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New "Dark" Freenet Available for Testing

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the if-you-dare dept.

424

Sanity writes "The Freenet Project has just released the first alpha version of the much anticipated Freenet 0.7 branch. This is a major departure from past approaches to peer-to-peer network design, embracing a 'scalable darknet' architecture, where security is increased by allowing users to limit which other peers their peer will communicate with directly, rather than the typical 'promiscuous' approach of classic P2P networks. This means that not only does Freenet aim to prevent others from finding out what you are doing with Freenet, it makes it extremely difficult for them to even know that you are running a Freenet node at all. This is not the first P2P application to use this approach, other examples include Waste, however those networks are limited to just a few users, while Freenet can scale up almost indefinitely. The new version also includes support for NAT hole-punching, and has an API for third-party tool development. As always, the Freenet team are asking that people support the development of the software by donating."

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424 comments

Welcome! (-1, Redundant)

fernandoh26 (963204) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055514)

I, for one, welcome our dark freenet overlords.

Re:Welcome! (5, Funny)

afree87 (102803) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055530)

The Dark Side of the Freenet is a pathway to many websites some consider to be unnatural.

Waste (1, Redundant)

Slithe (894946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055524)

This looks interesting. I tried Freenet before, but I could never set it up properly. I will have to try it again.

Wrong Subject Heading (0, Offtopic)

Slithe (894946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055533)

The Heading of the parent should have been 'Interesting' or 'Can't wait to try it out.' I guess I was simultaneously thinking about two posts and confused myself.

Re:Wrong Subject Heading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055621)

Why do you write up such a mundane and boring post in the first place? Delusions of fp grandeur?

Re:Waste (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055631)

Its too bad its written in java.. if it was in C/C++ i would have run a node...

C/C++ (3, Interesting)

wysiwia (932559) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055753)

Its too bad its written in java.. if it was in C/C++ i would have run a node...

Just find a developer who does a C++ implementation based on the sample code of wyoGuide (http://wyoguide.sf.net/ [sf.net] ). It shouldn't be that difficult and is cross-platform as well. Sorry, no I don't have the time to do it myself but I'll help with advice.

O. Wyss

Hooray! (5, Funny)

Gravis Zero (934156) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055525)

Hooray! Now I can browse the net at dialup speeds once more!

Re: Hooray! (3, Informative)

Slithe (894946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055541)

You can also use TOR.

Re: Hooray! (1)

ystar (898731) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055704)

it's obvious to NOCs when you're running a node with tor though, a "problem" which freenet supposedly eliminates

You can also use TOR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055784)

...and still browse the internet at dialup speeds. ;)

Fantastic (-1, Troll)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055538)

Now I can propogate my terrorism plans more efficiently, all while finding exciting new sources of kiddy porn.

Re:Fantastic (0, Redundant)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055551)

Just like the rest of the internet only slower?

Remember, it's not the tool, it's the person (if the person happens to be a tool so be it)

Re:Fantastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055569)

Also remember it's a darknet; they're trying to *reduce* the kiddy porn.

Re:Fantastic (1, Flamebait)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055583)

Now I can propogate my terrorism plans more efficiently, all while finding exciting new sources of kiddy porn.
I tried Freenet once, briefly, out of curiosity. Looking around at listings of content people had compiled (can't remember the terminology now), I didn't notice any terrorism plans, but I sure saw a hell of a lot of people swapping child pornography. I turned off my node, deinstalled the software, and never messed with it again.

Let's all be totally clear on this: Clarke has an absolute belief in free speech, including child pornography. Not only does he believe that government shouldn't be able to regulate any kind of speech, including child pornography, but he is actively helping people to distribute child pornography, and so are you if you run a Freenet node, whether you know it or not.

To me, there's a clear distinction between a belief in free speech (government not censoring speech) and believing that you, as an individual, should help people to propagate certain kinds of speech. And although I do believe in free speech (no government censorship), I don't think that extends to child pornography, which by its nature requires a heinous crime to be committed in order to produce it.

Fantastic-Free fools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055619)

Well I don't believe that child pornography is a form of speech, free or otherwise.

Re:Fantastic (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055636)

I tried running a delivery service once, briefly, out of curiosity. Ripping open envelopes and boxes, I didn't notice any terrorism plans, but I sure saw a hell of a lot of people mailing child pornography. I closed my business, fired my employees, and never messed with delivery services again.

I tried starting an ISP once, briefly, out of curiosity. While monitoring my customers' connections with a packet sniffer, I didn't notice any terrorism plans, but I sure saw a hell of a lot of people swapping child pornography. I turned off my routers, shut down my business, and never messed with providing internet service again.

I tried running a telco once, briefly, out of curiosity. Listening in on my customers' conversations, I didn't notice any terrorism plans, but I sure heard a hell of a lot of people discussing child pornography. I turned off my switches, burned my service trucks, and never messed with selling phone service again.

I tried being a mayor once, briefly, out of curiosity. Breaking into residents' houses at night with my police chief, I didn't notice any terrorism plans, but I sure saw a hell of a lot of people looking at child pornography. I shut down city hall, razed my city to the ground, and never messed with human communities again.

