|This article is about the artificial mechanism. For other uses, see Wall (disambiguation).|
The firewall often splits old network systems in half, leading to stories of haunted data.
In the 2040s, NetWatch was secretly developing a project called "The Black Wall" in order to keep the Net under control with the Transcendentals and the Ghosts . Ever since the DataKrash caused by Rache Bartmoss, humanity was forced to sacrifice its access to invaluable resources and knowledge for the safekeeping of the Net. The Blackwall's task was to secure an area of the Net for human use while holding at bay the threat of the dangerous rogue artificial intelligences that were released decades earlier into cyberspace.
By 2077, the Blackwall is still active as the danger of the rogue AIs getting free could possibly cause the end of the world. However, several netrunner groups believe the free AIs will help them conquer the virtual world, and thus look for ways to destroy the firewall. To ensure this never happens, NetWatch works overtime to keep others from destroying it.
It is revealed by various sources that the Blackwall is not a firewall, but actually a powerful AI masquerading as ICE, whose job is to keep out any rogue AIs it can identify from the secure net. It is also referred to as a band-aid solution, due to fact that the Blackwall, being an AI, could go rogue itself. The Voodoo Boys believe that outcome is inevitable, and are willing to do anything to remove the Blackwall and win favors with the rogue AIs for when they return.
Depending on the choices made at the end of Cyberpunk 2077, either V or Johnny can agree to follow Alt beyond the Blackwall, where they will fuse with her like the rest of the constructs from Mikoshi.
When attempts to rebuild the Net after Rache Bartmoss' attack turned out to be futile and feral post-Krash AIs began to threaten corporations (often the same ones who created them), NetWatch decided to cut its losses. Dozens of the agency's finest netrunners created what came to be known as the Blackwall - a protective barrier keeping the fragmented, unstable (but still usable) Net safe from the rogue AIs roaming the ruins of cyberspace.
The Blackwall came without warning, out of nowhere, which meant that any netrunners left stranded on the other side had no way to safely jack out nor survive indefinitely in cyberspace. As a result, NetWatch managed to kill two birds with one stone - neutralizing the threat of AIs and getting rid of troublesome hackers. The price of the Blackwall meant abandoning major technological advancements that came with self-aware AIs. Nevertheless, NetWatch made up for it by creating new tools that would grant them even greater access over the Net.
For years, corporate propaganda glorified NetWatch agents as defenders of the people and, through the Blackwall, humanity's last line of defense. But mysterious raids in cyberspace (that agents are not always able to cover-up) prove that the "wall" maybe isn't as strong as we think it is...
- Maelstrom were able to summon a rogue AI named "Lilith" through some kind of ritual.