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Programming IT Technology

Revamping Freenet 541

N3wsByt3 writes "Many will have heard about the anonymous P2P-system Freenet. What many probably don't know is, that a big change is at hand: the Freenet developers have decided to drop all support for the 0.5x version, to skip version 0.6 and to completely revamp the 0.7 build into some kind of poorly described, presumably scalable darknet. The main coder even threatened to quit if such a darknet would be rejected. So, is it finally going the right way with the development of Freenet? Maybe not, since they seem reluctant to provide real data and rather rely on security through obfuscation, and then there is still the problem of their general inability in regard to pooling human resources, which, for any OSS project, is of the utmost importance." Obviously, the article submitter has his own feelings on Freenet, but notwithstanding that, what's the latest scuttlebutt from within the Freenet crowd?
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Revamping Freenet

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  • How many revamps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by News for nerds (448130) on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:18AM (#12543710) Homepage
    will it take until it becomes something that can be used as easily as an web browser?
    • Re:How many revamps (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sanity (1431) *
      What Freenet does is fundamentally more complicated than what a web browser does, so it will always be more complicated.

      Having said that, right now you basically install the software, and open your web browser - and you are surfing Freenet. Its only in "outlying" cases that things are significantly more complcated than this (ie. with firewall issues), and we are working on that.

      • by Uruk (4907) on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:39AM (#12543942)
        The actual things that are done by any software are pretty complicated - that doesn't prevent us from abstracting them away from the user.

        Now freenet is slightly different in that it uses encryption. From that perspective, things can change slightly in that PGP had problems with users needing to know about public/private keypair security, understanding what signing was, why it was important, concepts behind the web of trust, etc.

        I don't see freenet having those issues though. Node administrators for sure, but not freenet users. Freenet users don't really have keys or even any necessary knowledge of the technical layer of encryption. They need to know how to connect to a node.

        What's so fundamentally different about freenet that it's inevitably going to be more complicated? For disambiguation, specifically I'm talking about the user perspective, not the node administrator perspective (which sadly have been one in the same so far). Node administrators will deal with stuff that users don't see.

        I'm not trying to beat up on freenet here, I just think that if the software is very complicated, it's probably due to a potential lack in usability design as opposed to something inherent about the software. If you buy the metaphor of freenet as some gigantic encrypted data store in the sky, using it from a user's perspective shouldn't be much more complicated than using a hard disk. Send files, get files. Sure, there's lots of sticky details, but the node should worry about that for us, shouldn't it?

        • Re:How many revamps (Score:3, Informative)

          by Greg W. (15623)

          I don't see freenet having those issues though. Node administrators for sure, but not freenet users. Freenet users don't really have keys or even any necessary knowledge of the technical layer of encryption. They need to know how to connect to a node.

          You have a misunderstanding. Every freenet user is a node administrator. The freenet node is what actually does all the work. Every user runs a node, and every node has a data store. The node has a web interface on port localhost:8888, to which a browse

          • Re:How many revamps (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Uruk (4907)

            You have a misunderstanding. Every freenet user is a node administrator. The freenet node is what actually does all the work. Every user runs a node

            Nope, no understanding. What I was trying to point out is that yes, that is the way it currently works, but not the way that it might ideally work. Freenet users and node administrators are currently one and the same, I agree.

            Nodes however are built for access through FCP (freenet client protocol, or at least that's what it was a while ago) and there were

      • Re:How many revamps (Score:3, Interesting)

        by lubricated (49106)
        > Its only in "outlying" cases . . . ie. with firewall issues

        more and more people are getting routers this is hardly an outlying case.
    • Forever. A web browser is something a network like this cannot emulate, because the latency is too high. Making it as easy to use as Kazaa, is, however, very possible. Gnunet is already at that stage, just needs more peers. But Freenet won't do that, because they'd rather keep making speeches about privacy and free speech rather than getting on and actually coding the program to get it working.
  • Child pornography (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    If the Internet is for porn, then Freenet is for child porn. Sad, but true. I would recommend getting around this by giving file sizes a low cap before they're broken into many parts, this would probabilistically decrease the chances of any person being able to get kiddie porn while retaining the ability to serve text.
    • Re:Child pornography (Score:4, Informative)

      by brontus3927 (865730) <edwardra3@gmaPARISil.com minus city> on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:28AM (#12543827) Homepage Journal
      From reading Freenet's FAQ, I get the impression that it was designed for child porn.