Re:Fantastic (2, Informative)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055697)

The difference between Freenet and your examples is that Freenet is designed to be untraceable, while your examples are not (even though they sometimes are, they're not designed to be). In other words, Freenet seeks to implement a level of anonymity that resolves people of responsibility.

Which is fine if you think that's something worthwhile, but is quite different in practice from your examples.

Re:Fantastic (3, Interesting)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055764)

"Freenet seeks to implement a level of anonymity that resolves people of responsibility."

I think the word you are looking for is absolve [reference.com] .

Re:Fantastic (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055806)

"The difference between Freenet and your examples is that Freenet is designed to be untraceable,"

Why would you think to trace any of it if you don't know the contents?

Anybody can set up local wiretap to confirm whether or not Person X is the source of Content Y on Freenet ("Gee, he never downloaded the content that's currently uploading..."). It doesn't get in the way of either a sufficiently far-reaching "Big Brother" government nor does it get in the way of of a law enforcement agency that has cause to be suspicious. The only things it gets in the way of is random searches, broad dragnets and datamining, tactics that would have most people up in arms about their civil liberties if they were conducted in other mediums, as the parent tried to show in his analogies.

Re:Fantastic (2, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055702)

Let's try your logic in a different context. Suppose someone says, "I used to get drunk in bars a lot, and then drive home. One time I almost hit a pedestrian, and that made me realize what I was doing was really stupid. The risks were really high, and there was no justification for the risks, or for imposing those risks on other people. Therefore, I stopped driving drunk."

Now you run that statement through the same logical process you used before, and you come up with something like this:

"I used to drive at night, but it was unnecessarily risky, so I decided only to drive during the day. I didn't want to hit a pedestrian."

"I used to drive, but it was unnecessarily risky, so I decided only to ride a bike. I didn't want to hit a pedestrian."

"I used to ride a bike, but it was unnecessarily risky, so I decided only to walk. I didn't want to hit a pedestrian."

Notice how at some point, a quantitative reduction in the level of risk and a simultaneous change in the quantitative level of justification for the action changed a sensible statement into a ridiculous one? The problem isn't with the original statement, it's with the kind of logic you're applying to transform it into other statements.

Freenet's killer app is child pornography. I've never seen any evidence that any political dissident uses it. The level of risk of harming children is extremely high, and the level of justification is extremely low.

Re:Fantastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055755)

"The level of risk of harming children is extremely high, and the level of justification is extremely low."

Explain to me again, please, how Freenet being available to distribute it means that child pornography is more likely to occur? Does Freenet actually encourage this behavior in some way?

Re:Fantastic (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055766)

I've never seen any evidence that any political dissident uses it.

Well, that's exactly the point, isn't it?

Re:Fantastic (2, Insightful)

Stalyn (662) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055822)

a quantitative reduction in the level of risk and a simultaneous change in the quantitative level of justification

That's the flaw in your reasoning right there. You assume there is a "quantitative level of justification" when there is not. What you consider to be just in one case could be considered unjust by someone else. How do you determine who is right? You can't. Justice is a qualitative term.

The problem isn't with the original statement, it's with the kind of logic you're applying to transform it into other statements.

His logic is perfectly fine. All those statements are perfectly sound and logical. The problem is you think "justice" can be quantified so you find fault in those statements because your spectrum of "justice" does not match his. Sure if you assume your spectrum of "justice" to be true his statements appear silly, but that does not change their logical satisfiability.

Re:Fantastic (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055850)

But unlike with your analogy, the original poster was not an active participant in the reprehensible activity (be it kiddie porn or drunk driving), but at worst a facilitator. It'd be more proper if it was "I used to tend bar... until one of my patrons almost hit a pedestrian..." There's a difference between wanting to reform your own actions and wanting to reform the actions of others.

"Freenet's killer app is child pornography. I've never seen any evidence that any political dissident uses it."

Even if no political dissidents use it, "killer app" doesn't mean "only app" (otherwise Slashdot would be a porn site). Where is the line drawn between "single use" and "multiple use" technologies? Who decides?

Re:Fantastic (4, Informative)

adpowers (153922) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055858)

There is always one of you per Freenet discussion.

I've used Freenet off and on for a number of years and I don't see much churn in the number of free sites. The most active free sites tend to be FLOGs (Blogs on Freenet). Many of the sites in Freenet have been there since what seems like the beginning of time. There are new ones added (like someone mentioned the Diebold files), but they tend to not be kiddie porn.

Here's an idea... run a node, access the non-kiddie porn content, post your own content, and use the network. The network is changed by observing it, so by accessing non-kiddie porn, you are encouraging it to be replicated across the network, while also making the kiddie porn hard to find.

Andrew

Re:Fantastic (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055757)

Is that you, BadAnalogyGuy?

The person wasn't spying on the users of his Freenet node. You can't, even if you want to, if Freenet meets its design promises.

What he did was look at published directories of Freenet content and how to retrieve it. He noticed how much of it was kiddie porn, extrapolated that a comparable fraction must be running through his node, and decided to get out of the avoid-law-enforcement game.

In other words, nothing comparable to opening envelopes, sniffing network conversations, or wiretapping. Your analogies are not analogous.

Re:Fantastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055852)

In other words, nothing comparable to opening envelopes, sniffing network conversations, or wiretapping. Your analogies are not analogous.

