Upcoming proposal and discussion on content moderation

I agree with you. Extreme case. Used only once. Hard to imagine it happening again with ETH.

It appears from the recent medium article the badlands model + People parties and secure enclaves or shuffling node membership of subnets is being positioned as the solution for those seeking maximum censorship resistance. scale of thousands of in home node providers, and not introducing NNS ICP voting for governance removals opens up wider possibilities for censorship resistance.

For the data center nodes (non badland node providers) would provide developers with a high performance applications which are willing to sacrifice some censorship for max performance.

The purpose of Badlands will be to allow smart contracts to be hosted upon a network with the maximum conceivable level of decentralization, which anonymous amateurs will provide, with a low barrier to entry, and the maximum conceivable resistance to censorship. This network will have a different ethos, and will be more of a “Wild West” for smart contracts with lower throughput and storage requirements

The unique advantages of Badlands are as follows:

  • It will benefit from the maximum conceivable level of decentralization and censorship resistance, something that is held in great esteem by the blockchain community.
  • It will have its own Network Nervous System (the permissionless governance system hosted by the Internet Computer that manages and updates the network), and this will exert the will of its community in accordance with its mission and ethos, guaranteeing a more traditional “code is law” environment.
  • Even though Badlands will not be nearly as fast or efficient as the Internet Computer, it will utilize the same protocol and code, and therefore still be able to scale its capacity, serve interactive web content, interoperate with other blockchains, and run fast by traditional standards.
  • It will be fully interoperable with the Internet Computer main network.
  • It would be very difficult to destroy without turning off the internet (assuming nodes disguise their traffic).
  • It will introduce amateurs and enthusiasts to being node providers, who may then graduate to becoming professional or semi-professional node providers in the primary Internet Computer network, which is a more expensive and involved endeavor.

The sweet spot for Badlands will be hosting smart contracts that don’t require the efficiency and speed and uptime provided by the Internet Computer — as would, say, a blockchain social network, chat application, or realtime financial exchange. It will provide a Wild West for smart contracts that can directly interoperate with smart contracts on the Internet Computer. It will provide a place for those that aim to host smart contracts on a network with the maximum possible level of decentralization, while allowing amateurs to inexpensively operate nodes from home.


Here’s a more practical take, let’s forget about any philosophical viewpoints for a second and run through a real situation:

1 - Nefarious actors start repeatedly generating liabilities for node providers 24/7/365.

2 - These liabilities start extending further than copyright notifications when governments start issuing takedown notices for various canisters as well. (Already happening via social media as per leaked documents. Just not widely publicized yet.)

Tell me how any aspect of The Internet Computer survives resembling what it looks like right now in any meaningful capacity.

The explicit claim of Dominic (many times) and The Foundation has been that the network is built to stand up to this.

The response to this incident (I don’t mean your personal response, just the general proposal response) suggests that when push comes to shove, there are many, many, many points of attack which are being glossed over.


The sheer naivety of thinking you can just come up with some bullet points of nation state rules (which state BTW!?) you’ll choose to implement with the tacit admission you won’t implement others. As if this if going to be allowed fly! If there’s control governments will subject it to their democracies (or whatever other system they have). The only way out of this is to not have any control.


How about this to satisfy everyone:

Some subnets have canister removal ability, some dont. Node providers choose what subnets to host and app developers choose what subnets to deploy on. Let the market decide.

In the US, EU, etc, node providers will likely only host the moderated subnets because they invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into data center hardware and don’t want the risk of legal action. Apps that need the lowest latency will sacrifice some censorship risk.


Is it possible to make Canisters ‘stealth’ concerning 'the node(s) that have a copy of it ?

(Could we have Stealth-Canisters? Meaning: Implement something that encrypts the information linking Canisters to Node-Providers )

If possible, this would take the discussion to another level. Node-Providers would never be threatened by DMCA notes ever again. The burden would go over the entire network (not on single node providers)

@MisterSignal , @Ciaran , @jzxchiang , what about this?
( @lastmjs I think this could go into your new thread )


Let’s say we vote to remove this type of proposal from the NNS. So no more ability to intervene like you suggest. I think I could consider something like that. But what do we do about canisters that can’t be removed by their creator?

