The Internet is a global system of computer networks which are interconnected to form the world's largest computer network. The Internet has roots in the 1960's United States Department of Defense ARPANET project. After the establishment of ARPANET in 1969, universities and educational institutions began joining the network from 1970 on, and several of the large information networks adopted the TCP/IP network stack and merged to form "the Internet" around the early 1980's. Throughout the 80's, the Internet grew steadily but after it was opened for commercial interest in the early 1990's, it experienced the beginning of rapid growth which continues to this day. Currently the most popular services provided over the Internet are the World Wide Web, an interlaced structure of documents connected by hyperlinks, and email, which lets people send and receive electronic mail quickly and conveniently. The Internet has no central governing body, which makes it famous for being the world's biggest arena for free speech.
The Internet and boylove
The Internet has become extremely important to the boylove community in the past decade because of the opportunity for freedom of association. This has given room for many boylove communities, including but not limited to the following:
- Usenet's alt.fan.teen-idols and alt.support.boy-lovers
- IRC's #afti, #bl, and #blsupport
- Acolyte's Free Spirits FTP photo archive
- The first boylove-focused websites such as the European Boy Love Homepage and Kasper's Free Spirits sites
- The subsequent creation of the first Web-based BL message board, BoyChat
- The BL-related site index BoyLinks
- The various related personal and community websites
- The free BL webhosting services FPC and Dare To Speak, and even
- LifeLine, a chat room designed to support depressed or suicidal childlovers
Such communities have allowed boylovers to avoid living in isolation and have given them the opportunity to have daily contact and discuss boylove-related issues with thousands of other boylovers in dozens of languages.
An IP address (Internet Protocol address) is a unique number that identifies a device during communication across a network. The IP address is required to be unique for all devices on the network to be able to send data to the right device.
The grow of the Internet with thousands of new devices being connected to the Internet every day has caused a scarcity of IPv4 addresses, this has been remedied using NAT (Network Address Translation), whereby all computers on one subnet share a "public" IP address for external communication while maintaining a "private" address for internal communication and not visible on the Internet.
NAT has been effective in prolonging the lifespan of the now old IPv4 address protocol. A new version of the IP protocol, called IPv6 is currently being deployed but it will take a few years before it replaces IPv4 and they will live side by side for a long time. The new IPv6 version provides a vastly larger address space and simpler auto-configuration. An IPv4 address contains a quad-dotted notation as decimal values of four octets, each in the range 0 to 255, whereas an IPv6 address contains four hexadecimal groups separated by colons.
An IP address assigned to a device (computer,smartphone, etc) can be used to find the identity of the owner of that computer. IP addresses are a particular anonymity concern for boylovers, because they are assigned by Internet Service Providers that hold subscription information and have the power to log and censor what those users do on the Internet.
In 2016 UK the passed the Investigatory Powers Bill allowing security agencies to hack into devices and forcing communication providers to keep logs of user activities for 12 months, the logs will be available without any Court Order to law enforcement and other agencies like the Department for Work and Pensions and the Food Standards Agency if needed for an investigation. These logs reveal what websites people have visited on what day and and what time as well as if they have use other services like email or a messenger.
If you are visiting BoyWiki from the UK and you are not using a VPN or Tor, your ISP will have logged your visit to this page and it will be stored for no less than a year and made available to any government agency investigating you.
Proxy and VPN
Many boylovers choose to use a VPN to hide their IP address on the Internet but they must trust that VPN server operators are being truthful when they claim that they do not keep any logs of users IP, this has persuaded some boylovers to use more secure means of communication such as Tor which relies on multiple chained proxies located in different countries and used at random, which makes it impossible for an adversary to find out which is the originating IP address. The drawback is that Tor is far slower than a VPN, hence, for low anonymity, where you only want to hide from your ISP and bypass censorship, a VPN is fine, but for high anonymity Tor is a must have.
Mozilla Firefox is a free, open-source web browser from the Mozilla Foundation.
One of the main Firefox advantages over other browsers is the huge number of addons available for it, being open source means that anyone who can code is able to contribute to the community, you can find ad blocking addons like NoScript, password managers like KeeFox and proxy addons like AnonymoX, many privacy projects like the Tor proxy, have also chosen Firefox as their preferred browser, one reason for this is that, unlike proprietary programs like Microsoft Edge, you can easily see and modify a GPL open source program without being sued. Firefox is quite popular as an alternative browser, supported by most sites and software.
You can browse the Internet without permanently saving the information of sites you visit (cookies, history, cache) by using Firefox Private Browsing Mode, to do this use the shortcut Ctr+Shift+P or go to Menu>Start Private Browsing. When you run on Private Browsing mode all of your Internet activities will be held in volatile RAM memory, after closing the browser session nothing will have been saved to the disk that can be later on recovered.
A cookie is a small file delivered by a website to your computer, tablet or smartphone, where it is stored, It contains information about your visit to the website and is stored in your browser so the server can retrieve that information later on. Some cookies are only used to store settings and others, called tracking cookies, are used by advertisers to track you across sites and find out what you view online, thus serving you advertisements that match your interests. You can browse the Internet and stop all cookies from being permanently stored by using private browsing mode. The downside of this is that you will have to set up again website settings for that site, like for example turning off a search engine safe search or an Internet board cookie that allows you to access the website without having to enter your username and password every time you visit.
Flash player also stores cookies in your computer, they have the .sol extension and, unlike Internet browser cookies, Flash cookies are very difficult to manually locate and erase, specialist data erasing software is needed for this. There isn't a standard Cookie length duration, this depends on the server sending it to you, many tracking cookies tend to last years, if you run antispyware scan in your computer tracking cookies should be detected as harmful as they menace people's privacy.
On Windows systems, there is a directory of cookies. All recent browsers include the two-click availability of erasing all cookies, and emptying the browse history (remember your internet dervice provider conserves the URLs of all Web sites you visit, use a VPN) and cache (cookies are not the only Web site files you receive).
A BBS, short for Bulletin Board System, was a popular way of meeting people online before the advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web. Today, web-based message boards have largely replaced traditional BBSs.
It may be argued that many online community sites in reality are BBSs, and that only the implementation has changed. In any case, web-based message boards are still occasionally referred to as "BBSs", or "BBS-style fora".
A BBS usually provided services such as
- topical discussion groups
- real-time chat with other logged-on users
- file repository for upload and download
- Internet access (gopher, IRC, and e-mail)
Technically, a BBS usually was server software running on a computer connected to one or more phone lines through a modem. The administrators of a board are called sysops, short for system operators. Since users would maintain a constant connection to the service, the number of phone lines available determined the number of users able to log on at any one time. For instance, if two phone lines were available, at most three users could be logged on (the sysop and two dialed up). For this reason, boards often enforced rules such as a maximum login time of one hour.
Unlike today's Internet, users of BBSs were more or less confined to their home board. Messages could only be read by and files only shared with users of the same board. One could only chat with users logged on to the same board, and most people could only log on to one board at a time. This confinement is likely an important factor in their decline after the Internet became publically and popularly available. However, Internet access started becoming available through BBSs a few years before direct connections to Internet service providers became publically accessible.
- Internet pornography
- Online boylove community
- Browser security
- Erasure of digital information
- Internet on Wikipedia - overview of the current-day Internet.
- History of the Internet on Wikipedia - focusing on the Internet's development.
- How does the Internet work?
- IP address (Wikipedia)
- Firefox homepage - Available for Microsoft Windows, MacOS and Linux
- Waterfox - A non official Firefox browser