You're missing the point. The analogies are between Freenet and a delivery service, an ISP, a telco, and a city.

Freenet enables anonymous communication of information. It does so in a non-discriminatory and completely neutral fashion. It makes no effort to censor, or promote, any particular piece of information.

Delivery services operate in a similar way. They don't open envelopes or boxes in order to make value judgments about the materials their customers are mailing. Their business is delivering packages, not investigating crimes.

Internet and phone service can be used to transmit child porn, communist propaganda, and terrorist messages, but ISPs and telcos don't try to prevent it or shut themselves down because such communication is possible over their networks.

Private homes allow people to do bad things secure inside walls of privacy. We don't condemn communities when they don't allow government surveillance inside private residences. We accept that bad things will happen inevitably, and giving up our rights and quality of life to prevent them is a fool's bargain.

Many people in today's world find the constant encroachment by governments into individual privacy disturbing. We believe, as did enlightenment thinkers centuries ago, that the ability to anonymously communicate is critical to preserve true freedom of speech. We accept that anonymity, like many other things in society, can be used for bad ends, but we believe that it is an inseparable part of liberty.

Re:Fantastic (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055638)

As I understand it, Clarke does not support the distribution of child pornography. However, he supports absolute anonymity and absolute freedom of speech. Neither of those can be guaranteed if you're censoring in any way, form or fashion. Once you have the ability to censor one form of speech (whether it's political speech, hate speech, or something like child pornography) you have the ability to censor anything you want. This is what Clarke is trying to prevent. Child pornography is illegal, as it should be, but you shouldn't have to trade your freedom of speech and anonymity to help catch distributors of child pornography, just as you shouldn't have to trade those rights to help stop terrorism. I think you did the right thing by uninstalling Freenet, because you're not ready to accept what freedom means. It's not something you can have in stages.

Re:Fantastic (1)

h8god (946430) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055682)

Amen. Freedom isn't pretty.

Re:Fantastic (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055820)

You seem to be conveniently forgetting the distinction that I went out of my way to make in my original post, between (a) government censorship, and (b) individual choices of what kinds of free speech to subsidize with my money and computer resources.

Re:Fantastic (1)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055641)

What can be done in a truly Peer to Peer situation with a zero knowledge content base though?

He could pass a "rule" saying "no" to it, but how would you enforce it?

The ethical questions are interesting (2, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055658)

First, there's the "dual effect" question. If you set out to support political dissent, whistleblowers, and the like, are you unethical if a side effect is to enable immoral activities? In this case, a predictable side effect? If you have no way of knowing whether you're facilitating it?

Then there's the question: if Freenet is needed, is it right to decide not to run a node because you abhor some of the traffic?

I don't know the answers but do respect your decision.

Re:Fantastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055667)

If you'd actually read the summary instead of posting a pathetic knee-jerk reaction, you'd have realized that a darknet allows you to control your distribution content somewhat. Like, if you're not friends with pedophiles, you shouldn't have a problem. If you are, then quit yer bitchen'.

Re:Fantastic (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055691)

And although I do believe in free speech (no government censorship), I don't think that extends to child pornography

Neither does Ian Clarke. You've missed the point. It's not about protecting child pornography as free speech, it's realising that you can't protect other, legitimate forms of free speech without also protecting child pornography as well. It's the unfortunate reality of information theory. If anybody has the power to stop the kiddy porn, they have the power to stop the legitimate speech as well, e.g. dissidence. The only true protection of freedom of speech is incapable of distinguishing between kiddy porn and legitimate speech by its very nature.

If you've come up with some revolutionary scheme that can stop kiddy porn without harming the protection of the legitimate speech, then I'm sure Ian Clarke would jump at the chance to implement it. But there's every reason to believe this will be completely and utterly impossible forever. Think about it.

The sad thing is, no matter how many times this is explained, there's always somebody as ignorant as you willing to tell people all about how he thinks kiddy porn is free speech. Please stop that.

Re:Fantastic (5, Insightful)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055696)

These are pretty serious charges you are leveling against Clarke. Can you provide quotes with links that indicate Clark does indeed believe what you claim he believes?

"... He is actively helping people to distribute child pornography"

What you have posted is frankly libelous [wikipedia.org] .

You can be sued, and unless you can prove that you know that he was helping to distribute child porn, you will lose. Otherwise, if you know this for a fact, I hope you have reported this to the authorities.*

Do you know for a fact that he is specifically helping to distribute child pornography, rather than simply building a general purpose network? *Any* communications network can be used to distribute child pornogrphy. Remember that usenet, AOL, and most recently Myspace [wpri.com] was used to distribute child pornography. Are you making the same claims that the creators and owners of usenet, AOL, and MySpace are "actively helping people to distribute child pornography", like you said of Ian Clarke?

I turned off the freenet myself because I thought it could be used for child porn, and I didn't want any part of it. I do not support child pronography. But, I cannot support you making such claims about a person without evidence. Put up or shut up.

*I have the feeling you do not know this specifically about Ian Clarke. If you do, you should report it to the authorities, and if you had reported it, you wouldn't be blabbing libelously on the internet. You have correctly understood that the freenet, like any network, can be used to distribute child porn, but I don't think you know this about Clark. If you do, for God's sake, don't ruin the investigation by blabbing all over the internet.

