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Coding Darkstream

For our production of Darknet (2016), our Associate Artist Henry Garner lead on creating darkstream - a bespoke piece of technology allowing us to stream images and videos between phones and tablets. We caught up with him about his experiences coding new technology from the rehearsal room.

Tell us about the project

Darknet is a play that explores questions of privacy and ownership of data online. It's the product of a collaboration between director Russell Bender and writer Rose Lewenstein. I was asked to join the project as a creative technologist.

Inside the Darknet - Guardian Tech Weekly Podcast

We were delighted to be invited on to the Guardian Weekly Tech Podcast to talk about our production.

"Despite the fact that it’s just a couple of clicks away, most internet users have no knowledge of the existence of the darknet, the murky world beneath the familiar surface web of Google, Facebook and Twitter.

The encrypted cyber-realm is home to drug markets, child sexual abuse networks and professional hit men, as well as libertarians fighting for anonymity and personal liberty on the internet."

The battle for online identity

There is a hidden war being waged online: the battleground is your identity. 

The internet has always been a place where new personas are forged, from the avatars of Second Life to the carefully curated profiles of Facebook. Now, an alliance of powerful forces is seeking to bring this era to an end. "Grow up", they seem to be saying, "the time for play-acting is over". 

They are demanding that everyone has a confirmed online identity because it ticks boxes for a range of "establishment" groups: government, law enforcement, commerce and advertising.