Browsing the FreeNet

This bunny killed censorship I’ve playing a lot with a peer-to-peer (p2p) network called the Free Network Project. The main objective of this project is to create a network that guarantees freedom of speech. To ensure that anybody can say anything he or she want to say, the network ensures the anonymity of it’s users.

So far, people are using this new freedom to a variety of things. I’ve found all sorts of pages while browsing FreeNet in the last few days. There’s a great deal of pages that deal with FreeNet itself, considering that FreeNet is still in it’s very early stages. Then there’s a bunch of sites that criticize the US government. They’re being blamed for all sorts of stuff, even for having planned the attack on the World Trade Center… freedom of speech can be used for many strange things…

Speaking of strange things, then you’ll also find freesites that mirror websites that have disappeared from the real Internet. This can be pretty harmless sites like this site where you could find wallpapers featuring supermodels together with Tux, the FreeBSD daemon and so on. Very nice images, I can tell you… But the site had to be shut down because it violated the Linux trademark. Now you can find it on FreeNet forever — it’s impossible to remove content from the network once it’s been inserted.

You’ll also find lots of controversial stuff on FreeNet: You’ll find recipes for explosives, porn archives, movie archives, and libraries where you can find stuff like Hitler’s ”Mein Kampf”. Since the whole system is based on anonymity, people are also using it for illegal activities such as piracy.

All in all, I think FreeNet is an exciting project. The idea of guaranteeing freedom of speech for everybody is appealing. If you have some extra space on your harddisk, then you should try and download the server and get it running. The more people who use it, the better it becomes.

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