Parler on the IC?

A proposal is just an ingress message wrapped in metadata. All proposals are sent to the governance canister, which is a canister that exists within the NNS system canister suite. If voters (neuron holders) pass a proposal, then the governance canister will submit the underlying ingress message. Hence, the corresponding caller ID of the ingress message would be the canister ID of the governance canister. Such an ingress message could be directed toward a subnet manager, instructing it to delete a specific canister. Generally, that functionality is restricted to the controller, but developers should be aware that the governance canister is also included in the access control list.


hello again enzo.

I understand your message to mean “yes”: a majority (proxy) vote of NNS holders can take-down / censor any app. Is that right? Parler, 4chan, FreeXinjiang, whatever, can stay up for exactly as long as a majority of NNS holders think it should stay up and no longer?

The human trafficking example in Dominic’s essay is interesting. For reasons of both confidentiality and response time, specific abuse incidents probably have to be handled centrally rather than by asking everyone in the world “hey what do you all think, is this child porn or not quite?” :astonished:

So you end up with basically still a central censor/abuse function, but if NNS holders don’t like its decisions they can in principle delegate their vote to someone else, or not delegate their votes, or sell their tokens and leave. By contrast if they don’t like AWS’s decisions they complain to AWS, or take their business elsewhere.

Perhaps you fall into a state where there is no majority for any single ethics committee and so no actions are taken.

But if the IC is widely adopted, perhaps most token holders will support middle-of-the-road controversy-averse governance positions and thing that are banned on AWS or Cloudflare will also be taken down on the IC?

Yes, a majority (or super-majority since the threshold would be a configurable parameter subject to change) could censor an application. It would be rational to assume that most neuron holders care more about the financial incentives of neuron ownership then voting, and would in all likelihood delegate their vote to another, such as the foundation. I cannot recall now, but that may even be the default behavior. Regardless, neuron holders are individuals or business entities subject to the jurisdiction in which they reside. I am unaware of any jurisdiction in which child pornography is permissible. Hence, neuron holders would be legally (and hopefully also morally) compelled to remove such content. If such a resolution failed to pass, then, in theory, every data-center that is a member of the subnet hosting the child pornography would be legally compelled to delete it from their servers. If even a subset of those data-centers followed suit, then the subnet would fail to reach consensus. Knowing that, I think a middle-of-the-road controversy-averse approach to governance is likely where we are headed.

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Ok that all makes sense.

It looks like the majority of Bitcoin and Filecoin miners are in China for various economic factors that also to Dfinity.

So it seems like we’re heading for a case where the Chinese government can control what stays up or is taken down on the IC?

I don’t know anything about a government conspiracy. We’re heading for a case where neuron holders can control what stays up or what is taken down.

sorry let me try to be clearer:

  1. A hefty majority of all crypto miners are in China. Probably the same will be true for IC.
  2. Neuron holders are subject to orders from the jurisdiction in which they reside.
  3. DC operators likewise.
  4. If a majority neurons or “even a subset” of DCs block some content, it will be globally inaccessible.
  5. The Chinese govt has a very well established track record of requiring local services to block some content. This is not a conspiracy theory, it’s a well-documented obvious phenomenon.
  6. We can expect them to issue similar orders to IC DCs, if the IC ever gets to noticeable adoption.
  7. Therefore China can cause content to be taken down globally.

Edit: I guess this is not the desired outcome but I don’t know which step is wrong.

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Would it make sense for this project to have something akin to a “declaration of core values” or at least a minimum standard for the protection of, say, pro-democratic content. So no matter how much influence someone like Chinese coin miners have, there is no way they could push for the removal of a pro democratic Hong Kong website? Also, would the IC even be available in China with the Great Firewall and such?

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One cannot simply provide compute resources to the IC because they posses the hardware. Data-center operators must first obtain a data-center identifier, which involves submitting a proposal to the governance canister. As a neuron holder myself, I will evaluate each data-center application on a case-by-case basis, and make my decision based on what I believe is in the best interest of the network and its users. I hope other neuron holders will do the same. Currently, there are no data-centers in China, but I would not exclude the possibility that there could be one in the future. If having a say in such matters is important to you, then I encourage you to participate in the voting process.


I would love to participate, but that seems to require some investment. Maybe in the future.

