In 1985, a subversive named Richard Stallman founded the
Before the Shiawase Decision, open-source licenses were legally enforceable and companies making use of open source software could be sued in court if they failed to comply with the terms of the license. Since the establishment of corporate extraterritoriality, these licenses are no longer enforceable, and megacorporations can make use of open-source innovation freely.
After operatives working for Mitsuhama Corporate Technologies wiped out the server and backups for a major repository of open source software, aiming to destabilize the community and frighten them into hiding, the community retaliated by creating code they call the scatterweb, which is a decentralized data storage repository that keeps redundant copies of information on servers around the planet. The amount of storage a given entity is allowed on the scatterweb is a function of the amount of storage they provide to everyone else on the scatterweb; so is the number of queries that can be answered at once.
Once something is openly published to the scatterweb, the only way to get rid of it is for people to stop caring that it exists; if the publisher creates a
retraction annotation, they can disavow their creation, but it won’t go away until it’s so disused that very few people access it any more. If your problem is that an embarrassing leak has been published there, please do not waste corporate resources attempting to do something about it. If you need access to scatterweb information, we already maintain a scatterweb repository that has sufficient privileges to retrieve anything at
torrent speeds; simply log a request for access.
The best way to keep your secrets off the scatterweb is to maintain good security; the second best way is to cultivate a reputation for taking grisly revenge on people who post your secrets there.
underground newspapers like Newsleak, Consumer Reports, and Mother Jones publish on the scatterweb. Their self-professed
investigative journalists will spare no expense to create verisimilitude for their calumny. While the end results of their work are always slanted to make megacorporations look bad, their articles often let slip details of their methodology, and those can be used to create disinformation traps that can discredit them, or even reveal their identities well enough to target the reporters.
The scatterweb can execute code as well as store data. Most of the code executed uses homomorphic encryption, which means that even if we monitor the programs as they run on our servers, we can glean very little from them that we couldn’t have gotten through simple traffic analysis.
The scatterweb is, in its way, the inverse of the Nexus. The Denver Nexus has a trove of secrets that will be released if they are attacked. The scatterweb is simply where secrecy goes to die.
The open source community retaliated against their loss of legal clout against extraterritorial companies by introducing the Public Privateering License, where they publish stolen software to the scatterweb and credit the corporate creators.
Similarly, the Journal of Liberated Research is a scatterweb publication that shares publications and raw data from internal research papers retrieved by deckers and other deniable assets. The Journal is frequently used as a pawn when the megacorporations run operations to spoil each other’s trade secrets.
Be careful running operations against this community. They may be disorganized rabble, but even scum like this can become serious trouble if you make a martyr out of one of them. In 2043, the Saeder-Krupp Director of Security Operations had cortex bombs implanted in the families of two important developers on a crucial Matrix protocol library and instructed them to add loopholes crafted by his own team. Five months later, his children were abducted from their boarding school and he was terminated due to the inherent security risk.
Since then, there are no more open source conventions held in physical space, all open source developers now use pseudonyms, large software projects now use clandestine cell systems, and there are freely downloadable games to teach children modern tradecraft while hunting, trading, breeding, and battling Pokémon for competing teams. It is now vastly more difficult to gain intelligence on the community. Think very carefully when choosing tactics to use against them.
The scatterweb is an application platform for more than games. Its nature makes it much slower than conventional social media sites like Pulse, but MemeStream has excellent support for pseudonymity and affinity clustering. The Orchard— so named because it brings projects to fruition— is an operation where bounty posters, hunters, and verifiers are brought together for anything from fixing bugs in open source code to assassination. Naturally, law enforcement and corporate security divisions regularly monitor the Orchard and warn anyone who is the target of an assassination contract. We have numerous intelligence operatives bidding on Witness jobs for the Orchard.
The open source movement is unable to pose a threat to the established power of the megacorporations. Rather than worrying about eliminating its nuisances, focus on how they can be exploited. Embarrassing a competitor by releasing their code under the Public Privateering License is a superb way to keep covert activities deniable. The stealthiest Pokémon trainers of today may be the corporate scholarship recipients of tomorrow.