      I don't want my node to be used to harbor child porn, offensive content or terrorism. What can I do?

      The true test of someone who claims to believe in Freedom of Speech is whether they tolerate speech which they disagree with, or even find disgusting. If this is not acceptable to you, you should not run a Freenet node.

      • by mmkkbb (816035) on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:43AM (#12543979) Homepage Journal
        See, the wonderful thing about such loaded language is that even if you tolerate the existence such content, by using Freenet you are being FORCED to distribute it. Isn't that lovely? And if you complain, the powers-that-be make YOU the bad guy!
        • by ThePiMan2003 (676665) on Monday May 16, 2005 @11:43AM (#12544532)
          The problem is that if freenet gives you the ablity to block arbitrary files based on content you could become liable for not blocking them. Then again IANAL but I would guess that if you had the ablility to block, say mp3 files and you did not the RIAA might be able to take you to court. Its hard to say, on one hand I like the fact that anyone can say anything on freenet, on the other hand I don't really like that kind of stuff on my computer.
        • by finkployd (12902)
          So what is the alternative? Change freenet so that each node can censor what they want? Kinda defeats the entire point of the project then.

      • by Rei (128717) on Monday May 16, 2005 @11:29AM (#12544397) Homepage
        So where do you draw the line as to what one is allowed to post and what they aren't?

        * Should people be allowed to post any pornography at all? (illegal in a number of countries)
        * Should people be allowed to post a glowing post of support for Falun Gong? (illegal in China)
        * Should people be allowed to publish a diatribe denying that the holocaust occurred? (illegal in much of Europe)

        Etc. You can claim that, "Well, allowing the posting of child pornography or terrorism-related materials offends universal sensibilities", but this obviously isn't true, or the material wouldn't be being posted in the first place (not to mention, one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter). Just as a demonstration of how much people's sensibilities are different in different parts of the world, this [afghannews.net] (originally posted on msnbc.com) covers an interview with an Afghan mother who supported her daugter's execution by stoning for the crime of adultery ("My daughter is a criminal. If she hadn't been killed, I could never hold my head up again in my community.")

        If the data is being created through abusive means, go after the source of the data. If the data is being used to plan violent action, use proper security at likely targets (not like it's hard for people to hatch plans in secret anyways - this is nothing new). The fact of the matter is that data wants to be free.
        • by Ars-Fartsica (166957) on Monday May 16, 2005 @11:56AM (#12544663)
          If the data is being created through abusive means, go after the source of the data.

          Uh, if you are hosting child porn, you are the host of the data, under current law. Many nations are now erasing the line between being a "distributor" of this material and being in possession of it. Really, you need to know this, because you will find very few individuals in Western societies who will vigorously defend you in public or the courts. You will find out what "pariah" means.

          And in the strict sense, with Freenet you are a distributor in any case - you are providing a service to obtain this material - remember under the law ignorance is not an excuse, you could find it difficult to claim you were an unwitting accomplice.

      • Re:Child pornography (Score:5, Interesting)

        by willfe (6537) <willfe@gmail.com> on Monday May 16, 2005 @11:31AM (#12544417) Homepage

        Why do you get that impression? "Child pornography" is just the red herring people always trot out when they want to censor speech.

        You've heard the expression "I disagree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it," yes? Your idea of "offensive content" may differ wildly from someone else's; the question becomes "who is right?" Sure, you can refuse to run a FreeNet node because you're scared some evil recipe for "instant terror version 3.4" might get stored there or a nasty evil child pornographer might post some horrid icky pictures you don't like onto FreeNet and your node happens to harbor some of the data, but in that case you really are censoring in your own way.

        The FAQ's response to this concern is dead-on right. Even with child pornography, you're trying to treat the symptoms instead of the disease when you reason like this -- "oh I'm not running that because it doesn't actively stop child pornographers!" Bad news, buddy, the internet itself doesn't "actively stop" any pornographers. Are you just going to unplug so your browser cache doesn't accidentally store a thumbnail with content that offends you?