The issue here, from what I can gather from the blogs and videos, is the “pay to play” aspect. Without a sort of “constitution”, or baseline of ethical operation, what is to stop a bad player with deep pockets to mine its way to influence?

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I’m very proud of my colleagues and extended members of the DFINITY team who I believe have an excellent moral compass. Ethics is a strong part of the DFINITY culture. I have great confidence our ability to navigate a path forward, and even if we have yet to pen a constitution.


I think you guys are on the right track and I’m totally onboard with the vision. But a truly open and free internet like the IC will antagonize certain powerful players with agendas of their own and they will push back if they feel that is in their interest. One vector of attack could be one of the before mentioned methods of “mining for influence”. I’m sure Dfinity will create counter meassures. It’s just worth having the discussion before the project goes fully live.


Hi Enzo, ok, so you’re saying you want DCs and NNS holders to only be in countries with a certain minimum level of respect for human rights. Makes sense although perhaps it’ll be hard to get consensus on where to draw the line. Some people don’t like the USG either.

I guess this means every NNS holder needs to receive and scrutinize a due diligence packet about every proposed new DC: ownership, jurisdiction, physical security, etc?

If I understand right NNS were meant to be freely tradeable?

If I have 10 NNS how do you stop me selling them to someone in China, if they offer a better price? How do I even know with certainty where the beneficial owner is? Are you going to require NNS approval and central KYC for every NNS sale?

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Sounds good but we get a “code is law” problem here. Dominic said the IC will be beyond Dfinity’s control and only governed by NNS holders. I have my doubts whether that’s realistic but taking it at face value: it doesn’t matter what the declaration says, it matters how neurons vote.

So this process is fully automated? I mean, let’s say that someone wanted to close the “Free Hong Kong” page outlined above. What are the steps to make that happen? Would a Chinese NNS holder make some sort of formal request to… what/where exactly? Have these steps been highlighted anywhere in the blogs or videos or is this part of the IC governance model still being figured out?

Is the shutdown of the cannister hosting the Hong Kong site done automatically, or is there a human somewhere in this process that oversees such a shutdown?


  1. Animal Crossing is a better tool for dissidents than Freenet.
    => If you want people to be able to use your application without adverse inferences being drawn it is better if the marketing is non controversial and main use case safe friendly and innocuous.
  2. Pablo Escobar might had continued his drug business without any problems if he hadn’t got into politics.
    => Don’t paint a target on your back by doing politics.
  3. Telegram private groups are better tool for free speech than Parler.
    => Private groups are less of a target than public ones
  4. Kim Dotcom is facing extradition and prison time, Steve Chen (Youtube founder) is rich and free. Both violated copyright on a massive scale
    => Don’t taunt law enforcement, instead you should have a process for moderating, identifying illegal content and dealing with requests.
  5. Banks launder much more money than bitcoin but there is less moral panic.
    => Be useful
  6. Regulators who want backdoor decryption are more focused on consumer services than enterprise ones.
    => Have a ‘legitimate’ economic excuse for privacy and censorship resistance.
  7. Nobody so far has come after Bitcoin or Ethereum to make them seize or freeze funds.
    => Credibly lacking an ability does provide a shield against coercion.
  8. Wackamole is difficult.
    => While the NNS can likely take down known illegal and grossly immoral canisters it cannot speedily understand and detect what it is an unknown canister is doing.
  9. Binance and Sci-Hub have survived by jurisdiction hopping
    => Subnets can be created which avoid hostile jurisdictions.
  10. Cultural offence is contextual. People live in jurisdictions.
    => User level moderation rules > universal rules

@pie-silo Neurons are not freely tradable. There is no way to change the beneficiary of a neuron after the neuron has been created. Neurons will exist at genesis, but their functionality is restricted until the beneficiary has passed KYC/AML via Acuant. More details will become available soon.


This seems like a sure fire way to stifle legal but controversial or unpopular speech/platforms/apps as voting entities could fear retribution if they tie their irl identity to a Neuron as part of the governance process.
Doesn’t such a strict requirement severely undermine the liquid democracy and censorship resistant guarantees that the IC offers?
I thought economic incentives were the only thing that could compel neuron operators to vote a certain way but this introduces a lot of variables and could effectively bind neurons to the local laws of the jurisdiction the owner resides in.
What happens if a government entity subpoenas Acuant to get access to PII pertaining to a neuron(which has maybe an outsized influence because operated by established vocal and respected community member and is therefore followed by a lot of other neurons) because of the way it voted on a certain proposal that they take a dim view of?
I expect Neuron voting history will be public and so neurons are effectively pseudonymous but crucially NOT anonymous right?

