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Side Effects of Social Media Tax in Uganda

Uganda recently imposed a tax on centralized social media - i.e. where there is a list of IPs to block until the user pays the tax - 200 Uganda shillings per day.

The government's reasoning was that these centralized regimes were making money off of Ugandan viewers, and the government wanted a cut (never mind that the tax was on citizens rather than advertisers or media companies).

We actually know some people in Uganda - and there is an unexpected, and beneficial, side effect. There is no tax on #decentralized social media, including federated protocols like email, mastadon, jabber, or matrix - or of course fully decentralized protocols like SSB. This may be an accident of the technical difficulty of imposing such a tax - but it is wonderful that our friends are suddenly talking to us on email instead of using facebook messenger to save that 200 shillings.

For the most part, Ugandans use smartphones - as power is unreliable. @andrestaltz - should I send any links to your ssb app? I'll certainly mention Xabber for android. I refused to add a google account to my Android - so I can't browse playstore. I wonder if there is a matrix client, or what other decent/federated apps I should recommend?

If this trend keeps up, I'll start lobbying all government to tax centralized social media!

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Voted [@sam_uk](@4xqgty3pil6QW3CoO1RcuTFGRuhsTcp+jGZvA6aCSAo=.ed25519) I worked f
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Voted Was about to read what was about on the site, but then an autop
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Voted > If anybody wants to share 'ghost stories' or #uncanny experiences, I'd be
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Voted mentioned #lbry is ssb also #f
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Did a git update
-size_t needs %z printf modifier. To support libc with no %z, the portable
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Re: %o/3SoctS0

Law enforcement guide

What these DEX protocols might need is documentation geared toward law enforcement. I.e. - if someone has committed a crime that involves the protocol, what they need to know concerning what they can and cannot deduce from seized equipment as to who did it. A lot of injustice is simply due to ignorance.

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Voted @CustomDesigned any particular area you are interested in? I am working on
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Here is a hypothetical problem that the SSB protocol can and should address. It may be addressed already, and I just haven't found where.

Signed origin of blobs

My concern is blobs that are illegal where you live. If government agents seize your computer and find, e.g. child porn (which is a federal crime in the US, and IMO nasty wherever you live) among your cached blobs, then you could say, "I didn't put that there" - but they would probably not believe you. Now, I haven't seen any suggestion that anyone currently on SSB would do such a thing - but it is only a matter of time.

It would help greatly if all blobs were signed as to origin - so that an expert witness could testify that the defendant could not possibly have introduced the Evil Blob to SSB, as it was signed using a private key not in their possession.

This sort of happens already. As I understand it, blobs are introduced by being referred to in a signed message. It is easy enough to exhaustively search your feed to verify that you never posted the Evil Hash. Is that the only way a blob can end up in your cache? Is there a way to add a positive signed origin for blobs? Or are the (possibly multiple) messages including the hash effectively the signed origin?

Would a jury understand that? Probably not based on a few internet crime cases I've been randomly reviewing as a non-lawyer. IANAL, but in the three cases I reviewed, there were real crimes committed (credit card theft, shell businesses disappearing with unpaid bills) - but in two cases, I am very sure they put the wrong people in prison for decades. This is based on obvious technical issues that the prosecutors and jury seemed oblivious to.


In one case, the defendant almost deserved it. He was a hacker wanna-be, who had apparently never done any actual hacking, but bragged about it on his public blog. He stupidly posted a link to a list of stolen credit card numbers to "prove" his prowess, and even though an expert witness testified that he had witnessed (and logged) the actual theft in progress on an anonymous chat (by a person or persons styling themselves "Anonymous"), and the actual perpetrators were annoyed with the braggart for taking public credit (and warned him how dangerous this was), the prosecutor was like: "He bragged about it, he posted a public link, he did it." And the jury bought it.

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