Boundary Nodes - Code of Conduct

Hello Community,

The Internet Computer is the first blockchain capable of hosting large amounts of data on the blockchain itself, using the memory of advanced “canister” smart contracts, in a significant leap forward. Another advance is that canister smart contracts can also service HTTP requests, and serve interactive web experiences directly to end-users. Together, this means that multimedia content can now be stored on a blockchain and served directly into web browsers. While these capabilities offers unprecedented experiences to be created on a blockchain, it also gives room to certain behaviors and practices that are at odds with the legality.

In a previous incident, copyrighted Nintendo game bios & ROMs were served by canister smarts contracts into web browsers, and Nintendo attempted to take action against the computers they could see serving the content.

The community had discussed at length on how such incidents should be handled since several approaches can be taken. A consensus was formed on leveraging boundary nodes for content filtering to address incidents like the preceding Nintendo DMCA incident.

As DFINITY operates the boundary nodes we have been actively working on outlining a Code of Conduct for the boundary nodes operated by us. The Code of Conduct is designed to protect boundary nodes from illegal activity. All users are expected to abide by this Code of Conduct at all times.

The long and short of it is:

  • Don’t do anything illegal, inappropriate or abusive.
  • Do respect yourself and the Internet Computer Community by keeping the Internet Computer a safe place for all users.
  • Unacceptable content served via nodes will be filtered at the sole discretion of the boundary node operator.

Meanwhile, the process of decentralizing boundary nodes continues. Operators of boundary nodes will eventually be able to define their own policy and practices.

We are very pleased with the path forward described and feel it reflects both the concerns and innovations brought forth by the community. We thank you all for the productive discussion on this topic over the last few months. We have learned a lot from the community and we welcome any concerns or questions you may have. Please feel free to discuss in this forum thread.


Is there any update on Badlands? How many boundary nodes exist right now and where are they?

Hi CatPirate,

Thanks for your question. At this time there are a total of 9 Boundary Nodes that are spread out in Amsterdam, Texas, France, Singapore, and California. Our goal is to have thousands of boundary nodes and the team is working very actively on enabling that.

Badlands is a slightly longer-term roadmap initiative but the expansion of boundary nodes should happen much before Badlands.


Why does the “Code of Conduct” not require the consent of the nns?

Does the boundary node belong to ic?

why can the boundary nodes bypass the content censorship of IC by NNS?

Good question. This is a reference to “Path forward on leveraging boundary nodes for content filtering” where the community consensus was:

1 Like

If we have an ICX proxy pointed at, are we a “boundary node”? And if not will the content filtering be passed through the proxy so we have to filter it ourselves or will we get ic0.apps filtering?

No no no only when the motion proposal is passed is the real community consensus

The foundation obviously has 22% of the voting rights, why not vote on the “Code of Conduct” through NNS?

1 Like

At present, although the fundation can decide the voting result, but that is what fundation deserve

But why is the foundation going to bypass NNS for content censorship?

In my opinion, the foundation violates the governance rights of stakers by doing so

Who exactly represents the supreme power of the IC? DFINITY or NNS? or Dominica

With all due respect, I am not certain the full issue is clear based on this question.

It’s the OPPOSITE actually. Foundation is not bypassing NNS, it is saying what the foundation will do with ITS machines so that they are legally compliant in their corresponding jurisdictions. It is not imposing anything on any machines. It is merely asserting how it will behave with its machines. Other boundary node providers may have other decisions based on their jurisdictions.

to quote the article:

This does not stop anyone from submitting NNS proposals to stop content, but it does allow each boundary node to fulfill its own prerogative (which they already were anyways). If a node was not legally compliant in a jurisdiction, the owner would likely shut it off.

1 Like

Since people already do what they wish with their machines, the next question then becomes “how quickly can more people run boundary nodes?” (so there can be more diversity of decisions).

That is the intent behind @catpirate’s question and why Lomesh (VP of Growth at DFINITY) answered here:


Well, it looks like I have to live with it for now. But I hope everyone will not forget that we are going to rebuild the internet, NNS is the real controller, we need a new government, a new social system, and a new law

1 Like

I agree with you that new social systems will emerge from this public computing platform we are all creating. Patterns are still emerging.

Fwiw, one of the intent is simple: boundary node providers in a country should not be able to “be attacked” by uploading content to the IC that can have legal repercussions to the boundary nodes. Node owners currently have two choices when dealing with content that is legally liable in their jurisdiction (turn off node or ignore legal risks).

This is one more reason why having a broad diversity of jurisdictions is important for the IC. What is legally liable in one country may not be legally liable in another.


There is a distinct difference between the foundation and the network. The foundation is governed by the laws of Switzerland and exists to fulfill its mission filed with the governing authority.

The network is a decentralized dao that has a mix of on chain and off chain governance. The network is progressing toward decentralization at a measured rate. To move faster than the underlying tech would be foolish. The network needs to walk a fine line of the already and not yet where it is both not centralized enough yet always decentralizing more. It cannot skip organic growth steps along the way or it will lose its anti-fragile properties.

The foundation can broadly commit to implementing the will of the network, but it can’t act in defiance of the rule of law.

There is little use in feigning outrage that the network has not reached a panacea or lamenting that we can’t jump up fully formed into a nakamoto paradise.

We are all riding this :roller_coaster: together and we might as well enjoy the ride!


I think we should not only rebuild the Internet but also rebuild the social order in the reconstructed Internet, which should be truly global. I hope that as the IC develops, it will have a profound impact on real countries, and the best outcome is that the NNS and its affiliates become global governments. The current review under national laws is only a temporary solution . Maybe the world will no longer have “nations”

1 Like