Last year I Onionised Bandcamp, that is to say I used EOTK to set up a Tor proxy to Bandcamp.
My friend and collaborator Kevin Sanders used EOTK to mirror an academic repository as a proof of concept. It got me thinking about what services used by musicians might look like if they also harnessed the privacy enhancing potential of Tor to protect against tracking and monetising user attention. This led to trying out EOTK with Bandcamp as a little experiment.
A couple of things happened as a result of this. I built it and the limitations of the system with regards to SSL certificates became painfully apparent. Still, it was proof of concept, not an actual service.
Then I shared it online and thought the creator of EOTK, Alec Muffet, might dig it. I didn’t exactly get the response I expected: displeasure and evocation of sexual abuser Jacob Applebaum.
I’m not particularly here to go into this in any depth; it made me feel uncomfortable; I didn’t feel like I could add anything as it’s not my community and other voices are fighting against abusers and misogyny in tech; I didn’t feel like I could particularly argue for fear of detracting from the experiences of victims/survivors; I didn’t feel like the evocation was particularly fair as whilst there are interesting points to be discussed about ethics and consent of proxying someone’s website these aren’t the same as the ethics around acts of sexual violence; Alec had proxied cnn.com in precisely the same manner I had with Bandcamp yet failed to see the hypocrisy of doing this in his tutorial video and then chastising me for my actions.
Anyway, this isn’t meant to be a gripe post. It happened. The disappointing thing is that I lost my appetite for reaching out much further, for trying to engage Bandcamp, or for trying to participate in the tech/privacy community. That probably makes me a bit thin skinned but there it is.
The project/service has been sitting around for a year and not doing much. I’d set it up on Google Cloud’s free intro and that’s run out now so it’s costing me approx £5 per month to run which seems a bit pointless.
That’s why, as of today, I’ve pulled the plug and turned it off.
If anyone has any interest in getting it going again (and wants to help cover some of the costs) please get in touch.