First, the basics from FreeNet's website:
Freenet is a peer-to-peer network designed to allow the distribution of information over the Internet in an efficient manner, without fear of censorship. Freenet is completely
decentralized, meaning that there is no person, computer, or organisation in control of
Freenet or essential to its operation. This means that Freenet cannot be attacked like
centralized peer-to-peer systems such as Napster. Freenet also employs intelligent routing
and caching meaning that it learns to route requests more efficiently, automatically mirrors
popular data, makes network flooding almost impossible, and moves data to where it is in
greatest demand. All of this makes it much more efficient and scalable than systems such as
To become a part of Freenet all you need is a computer with an Internet connection and the
capability to run a Freenet server. We are currently developing a Java server which we
have been testing over the past few weeks, but which is not yet release quality. You can
download a snapshot of the latest code from the menu on the left.
Awesome, right? Well Reuters spins it this way:
L O N D O N, March 22 - An Internet system
designed to guarantee anonymous free
speech on the Web could be used by
child pornographers and terrorists,
according to New Scientist magazine.
Amazing. These people are so ripping mad about the decentralizing power of the net that they're willing to use child pornography as a shield. This exact argument ("it'll assist in illegal activities") could be used against just about ANY modern innovation. Cell phones. Cryptography. eMail. [sigh]
To paraphrase a dead president, those that would give up freedom for a little security deserve neither.