Re:Fantastic (1, Flamebait)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055814)

You can be sued, and unless you can prove that you know that he was helping to distribute child porn, you will lose.
Interesting logic: I must support Ian Clarke and his ideals of absolute freedom of speech, otherwise he might sue me for saying bad things about him?

Are you making the same claims that the creators and owners of usenet, AOL, and MySpace are "actively helping people to distribute child pornography", like you said of Ian Clarke?
No, because child pornography isn't the killer app of AOL, but it is the killer app of Freenet.

Can you provide quotes with links that indicate Clark does indeed believe what you claim he believes?
here [sourceforge.net] and here [sourceforge.net]

Re:Fantastic (1)

gokulpod (558749) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055868)

Either you don't get it, or you are delibrately twisting the point. What the previous poster was saying is that you cannot publish claims about a person without proof. You can make a statement like you do not support a politician due to his beliefs, but you cannot write that you do not support a politician because you know that he is involved in drug smuggling, unless you have proof. If you do publish an allegation without having proof, you can be sued for libel.

Re:Fantastic (2, Insightful)

pthor1231 (885423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055823)

Well, Clark did write Freenet, which by his own admission is "a means by which information can be shared without fear of censorship of any kind." That being said, said poster you are replying to used Freenet, and saw some amount of child pornography on at least one node. Clark wrote the program, designed to allow anything to be shared / said. This seems to me like he is at least indirectly, but actively, helping spread child pornography. This is quite different than your poor comparisons to AOL and myspace, (I don't know about usenet) which explicitly forbid any sort of child pornography in their EULAs, and I'm pretty sure Myspace forbids anything pornographic period. But I don't really care, since I neither use Freenet, or have a stake in Clarke's reputation.

Re:Fantastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055839)

I won't for a second think that the authors of Freened made their software to help distribute child porn, but let's be realistic: there's a lot of it on there and it's very easily accessible. It's just awful to see that warning message everytime you log in, only to find that a lot of nodes really do link to disgusting content. I'm not using Freenet if that sort of stuff continues to be right in front of me everytime I try to browse the network.

Re:Fantastic (2, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055705)

Let's all be totally clear on this: Clarke has an absolute belief in free speech, including communist literature. Not only does he believe that government shouldn't be able to regulate any kind of speech, including communist literature, but he is actively helping people to distribute communist literature, and so are you if you run a Freenet node, whether you know it or not.

Re:Fantastic (1)

quokkapox (847798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055739)

It should be relatively easy to identify victims of child abusers (after all, somebody is bound to know them). People could anonymously access the images (which are evidence of criminal conduct) through freenet, sanitize the nasty parts of the images and post the victims' faces elsewhere for people to recognize (like on milk cartons), and then we could anonymously tip off the authorities, who could then prosecute and convict the adults who abused them.

All with the help of freenet. Sounds good to me.

Re:Fantastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055740)


  OK, so maybe the under US$ 400 donations total hints that FreeNet's reputation is low.

  Seriously, how to genuinely help the cause of Free Speech, without contributing to in-
  creasing the problem of child-porn, is a real problem. Is there a solution?

  Of course, taken far enough, one can argue that subscribing to all the world's telco's
  has similar side effects (since it often take a telco line to transfer such content).

  Still the amount of good side... eg, bringing a world of technology & other ideas
  to the home & to the far corners of the world surely outweighs the stuff that I don't
  want to support... so I stay connected & use it for what I want to support. Simple.

Re:Fantastic (4, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055742)

Distributing child pornography isn't necessarily a bad thing. If it's distributed for free on FreeNet, that means fewer and fewer people paying for it, which hopefully means less child porn all-together.

Now, if you think potentially allowing more people to VIEW child pornography is inherently bad, and will lead to more child abuse, for instance, this isn't much consolation. However, the supreme court has even ruled that *fake* child pornography is not criminal, so viewing animated or CGI child porn, for instance, isn't even illegal. So, as disgusting as it may be, there doesn't seem to be a concensus that individuals privately viewing something that appears to be child porn is bad for society, and will lead to serious crimes.

As an added bonus, the wider and more public spread of child porn, while it can't be traced back to the IP address that shared it, the picture can be tracked back using visual clues as to who is involved, and possibly making it easier for police to apprehend the actual suspects (just not the person sharing it, in this case).

Re:Fantastic (4, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055749)

"Not only does he believe that government shouldn't be able to regulate any kind of speech, including child pornography, but he is actively helping people to distribute child pornography,"

So's your local mailman. I hope you didn't send out any Christmas cards last year, and you had better make sure you handle all your bills online, otherwise you're aiding that pernicious distribution medium of kiddie porn known as "First Class Mail" (which, while not anonymous, is physically and legally protected from inspection).

Re:Fantastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055776)

> ..., which by its nature requires a heinous crime to be committed in order to produce it. (my emphasis)

Exactly. The crime is in the production (and in the consumption, if it isn't classed as a mental disorder).