If someone directly uploads child porn to a canister and then sets the controller to a black hole, my understanding is that it can’t be removed without this type of proposal. So what do we do in that scenario? Is that just part of our deal with the devil?

1 Like

“unstoppable” :thinking:


The ideal situation is that you localize any liability to be 100% w/ the Dapp’s creator; this, of course, pulls on the lever’s of what makes the IID system the IID system and the claims about data privacy to be taken seriously or not.

1 Like

This is why I’d really like to hear from @dominicwilliams regarding this.

He’s been very explicit in his messaging, and the proposal being floated here looks very very very different than what he’s been saying.


But with the Ic there may not be a dapp. You can upload images straight to a canister

1 Like

[This post was unnecessarily inflammatory so I’ve re-edited it to be more productive, it was a bit of a flameout but there was actual thought behind it. I’ve answered rebuttals in this post as well so bear in mind that subsequent responses were made to very different text]

In this post on the cycle_dao blog I recently discussed the cultural dominance of this forum.

I am claiming that neither is there a universal morality that can be applied to IP, nor is there practical value to the affected parties that we might be protecting on the IC. Also that these forums are predisposed to certain perspectives that we know differ from much of the world and that we need to actively look to non-participants in these discussions to get an accurate view of the most representative path forward.

The Chinese market largely supports the counterfeit wine industry because Chinese consumers are not overly interested in whether the item they are buying is genuine or not. Chinese authorities are not highly interested in pursuing breaches of wine IP either. This article about the first prosecution in 10 years of a counterfeiter caught with 10,000 fake bottles resulting in an 18 month suspended sentence gives an indication of how minor the crime is considered.
The New Zealand horticulture sector is learning to accept its intellectual property will be appropriated by the Chinese sector because there is a growing practical understanding that IP has a shelf life. Regardless of law it decays and you have to develop a business model that is based on that reality. This is a pretty good article on the Kiwifruit industry that provides some background.
In the article, the point is made that the Kiwifruit itself was originally taken from China by New Zealand growers. Another example is much of the Australian and New Zealand wine industries were built on genetic IP taken illegally from Europe in exactly the same way as the Chinese/NZ horticulture example. [I can’t find a citation for this but it’s a mirthful in-joke in the Australian wine industry that “all the Viognier in Heathcote, Victoria was grown from cuttings taken from Chateau Grillet in France” and I bet new Zealand growers stole it from them in turn].

After 5 years the USA withdrew from the negotiation of the TPPA free trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore & Vietnam. The remaining participants signed an agreement called the CPTPP one year later.
The agreement was negotiated behind closed doors, but this article suggests the reason it became possible to come to an agreement in the absence of the USA was likely IP terms that were then able to be removed from the agreement.

Patent law allows for different time horizons in different jurisdictions. In practical reality, IP can decay much more quickly than that. for example, in the Kiwifruit example above, New Zealand’s exclusivity advantage for developing a new kiwifruit decayed in China by 50% in 9 years.

In the case of Mario64, anyone with a computer can play it for free on the traditional web as pointed out by llbrunoll here. We might say that Nintendo’s exclusivity over Mario64 has decayed by 100%. The same can be said for every song, movie, image and TV episode streaming for free at any number of websites. Or any piece of software currently available for illegal download. What practical benefit is there to the IP rights holders to have these removed from the IC?

ililic’s point below with the big green map showing the whole world has IP legislation is solid. However, Hopefully, the above examples indicate that, at least on the ground in horticulture & Viniculture, these intellectual property rights are often ignored at industrial scale and this is tolerated by governing bodies. One might imagine that few of the countries who sign onto international property agreements actually intend to fully honour those terms. They do it to gain access to new markets and IP is treated differently in different industries under identical legislation.

The term used in this post before, a-legal, is pretty stupid. Neutrality is a better one. We should aim to be as neutral as the current internet. IP can be policed at higher levels. It cannot be managed at the protocol level.
*’’… in the first half of 2020, Twitter reported receiving 1.6 million takedown notices for copyright infringement.’’**
Algorithmic policing has been widely criticised as ruining YouTube and ignoring “fair use” so if we want our contribution to Web3 to be any better we have to do better than that.

Anecdotally, members of the Chinese community I’ve spoken to have been very upset as have been members of the European community and the Blockchain-native community.

