to set up a forum and only give select people access, or just to set up a shared web server
     
  12. archer88i

    archer88i Banned Contributor

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    So, burn before reading types of places tend--based on my limited knowledge, which applies mostly in an IT-related context--not to be forums. This is simply because the technical difference between a "secret" forum and a public forum is nil once you're past a server's outer defenses (i.e. you can just download the database of a server you have compromised and read every post at your leisure, regardless of which section of the forum it was in). Technically savvy, secretive users gravitate toward forms of communication that aren't stored on hard disk--or, at least, aren't stored by the server itself. The canonical example of this is IRC.
     
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  13. NiallRoach

    NiallRoach Contributor Contributor

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    Absolutely. Dark web sites, acessible only with onion/TOR links, are things anyone can set up with some time to kill and the will to learn how to do it (or follow a tutorial).
     
  14. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    The deep dark web...
     
  15. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Guardian-eating, tofu-reading dormivitus Supporter Contributor

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    Hey, thanks to everyone for replying, I've been slammed the last couple of days and not really had time to respond. Been running things through my head on this though, and I'll be back with some intelligent responses soon I hope.
     
  16. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Guardian-eating, tofu-reading dormivitus Supporter Contributor

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    Again, thanks, this has triggered some good ideas. I think the idea of darkweb/TOR modeled after (ugh) what the p**os do is probably the way I'll want to go. They wouldn't want to use Facebook, I certainly wouldn't trust even a "secret" page to be secret from the hosting company itself, so the farther off the corporate versions of things, the better. Something similar to the Mod subforum was my initial idea, but if forums are as easy to crack as @archer88i says, that wouldn't be a good idea.

    Despite my comment about "burn before reading" this is not, or does not appear to be (more things to think about) a governmentally run meeting place, it's a bunch of people with paranormal powers/experiences trying to A) keep the signal to noise ratio high by weeding out fantasists and curiosity seekers and B) prevent dangerous knowledge from spreading any further than it already has. Basically, there are people with no paranormal powers or experiences, people with limited levels, and people who have come face to face with the Big Bads and lived. The story is going to run along the familiar trope of "Gumshoe stumbles onto something really serious", with an MC who is half "Sixth Sense" and half quack scam artist finding a literal Portal to Hell and leveling up in a big hurry.

    Anyway, it's off to get myself on another watchlist by googling p**ophile and terrorist secure communications.

    Sigh....
     
  17. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    you want to make the url really obscure by making it something nobody is going to stumble into by accident (I'm sure with your cryptoschool background you can come up with something)
     
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  18. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Guardian-eating, tofu-reading dormivitus Supporter Contributor

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    Good point, a random string (like an ideal password) would be good. I know Wordpress has the option of making blogs unsearchable by Google etc, does anyone know how that works?
     
  19. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Its basically a coding thing - on the text interface coding programs its the disallow:/ command.... however that just stops websearch bots from indexing the site meaning it can't be found by search engines ... however it still sits on the surface web if someone follows a link to it
     
  20. archer88i

    archer88i Banned Contributor

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    Well behaved boots follow our instructions not to index things. That's enforced by the bot's creator, of course, not you.
     
  21. Mike43

    Mike43 Member

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    I may be way off target but you may find some useful ideas here:

    https://stackoverflow.com/questions/15710316/google-search-results-showing-my-site-even-though-ive-disallowed-it-in-robots-t?rq=1
    See sections 2 and 3 in answer #1 nearer the bottom of the page.
    Staging a website (in case you don't already know) is explained, albeit briefly, here : http://www.commonplaces.com/blog/web-development-what-is-staging/

    The TOR (onion skinning) system is not secure. Basically no system is secure. As has been suggested in another post it might be easier for a reader to comprehend what is going on, if they are indeed required to know or understand the privacy/security/secrecy issue, by presenting a basic user/password query page. Again this is not secure and can be hacked by any competent white/black hat type.

    As an aside and a point of interest, many government agencies and other legitimate corporate users store their data on the dark web.
     

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