The crime isn't in providing a means of distribution. WWW, postal service, ham radio, freenet, carrier pidgeon, passing on a CD, passing on a DVD, telephones. Any can be used to distribute child pornography, are mostly as anonymous and probably already have your participation. The radio waves pass through your house, you own shares in a telco, the carrier pidgeon flies over your land, just like you might run a freenet node. Why aren't all of the above "bad" like Freenet? Why not shoot all pidgeons, torch all mailboxes or build a Faraday cage around your house, just in case they are carrying child pornography?

The police need to get out there and catch those who produce child pornography.

Police prefer to crack down on computer networks since

  • They are easy to observe
  • It can produce quick results at a low cost, keeping the boss happy
  • They have cynical support from those in power, who wish to monitor communications for other reasons.

Freenet just might lead to more child pornographers being caught. Presumambly child porn currently lives in a part of the Internet that is end to end encrypted and out of sight of the police. Having anonymity (as provided by Freenet) might cause child pornographers to not encrypt their porn, allowing police to capture what they are sending. The producer might then be indentified by the porn images they have produced.

No, I don't advocate child pornography. I do think it is wrong to use child pornography as an argument against Freenet.

If you think there is too much child porn on Freenet, wouldn't it be better to set up a node and dilute it by uploading and downloading better content? Freenet only stores the "most popular" items uploaded. Whenever I've been on Freenet I've never been 'hit in the face' by child pornography. The closest I have been is to have seen a page where someone compiled a general list of severl hundred freenet pages. One or two text entries in the list indicated that the link went on to child porn. I exercised my freewill and decided not to follow those links.

Re:Fantastic (1)

SinGunner (911891) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055783)

So let's be clear on another point. Your funding of your goverment is resulting in the killing of people you have never even met and likely had no real reason to kill. I don't see you drawing your support away from there though. Mod me and parent TROLL.

Re:Fantastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055597)

Good. You should be able to, if you wish to do so.

Fantastic, indeed (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055599)

Only criminals ever need privacy or anonymity.

Re:Fantastic, indeed (0)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055713)

Why aren't there more free public sex videos then?

What does DARK mean to all of you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055673)

Oh come on. "Dark" IS a racist way to talk about Freenet, and you know it.

What are you saying, that black persons can not use P2P the same way as light-skins? Give me a break.

Re:Fantastic (0, Offtopic)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055787)

Hahah the humorless truth-suppressors have demonstrated their true love for freedom of speech - they love any speech they agree with.

Do your worst, dirty mod-point wielding humorless slashbots.

Re:Fantastic (1)

Heir Of The Mess (939658) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055826)

You have mentioned some rather nasty uses for this technology. However you can also trade music with your friends without being thrown in the clink, and this is what will make this techonology more popular. Interesting how by the music industry making criminals out of so many people it makes it easier for the real criminals to hide amoung the mases when the masses retalliate with technology.

Will this ever succeed in full? (3, Interesting)

XBL (305578) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055540)

For example, do you think Google will ever use Freenet in some manner?

I wish there was a way that I could view websites without giving any IP or client information. However, that kind of information is important to webmasters and business.

Re:Will this ever succeed in full? (5, Informative)

Sanity (1431) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055545)

I wish there was a way that I could view websites without giving any IP or client information. However, that kind of information is important to webmasters and business.
Check out Tor [eff.org] .

Re:Will this ever succeed in full? (5, Informative)

Slithe (894946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055552)

Well, it is not a foolproof solution, but you can try using TOR: The Onion Router (http://tor.eff.org/ [eff.org] ). It will act as a random daisy-chain of proxies that pass all the information (except for the final hop) encrypted.

Failing that, you could always buy a laptop/PDA/etc. and a cheap wifi card and connect to random WAPs using a spoofed MAC address.

Re:Will this ever succeed in full? (3, Informative)

ystar (898731) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055718)

One should note that Tor won't attempt to hide the fact that you're running a node

Re:Will this ever succeed in full? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055565)

I wish there was a way that I could view websites without giving any IP or client information. However, that kind of information is important to webmasters and business.

It's not, honestly. Things like server-side browser sniffing are stupid hacks that only the ignorant use.

Re:Will this ever succeed in full? (4, Informative)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055674)

>I wish there was a way that I could view websites without giving any IP or client information

Anonymizer.com, cotse, and many others.

There's some loss of functionality. For example if you have Java turned on then a remote web site can grab your IP even through a proxy. So you have to turn off Java, and Anonymizer disables Javascript as well.

Much needed (4, Insightful)

QCompson (675963) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055549)

Thank you freenet team! The ability to remain anonymous is the only way to ensure complete freedom of speech.

Practical measures (5, Insightful)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055557)

I totally agree. With the lawmakers obviously unconcerned about the steady erosion of civil liberties, practical measures like these could be the only option for maintaining our freedoms.

Re:Practical measures (5, Insightful)

femto (459605) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055629)

Freenet may preserve freedom, but it doesn't preserve liberty.

Don't let projects like Freenet lull you into failing to protect your liberty. Get involved in the world around you and make your voice heard against those who would remove your liberty.

Freedom != Liberty. There are lots of situations in which you have the freedom to hold any opinion you want, but are not at liberty to express those opinions. Unless you have been brainwashed, you always have the freedom to choose to die for your opinions.

Completely agree (5, Insightful)

Sanity (1431) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055832)

I completely agree. Freenet is hopefully a good last resort, but the option of a technical last resort should not discourage people from fighting oppression in all of its forms through more conventional political means.

