The Concordat

I'd put my money on a truly civilized, diversity-loving, adventure-thirsty macro culture, against any monolith it encounters in deep space... or against a Darwinian stew of vicious, mutually-predating pirhanas, spreading randomly and chewing up everything in sight. Neither opponent sounds very formidable to me. A federation of sub-units that try a myriad possibilities, yet will still come to each others' aid, is simply unbeatable.
David Brin
The Concordat was formed in 2010 as a loose alliance of some pro-tech underground groups in the face of growing oppression, and has since then emerged as the most stable and influential network in the TU. The core ideas of organization are borrowed from game theory and evolution - the goal is a flexible network able to resist attacks, give mutual support and still remain diverse.

The Concordat is organized into cells, independent groups, that remain in contact mainly through the net. This is an effective way of damage limitation (if one cell is destroyed, the enemy will not have gained any clues about the others) and also means that inside the Concordat no cell can effectively force another cell to do something; the only efficient way of getting anything done is by trade and cooperation. Since the cells are independent they do not necessarily have to share goals or ideology, but they can still work together. This is of course a huge strength compared to many traditional organizations.

The Concordat is an adhocracy, it has no formal structure other than an agreed set of rules ("The Concord") cells are expected to follow. Cells that do not follow the Concord are no longer considered members of the Concordat. Cells stay in touch with each other through secure digital channels, distributing information, requests, help and trade.

There exists several digital forums for internal discussions, and disagreements are heard there. Exclusion of cells is done in a voluntary fashion; if a cell decides another cell has broken the Concord it will stop communicating and trading with it, officially posting the reasons. If they are good enough, others will also disconnect from the excluded cell. However, unnecessary quarrels are frowned upon, since all realize that the survival of themselves and the Concordat hinges upon their ability to work together; mere disagreements should never be reason for exclusion.

Originally there were several competing versions of the Concord, but in the end one won out and became the standard used today (longtime members still remember the "game theory wars"). It is also supported by the presence of the Diplomats, prestigious and respected members (some are founders of the Concordat itself or important cells) who try to keep it together. They usually act as mediators and moderators online, sometimes asking hard questions to members or cells in order to make them explain their behavior or discover flaws in their own plans, sometimes setting up meetings to discuss important matters. They have no formal power, but noticeable influence through their credibility.

The Concordat member cells vary in size and organization from tiny cells of two or three people to international organizations with thousands of members (where very few know the whole truth, of course). Some are informal groupings, others have strict organization. Many are off-shoots of older overt organizations, radicalized as the opposition to technological change intensified. The leaders of the old groups either went underground or were forced into silence by the FOG. Other cells are new, either formed as people spontaneously formed cells and joined the Concordat, or as offshoots from older cells. Many of the Concordat cells have covers as other kinds of organizations, ranging from friends playing roleplaying games to entire companies with legit business hiding underground activity.

In order to join the Concordat, it is not enough to just want to join. Membership is by invitation only, and requires that at least two other members vouch for the new member. This goes for membership in most cells, and also for a cell to become a member in the Concordat. In order to become an accredited cell, it needs to be sponsored by two other cells who can vouch for it. This gives it some initial credibility until it proves itself. The rules are fairly strict: only invite the people you know well and can trust; it is better to leave a hundred suitable candidates outside than introducing one infiltrator.

This means that Concordat cells tend to consist of closely knit people that know each other well, often old school friends or similar. If one member of a cell is caught, the cell usually falls too, but it is hard for the enemies of the Concordat to get many more cells. Several cells can of course work together, but any contact not through the net is a calculated danger.

The Concord

  1. Nice: Members should not initiate force against each other or defect from deals.
  2. Forgiving: do not hold past behavior against another agent indefinitely.
  3. Provocable: Respond to aggression in order to make it unprofitable.
  4. Clear: make your actions easily interpretable to other members in order to avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretations.
  5. Identifiable: use secure authentification in order to guarantee identity.
  6. Web of trust: ensure secure and reliable communications with other members of the Concordat. If someone joins or breaks the Concord, let others know.
  7. Tolerance: tolerate the views of other Concordat members as long as they do not contradict the Concord.
  8. Self-Preservation: do not endanger the Concordat by your actions.
  9. Limitation: Do not hurt people not involved in the InfoWar with your actions.