        If you want to censor what you participate in on a free speech-centric network, you don't belong there. If you believe that, ultimately, full-fledged freedom of speech is more vital to our society than taking a sad, impotent stab at a group you don't like, then run a damned node and deal with the fact that you may not like what lives on it. Remember, there's a far better chance that text a government doesn't like (but that you do like) will be stored on your node than pics of little Suzie.

        Claiming FreeNet was just "designed" for child porn is like saying Slashdot was designed to attract trolls. Sure, it happened, but that wasn't the original intent; back when it started, I think they honestly wanted to encourage and support open, public debate on important topics. Heh. Whoops. :)

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I suspect (and it is a suspicion from someone who hasn't yet used freenet) that plenty of copyrighted music and movie files are floating around on freenet.

      My question is, has the RIAA, MPAA, or any other such agency yet attempted any legal action against any user of Freenet? If so, can coverage links be provided?

      • I haven't used Freenet in a long time, and only really used it briefly when I did because I needed to fulfill my geeklike curiosity in the system, but I didn't see many music files on it at all; I would assume that this is because the slow transfer speeds make it completely unfeasible for a few megs of data that could be found easily enough on 'open' P2P networks. There were some movie repositories, but again the time and effort are probably only worthwhile if there's a real reason that the movie isn't avai
    • Re:Child pornography (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Fëanáro (130986)
      I doubt that would work, it has not worked with usenet at all.

      Most usenet servers limit posts to a relatively small size, and high ascii characters are severely restricted.

      Still, today a full usenet feed is several terrabytes per day, and 99% of it are binaries

      heck, IIRC there are some guys that share binaries uuencoded throught slashdot journals

      I think a subset of freenet only for text files would be usefull, also because the much higher size and greater popularity of certain binaries would drown most
    • by Kihaji (612640) <lemkesrNO@SPAMuwec.edu> on Monday May 16, 2005 @11:04AM (#12544172)
      The problem with anonymous freedom of speech is you eliminate the responsibilty of speech. Sometimes it's difficult to decide what is worth more.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        The problem with non-anonymous speech is that it prevents the airing out of taboo subjects. Taboos and the religions that spawn them go in and out of fashion (albeit slowly). Not all of what we consider taboo today will be considered so by future generations, or even by other populations currently extant.

        See the excellent article by Paul Graham on this

        http://paulgraham.com/say.html [paulgraham.com]

        Also, it seems to me that it is inane to think you can somehow prevent evil from occurring, just by somehow preventi

  • by Aviran (806737) on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:19AM (#12543725) Homepage
    A very interesting article [theregister.com]about flaw in Freenet
  • by Sanity (1431) * on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:21AM (#12543744) Homepage Journal
    Newsbyte is a well known on the Freenet mailing lists as a troll who likes to criticise Freenet's developers, yet hasn't actually contributed a single line of code to the project in his several years of trolling the mailing lists. Needless to say that this doesn't prevent him from lecturing the Freenet developers at every opportunity. I personally routinely ignore his emails.

    Matthew has indeed indicated that he believes it is essential that we support "trusted links" in Freenet, and the other core Freenet developers, myself included, agree with him - so Newsbyte's attempt to stir that up into some kind of controversy is just another example of his trolling.

    I have no idea where Newsbyte's accusation that we are relying on security through obscurity comes from, certainly the archived email he links do doesn't seem to support any such claim.

    As for the blog entry he links to, it essentially boils down to whining about why we don't implement each and every one of his suggestions.

    When considering the value of Newsbyte's opinions, I would urge you to look first at what he has actually contributed to the project, versus those that he seeks to criticise.

    • Gaaah...you're absolutely right, Sanity.

      I think reading his blog gave me cancer.

      Thanks for the heads-up on this guy.

    • How about using this opportunity of discussion on Slashdot to bring up some of your own thoughts on Freenet? I for one used it regularly quite some time ago, but I got lost in all of the network upgrades and software transitions that left me with nothing but RNF and DNF messages even after having run a node for several days.