- Ian (Founder, Freenet Project)

Re:Practical measures (1)

mctk (840035) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055664)

In that case, I propose that henceforth I shall be referred to as an ALFW (Anonymous Leader of the Free World).

Re:Practical measures (1)

mctk (840035) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055672)

Fucking "Post Anonymously" button. Where were you on that one, Freenet? WHERE WERE YOU ON THAT ONE?

Re:Practical measures (4, Interesting)

Quantam (870027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055730)

Actually this is the exact OPPOSITE of what anonymity does for freedom of speech. Let's think about this for a minute. The claim that anonymity is required for true freedom of speech (I'll leave the debate as to whether this is actually the case to someone else, and assume that it is true) is so that you can make any allegations you want publicly, without fear of reprisal for what you have said (USSR, anyone?).

What these darknets do (in this context) is allow speech to be distributed only among a select few people. Furthermore, you can exclude those you are making allegations against, allowing you to say whatever you like, true or false, and they have no access to this information (PATRIOT Act, anyone?). In other words, you've crushed their ability to respond to allegations like the Gestapo. But I guess that's okay in your mind, because it's individuals doing so, and not the government. Might I suggest you read up on factory life in the US before the government started regulating the factories, especially with regard to unions and blacklists?

As for myself, I shall always be a proponent of true freedom of speech (and I might add that do not require anonymity for that purpose).

Help the project... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055768)

I have an automatic donation to Freenet of $20 per month set up. These guys really need some support, especially now between versions.

Re:Much needed (1)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055594)

Heh, at first glance I thought you said "Thank you freedom team!"

I can just imagine a muscular, comic-book style programmer: "Yes Billy, the world is safe from overreaching politicians and spooks for another day. \cue 80's music\"

Great! (4, Interesting)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055568)

I'm not a member or involved in the freenet project but if you have paypal or whatever, drop by the freenet project website and donate a few dollars [freenetproject.org] . Mathew Toseland (toad_ on freenode irc) has been slaving away on the project for a long time now, he's poured so much energy into making freenet a reality, kudos to him and a few of the other coders that have spent a lot of energy on the next generation freenet (nextgens/cyberdo/etc.)

Not related to freenet but in the definitely in the same sphere of anonymous networking is I2P [i2p.net] . For anybody that interested in that kind of technology should check that out... it's a fairly well functioning network ATM but the main coder is putting off any big announcements until he's sure it's ready.

Re:Great! (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055831)

I will only donate if I know my money is going to valuable things like chinese food and cheap red wine.

Sigh (4, Insightful)

typical (886006) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055580)

Freenet is neat, P2P research is phenomenal, darknets are probably the way to go...but boy, it would be nice to have something that is not implemented in Java.

I understand the reasons that they use Java, but still, Freenet is one RAM and CPU-hungry beast.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055600)

I understand the reasons that they use Java, but still, Freenet is one RAM and CPU-hungry beast.
You are pretty out of date, modern Java VMs, with JIT compilation, are pretty efficient. Additionally, the new version of Freenet is far more efficient than previous version.

Re:Sigh (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055627)

You're deluded. Java is a pig.

Re:Sigh (1)

RovingSlug (26517) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055772)

Why throw around unsupported remarks? Provide evidence [debian.org] . Bottom line: Java versus C++, for that set of benchmarks, Java is comparible in speed and code density, but median uses 12x more memory.

Re:Sigh (4, Interesting)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055817)

Okay then, I'll support his remarks.

I've run Freenet for ages. It is an excellent idea with a not so excellent implementation. Freenet is currently taking up over 300MB of RAM, and is eating a lot of CPU.

I'm not saying Java is always less efficient. Maybe this could be improved in their codebase. I don't code Java - but I do write C/C++, and I'm certain that Freenet in native code could be orders of magnitude better than what it is now.

Re:Sigh (5, Interesting)

beeblebrox (16781) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055700)

Java is "heavier" than a native language/platform but for something like Freenet where privacy can be extremely important, reducing the possibility of stack smashing/bufer overrun type vulnerabilities to near zero - which Java helps do very well - is more than worth the execution overhead.

Java is coming along (2, Informative)

Sanity (1431) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055732)

Modern Java virtual machines can actually be more efficient than native code in many situations. The old criticism of Java, that it is slow, and a CPU/memory hog relative to native compiled code, was definitely valid back in the 90s, but is much less-so now. Check out some recent benchmarks involving Java if you don't believe me.

Re:Java is coming along (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055773)

Funny isn't it. I have the feeling what they need to do is rewrite it in ruby. Same performance, but can you imagine the hype they'd get!

Re:Java is coming along (1)

toddhunter (659837) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055774)

Java is coming along, and a java app can now run just about as good as a native one. However the problem comes when you want to do something else at the same time. It's one thing to run quickly, it's another thing to run quickly whilst not using up 99% of your system's resources. This is the real problem with java today.

Re:Java is coming along (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055798)

Its still a valid criticism. Maybe for very large and memory intensive code can the Java VM actually be more eficent than C/C++ code but I still find that for most programs that Java is more bloated and generally slower.

Just a casual empirical observation.