Most of these are common sense rules, supported by experience and extensive computer simulations. Some rules are a bit debated, like for example how provocable members should be, and suitable ways of reacting. Point nine is the most debated point. As some remark, no human is outside the InfoWar, everybody is involved. But the spirit of the point is to avoid collateral damage -- if people get hurt through Concordat actions they will turn away from it and its ideas. Hence it is a good idea to aim only at the true enemies. Mistakes or accidents do happen, but should be compensated.


The Concordat backs several important institutions in the Underground: SubNet, the Market and the Underground Academy.


"Today, the Secret Service is sending a clear message to those computer hackers who have decided to violate the laws of this nation in the mistaken belief that they can successfully avoid detection by hiding behind the relative anonymity of their computer terminals.(...) "Underground groups have been formed for the purpose of exchanging information relevant to their criminal activities. These groups often communicate with each other through message systems between computers called 'bulletin boards.' "Our experience shows that many computer hacker suspects are no longer misguided teenagers, mischievously playing games with their computers in their bedrooms. Some are now high tech computer operators using computers to engage in unlawful conduct."
Garry M. Jenkins, Assistant Director of the US Secret Service
This is the secret network-in-the-network maintained by NetNation and the Cryptoanarchists. It consists of secured information channels allowing Concordat members to exchange data (hopefully) in secret, anonymously and untraceably.

The basic idea is that it is nearly impossible to find individual messages in the torrents of Net traffic, especially if they are divided into different packets, encrypted and disguised into normal traffic. The software to do this is spread by the Concordat, carefully packaged to prevent tampering (even if somebody uses corrupted programs the SubNet is designed so that the corruption cannot spread) and often updated. Users select nyms, crypto-authentified handles that identify them but allow them to remain anonymous. Over time nyms tend to develop into online personas with reputations and sometimes fame. Different cells in the Concordat also have their own cell Nyms, making it possible to identify them or their members. Using nyms and communication software SubNet users can send messages to each other, engage in virtual meetings, post to mailing lists and set up untraceable information sites. Other software allows exchange of digital cash, renting computing power and memory space, the sending of anonymous messages and the setting up of distributed bulletin boards where information can be posted so that it can not be traced to the sender or recipient. SubNet is in many ways a kind of private Internet, with Concordat newsgroups, websites, databases, virtuals and communications channels similar to the normal ones (but with very different contents).

If there is one word to describe SubNet it is 'paranoid'. The designers are aware that there are constant attempts to infiltrate or subvert it, and if SubNet falls the whole Concordat will likely fall. They constantly invent ever more subtle communication schemes, develop various decoy protocols and elaborate safeguards. Despite this there has been some cases where the security of SubNet has been breached, such as the physical raid by unknown attackers on a server in Anguilla 2014 where more than thirty nyms where broken and vanished from the net -- presumably the real persons have also vanished. One of the best defenses is that SubNet is just one part of the underground of the Net, there are other systems similar to it and plenty of ordinary net junkies support it indirectly by running at least some of the software -- the real SubNet gets hidden in the noise.

The Market

"There is also the trivial matter of payment..."

"Sure. What about 10,000 IOUs from NMS Brussels?"

"Ah, I feel deep respect for NMS Brussels, but I fear their credit rating has dropped 2.3 points the last month; I would think 15,000 is a more suitable price. Besides, I must pay the pilot in play money."

"If these people arrive safely in Seoul they will bring information that will likely raise the rating quite a bit. Brussels IOUs would be a neat investment. 12."

"It seems like I will get to hear the story in the end after all. Let's say 13; I throw in a breakfast for the passengers."

"It's a deal."

The Market is where information and commodities are exchanged. This is the realm of the interfacers, where they make deals and try to connect buyers with sellers. It the SubNet is the nervous system of the Concordat, the Market is the heart.

The Market exists on SubNet, in several forms. Most Concordat members interface with it using their agents to post requests or offers, or by calling on the services of a trusted interfacer, and never see the actual workings. One representation is a virtual meeting space, where business is done through virtual meetings (since so many transactions are based on trust, this is very important) facilitated by the interfacers. Another representation is a bulletin board where requests and offers are posted.