A Parler copycat would never be done by DFINITY itself for obvious PR reasons.

What would be interesting, and that I hope happens is if the community builds one as a sort of stress test for the NNS.

It’s similar to the idea being used now by making racist/controversial coins on BSC just to prove upon its removal that their blockchain is centralized and censorable.


Interesting discussion.

Personally, I see IC as potentially providing the tools to enable developers to provide users
with content (in the Parler example) that meets the users needs
and expectations.

For example, I would like to read spam free content with reasoned arguments based on
traceable factual information, posted by people with informed
opinions – unless it comes from my nephew, in case I’d
like to see it all!

So it sounds like voting neurons will be subject to the jurisdictions they reside, and thus may be held liable for content on the overall network - however, making the case for that liability and enforcing censorship might be an arduous process (so - censorship resistance). However, voters will probably want to avoid the most glaring content so as not to push it. I’m wondering where we expect that will fall on this “scale”…

  1. free speech, including controversial opinions, without inciting hate crime/action/violence.
  2. non-commercial copyrighted content subject to legal Free Use parody/remix interpretation (Mickey Mouse fan art)
  • <<< Facebook/Youtube are barely here
  1. otherwise above-board utilities designed for easy obscuring and re-publishing of censored content (e.g. Pirate-Bay-style automated re-hosting tumblers)
  2. pornography, with consent of content creators
  3. sites assisting user-data-supplied links to direct copyright violations (links to off-chain pirated movies)
  4. free speech inciting violence or organized illegal action (but with pro-democratic content, e.g. Hong Kong rioting)
  • <<< Reddit’s about here
  1. free speech inciting violence but debatably anti-democratic, or otherwise unpopular (Parler…)
  2. sites actively maintaining/hosting services which hold copyright violation links directly in code/community rules
  • <<< Most private comms Discord etc about here
  1. direct hosting copyrighted content (pirated movies, books, images), non commercial
  2. same but pornographic content, without consent of content creators
  • <<< Pirate Bay Torrents are about here
  1. sales and profiting off copyrighted content (resale of pirated content, remixes, integrated use. e.g. sale of game with copyrighted music)
  2. same but profiting off pornographic content, without consent of content creators
  • <<< More obscure private Discords and most public Tor stuff around here
  1. IP violation on a wide scale - structure (e.g. direct working integrated copy of entire look and feel of all major centralized internet sites… Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google etc)
  2. IP violation on a wide scale - data (e.g. use of data mined from said sites to fill out backwards-compatibility and easily transition network effects, perhaps hidden until permission is provided from users to port over)
  • <<< *** Somewhat-missing link, expected to be filled by some end-to-end encrypted crypto network soon enough. China-web is mostly here in regards to IP violation though.
  1. shared private user data whose unauthorized distribution is illegal or could be used for violence (medical data, personal addresses, schedules, etc)
  2. child pornography, or other such highly-illegal digital content
  3. illegal criminal action (e.g. drug sales)
  • <<< Routine Dark Web / 4chan stuff
  1. illegal violent criminal action (e.g. hitmen)
  2. illegal violent sexual criminal action (e.g. trafficking rings)
  • <<< Specialty Dark Web

Probably missing some other useful distinctions in there, and the ordering could probably be switched around depending on perspectives.

I’m interested regardless of where Dfinity winds up on that scale, but I’m most interested in knowing whether we expect the network - or some designated more hands-off segment of it - might get away with fulfilling the crypto prophecy and just cloning most of the existing web’s centralized services with backwards compatibility. Obviously those services will get one-off (legally) cloned anyways on Dfinity, but it’s forseeable that a good crypto service will be able to just blatantly do it too. If enough Dfinity voting nodes are in China or other countries that care little about IP, that’s maybe even in the cards. (Though China would specifically become a problem for some earlier levels on that list e.g. free speech inciting protests)

Any thoughts/predictions/corrections?

(Posted this in a new topic here as well: Censorship and IP Liability Expectations in case it’s better split off)

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