Oh great, more CP for the GNAA (-1, Troll)

timecop (16217) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055647)

As I'm sure anyone who's used Freenet before knows (Rob Malda, would, for sure!), Freenet is a haven for child pornographers, and this crosses the line between protecting the rights of privacy and protecting the rights of children. How dare you, slashdot.

Re:Oh great, more CP for the GNAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055656)

Too bad there isnt Naruto on it... right timecop?

Stop attention whoring, Timeclock (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055725)

The GNAA is dead. You can't even make a half way funny /. troll anymore. The fact that an even lamer organization such as Buttes can take over your server for two times is a testament to this fact.

You're better off jacking off to degenerate Japanese animu with your wrinkly old ugly jap wife.

*GNAA is Dead

Darknet + Bittorrent = Mass appeal ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055687)

Now if only they could figure out a way to allow for multi-port + hidden IP + encrypted anonymous bittorrent file transfers inside Darknet without losing speed etc, and the DRM, MPAA, China et all, can say 'good-bye it was a nice try' !

Ok that was a lame rhyme, but you get the point!

Anon

Re:Darknet + Bittorrent = Mass appeal ! (2, Interesting)

barefootgenius (926803) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055843)

You could get halfway there by posting torrents on Freenet and then downloading them with Torrentopia [torrentopia.org] .

Slow networks (5, Insightful)

zelzax (895104) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055703)

I think the main problem with freenet, I2P, and other similar services is not their privacy concerns (although important), but SPEED.

The speed at which any of these services run reminds me of when I had dial-up. Except these darknets don't even guarantee you can connect to even the most popular darknet sites. Even when I tweaked all the settings I couldn't ever get decent connections on freenet.

These sites are not going to be very viable until a lot of people use them, and a lot of people aren't going to use them until they reach something at least comparable to speeds of the regular web.

I appreciate all the effort of the people who make these pieces of software, but I can't help but feel much of their energy is misdirected.

Just my thoughts.

Trust...whom? (4, Interesting)

Motherfucking Shit (636021) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055721)

When you first start Freenet 0.7 your node will not know any other nodes on the network, you need to connect to other nodes, at least three. Ideally you should find people you trust that are already part of the Freenet 0.7 network and connect to them, but if that isn't possible in the early stages of the Freenet 0.7 network you can try connecting to the irc server irc.freenode.net and join the channel #freenet, to see if anyone will connect to you.
In other words, if you want to use Freenet 0.7, you really ought to know 3 other people who are already using Freenet 0.7. Considering there are maybe 200 people on this planet who are currently using Freenet 0.7, good fscking luck.

But if you don't know three people who are using Freenet 0.7, hop on IRC (which is not the least bit anonymous) and see if some random stranger will give you their noderef. Random people who don't know each other exchanging noderefs over IRC provides what advantage over the prior Freenet implementation, exactly?

I don't know 3 other meatspace people who use Freenet, much less Freenet 0.7. I can't imagine that trading noderefs with some random person on IRC is any more secure than maintaining a node on 0.5.

I'm no Freenet hater, I've been running it for years and I've made several donations. Freenet showed me the "Diebold Memos" and other interesting items. I'm just looking for a plain-English explanation as to how 0.7 is an improvement over the prior Freenet implementation.

What part of "testing" don't you understand? (2, Insightful)

Sanity (1431) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055781)

From the front page of Freenet's website:
Note that this release is still a very early alpha; users should neither expect it to be secure, nor user friendly. Rather, the purpose of this release is to facilitate wider testing, to inform people of the progress we have made, and to attract fresh development talent, both to Freenet itself, and to third party applications that use Freenet as a platform.

Re:What part of "testing" don't you understand? (1)

Motherfucking Shit (636021) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055802)

I didn't mean to offend, Ian. I'm a developer myself, and I damn well understand "testing." I'm just still curious as to the improvements that 0.7 offers. Should I donate again to get you off my back? ;)

I wasn't responding to the Freenet Project website, I was responding to the Slashdot story. Something tells me that this particular Slashdotting was premature, but that tends to be the way it goes for Freenet; Slashdottings, as much as others may welcome them, are typically a bad thing for the Freenet network. If nothing else, we'll get new users. For awhile. We can only see how the network handles the next few days worth of influx.

Don't take it personally, man. Like I said, I'm not a hater. Diebold memos, Windows source (pfft), Freenet has been a great auditorium, and I'm still a believer.

Re:What part of "testing" don't you understand? (3, Insightful)

Sanity (1431) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055851)

Should I donate again to get you off my back?
Of course you should :-)
I wasn't responding to the Freenet Project website, I was responding to the Slashdot story. Something tells me that this particular Slashdotting was premature, but that tends to be the way it goes for Freenet; Slashdottings, as much as others may welcome them, are typically a bad thing for the Freenet network. If nothing else, we'll get new users. For awhile. We can only see how the network handles the next few days worth of influx.
Point taken. Its a tricky one, do you go for early publicity, or wait until you have a more robust piece of software. Freenet has always generated significant publicity at pretty early stages of development, and while it has disadvantages, on the whole I think it has been beneficial, it attracts developers (at a time when they can still make a real difference), not to mention donations, which we really need right now. We do try to be explicit about the fact that it is an alpha for testing, to avoid people being disappointed.