There are two common currencies: digs and IOUs. Digs are digital money backed by a coalition of interfacers (the "diggers"). It is mainly used for routine transactions, such as renting computer power, hiring interfacers for simpler deals, running various agents and access to certain databases. For the more important transactions IOUs are used, the hard currency of the Concordat. Each cell can "mint" its own IOUs and trade them, backing up their value with services. The amount that a cell can mint is regulated by its credit rating, calculated by the interfacers using the credit rating systems of the Market.

The trade on the Market centers around the exchange of services, illegal, quasilegal and rare technology such as nanotech products and devices, biotechnology, bots, sensitive information, chemicals, drugs, weapons, secret investments, computers and software (ranging from development and simulation software for biotech and nanotech over agents to pirated games). The tricky part is delivering the goods if they are physical; smuggling is only half of the problem, since usually both seller and buyer want to keep their location and identity as secret as possible. The interfacers and their contacts who do the practical transport usually pick up the goods at one point where the first cell has left it, smuggle it to another point and leave it for the second cell to pick up. These chains can become arbitrarily complicated, and cells that work together much often rely on having a trusted interfacer set up a simpler transport channel -- a slight risk, but a great saving in time and expense.

See the Economy Chapter for more information about how and why the Market works.

The Underground Academy

Only the educated are free
Epicetus, Discourses
The Underground Academy is a response to the restrictions to research into nanotech, biotech, crypto and AI, as well as into areas not deemed in the public interest. Underground researchers share information, train new recruits and publish results into the public domain through the UA. It consists of research groups inside the Concordat (some of which are official research groups at universities doing quasi-legal research beside their official research) that exchange information under the cover of anonymity. Sometimes virtual symposia or conferences are held, where they meet up to discuss the development of their fields.

The UA is divided into a cell and network structure, with cells specialized into different disciplines and areas of interest. Members act as teachers and consultants for other Concordat members (and each other) through SubNet, on all levels from basic education to advanced academic research.

The publication process is a special form of subversion through information; researchers publish their results untraceably onto the Net, advancing the knowledge of humanity even when the FOG doesn't like it. Aboveground researchers, while cautiously condemning "unverified net rumors" also read the reports secretly -- they want to be on the cutting edge too. But the UA deliberately delays publications so that their enemies will not get too much help (and tempting other researchers to join up to reach the cutting edge). The cutting edge is reserved for the Concordat or paying subscribers.

The publication process consists of several steps. First, a group makes a discovery or invention and writes up a report. This is usually traded secretly between collaborating groups, who replicate the results or test it. When it is no longer cutting edge and the price of the information begins to drop, the original group publishes it through the UA together with autentification and comments from the other groups, a form of simple peer review. The UA distribution network makes the report appear onto the normal net, by broadcasting it to relevant newsgroups, posting it onto certain bulletin board systems or archiving it at servers in free countries. In many cases it is only the research that is illegal or discouraged, and publication is legal (if frowned upon). Several of the UA publications, "Nanotechnology Bulletin", "Journal of Free Encryption" and "Information Management" have a quite consistent and high quality, and the anonymous researchers hiding behind the nyms have acquired quite widespread respect in their fields.

The Living Network of Schools Owned by Teachers and Students

The Blacklist

Tit for tat.
The blacklist on SubNet covers the groups the Concordat refuse to cooperate with or work against. It includes known enemies, cells that break the Concord or have goals or methods endangering the Concordat. Placings are determined by voting and debate; the most destructive or opposed groups have the highest rankings. The top of the list currently includes:
  1. Knights of the Oppressed Earth
  2. Age of Mayhem
  3. FOG
  4. Deus ex Machina V2.0 (former Concordat cell turned to terrorism)
  5. WETF
  6. The Russian Underground
  7. Organized crime (especially the Yakuza and Teoichu)
  8. The Broken Star Army
  9. Green Nation
  10. Microsoft


Beside the cells, the Concordat also contains virtual foundations helping various projects or groups. Some are time-limited and manage certain situations such as a local crisis; Concordat members donate IOUs to the foundation or are hired by it to deal with the problem (a classic example was the 2014 Togo crisis). When it is fixed the foundation dissolves. Others sponsor new and promising groups or people cooperating with the Concordat, for example subsidizing MCs and other equipment. And several are pure research foundations, coordinating underground (or overt) research for others. Donations to foundations are strictly voluntary, even if some foundations are so popular that practically everybody supports them (like the SubNet foundation for supporting SubNet).

