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Ghost Net, The

Ghost Net 1
Image from Bernd Helfert
Colloquial name given to the communication network employed by the Backgrounders and other Hider clades.

Although rarely encountered by most sophonts, the Ghost Net is a popular topic among those given over to more paranoid inclinations and conspiracy theories. Depending on who is asked among these groups, the Ghost Net is either an independent, hyper-encrypted normal space network deployed in deep space by Hider and Backgrounder clades, or it is a secret network of encrypted communications that is somehow piggybacked onto the Known Net by parties unknown. Or it is some combination of all these things.

The whole idea of the Ghost Net as an independent entity is occasionally dismissed as nothing more than a memetic plot or ploy created by the transapients to foster fear or disruption among their subject populations, most likely to make them more controllable. However, the nagging fact that the various Hider and Backgrounder clades exist, that at least some of them are apparently in communication with each other in near real-time, and that this communication must be taking place somehow tends to undermine this view.

Instances of information purporting to originate with the Ghost Net may be found in a number of conventional media. Responses to this vary quite dramatically from institution to institution, and from polity to polity. For instance, official protocol among editors for the Encyclopaedia Galactica, is to simply flag the "Ghost Net" entries that persistently appear in copies of the Encylopaedia with a distinctive logo rather than to delete them, since unconfirmed information of unknown provenance is still information, however debatable its value. Some polities, though, refuse to allow instances of the Encyclopaedia that contain such entries, and some local editors of the Encylopaedia are in the practice of removing such material when they encounter it on the argument that it lacks notability.

 
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Development Notes
Text by Todd Drashner

Initially published on 04 April 2010.