Re:Trust...whom? (1)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055864)

This has baffled me to no end. Try as I might, I have a hard time imagining the advantages of this approach beyond a false sense of security. Add to this the fact that in places like China, where the authorities are likely to put your ass in the gulag just for trading encrypted packets, or running some suspicious to them services on suspicious ports, which they will detect due to the wonderful all-pervasive ISP surveilance of every packet provided to them by giants of moral integrity such as Cisco, and things become even murkier.

I find the problem intractable from a theoretical standpoint, given current IP protocols and network implementations. But maybe I am wrong. Someone enlighten me please.

Recent post on Freenet mailing list (5, Informative)

moosehooey (953907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055733)

On 31 Mar 2006, at 20:08:
> This isn't about *technical* support, I just wanted to tell Matthew
> thanks
> for working on this project. The US government is really scaring
> me and
> I'm glad someone's working on this. You're doing a great job man.
>
> One question I have is that the paypal balance on the home page
> usually
> says something like a few hundred $, and I was wondering if it's
> actually
> generating the required $2300 per month, or if it's falling short.
> I've
> had a monthly donation set up for quite a while now, and I just
> want to
> make sure everything is going well financially for the project.

We have been fortunate enough to generate just about enough to pay
for Matthew for the past few years, but donations have been tailing
off as we haven't put out any new releases in quite a while due to
our work on 0.7, and the financial situation is actually quite
precarious just now.

Our hope is that with the 0.7 alpha release we will get some
donations, but if anyone can contribute, now would really be the time
(as there can be no guarantee that the 0.7 alpha release will
generate the level of publicity we have seen for previous releases).

Ian.

intervention? (0, Redundant)

subgrappler (864963) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055747)

sounds like p2p is evolving to avoid the likes of *aa... great to have free speech and all that, but suppose it gets bigger and every child porn nut job hops on it and starts downloading... couldnt the gov/isp's step in and kill it? not sure if its even possible anywhere to outlaw a program/technology...

Re:intervention? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055865)

Child pornographers use the US Postal Service quite extensively. Hope the government doesn't shut that down too...

Any screenshots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055751)

Any screenshots of the app?

Darknet + Bittorrent = Mass Appeal ! (4, Insightful)

Adeptus_Luminati (634274) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055752)

Here's my 'freenet/Darknet' wishlist for the next release (hopefuly it won't take another 5 years before any major break throughs):

1) Bittorrent/utorrent inside Darknet support. (i.e. encrypted semi-anonymous file transfers)
2) Full IP anonymity
3) Multi-port support (i.e. when firewalls block it, you can change ports).
4) User selected periodic chaotic deep packet protocol emulation. Say what?! Imagine if you could download from a list of popular standard protocols & configure your Darknet client to emulate most of these protocols (one at a time & announcing the new protocol to your group of file-exchange-buddies)- anytime you want. You'd periodically select a new protocol (i.e. FTP, HTTP, OSPF, DNS, etc every time some advanced firewall blocks you) & BAM ... you punch through making your traffic seem like standard protocols. An advanced version of this would allow you to load balance your traffic over multiple standard look-alike protocols, thus forcing ISP's to not be able to track (through agregate port router bandwidth stats) which new protocol/port you are using now so they could block it. Also, by allowing multi-protocol chaotic support that means each group of users would be using different protocols & ports... now try to stop that Mr. China firewall!
5) Proxy bounce support
6) Open source API for additional protocol bounce support. (i.e. allows for crackers/hackers of restrictive/oppressive nations to piggy back Darknet inside a legit Server running say FTP or something of the sort) - Once the trusted server is infiltrated, it could allow for proxied clients to connect through it and out to the rest of the world.

I'm sure some of you could come up with more utopian anonymous & liberative strategies.

Cheers
adeptus_luminati

test (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055794)

this link is a test [china-defense.com]

Wacko content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055808)

Okay, so how good is Freenet's network this time? I went to check there once. The first thing I saw was a big fat warning message stating that there's child porn on their network, but that they don't want to remove it because people are supposed to freely share without others being able to delete their content. And yeah, after clicking "I accept", the second thing I saw was that a substantial amount of nodes linked to the stuff.

Frankly, what the hell is up with that? I don't want to use a "fully anonymous" sharing network when I have to browse through such disgusting content to find what I can also find on other networks just fine.

I for one... (5, Funny)

Null Nihils (965047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055848)

welcome the idea that our overlords will have a harder time censoring and surveilling us.

So basically the old freenet wasn't anon at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15055863)

So this means that all this time people thought they were safe and now to be safe you have to pick who you share with?
How the hell is that going to happen? So you get on a e-mail list and find some "buddies" to share with. How do you know who they are? Are they "enforcers" or spys? How do you know?
Then you find a group of people who are sharing, how do you know there ain't a spy among them?
Then you have only a few people to share with and since everyone is splitting off the main sharing network, who gives a crap if this thing can "scale"? There's nothing to scale to, just 10 people sharing in a group, big deal.
Why not just use SFTP with your "trusted friends"????
This is the most lame thing I have ever seen in P2P!
The old way it worked was better, and more safe why the hell change it?
What happened? That's the important news!
What's wrong with things like "MUTE" P2P ? http://www.planetpeer.de/wiki/index.php [planetpeer.de]
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