The fact the foundation put the takedown proposal forward immediately was wrong:
A) This tacitly opinionates the Foundation in favour of US IP legislation.
B) An NNS proposal had at the time 24 hours voting time, while a DMCA request has 7 days to be honoured.

These forums are already an opinionated arena for discussion of IC governance. They are English language, as pointed out before, sequential in nature with debate subjects interposed with one another. It’s hard for a non-English speaker or person with lower reading & comprehension skills to participate or consume the discussion. These are also highly technical and populated largely by developers, primarily American. Given that the product of developers work is itself intellectual property there is an additional subject matter sympathy.

Take a member of the Chinese community, trying to participate in this debate. They are someone for whom English is at best a second language with a different script and they are attempting to absorb the nuances of a culturally alien subject that they are probably going to vote against. Then introduce ideas of a “Constitution” - a permanent set of laws supposed to govern a global system, or a “Moderation Committee” - a group composed of community representatives to care for the content on the IC. This is pretty intense conceptual depth to expect a global audience to engage with in this format.

The point here is not to say the forum cant serve a valuable purpose. Even a primary role in IC governance. Rather that we have to acknowledge that a large group of people are excluded from this discussion and we have to go to them and ask them what they think before we come to conclusions here. Consider this point in the context of the 24 hour wait for quiet period in the NNS proposal. The necessary consultation is impossible in such a time frame. (This has obviously since changed)

There are practical considerations that will be addressed in a cycle_dao post sometime in the next week. There is a lot of research that needs to be done in the interim. The most important consideration while we figure this out is to not be like me and post wild rhetoric on developer forums :sweat_smile:


As always this is a really good post. I agree with many of your points.

But I’m surprised to see you say the debate is not worthwhile. Anyone who scrolls up can I see that I openly stated I was going to vote to adopt this proposal, but since then I’ve read all of these discussions and learned a lot. Especially from @Ciaran. But I need time to adjust my thinking for many of the reasons you point out.

I guess what I’m saying is how would newcomers to blockchain learn if not for these types of forum debates?


There is a ton of good thought here and debate is good. I don’t mean to gatekeep but I want the severity of my wording to stand because this is a moment of existential threat.


by capture debate, I mean 150 posts in a list is too hard to read through

1 Like

Understood. This makes sense. Thanks

Without having to make a decision on whether or not censorship should be allowed at all on the IC, I hope we can all agree that node operators should not be placed in the position of deciding which canisters they should run or drop.

That decision should be moved to either the NNS, the canister owner, or parties external to the network…or possibly no decision should be possible.

I propose we move forward with endowing node operators with plausible deniability. Please join the discussion here: Plausible deniability for node operators


The Internet Computer is the first blockchain in the world that’s fast, cheap, scalable, and user-friendly enough to host the mass market open internet services of the Web 3.0 future.

It’s an absolute marvel of engineering, and surely one of the most significant developments in the history of computing.

Nothing that happened here takes away from that.

We are discussing this problem because an interactive, web-based video game was hosted on the Internet Computer. That’s not possible on any other blockchain right now. We were merely ahead of the curve, so we hit this roadblock first.

In my opinion, the first order of business is to brainstorm and implement protections for node providers. Node providers supply the hardware that make the Internet Computer possible.

Realistically, how should a node provider respond to a DMCA request? Can they say “sorry, I can’t enforce this”? What kind of evidence can they provide to back up their lack of enforceability? Should we as the Internet Computer community “insure” node providers against possible losses in the event something like this happens to them?

We need to make sure that node providers never have to deal with an issue like this again.


Agreed. We’re at a pretty damn big fork in the road here. One path leads to a globally trusted web 3.0 platform, the other to Lord of the Flies oblivion.

I’m glad you and others like @LefterisJP and @MisterSignal have spoken out against this madness.


I would like to see all governance proposal announcements made right here in the Governance category of the forum. It also seems appropriate for at least 1 week of deliberation before a proposal is made. However, on something sensitive or controversial like this proposal, there is nothing like a short deadline to motivate people into action. This is why I think we are better off with a 24 hour voting period with wait for quiet for proposals as we have now instead of extending the voting period. It would be nice to have advanced notice of when the proposal is going to be formally submitted to the NNS, but short voting window FOMO motivates governance participation.