Savage Reich Star Tech #3.3: The Internet
In real history, the science and technology of the internet started around 1973 with the development of the TCP/IP protocol. In the Reich Star universe, I am sure development would have started earlier but not by much. In our timeline, the world wide web was open to the public in 1991. That is something I do not see happening right away in the Reich Star universe. In Reich Star, I imagine the following:
After several years of strictly using it for government use, the research on ways to use it to spy on government enemies and their own citizens was developed. Security systems was the focus – developing a means for the government to spy on its citizens. of course, this is offered up as a new level of freedom given to the people by their beloved government but in truth it is a means to further monitor them.
What you end up with by 2065, on the surface, is a generic and very bland world wide web, controlled by the government, with everythings from access to content approved by the government. All news, entertainment and information is funnelled through this outlet. All access equipment, from tablets to cybernetic HUD eyes are government controlled and produced.
However, the powers that be never foresaw the level of innovativeness the underground and black market would have to exploit this technology. Thus a dark-net or shadow net is born. Under the layers of security and encryption built in by the Reich and the Empire, there exists the real internet that allows free communication between those lucky enough to have equipment to access it. You find this equipment on the black market – heavily modified government devices that have no signature on the net. These devices, hacked and modified by black market techs, are very hard to find and very expensive. Ownership of these items is punishable by death.
Nationalen Informationsinfrastruktur (National Information Infrastructure or NII or simply the Netz)
The Netz, as it is most commonly called in the Reich, is the primary network the public has access to on Erde. Levels of access are determined by the government agencies, and encoded into citizens’ individual Zugangskarte. No one can access the Netz without a Zugangkarte. There are public access terminals (monochrome terminals) that allow the lowest level of access, while home terminals are for sale for those that can afford it. Some have access through their internal personal terminal, built into their Zugangskarte, displaying on the forearm dermis. Others have external personal terminals (similar to advanced smart phones) with a variety of functions.
Of course, no matter how controlled something like the Netz is, the underground element will find a way to exploit it. The SchattenNetz or Shadow Net was developed by underground hackers and utilized by the resistance and the black market. The Reich made every attempt to shut it down but it was too big. One node might get shutdown in a SS raid, but five would rise up. The Ministry of Public Netz Management established its own branch of enforcement – Netz-Wächter (Network Guardians or Watchers) or NW. Given a broad range of powers, the NW was the modern technological version of the SS. Otherwise known as the Infokriminalpolizei, these sometimes heavily cybered troopers can be seen roaming around the streets in the more populated cities or connected up to government access terminals hunting down hackers.
Kokka jōhō kōkan nettowāku (National Information Exchange Network) or the Netto
In the Empire, the Netto is the equivalent of the Netz in the Reich but is a separate entity in and of itself. Due to national security on both sides, neither network is publically directly connected and are based on totally different protocols. Only on the most secret and federals are they connected.
The Nippon Netto is a little more open than the Reich but also heavily censored in content. Where the Nazis control it on the access level, the Empire controls it on the content level. One still has to access through their ID card, and all access is tracked by the government.
Of course there is a Shadow Net here as well, and it is connected through its own protocols to its equivalent on the Reich side.
Virtual Reality is just past its infancy stage in 2065. Neural network connections has been developed but are extremely expensive. Only the highest levels of government have access to this technology and the underground is working hard to steal and replicate it. It allows the user faster access to information (at the speed of thought) and gives a major advantage to the user.
The networks on Colonies are not dissimilar to the ones on Erde but they are not directly connected to the homeworld real-time. Information still travels at the speed of light, so information from Erde takes time to get to each of the colonies. Although not unsurmountable, the times delays especially in the Outer Planets can affect efficiency.
|Erde||Luna||1.3 minutes (round trip 3 minutes)|
|Erde||Mars||3 minutes (round trip 6 minutes)|
|Erde||Venus||2 minutes (round trip 4 minutes)|
|Erde||Mercury||5 minutes (round trip 10 minutes)|
|Erde||Jupiter||35 minutes (round trip 1+ hour)|
|Erde||Saturn||70 minutes (round trip 2+ hours)|
|Erde||Uranus||150+ minutes (round trip 5+ hours)|
|Erde||Neptune||4+ hours (round trip 8+ hours)|
|Erde||Pluto||5+ hours (round trip 10+ hours)|
The above times are rough estimates. Actual times may vary a small percentage based on orbit position. There are relay stations placed throughout the system to maintain signal integrity, but they are also used as a means to spy on the data. LIke the networks on Erde, nothing transmitted via the relays is private.
There may be differences in level of security, level of enforcement and overall content between colonies and Erde. Some enforcement is really slack, whiles others are tighter than Erde. One has to be familiar with the location before logging in. It can be costly.