      I'm really, genuinely interested in this project, and I'm all ears to hear about any forward movement or positive momentum the project has. Let us know about it.

      Whether or not Newsby
      • by Sanity (1431) * on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:38AM (#12543926) Homepage Journal

        How about using this opportunity of discussion on Slashdot to bring up some of your own thoughts on Freenet?

        With pleasure. Freenet has indeed had its fair share of problems, including an increasingly complex codebase that suffers from a lot of legacy code and abandoned ideas. That is why Freenet 0.7, the next major release, will be quite a significant rewrite.

        Here [gmane.org] is a recent email I sent describing the plan for 0.7:

        People could be forgiven for thinking that the project had somewhat
        stagnated given the lack of activity on these mailing lists, so I
        wanted to provide an update because this could hardly be further from
        the truth.

        Oskar Sandberg, Matthew, and I have been developing some ideas for 0.7
        which represent an even more fundamental architectural shift than have
        been proposed to-date, and which should address one of the most
        fundamental shortcomings of Freenet as it relates to Freenet's usage in
        a hostile environment, and which I believe represents a significant new
        innovation in the P2P-space.

        As most people will be aware, Oskar was one of the core Freenet
        developers in the first few years of the project. He is now working on
        a PhD in Mathematics. Over the past few months he and I have been
        collaborating on gaining a much deeper mathematical understanding of
        how Freenet does what it does. While this work is far from complete,
        it has given us some extremely useful insights and much more confidence
        in determining what aspects of Freenet's design work well, which don't,
        and why.

        To understand the new idea, I should start with some theoretical
        background. Consider a simple "graph". A graph in the mathematical
        sense consists of a set of nodes, some of which are connected to
        each-other. At this stage nodes don't have a position in space, all we
        know or care about them is which nodes are connected to each-other. We
        can assume that connections are bi-directional.

        The "diameter" of a graph is the minimum number of nodes you must go
        through to get from any one particular node to any other particular
        node in the graph. Note that it may not be easy to find this path, but
        the important thing is that it exists.

        There is a mathematical result which tells us what kind of graphs have
        a small diameter. Basically imagine we have three nodes, A is
        connected to B, and A is also connected to C. The mathematical result
        says that if, given that both are connected to A, there is an increased
        probability that B is connected to C, then the graph will have a small

        So, if we have a graph that has this property then we know that we
        *can* get from any one node to another in a small number of steps, but
        we don't necessarily know *how*.

        Now imagine that each node in the graph has a position in space, this
        can be 1 dimensional, 2 dimensional, 20 dimensional space, it doesn't
        matter too much. Imagine that we want to get from one particular node
        in this graph to another particular node. A simple approach is, from
        our starting node, go to whichever node we are connected to is closest
        to the node we want to get to. This approach will work quickly in a
        graph that is a "small world". In essence, a small world graph is
        where there is a higher probability that nodes which are close together
        are connected than nodes which are far apart.

        In the ideal case, the probability that two nodes are connected is
        proportional to 1/(d^n) where d is the distance between them, and n is
        the number of dimensions in the space in which our nodes reside. This
        mathematical result is due to Kleinberg.

        A small-world graph therefore not only has a small diameter, but
        provides an efficient means to find it.

        Anyway, back to the story. One of Freenet's weaknesses in terms of its
        usefulness in a hostile environment, is tha

        • Here's hoping the new version is written in a language that doesn't cripple it.

          Cell networks don't. The goons catch one person, look at who his machine connects to, look at that one, and the next, and map out the whole network. Users don't even know they're helping out, the goons can just look at upstream router traffic.

          The only way to have more or less anonymous usage without betraying your colleagues is to piggyback traffic on broadcast data -- such as irc, like the spam robots, or, better, web sit

          • by h4rm0ny (722443)

            I'm not an expert in this area, but I'm not convinced of the feasability of transmitting useful amounts of data concealed in this manner. You might be able to get a decent amount of text in a series of image files using steganography, but normal usage patterns are of people downloading images. A steady stream of uploading images to strangers, especially if not done through email, would stand out, I think.