The Street Performer Protocol by J. Kelsey and B. Schneier. Describes how Concordat foundations can be used to fund the creation of (say) nanofacture recipes or other public goods.


There are several major groupings in the Concordat, and they overlap in a complex way. The main difference is between the ideologies: what are the goals? The three dominant views are the Transhumanists/Extropians (improve humans), Humanists (improve society) and NetNation (build a better society). While some members spend inordinate amounts of energy debating on the philosophy lists of SubNet, there is no real conflict, rather a difference in priorities.

The second way of grouping Concordat members is through what they do, their "professions" so to say. Notable here are the Cryptoanarchists (encryption activism), Brinists (information/espionage activism), Biohackers (biomedical freedom), Nanohackers (nanotech) and Interfacers (trade and organization), but there are many more. Everything overlaps; there are interfacers with Brinist extropian views, utopian socialist nanotechnologists and humanist biohackers.

Transhumanists / Extropians

We move because we hate the idea of standing still.
We create because we want something new in our life.
We take the next step because we want to rise above.
This is our mission, this is our passion.
Daewoo Corporation
Extropianism is the enlightenment on steroids
Damien R. Sullivan
The Transhumanists (sometimes called Extropians after one of the most successful sub-movements) began during the 80's as a movement to develop the potential of humans and technology to new levels, extending lifespans, augmenting intelligence, optimizing psychology and creating better communities. Extropy Institute became one of the central organizations in the transhumanist movement, and was the nexus where many of the founders of the Concordat first met. As the climate hardened, the transhumanists gradually moved underground; Extropy Institute still exists but is mostly an empty front, the hardcore members are a vital part of the Concordat.

The transhumanists are among the most libertarian and technophile members of the Concordat, with many links to the Californian info-, nano- and bio-hackers, the neoliberal movement and the academic underground on the Eastern seaboard of the United States. While there are transhumanists across the world, the core area of the extropians is North America.

We want to be more than human. The bodies and minds evolution has given us are wonderful, but far from perfect. They can be improved in many ways, and this can be done using science and technology. In the same way many other parts of the Human Condition may be changed through new methods and visions -- there is no need for scarcity, ignorance, being limited to a single planet or by death. In the long run, we will no longer be human anymore, but posthuman beings -- of unprecedented physical, intellectual, and psychological capacity, self-programming, self-constituting, potentially immortal, unlimited individuals. Total freedom.

But we need to make this vision real. We need to make it possible to grow towards posthumanity. Today we are blocked in by conservatism that tries to keep things "the way they have always been" rather than to embrace a positive vision and try to make it possible. Instead of constructive solutions bans are instituted, instead of rationally evaluating possibilities heads are hidden in the sand. This is why we need to fight or circumvent the FOG. It is not just a matter of principle, but personal survival -- they want to keep us weak and limited, we refuse to be weak and limited.
Bacon, CEO PsiTechCorp

Extropy Institute

Transhuman Resources


This says to me that society as we know it is doomed, but I'm optimistic that the successor to our society will be an unimaginable improvement.
Dan Clemmensen
Humanists are very similar in ideology to the Extropians about the need for human freedom, growth and rational thinking. During the years after the turn of the century there was a gradual differentiation between the more technology and market oriented transhumanists who became extropians and the more socially/psychologically oriented transhumanists. They began to ally themselves with parts of the humanist movement, and together they went underground forming the Humanist part of the Concordat. The Humanist side shares the traditional humanist visions of freedom, democracy, free inquiry, human compassion, education and development.

