|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 created an immense firewall they named the Blackwall. Its task was to divide a secure area of the Net for human use and hold the threat of the dangerous rogue artificial intelligences released in the cyberspace during the DataKrash caused by Rache Bartmoss. Humanity was forced to sacrifice its access to invaluable resources and knowledge for the safekeeping of the Net.
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, a number of 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.
The image of Alt Cunningham reveals that the best way to survive beyond the Blackwall is by assuming a human form so as to not turn into pure data, out of animalistic behavior.
Depending on the choices at the end of the game, either V or Johnny can agree to follow Alt Cunningham beyond the Blackwall where they can fuse with her or roam free.
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...
- It is possible to breach the Blackwall as evidenced by the AI of Alt Cunningham breaking free.
- Night Corp used a rogue AI to brainwash and control their employees, resulting in a cyberpsycho incident.
- Maelstrom were able to summon a rogue AI named "Lilith" through somekind of ritual.