            What I think is a wonderful idea however, is giving people a popular cause to use this. I feel that
  • speed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by capoccia (312092) * on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:23AM (#12543773) Journal
    when the speed of freenet comes within an order-of-magnitude of the normal internet, people will start using it again. right now, it's just a nifty way to do things 100 times slower than you could otherwise.
    • Re:speed (Score:3, Interesting)

      by m50d (797211)
      Gnunet is out there and working. It's slower than normal internet, but certainly within an order of magnitude (I get 20Kbps dowloads over my DSL, that's a factor of 2.5 behind gnutella but fast enough)
    • Not speed, content (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Uruk (4907)
      Fast networks with nothing in them aren't very useful.

      The web exploded when everybody and their brother started publishing web pages, not when people had browsers or connections to the internet.

      It's about content. For freenet though, that means a very different type of content that you wouldn't want on the web. The social problems that they'll face if the network does grow into something substantial are surely going to be something to behold.

  • by dj28 (212815) on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:24AM (#12543781)
    For anyone who reads the freenet mailing list daily (me), you'd know the the submitter of this article (Newsbyte) is a known troll who doesn't actually contribute to the project.

    I suggest that people who want to know the whole story check out the mailing lists going back a month or so.
    • Who is the Troll? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Famatra (669740)

      "(Newsbyte) is a known troll who doesn't actually contribute to the project."

      Really, and attacking his character instead of his statements makes you...what then?

      I really hate to get into a debate about character, since I prefer to judge a statement on its own terms since it seems to be a statement's truth is independent of the speaker, but Newsbyte runs the freenethelp.org [freenethelp.org] webpage. He's not some loner retard coming out of left field, he seems to have large issues with the (lack of) progress Freenet has t

  • by m50d (797211) on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:28AM (#12543819) Homepage Journal
    Freenet gets more attention because its developers are very vocal, but it sucks as a working network. You can hardly get any speed off it, you have to use the stupid browser interface, it's bloaty java, and there's no working search. Switch to gnunet, it has decent speeds, working search, and has a graphical client (not a very nice one as yet, but that could be improved).
    • Only a browser interface? There is an 'application port', and there are applications written for it. ( such as frost )

      Java bloat? No worse then other languages that try to be *universal*. Besides, don't like java? Then recode it in something else and quit bitching.

      Slow? Depends on what you are doing. Are you trying to download files? Well it really wasn't designed for that. And there will be a tradeoff on speed/anonymity.

      Searches? Umm there are several search engines available if you look.
      • > Java bloat? No worse then other languages that try to be *universal*.

        When you have a single program that is supposed to be in the background eating all your ram and half your cpu you kill the process.

        > Besides, don't like java? Then recode it in something else and quit bitching.

        Or you can simply review the product and give it a bad review. Then suggest something else instead of acting all smug.

        > Slow? Depends on what you are doing.

        Everything is slow on freenet small websites, pictures,every
    • by melvin22 (523080)
      Link to gnunet: http://gnunet.org [gnunet.org]
  • bait (Score:5, Interesting)

    by capoccia (312092) * on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:28AM (#12543822) Journal
    with comments like these:
    5. Slashdot effect doesn't write off the network for a month after release; if we grow by invitation, it will take longer to grow, but we will end up with a better network, and we won't generally have the collapse we have seen every time we've done a release.

    this might just be an attempt to bait the slashdot crowd into trying out freenet so that freenet's userbase grows and the speed become reasonable.
    • Re:bait (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bobdoer (727516) on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:56AM (#12544108) Homepage Journal
      Defiantly not. Whenever Freenet's point releases have been advertised on /., Freenet slows to a crawl simply because its not designed to handle a ton of people turning it on for five minutes, saying "this sucks" and pulling the plug. It takes time for Freenet to acclimate itself to new nodes, and that amount of time is far greater than most Slashdoter's attention span.
  • by pHatidic (163975)
    How does freenet compare to plex?
  • by anti-NAT (709310) on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:36AM (#12543899) Homepage

    A lot of people seem to be confused about obfuscation / obscurity.

    Obscurity or hiding things is a perfectly valid security technique, and can be used as a component of a defense in depth strategy. One of the main reasons people love NAT boxes is because they provide this property automatically. (I don't like them for other properties they have, and a firewall combinded with public address space will be just as effective at providing this specific property).