The Humanists is the part of the Concordat that is most involved in the overt fight for freedom and human rights waged by the IAFAI and other organizations. They are also heavily involved in the Underground Academy and various projects to bring about positive political change rather than just technological change. While the core is more European, they have branches all over the world, including cells actively influencing development in Asia and South America.

500 years ago, people began to discover a great idea: humans matter. Individuals matter. We might not be perfect, but we can make things better. This was the basis for humanism. For a long time humanism grew, and promoted ideas of freedom, tolerance and democracy. We are the descendants of the humanist tradition. We seek to continue the humanist project of improving the human condition, both with the new and liberating technologies that are emerging and with the heard-earned knowledge of the past. We seek to promote education so that people can freely find the truth for themselves with no need for higher authorities, promote true democracy where people can participate in how their own societies are run, promote the tolerance and rationality necessary for a peaceful and optimistic world.
Dr. Desmond Rotte, Underground Academy

World Transhumanist Association


Information wants to be free!
Free speech? Next thing you know everyone will want free will.
NetNation wants to increase human freedom and potential through information technology and especially the Net. Some members see it as a very practical tool, others as the next stage in human evolution. The central idea is that information is good and should be free; placing restrictions on it limits human growth and creativity. This has made NetNation oppose many government attempts to regulate the Internet, limit free speech, net trade and information exchange.

NetNation has in return begun to plan for new ways of organizing the world system, to create a truly wired world. They experiment with virtual organizations, develop ways of trading on the net, information gathering and dissemination tools as well as spread the idea that the national state in its current form is obsolete -- many of its functions can be handled equally well by digital systems.

The NetNation is a large and diverse group in the Concordat, with a high number of both Cryptoanarchists and Brinists. Together they develop SubNet and try to undermine all attempts to bring the Net into the fold. This ranges from net activism over spreading new software to developing new technology to allow communications to remain free. Another strong part consists of Interfacers, running virtual organizations in SubNet and managing services.

Needless to say, NetNation is geographically dispersed across the world. Most members live in well-connected areas, but quite a few have begun to become highly mobile thanks to satellite phones and wearables. NetNation has the strongest network of the entire Concordat, the Net itself: it is quite adept at influencing debates in the most remote newsfora and digging up information nobody expects.

Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.

We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth.

We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.

Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They are based on matter, There is no matter here.

Our identities have no bodies, so, unlike you, we cannot obtain order by physical coercion. We believe that from ethics, enlightened self-interest, and the commonweal, our governance will emerge . Our identities may be distributed across many of your jurisdictions. The only law that all our constituent cultures would generally recognize is the Golden Rule. We hope we will be able to build our particular solutions on that basis. But we cannot accept the solutions you are attempting to impose.

We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.
John Perry Barlow, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace


The revolution will be encrypted!
It must be that as soon as a culture has reached a certain level, probably measured largely by its literacy, cryptography appears spontaneously...
David Kahn, The Code-Breakers
The cryptoanarchists (AKA Alice and Bob, the Keybearers or Puzzlers) seek to bring down the FOG through widespread strong cryptography, untraceable digital money and global information flows. The cryptoanarchists are essential to the Concordat; without them there would be no safe information channels and contact protocols. The cryptographers and implementors are gurus of security, and the activists who spread their tools are known for their zeal.

The cryptoanarchists are tied to the cypherpunk movement, which explores the use of cryptography by the individual. They have plenty of mathematical and computing expertise, and usually work linked only by the net. They are usually involved with the Underground Academy, doing their best to disseminate knowledge about strong cryptography and software to implement it in order to give people a chance of freedom.

Just as the technology of printing altered and reduced the power of medieval guilds and the social power structure, so too will cryptologic methods fundamentally alter the nature of corporations and of government interference in economic transactions. Combined with emerging information markets, crypto anarchy will create a liquid market for any and all material which can be put into words and pictures. And just as a seemingly minor invention like barbed wire made possible the fencing-off of vast ranches and farms, thus altering forever the concepts of land and property rights in the frontier West, so too will the seemingly minor discovery out of an arcane branch of mathematics come to be the wire clippers which dismantle the barbed wire around intellectual property.

Arise, you have nothing to lose but your barbed wire fences!
Timothy C. May, The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto

What is a "cypherpunk"?

