Tilde (~) servers are public access unix systems in the spirit of tilde.club, which was created by Paul Ford in 2014. Member status on a tilde server mainly involves some level of engagement or presence on the system, but that activity may take a number of forms (eg, learning OpenBSD, coding, community discussions).
The tildeverse is a loosely connected system of like-minded tildes that share some services. An IRC network helps keep the community together. You can find members of this server in the #black channel.
Tilde Black is an OpenBSD system themed to support the ideas of privacy, anonymity, and security. The server itself is run by an amateur hobbiest and should not be considered ultra-secure itself. Rather, the ideals put into practice are done so as an experiment to test their validity, efficacy, and identify problems.
The ideals of the Black are important for the safety of individual freedom around the world and are not intended to be used for nefarious purposes. Infiltration, network scanning, and other “hacking” activities will result in membership being disabled.
This is the fundamental idea that serves as justification for the others. Individuals require secrecy for a healthy life. One of our goals is to discuss new ways to ensure privacy in a digital age.
On the system, Tilde Black preserves read access to user home directories for those members alone. Users may assume a level of privacy from others on the system.
While many tildes focus on community building and peer relationships, the Black prefers privacy. Members should feel comfortable in thinking of the server as their home where they are free to be themselves. While engagement in discussions, IRC, net news, web or gopher publishing is possible, it is not required.
Surveillance states and surveillance capitalism watch us constantly. The profiles they build have an unprecedented level of understanding about our behavior, wants, and needs. This is a critical violation of individual privacy. One remedy is anonymity.
On Tilde Black, over 10,000 user accounts have been pre-generated at system creation. These accounts are based on 4 and 5 letter dictionary words. When a new user requests membership on the system, 10 of these accounts are assigned to the new member at random. These are full, real system accounts, not simple aliases. They can be used individually or in aggregate to mask activity and preserve identity. If a user desires more than 10, additional accounts can be assigned upon request.
Access to Tilde Black is available as a Tor hidden service, complete with SSH access.
Maintaining security is one of the most difficult and ever-changing tasks in our increasingly connected world. So much of our lives are affected by large information systems which are not in our control. What measures can we take as individuals to mitigate our risk and preserve our safety?
One of the goals of Tilde Black is to create original content geared toward this purpose in the form of guides. These guides are community driven through activity on the net news system, IRC, email, and other communication systems. The end result are attempts to help make the individual a bit more secure.
The most public parts of Tilde Black are the Guides and Documentation generated by users. To get started, you can try one of the introductory articles on how to use Tilde Black itself:
The Black comes packed with a number of services for its members. Each of these can be used by any and all of the anonymous user accounts assigned at sign-up. Some members may choose to use only a single service with each user account while others maintain a “master” user that acts across the system.