    People are stretching the meaning of Kirchoff's theorm. Krichoff was refering to crytographic algorithms when he said that there is no security in obscurity - the security of a crytographic algorithm should only rely on the secrecy of key. You should assume that the functioning of the algorithm will eventually be discovered by your adversaries, and therefore shouldn't make the security of the system depend on the functioning of the algorithm being kept secret. That being said, restricting knowledge of what algorithm you're using will make a contribution of the system being secured, as it can add to the depth an adversary has to penetrate.

  • by Laxitive (10360) on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:44AM (#12543990) Journal

    Every time there's a freenet article on /., the usual comments about child pornography and other "bad stuff" are bandied about.

    Personally, I see Freenet as an experiment in what's possible. There's an abstract problem statement: how do you share data anonymously? And Freenet attempts to provide a solution to that problem. There are many valid uses for a solution to that particular problem. The canonical example is "dissidents in ". But it goes beyond that. Everything from corporate and government whistleblowers even in relatively free countries, to those who want to expose sensitive information they might be privy to without giving themselves away.

    The problem is that such a system, by design, is necessarily going to be useful for people that organize activities and spread information that has little redeeming value. If dissidents and whistleblowers can obtain anonymity when sharing information, then so can child pornographers and terrorists and gangsters and whoever else.

    This dilemma occurs with many systems based on an ideology of freedom and opposition to censorship. The US constitution's first amendment guarantees the right of NAMBLA to express their views on a public webpage.

    The point is, freedom to any extent in the public commons will, necessarily, support both good and bad uses of that freedom. The question people have to ask themselves is wether their belief in the ideology behind that freedom is worth the tradeoff or not.

    If you believe that the "bad guys" should be kept off of Freenet, then you don't believe in Freenet, or any other truly censorship-free information sharing system.

    • Personally, I see Freenet as an experiment in what's possible.

      Personally I see Freenet as an experiment in hubris gone badly wrong. Leaving the morality of porn aside, the design of the network is so attrocious from the point of view of its supposed target audience and so obviously inadequate to what is supposedly its main task, that anyone looking at it in depth can only conclude that it was designed for kiddie porn. Any lingering doubts have been removed when the project leaders decided to take this tur

  • by gst (76126) on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:44AM (#12543994) Homepage
    i2p.net seems to be a better alternative. especially because it provides an overlay network. you can't just transfer files over it - you can do everything which you can do on the current net. you can even choose how "much" anonymity you would like (over how many nodes should your messages be relayed).
  • Same old, same old (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:50AM (#12544044)
    I haven't tried Freenet in quite a while, but when I did use it now and again before (in the 0.3-0.5 days, AFAIR), the main problem was that they'd get a network that kind of worked, lots of people would start posting stuff, it would be usable for a few months, and then they'd break it to introduce the 'next big thing'. And it would stay broken for six months, during which time most people stopped using it.

    Frankly, for Freenet to have any future, I think the developers need to get used to the idea of _not breaking it_ every six months. Otherwise the few people with the enthusiasm required to keep it operating are going to find better things to do with their time.

    You can either have a research network or a viable, usable system, you can't have both. If it ever gets to a viable, usable network, I might give it a try again, but it's pointless when you can't insert anything and can barely retrieve anything.
  • Speed? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mr. Cancelled (572486) on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:57AM (#12544111)
    What many probably don't know is, that a big change is at hand

    Like maybe making the thing fast enough to be usable, maybe?

    You always hear the Freenet detractors talking about all the questionable content making its way to Freenet, but my question is "How the hell could you stand using Freenet long enough to view anything in the 1st place?". The thing's dead-dog slow, and I'm on a very fast broadband connection!

    I love the concept, but unless this new revision brings speed to Freenet, it's a waste of time and effort to me. Secure and anonymous internet browsing is an important thing, but usability's should be just as important if they ever hope to bring this to fruition.
  • by jago25_98 (566531) <jago25_98 AT hotmail DOT com> on Monday May 16, 2005 @11:06AM (#12544190) Homepage Journal
    2 related projects, but they're also very different to freenet.