The Cyphernomicon

Vince Cate's Cryptorebel/Cypherpunk Page


I want to go and GET the bastards who are bullying, persecuting, cheating, spying, conspiring and pushing other people around. It is the only method that bullies understand. It's the only method that has ever worked. It's the only method that does anything for victims who aren't forgers, hackers or geniuses.
David Brin
Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny.
Robert A. Heinlein
The Brinists (also called "opens", "spies" or "gargoyles") want to end secrecy. They argue that secrecy breeds suspicion, conspiracy and allows unethical acts to remain hidden. The rulers can usually spy on the citizens, but not the reverse. In a truly open society where everybody can check what everybody is doing many of these problems would disappear: the rulers would be subjected to scrutiny, many crimes would become impossible and the openness would create a more democratic situation for everybody. And technology is moving towards ever better and cheaper surveillance -- this is a real possibility.

To achieve this transparent society they promote powerful, inexpensive spying technology. If everybody has the ability to spy on everybody else, then society will be forced towards openness. Using microbots, quantum computers and TEMPEST devices they gather information; this makes them invaluable for the Concordat in spying on the FOG. Interestingly, in order to act against the Brinists the government has to use similar technologies, and there is an escalating war of bugs, gnatbots and trapdoors between the groups; the Brinists claim this will eventually force an open society, although there is a very real danger they might be wiped out if they cannot keep up.

Paradoxally, the Brinists and Cyperpunks often cooperate, despite their diametrally opposed views. The Brinists are often involved in information gathering or espionage against the enemies of the Concordat; some are famous for their exploits.

You might like it or not, but surveillance technology has come to stay -- it is a technical fact. The big question is who has it. Do we want to live in a world where it is strictly regulated by our rulers, who allow themselves to use it on us but not us to use it? It has been said that if you have a clear conscience you have nothing to fear (especially by governments wanting to have more control over their citizens), but if that really is true then the cameras should be directed towards the rulers too -- especially the rulers. It is better that everybody can spy on everybody than that a few can spy on everybody and hide their own actions.

Many people fear that privacy will vanish. But are they prepared to sell their freedom for privacy? Let's face it, spying on one's neighbours quickly loses its thrill when everybody can do it. There is nothing to be ashamed of.
Ti Wilson, Coordinator NMS International

The Good and the Bad: Outlines of Tomorrow by David Brin.

The Weapon of Openness by Arthur Kantrowitz

The Gene Hackers and Biomedical Underground

DNA to others as you would have them DNA to you.
The gene hackers (aka. watsons or bios) are in some sense the descendants of the software hackers, hacking the genome instead of computers and with a similar hacker ethos: life is beautiful and useful, improve on it and make it free. They are naturally against the biotechnology patents and the strong restrictions on genetic engineering that the FOG imposes.

The gene hackers emerged after the turn of the century, when spin-off technology from the HUGO project and the huge advances in genetics made genetic technology possible to do using quite small laboratories or even in the home. As the genetic repression set in the gene hackers moved underground and began to fight for the freedom of the genome.

Closely linked with the gene hackers is the biomedical underground ("docs"), dealing with medicine and biochemistry. The underground ranges from doctors trying to find new ways of bringing advanced medicine to the people, over body modification enthusiasts who use biomedicine to enhance human performance to psychochemists exploring strange new drugs. The uniting factor is the concept of morphological freedom: everybody should have the right to change their own body as they please.

Life emerged on Earth 4 billion years ago. Since then it has grown and diversified into a multitude of species, growing in complexity and ability. Evolution has blindly and ruthlessly selected away the unfit -- until now. We humans are aware of what we are doing, we can control our biological destiny as well as that of other species. Evolution is no longer entirely blind, human values will from now on be a part of it. We better make sure those values are good.

Some say we should leave nature be, to stop playing God. But this is part of what it means to be a human. Humans have always employed tools, changed their environment and used their intelligence to come up with better solutions. We are a part of nature, and our meddling is just as natural as the beaver's dam or the gardens of ants.

Right now the ability to change nature is being monopolized by a few states and companies, claiming they alone have the right to decide on the future of the biosphere and the global genome. But in nature each organism decides it's own future; there is no central planning, no governments telling each blade of grass what it may or may not do -- and yet it works perfectly. Self organization. Central control is anathema to biology. Each individual should be free to choose its future for itself, and take the consequences. We want to break the biological monopoly, setting people free to choose their own destinies.
Transcriptor, spokesnym for NovaCyte


O Diamond! Diamond! thou little knowest the mischief done!
Sir Isaac Newton
The nanohackers (aka drexs or nannies) are the youngest part of the Concordat, but their appearance has been predicted and awaited for more than two decades. Like the biohackers, they embrace their technology and try to liberate it from the FOG. Nanotechnology is awesomely powerful and dangerous -- that is why it should be in the hands of people, not in faceless institutions that no longer act in anyone's best interest. The nanohackers develop the banned technology, supply the rest of the Concordat with nanofacture and try to spread it into society.

The Nanohackers are growing more and more important, especially since their skills combined with the other groups are highly synergetic: the biomedical underground is finding new uses for medical nanodevices, the Brinists want to develop better gnatbots and quantum computers, the NetNation more powerful computers and the Interfacers a transport-less way of exchanging goods.

Nanohackers are somewhat divided into an 'A-team' and a 'B-team'. The A-team are the ones who design new nanotechnological devices; they work on the cutting edge with their nanolabs. The B-team do not have the skill or access to make new nanodevices, and instead design recipes for matter compilers, design parts for the A-team systems and try to work themselves up to the A-team.

Nanotechnology shouldn't be a surprise, people have been talking about it for decades. Still, when it undeniably appeared people got scared -- the idea had seemed so strange, the consequences had been too large to grasp, so the whole science was mostly dismissed as science fiction. But it is real, it is here and it won't go away.

With nanotechnology all the old rules become invalid. Material poverty is obsolete, matter itself is becoming software. We have become more powerful than anybody could have imagined. But the price is danger -- nanotech is dangerous in the wrong hands and can be used for many ill purposes. FOG tries to stop this by banning it, but that will of course only put it in the hands of the outlaws and FOG agencies -- none of which we want to trust. The fewer people who controls it, the more risk there is that one of them will use it for evil and nobody can resist him. If many people have access to it, many will surely use it for bad purposes, but even more people will have the ability to work against it. Right now we are racing against the would-be masters to create shields against the nanotech swords. Hiding our heads in the sand will slow us down.
van der Whale, N Conspiracy

The Interfacers

The words "making money" contain the essence of that which is morally good.
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
The global Net requires new forms of trade, new abilities and new ways of interacting. The Interfacers (AKA agorics, businessmen or facilitators) are the cutting edge in distributed transnational business, interfacing real world people, organizations and corporations with virtual organizations, networks and individuals. They are organizers, fixers, information brokers and administrators for hire. They keep track of the deals and IOUs on the Market, set up transports of goods, mediate conflicts, discover new opportunities and ways of organizing. In many ways they are the ones who hold the Concordat together by shared organization, while the NetNation and Cryptoanarchists hold it together by communication.

Most interfacers regard the current system outside the Concordat too constricting and inflexible; huge corporation in symbiosis with international organizations have no interest in change, individual profit or using the new technologies in the best way.

We that live of values, not theft, are businessmen both in matter and spirit. A businessman is someone that earns what he gets and he doesn't give or receive the unearned. A businessman doesn't ask for payment for his failures, neither he demands to be loved for his weaknesses' sake. A businessman doesn't give away the product of his work except in trade for material values, and neither does he trade his spiritual values -- love, friendship, appreciation -- except for when he's paid for it with selfish pleasure from people that have earned his respect. The FOG fears the businessman, the lemmings hate him -- because he is a man of incorruptible justice! That's what being an Interfacer is all about.
J. P. Jakobsen, Kommando Ragnar D.Skjöld


There are also plenty of independents linked to the Concordat, both as individual members and as allies. The Market supported by the Concordat is an important nexus for interfacers, information brokers, fixers and traders, and they support it and the Concordat even if they do not share its overall ideology. The Ghosts, a mercenary team, sometimes works for the Concordat and trade with it.