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Philes commonly refer to files about hacking in the days of BBSs. Ph may have been originally used as homage to the phone/phreak.

Other common abstractions of the word are t-files (shorthand for textfiles) and g-files (general files (etymology not certain)). The use of ph in lieu of f is a homage to the word phone.

Their contents could vary from actual hacking and phone phreaking, sexual content, humour, technical information, down to subversive or so-called anarchy material about controversial topics such as poison brewing, homemade explosives, suggestions for making harmful pranks, urban terrorism "tactics", building homemade weapons and other similar information of dubious reliability, e.g. instructions for making a nuclear reactor out of a plastic barrel to keep in one's garden.

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