    Tor is simply an anonymous p2p proxy:
    http://tor.eff.org/ [eff.org]

    i2p is a fork from freenet. Similar to Tor but you can host your own site off it.

    Both are not nearly as freenet. I'm loving i2p though because it's much more practical.

    For a lowdown from the i2p people on these and more similar technologies see here:
    http://www.i2p.net/how_networkcomparisons [i2p.net]
  • by Pedrito (94783) on Monday May 16, 2005 @11:29AM (#12544396)
    We need the market to change to make trading TV shows, movies, and music legal. This article [slashdot.org] yesterday is a perfect example of tackling the problem from the right direction.

    Just trying to hide it will only invite further problems and frankly, the idea of being unable to avoid contributing to the spreading of child pornography bothers me a lot more than the MPAA and RIAA going after people illegally trading copyrighted material.

    What we need is for the RIAA, MPAA, or some organization(s) that will eventually supplant them to find a financially viable market in open, distributed file sharing. A solution that makes everyone happy and doesn't contribute to child pornography.

    I am convinced that this is possible. If the MPAA and RIAA can't figure out a way to make money doing it, someone else will and the MPAA and RIAA will eventually die off. Evolution: Adapt or die off. Wasn't there an article on that over the weekend as well?
  • by N3wsByt3 (758224) <Newsbyte@@@freenethelp...org> on Monday May 16, 2005 @01:45PM (#12545919) Homepage Journal
    As I expected, I'm getting viled and praised at the same time. Some call me courageous, some call me a troll.

    Well, I don't care either way, as long as people give valid arguments for why my claims in my post are untrue. Alas, few who refute what I say by claiming I'm a troll even try. But, of course, even if I *was* a troll, then still it says nothing about the arguments I made. The tactic of depicting the speaker as an idiot, troll, etc, and thus what he says as being untrue neither, is a well known falacy.

    I find it humorous that Ian, in this slasdot thread, says I'm a troll because 'look; he's never provided one line of code to Freenet'...which proves to me he didn't even do the trouble of reading my blog, because that's exactly what I point out in my blog: if you aren't a coder, and don't contribute code, one isn't worth much in the eyes of Ian, whatever one may have done in support as a non-coder.

    So, I'm a troll because I've never provided code and I dare to criticise? Wow. Even now, he doesn't see where the problem lies, instead he portrays exactly the attitude that I describe. But still, while I have troubles with the way he manages Freenet, I still think he has had (and still has) some good ideas - something which is important too. I could call him a 'troll' as well, and thus shrug off everything he says, but I'd rather see arguments, especially about the topics that I've raised. But, chances are, I'll be waiting for a very long time; it's much easier to call me a troll, after all.

    That said, my opinion of Freenet, as a concept, is still high. People should not make a mistake about that; being all for free speech, I can't else then see any way of making it possible for all people to speak their mind unafraid as something unbelievable valuable. So, it's not Freenet itself that I have a problem with, it's the current way in which it is managed and developed - and I don't say that just out of the blue; I argument it and give examples of it on my blog.

    As yet, 'troll' is the most advanced reply I received from the founder. I don't know: maybe I was the wrong person to tell this. Clearly, his bias towards me prevents him from arguing rationally about the points I brought up.

    It's true, that sometimes, my blog is a bit harsh, but then again, after seeing and experiencing several years of people being ignored because they are no coders, one gets a bit annoyed by it.

    Anyway, maybe Freenet WILL go in the right direction, perhaps... or maybe it will be surpassed by systems like I2P. But, I can bet one thing: its succes or failure won't be determined just by the code.
  • by ecloud (3022) on Monday May 16, 2005 @04:08PM (#12547622) Homepage Journal
    I don't think the "members-only" thing is a good idea. For one thing, it excludes too many potential users, who would never bother going through the hoops to get an invitation, but would do some casual browsing if it wasn't such a hassle. And, the fewer users there are, the easier it is for governments to put them all in the same bucket of being assumed guilty because they are on a network that is being used only by those who need it the most (who are doing something illegal). I think it must be assumed that a breach is still possible. The best agents/goons are those who can build up the trust of the other members of whatever they are trying to infiltrate, so requiring trust is not a total barrier. Am I missing something here?

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato