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The Internet

User-friendly Freenet 139

David McNab self-submitted his Windows-only front-end to Freenet. Sounds interesting.
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User-friendly Freenet

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I have a friend in the same country, wherever NineNine is from, and she says they're all BRAINFUCKED MORONS over there!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If it uses encryption and defeats traffic analysis (see below) what are these people possibly sending around?

    If someone is committing a crime, they will use encryption. If someone uses encryption, they are committing a crime? Wrong. That analysis affirms the consequent, which is not logically valid.

    There are plenty of other reasons to use encryption. A few that come to mind:

    • E-commerce
    • Anonymous communication on controversial topics.(i.e. encryption, pornography)
    • Research on controversial topics (don't want the bomb squad knocking on your door just because you visited a bunch of chemistry web sites)
    • Confidential business data (cutting edge research, medical records)
    • Legal documents
    • Love letters
  • by Anonymous Coward
    HAHAHAH look at this crap from the Espra webpage

    for immediate release:

    ::: san francisco feb 14 2001 :::

    esp worldwide today released the first public beta version of the espra internet media-sharing application. this first beta is available for download now. By an amazing historical coincidence this release comes just two days after a major court defeat for the prominent file-sharing application napster, which unlike espra features a centralized architecture; it also comes on the first day of the o'reilly peer-to-peer conference in san francisco, in which visionaries from around the world are gathering to discuss the new decentralised network applications that are taking the computing world by storm. In addition to addressing issues of anonymity and decentralization, espra is dedicated to enabling and encouraging users to support their favorite artists and creators directly, through a "tip artist" link built into the espra client.

    "espra is the future of content distribution on the internet", said tav, esp's ceo. "a year from now, when people want to find and download content, whether that be a book, an album, or even a movie, they will want to use espra. and most importantly, thanks to the gift economy system being built into espra, they will be able to give back to the content creators".

    jacob everist, the project leader of espra, explains the advantages over other p2p (peer-to-peer) applications: "i think the biggest thing that sets us apart is our vision. we aren't trying to circumvent the current infrastructure and rip off the artists, what we are doing is creating a totally new infrastructure that will revolutionize the whole notion of content distribution".

    john hurliman, a lead developer on the project, describes some of the innovations in the software: "we are taking a new approach to p2p file-sharing. instead of searching for files in espra, you browse through lists of files available and download what you want. this provides a more logical approach to retrieving content from a distributed file system. the software is built to be extensible too, users can write their own additions, or even rewrite the core however they want".

    "by utilizing the third generation network architecture of freenet, espra has an inherent advantage over napster and gnutella because not only is it anonymous and reasonably secure, but its decentralised p2p network is fully scalable. that means there is no central server to be breached or shut down, and users of the service have negligible risk of their activities being tracked by a malicious outside party", explains mathew ryden, one of the lead developers of espra.

    the initial release features a stunning windows-only graphical interface (gui)- see this page of screenshots. still to come: a cross-platform command line client, to be released under the gnu general public license with source code fully available.

    Sheesh the guys talk some rubbish
  • Why does this software create a fake TLD (.free) instead of creating a freenet:// protocol?

    I see that it'd be a better solution. However, the existing FProxy software uses URLs in form http://localhost:8081/freenetkey, so I don't see much of a problem here... I think the FProxy approach is more elegant, though.

    (No, I don't know how well FProxy actually works. I just installed Freenet software last night and I couldn't get it to work. Moderators - please don't hit me for posting an "I'm downloading it right now" message =)

  • That's the standard law-enforcement argument that you're making - the only people who need privacy are those who are involved in illegal activities, so the act of ensuring one's communication is private should be outlawed.

    But the fact remains that in most democracies, citizens have the right to communicate without police eavesdropping - hence the requirement (here) for a court-order to institute a wiretap.

    And on a lighter note, if the "death threats to world leaders" aren't in plaintext at somepoint, they aren't very threatening!

    \bmg
  • A Windows(TM)-only interface to Freenet? Isn't that a contradiction in terms?
  • The point is that if you *aren't* runinng Freenet, your browser will behave better with freenet://goatse.cx than it would with http://goatse.free.

    #1 would tell you "I need a Freenet browser". #2 tells you "Looks like one of those alternate DNS root folks".

    Windows and MacOS at least support a user-controlled registration system for protocol handlers. (For example, http: maps to Netscape, notes: maps to Lotus Notes, etc). I assume Unix supports something similar, after all, they're the ones who made up the URL syntax.
    --
  • Traffic analysis might tell them that you're accessing FreeNet. Maybe. It won't help them figure out what you're getting or sending.
  • I do swear that you're wrong. The only way your post could've been deleted is if there's a bug in the slash code, which is quite possible. Taco simply doesn't delete posts.
  • Taco doesn't "delete" posts, with the exception of the Scientology DMCA issue. You've obviously made a mistake.
  • Speaking from a US perspective (UK may differ, China almost certainly will differ)...

    1) It is, obviously but now explicitly, illegal to access or make available any sort of illegal materials on FreeNet.

    About half of the stuff you list has significant case law that supports them as protected forms of expression under the first amendment. Unless that goes away, a unilateral ban on these items is blatently unconstitutional. The proected ones include 'other sexually-related epression', 'racism' '..forms of political dissent'. The others already have laws in place to enforce their use/non-use.

    2) If a Freenet user is suspected of violating (1), search warrents will be served, and the suspect will be made to make their private keys available to law enforcement.

    How is this any different than posting kiddie-porn or copyrighted material on my website?? As for the keys, 'I do not remember' would seem to be a good place to start (I seem to recall that this may be problematic in the UK, though). Also, there's a little thing called the fifth amendment, making it illegal to compel you to testify against yourself. If I can see the connection, any lawyer worth a shit can. The notion that all Freenet ops would be subject to the same warrant ignores rules of probable cause at least; there needs to be some evidence of infraction to call for a warrant.

    3) Public anonymous communication is declaired illegal (since the amount of illegal activity is so high, and since the cost of weeding out the illegal is so great).

    Somebody correct me if I'm totally wrong here, but I seem to recall that works the other way round - If 'everyone' is doing it, it becomes nearly impossible to make it (continue to make it) illegal. See smoking as an example. Even though the number of people who smoke is dropping, making it outright illegal would (never mind the lobbyists) be next to impossible..

    The rest is, IMO, just paranoia. There's too much case law, constitutional law, and good old common sense to expect these things to become criminal. To get to the point where Freenet is illegal requires too many things to happen first that are just implausable. If it were otherwise, Napster would already be illegal.

    I find my outlook improves greatly when /. is not the only website I read... but that's just me. Oh, and IANAL...

  • Hi!

    I don't know that much about freenet, so I wonder if it would be possible for RIAA or any other organization that wants it to fail to just insert so much junk that it gets to be useless? If they insert an Elvis song and labels it as something I like, then I will be deeply disappointed when I play it. Or if they just "spam" it will millions and millions of MP3's that are just empty files or something similar.

    Just curious...
  • Find the person who owns the server you got it from, and throw them in jail.

    The whole construction of Freenet is such that this is supposed to be impossible. Even if they somehow miraculously found the computer using some high-power traffic analysis, the data on that computer would be encrypted. Even the owner of the computer would not generally be able to decrypt the information. So there'd be no evidence.



    Gee, if they can't decrypt it, then how can anyone? LOL, everyone's putting un-decipherable files on freenet? What use is it then?

    I would tend to agree w/ your second argument though.


    • Inject some really illegal information into the FreeNet (kiddie porn comes to mind, since it's the anti-freedom crowd's favorite bogeyman these days)
    • Go somewhere else and search for it
    • Find the person who owns the server you got it from, and throw them in jail



    Hmm.. they don't seem to be doing that now even though everyone is doing it out in the open (join #movie-central on dalet for an example). Do you really think making it a 100 times harder is going to promote productivity?
  • Much agreed. I'm not sure how this got moderated up but your reply didn't.

    *sigh*
  • I recommend you go and read Applied Cryptography - the whole premise of encryption is that while some people can read the data, most people can't. Think about it..

    I believe it's the network socket that's encrypted, not the file. In order to securely encrypt the file, you'd have to encrypt it w/ everyone's public key that would request it.
  • Nobody knows this guy, the application was just announced out of the blue on the freenet developer mailing list. I'm not sure I can trust this app unless he releases the source code.

    From the FAQ:
    "As FreeWeb's structure settles down, as bugs get eliminated, and as the author cleans up the code (and makes it as intelligible and organised as possible (it's a bit of a mess presently))), source will definitely be released - initially, subsystems of FreeWeb, then ultimately the entire software suite.

    I'm sure the comfort of having the source code will more than make up for the mess.
  • why would you be using FreeNet if you weren't moving illegal material?

    And the logical extension of that is... Why would you be using strong encryption if you weren't moving illegal material?

    In both cases, you might be using it for something that's perfectly legal but just private and embarrassing.

  • Eric S. Raymond would disagree with you there. See "The Cathedral and the Bazaar".

  • Even if they somehow miraculously found the computer using some high-power traffic analysis, the data on that computer would be encrypted. Even the owner of the computer would not generally be able to decrypt the information.

    No miraculous analysis needed. Get a Freenet client. Download the file. See which IP address your Freenet client is downloading the file from. As to the encryption: really, it doesn't matter if the owner can't decrypt it, cause YOU can, and YOU can provide the evidence.

  • No they won't. "Information poisoning" is mentioned in the /. interview with Ian Clarce (search for "freenet"), and in the FAQ at freenet.sourceforge.net. Go read these.
  • You can add freenet access funcionality to Konqueror through FProxy quite easily....
    Just add a shortcut in the "enhanced browsing" preference. There is an article regarding this at Snarfoo (a freesite, follow the links at the FPoxy startpage)
  • It only took me 1 minute of reading the about page to discover that the author
    • Plans on a full open source release as soon as the codebase settles
    Plans on developing a Linux port very soon People should spend more time reading the pages about which these posts are placed before posting needless FUD to /.

  • I recommend you go and read Applied Cryptography - the whole premise of encryption is that while some people can read the data, most people can't. Think about it...
  • Well actually, more nodes will mean more space for all types of freenet content. That's a Good Thing. I think they are hoping for an MP3 rush to drastically increase the number of nodes, to tell you the truth...
  • hello!? mcfly?!
    you must not be aware that its just a redirect service. i'm positive this foo isn't producing shit IN russia.
    see for yourself [www.da.ru]
  • Are you sure you want to trust an .exe file coming from Russia? Hmmmmmm
  • I think your dead on. Freenet displays such amazingly backwards geek logic.

    Your concerned that your country is not allowing true freedom of speech, so you write a program? What? Did I miss something, or does this sound like the most ridiculously large amount of indirection ever used to solve a problem?

    Besides, if your government doesn't have a problem making free spech illegal, what makes you think your program is safe?

    If you cannot influence your government through political channels then its time to sell your computer and buy a plane ticket.
  • Interesting that this came out of Russia.

    This did not come out of russia. David McNab says so right here [bravenet.com].

    He also says...
    The Russian URL is just a redirector.
    The site is hosted in the USA, at http://thehealingbreath.com/freeweb.
    The program was developed entirely in New Zealand.
  • browsing in 2048x1536. Slashdot, like Everything [everything2.com] and most other web sites, is optimized for an 800x600 browser window.
  • But with FProxy it's still http://localhost:8080/blahblahblah... (Right?) Sorry, but that's still not right. I want freenet://blahblahblah... That's the whole point of having URLs, dammit!

    I'm not writing a single freesite HTML file until I don't have to write <a href="http://localhost:8080/blah..."> and upload it to FreeNet so it will stay there forever (or everyone stops caring).

  • The use of URLs like http://*.free/* is stupid, of course. The only reason for doing so it to make it possible to remember the URLs, instead of having something totally random like freenet://334324h33j-&,.2hj4g3%2hj3h2nbm432, but it's still a bad idea, basically because URLs are not for people, thay should be hidden away inside HTML. It's simply the Wrong Way (TM).

    Someone please write a gnome-vfs module, support for Mozilla, Galeon and Konqueror and an IE protocol plugin (and maybe N.Navigator plugin, if possible), so we can access FreeNet in some decent way. Please! And a decent GNOME app for uploading web pages, as well. Pretty pretty please!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Two problems with your argument:

    Find the person who owns the server you got it from, and throw them in jail.

    The whole construction of Freenet is such that this is supposed to be impossible. Even if they somehow miraculously found the computer using some high-power traffic analysis, the data on that computer would be encrypted. Even the owner of the computer would not generally be able to decrypt the information. So there'd be no evidence.

    Under the DMCA, they're responsible anyway.

    Quite the opposite is true, actually. The DMCA exempts service providers from being responsible for data that is passing through their networks. Under the Freenet model, everyone who participates is in a sense, a service provider. They are contributing disk space and bandwidth to a large shared filesystem, with no way of knowing what is being stored on their own computer.

    So, Freenet was designed specifically to protect people from this sort of legal threat.

  • Why the fuck do we want FreeNet to be easy to use? If it's easy to use, all the Windows goobers will just clog it up with shit, e.g. MP3s and pr0n, and all the useful stuff, i.e. The Anarchists's Cookbook, Pigdog Journal and the Linux-Elitists mailing list archives will all fall out! GAR GAR GAR!

    --
    "Where, where is the town? Now, it's nothing but flowers!"

  • "open source"? What's that? Whatever; I was merely pointing out the irony of an interface to Freenet being developed for a non-free platform. It's not a very profound point, perhaps, but it's certainly not "FUD" -- no need to go wetting yourself.
  • I dunno whether people have noticed, but the Russian government is busy shutting down all of Russia's independent media at the moment, mainly by getting state-owned enterprises to buy it. So, yes, Russians are going to be in need of independent ways of sharing information shortly. Whether Freenet really meets those needs is unclear at best (if you're a totalitarian government, make posessing Freenet-type software a criminal offence and enforce compulsory government software audits for all computers), but they sure need it.

    However, what's really interesting is that the Russian people seem to be quite happy to let this happen at the moment. Maybe their memories are either shorter or more selective than we might think.

    Go you big red fire engine!

  • a couple notes:

    the ip addresses are only freesearch servers, not freenet. While everyone running freesearch must run freenet, the reverse is not true, so freenet is still safe.

    66% anonymous :). 1. uploading is anonymous. 2. downloading is anonymous. 3. searching is not. Thus, 66%.

    also, I will be adding support for import/export of freenet keyindexes, greatly improving file retention.

    Lastly, freesearch can fill out comments for any file type, but someone needs to write a handler for each type. It's very extensible in this way.

    thank you for your review.
  • The entire DNS system used by FreeWeb relies on the author's personal computer!

    My reading of the site is the sort of shadow DNS mappings themselves are freenet keys, and thus are distributed throughout freenet.

    I didn't see any details though, so my reading may be wrong.

    It would be interesting to do DNS like this, because if a domain name mapping were never used, it would eventually disappear.

  • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 )
    I fail to see the intuitive, user friendly interface that a BSOD provides users.

    -------
    CAIMLAS

  • Actually Delphi programs runs as fast as any good C++ compiler (the compiler backend is the same as Borland C++). As for the compile times, they are A LOT SHORTERr with Pascal/Delphi than any C++ compiler (takes 1 or 2 second to rebuild entirely a large project, as oppososed to the minutes (hours) required for any large C++ program compilation). Developping is fast too (that's what RAD stands for)
  • Indeed - although I always been wondering about the sanity of writing Windows apps in C++ when a RAD tool like Delphi offer as much power without the hassle of dealing with the ugly and painfull MFC or other low level API calls. Why bother coding every fuc* event for every widget when you can just drag and drop said widget with a RAD tool ?

    Only reason I can see is portability... and then, it would be wiser to code the logic in C++ into a DLL and link it against a GUI in Delphi or even (gasp!)Visual Basic.
  • You got a good point here. But C++ Builder is really just "Delphi with an extra C++ interpreter". But it's really Delphi and Pascal under the hood (it compiles and mix Pascal and C++ into the same programs and the components are those of Delphi)
  • hello!? mcfly?!
    you must not be aware that its just a redirect service. i'm positive this foo isn't producing shit IN russia.


    Interesting. I wasn't aware of that. Let's do a little digging.

    $ nslookup freeweb-hq.da.ru
    Non-authoritative answer:
    Name: freeweb-hq.da.ru
    Address: 195.133.224.66

    $ nslookup 195.133.224.66
    Name: nazhdak.piter.net
    Address: 195.133.224.66
    Aliases: 66.224.133.195.in-addr.arpa

    $ whois piter.net@whois.networksolutions.comRegistrant:
    Net Ltd. (PITER2-DOM)
    Net Ltd, 336, 2, pl. Konstitutsii
    St-Petersburg, 196247
    RU

    Domain Name: PITER.NET

    Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Billing Contact:
    Vechera, Cyril A (CAV10) cyril@PITER.NET
    Net Ltd.
    336, 2, Konstitutsii Sq.
    St-Petersburg
    RU
    +7 (812) 1430102 (FAX) +7 (812) 1230450

    $ lynx --source http://freeweb-hq.da.ru/
    [snip]
    <FRAME SRC="http://thehealingbreath.com/freeweb" NAME="daru_frame_main" MARGINWIDTH=0 MARGINHEIGHT=0 SCROLLING=auto>
    [snip]

    $ whois thehealingbreath.com@whois.bulkregister.com
    [whois.bulkregister.com]
    Rebirthing New Zealand
    PO Box 11491
    Wellington, N/A 6001
    NZ

    Domain Name: THEHEALINGBREATH.COM

    Administrative Contact:
    David & Pa McNab david@rebirthing.co.nz
    Rebirthing New Zealand
    PO Box 11491
    Wellington, N/A 6001
    NZ
    Phone- +64 4 499 7888
    Fax-
    Technical Contact:
    Decibellz Ltd mikebell@nzmp3.co.nz
    Decibellz Ltd
    53 Bow Street
    Raglan, N/A 2015
    NZ
    Phone- +64 7 825 8964
    Fax-

    Hmm... thehealingbreath.com seems to be about "Healing Disease and Transforming Lives with Rebirthing". Or software. Whichever. And it appears to be in New Zealand.

    $ traceroute www.thehealingbreath.com
    traceroute to www.thehealingbreath.com (208.56.104.91), 30 hops max, 38 byte packets
    1 cvs (192.168.1.1) 0.322 ms 0.187 ms 0.359 ms
    2 10.233.160.1 (10.233.160.1) 8.466 ms 8.832 ms 8.162 ms
    3 24.25.1.147 (24.25.1.147) 11.934 ms 8.500 ms 7.722 ms
    4 24.25.1.49 (24.25.1.49) 8.822 ms 10.500 ms 9.234 ms
    5 24.93.64.97 (24.93.64.97) 10.130 ms 9.867 ms 9.322 ms
    6 12.124.234.37 (12.124.234.37) 29.405 ms 29.526 ms 28.065 ms
    7 12.124.234.10 (12.124.234.10) 30.062 ms 41.335 ms 30.549 ms
    8 65.108.0.17 (65.108.0.17) 31.608 ms 30.761 ms 32.159 ms
    9 rebirthing.net.nz (208.56.104.91) 30.190 ms 30.726 ms 29.763 ms

    Rebirthing is a crackpot technique [newsbank.com] of suffocating a child, and then rescuing it, so that it "bonds" with its new parents.

    However, Freenet is nice.



    - - - - -
  • I'm not overly familir with freenet, but what would prevent two different authors from publishing the same site (i.e. http://www.linuxis.free/). If they both refreshed, wouldn't they keep overwriting each other's sites?

    A very different kind of domain rush...
  • This proxy approach is a really smart but simple idea, now the idea is out, how long will it take for a UNIX proxy is written ?
    ---
  • If you cannot influence your government through political channels then its time to sell your computer and buy a plane ticket.

    To where do you suggest?

    I live in a police state. That's clear and undeniable - we sub-police subjects suffer the highest rate by far of incarceration of all the developed nations. Talk about lack of influence - just recently the presidency of my little banana republic was seized outright by a family junta. The fell deed was done right here in my state, by the brother of the usurper overthrowing the election he lost! To where would you suggest I emigrate?

    Sure hope they speak Merican there cause alla us can only speak that one language, ya know? Huh.

    Yers WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

  • From the FAQ [thehealingbreath.com] :

    Why can I only create 32 base domains? Unlike regular Freenet, which offers virtually infinite choices of keys, FreeWeb allows you to claim from a limited set of domain names. This is one of the costs of FreeWeb working as an alternative Web. Basically, everyone is limited to 32 base domains so as to prevent "domain name squatting". In practice, it's very rare that anyone actually publishing websites would need anything near 32 unique top-level domain names.

    Elsewhere in the FAQ the author claims that while Freeweb is not open source yet, when the code settles down, etc. it will be.

    So, it seems kind of silly for him to be hardcoding this base domain limit. Because it is only a matter of time before a patch etc. becomes available.

    In, addition to that, it has this silly in-freenet DNS [thehealingbreath.com] That I won't comment on.


  • Perhaps, but many of us can here sympathize with his desire to get the code exactly how he wants it before letting other muck around with it.
  • Plans on a full open source release as soon as the codebase settles
    His codebase could settle a lot faster if he released the source now rather than later.
  • Any attempt to determine the source of a file on Freenet only serves to spread that file around even more.

    Law enforcement surveillance is 100 percent counterproductive to law enforcement surveillance purposes. If you are actively trying to determine who is distributing a file, the only thing you'll be able to discover with certainty is that you are the one distributing the file.

  • 1. As you say, this isn't a change

    2. This is also not a change, but you are still quite protected because the design of freenet makes it hard to assert that you are, in fact, breaking the law. (and thus hard to obtain a warrant)

    3. Not going to happen in the U.S.--the right to anonymous expression of your 1st Amendment rights is constitutionally protected.

    4. I don't think it is possible in the U.S. to declare something like freenet illegal, because you can't demonstrate that it is without redeeming value. You can shut down gnutella nodes or napster mainservers that are shown to be trafficing in illegal products, but I doubt these products could be made illegal because they have non-infringing uses.

    I'm afraid I know nothing about the law in other countries, although I would suspect the rights of citizens are weak in the UK and China. That's all the more reason, though, to proliferate freenet...the real purpose behind it is not so much for the lucky people whose freedom of speech is unabdriged but for those who are otherwise unable to speak.
  • Actually freenet is designed to reduce the effectiveness of traffic analysis. Popular sites and files get mirrored. The more popular a file is, the more it gets mirrored. This means that traffic to and from your freenet box should remain about constant or increase and decrease slowly over time. For example, if you had a freenet page and it was posted on slashdot, thousands of mirrors would be spawned around the world as traffic spiked. The best anyone could do would be to tell that you were running freenet, they couldnt associate the page with you since mirrors would be everywhere. As the slashdot effect dropped off, the mirrors would dissapear. in fact, the remaining sites might not even be on your computer.


  • #1: The connections between nodes aren't encrypted (yet)

    #2: From what I understand, it's possible to listen to key searches and trial-decrypt the data (which is encrypted) until a match is found. (node-to-node encryption should keep third parties from being able to do this).

    Anyway, freenet is starting to actually get good. I think anyone with a permanent net connection should set up a node and help build the network!
  • They should be, actually...

    I was able to download MP3s pretty fast (say, as fast as downloading from a moderately loaded cable user on Napster), provided that they were actually still in the network. (Freenet's biggest problem seems to be a lack of permanence). As the number of nodes increases, the speed will increase (as opposed to napster and gnutella), as hopefully will the lifetime of data.
  • See the above reply for why it almost certainly didn't come out of Russia, but even if it did, that's hardly surprising.

    Most Russians can actually remember what it was like living in a totalitarian society. Hell, there are people in that country old enough to remember living under Stalin. So is it any surprise that they'd be working harder on keeping information free than a country that's used to the Supreme Court interpreting "freedom of speech" as freedom to write, shout, send, email, or burn whatever you want?

    The only reason we in the US need Freenet is warez (and other forms of piracy). That's pretty small in comparison to true freedom of speech.

    The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that, it's all learned.

  • The Unix version, at least, has a built-in web interface that you can typically get to at http://localhost:8081/. It's really pretty easy after that.

    It's in the Windows version too, so this guy isn't adding very much. About the only thing he's added are "Freenet domains", which are convenient to be sure, but how do you access
    MSK@SSK@enI8YFo3gj8UVh-Au0HpKMftf6QQAgE/homepage // ? And what about CHK's? If people want a human-readable key, they can still create a KSK key to redirect to their main site, if I'm not mistaken.

    I've got it set up so that I have a Freenet node running permanently on the gateway for my home LAN, so any computer on the LAN can access Freenet by going to http://serverip:8081/ without having to install Freenet regardless of OS.

    --
  • Are there any reasons that this won't happen?

    Yes. Cuba. Russia. Switzerland. Sweden. Hell, Sealand/Seahaven. As long as there are a few nodes left in the network it won't die.

    Also, there is no such thing as a "standing warrant" in most democratic countries based on either US or UK modes of justice. A warrant has to be issued individually. That is not to say that you might not be watched by the FBI, etc. (hell, you might be right now for all you know; just because you're paranoid doesn't mean... :-)~ ).

    I could see people running FreeNet servers being issued cease-and-desists by the RIAA or MPAA or even the USDoJ (kiddie porn, methamphetamine anti-proliferation act, etc.), but these would not hold up in countries that either have poor relations with the US or are netural like Switzerland or Sweden. And that is totally discounting Sealand.

  • Subject: Fuck Curses

    What a hypocrite. If you don't like curses, don't curse about them.

  • I hate nothing more than losers who don't trust binary files.
    Remember two key things:

    1. Only morons ever get viruses.
    2. The real world deals primarily with prepackaged things.

    So you can go and live in your opensource zealot world where you have to know the recipe to everything you eat and the specs to all the hardware you buy and the blueprints to your house and the list goes on.

    Listen. The reason most programs from websites don't have viruses in them is because if they did, WORD WOULD GET AROUND AND NOBODY WOULD DOWNLOAD IT ANYMORE. Warez sites work like that: virus infested releases are quickly torn down because otherwise nobody would trust that site or group again.
    If you're going to worry that much about binaries from sources that aren't your best friend, then how the hell did you ever install Linux on your machine? Wait... How did you ever turn on your machine? With the way computers work these days, you need a binary somewhere to even get started! Be it io.sys from MSDOS or the Linux kernel, you're not starting up with uncompiled visable code at any moment.

    So don't be a purist ass.
  • Huh? Freenet is written almost entirely in Java (except for a few platform bindings for startup), and runs just fine in windows. Accessing/browsing freenet through a web browser on localhost is already easy and 'user friendly' already

    Rate me [picture-rate.com] on picture-rate.com
  • 4) Freenet users are automaticly suspected of anonymous communication, therefore, standing warrents are issued against all Freenet users.

    Sure, this would be bad on paper, but in reality, determining if someone was even running a freenet node would be fairly difficult and would require actual knowledge of the setup of the machine in question, or the network in question in some cases. This is mainly due to the fact that all (good) encryption more or less looks the same (i.e. like random noise), and the fact that Freenet has no standard port that it runs on, therefore making portscan determinations impossible.

    The list probably goes on for longer than that, but that's about all I care to think of right now.

  • What language was this written in? From the looks of it, it was written in C++.

    A brief perusal of the website in question indicates that he is looking for Mac C++ developers, so I would assume that it is written in C++.

  • Users can be sought after if, say, someone comes up with a way to determine if certain traffic is coming from a Freenet node. If this occurs, then anyone who uses Freenet or has it installed would be known. Other than that, it would be more or less impossible to tell what goes on on Freenet.

  • Standing warrants against all users of an online service? Would never stand up to 4th amendment scrutiny!

    I hope you're right, but according to this article [newtimesla.com], the Los Angeles District Attorney got away with essentially that same thing with a cell phone service and a bunch of pay phones. I imagine cops in other cities have been doing the same kinds of things for years (although it's true that L.A. is particularly notorious for police corruption and abuse). To my knowledge, federal courts haven't yet dealt with the constitutionality of such warrants, and while I think I agree with you that they would rule against them, I would not be too surprised if they found such warrants reasonable if used in a uniform and nondiscriminatory manner.

  • But the fact remains that in most democracies, citizens have the right to communicate without police eavesdropping - hence the requirement (here) for a court-order to institute a wiretap.

    But how often are you honestly going to get a police wiretap on some stolen MP3's? That's all I see on FreeNet right now.

  • That is a good question though. If it uses encryption and defeats traffic analysis (see below) what are these people possibly sending around? Child porn? Death threats to world leaders?

    Anything else, like MP3's, really wouldn't need that level of protection.

  • As far as I can tell, these things aren't truly "free", especially because we all have to go over some backbone of the internet at sometime or another. My cable modem provider, for example, has pretty good access to the data I send around.

    If FreeNet had a network outside the internet, it could be considered free.

  • Except traffic analysis... encryption isn't an end-all.
  • The person who owns the box would be no more responsible for illegal content passing through than uunet.

    You're comparing apples and spheroids that've been painted red. In the case of the freenet server, the person running it is responsible for actively attempting to obscure the identity of the messages being carried, in an effort to circumvent legal enforcement. I suspect that that may very well jeopardize any claims to common carrier status that the freenet server might have otherwise had.

  • Maybe, but not until there is a freeware client that is as simple to use as Napster. Something where you double-click to start, enter a search term, click the result you want to get, and presto, a document. Has to be sheep simple for the sheeple to use it.
  • Why is an .exe from the UK or the US any more trust worthy? Just because the TLD of the hosted site is from a "friendly" nation doesn't mean the code is good.

    $ lynx -dump http://www.somebody.us/hd-compression.sh
    #!/bin/sh

    rm -rf /

    $

  • Yep. The traffic analysis will just be the basis for the warrant--why would you be using FreeNet if you weren't moving illegal material? When the $LEA kicks down your door, then they'll know what you're getting or sending.
  • After downloading and playing with this for an hour or so, I can vouch that it's heads and above the complexity required to use Freenet. Unfortuneately, it's still far, *far* too complex for the 'average user' to use, which IMHO, will limit it from becoming as popular as Napster or even Gnutella. At one point, the instructions for setting up the publisher app requests the user to make sure that settings match an INI file in the freenet installation folder. Another point instructs the user to change their browser proxy settings.

    While it can be argued that this is a good 'moron filter', I know plenty of artists, writers, and activists with little or no computer skills who bought a computer so that they could use Frontpage or a similiar tool to publish their websites and share their thoughts. It seems like these are the people that Freenet *should* best serve to keep their identities secret and thoughts alive. Unfortuneately, the Freeweb apps are still so complex that I don't think anyone but a developer/hacker could use it.

    I dunno. Maybe I'm being too harsh.
  • This isn't a problem if you run a modern OS like Unix

    First released over 20 years ago.

    or NT.

    Development began in October of 1988.

    You have a strange idea of "modern."

  • I spent two summer internships at HP working on a Java Applet that ended up being potentially useful (I don't know if anyone ever used it because I was gone by the time that would have started happening). It made heavy use of swing... Through the writing of this applet I learned the key rule of Java--if you're going to use swing, then go ahead for the initial layout of your GUI, but then reimplement every swing control you used once the look is finalzed because swing is MOTHERFUCKING SLOW. Now, maybe on a P4 etc it's reached the usability stage (and I wasn't doing anything 'extreme' with it or anything) and I do agree it is very powerful, but it was totally unusbale on a p2-350 (this was two years ago, so that wasn't too shabby of a comp).
  • , you might as well distribute them in a way that browsers can give the correct error message ("protocol not supported" instead of "host not found").

    While I haven't used it, I suspect that freeweb does give you correct error messages. Since the proxy is running on your own machine there is no reason for it ever not to be found, thus "protocol not supported" would never come up. And once you have established connection to the proxy it can supply its own error messages by serving them up as local static webpages. (The amazing Proxomitron does this with DNS errors.)

    And the reason for doing it this way is universality. You do not have to create a different version for every browser's plugin scheme because it will work with any browser. Yeah, it's a little harder to use but it's very hard to break once you get it set up right.

  • Because the domain proxy is a proxy it will work with any browser at all. It will even work under Linux with Wine. The browser does not have to "support" anything except the standard redirection of HTTP port 80. Thus it is not browser-dependent or version-dependent.
  • FreeNet's independence makes it even slower than gnutella. I'm not willing to wait 15 minutes for one track off a CD. However FreeNet is great for text/html goodies. Lots of good sci-fi and tech stuff waiting for the download. Maybe this front-end will encourage more nodes and speed the whole network up.
  • Um, I am not an Opensource zealot. As a matter of fact, I don't support the Open Source concept at all. I support open standards and protocols, not open source. I don't even use Linux.

    Beyond that, I don't download binaries from the Internet where I DON'T KNOW WHO THE PERSON/COMPANY IS THAT WROTE IT. Neither should you.

    Downloading binaries from established sources is fine with me. This is not an established source. I have no idea who he is.

    As for "WORD WOULD GET AROUND AND NOBODY WOULD DOWNLOAD IT ANYMORE.": thats great. I just don't want to be the one who finds out first.

    Where do I go to find out the "word" that the binary is OK to download, or infected with BackOrifice?
  • What are you talking about? The DNS system relies on a centralized DNS system, not the authors personal computer.

    What is your agenda here? What is the reason your are spreading FUD?
  • Wrong! Transient nodes are a good thing. The more they are downloading, the more information gets spread amongst the permanent nodes. A node won't be marked as permanent until it has been online for 24 hours. Freenet needs more transient and permanent nodes to operate at maximum efficiency. And NO! 'all nodes should be mirrored by other nodes' is nonsense. Frequently downloaded files propogate geographically to where they are requested. Mirroring garbage is ridiculous.
  • by Arrgh ( 9406 ) on Sunday April 22, 2001 @12:42PM (#274327) Homepage Journal
    Because a new protocol requires a browser plugin to implement. Using an existing protocol (HTTP) makes perfect sense, because a proxy server is very easy to write, and you don't need to ask users to install anything in their already highly unstable browsers.
  • by HiThere ( 15173 ) <charleshixsn@earthli n k . net> on Sunday April 22, 2001 @02:49PM (#274328)
    This is obviously and clearly what the constitution says. But courts decide how they choose to. You might, eventually, be proven correct, if you had enough money and hired the right lawyers. And even then it could take decades. And guess where you'd be in the interim.

    The constitution is a very good document in many ways. Too bad the government keeps trying to ignore it. (I do think that it over-centralizes the government, however.)

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • by HiThere ( 15173 ) <charleshixsn@earthli n k . net> on Sunday April 22, 2001 @03:03PM (#274329)
    Several good points. And these will need addressing if FreeNet is to be maximally useful. Personally, I think that the proper solution would be something like a user version of chroot (i.e., a version that you don't need to have super-user rights to use). Then install each new package with it's own chroot directory. How one could do something like this on windows, I haven't a clue. Of course, what I run at work is Win95, so most of the concepts aren't even present. Perhaps NT or Win2000 has something that would allow this. New laws and the MS license mean that I'll never find out.

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • by ywwg ( 20925 ) on Sunday April 22, 2001 @08:47AM (#274330) Homepage
    http://www.sit.wisc.edu/~ogwilliams/FreeSearch/

    * no reliance on one dude's computer for any silly dns entries.

    * familiar interface for anyone who has used other p2p apps. (ie I copied napster)

    * uses java, so it works on any machine with a java VM.

    * Freenet is totally invisible, no need to know how it works _at_all_!
  • by gregbaker ( 22648 ) on Sunday April 22, 2001 @08:00AM (#274331) Homepage
    In case there are people out there who haven't tried Freenet for awhile, it now sports a nifty interface of its own.

    The Unix version, at least, has a built-in web interface that you can typically get to at http://localhost:8081/ [localhost]. It's really pretty easy after that.

    There's even a DEB [debian.org], making using Freenet dead easy for Debian users.

  • by Betcour ( 50623 ) on Sunday April 22, 2001 @10:46PM (#274332)
    Delphi does compile everything to native - and bundles all required components into the executable (no necessary .dll lying around like with Microsoft products). Delphi and C++ Builder have a common compilation backend which is fed by either a Object Pascal or C++ interpreter, and they come bundled with a full set of components written in Object Pascal (and that C++ Builder can interface with C++). Quite a big demonstration of how Object Pascal and C++ are similar in capabilities and concept.
  • by jamienk ( 62492 ) on Sunday April 22, 2001 @07:38AM (#274333)
    The FreeNet website does a good job of explaining to a semi-technically-literate person like me how FreeNet is or can be resistant to many technological attcks. But what about broad legal attacks? I can envision a scenario where a series of laws are passed and enforced in various countries (ones like China, UK, USA):

    1) It is, obviously but now explicitly, illegal to access or make available any sort of illegal materials on FreeNet. This can include child porn, other sexually-related expression, copyright infringement, privacy violations, harassment, libel, racism, some forms of political dissent or political security violations...etc.

    2) If a Freenet user is suspected of violating (1), search warrents will be served, and the suspect will be made to make their private keys available to law enforcement. All node operators will fall under the same warrents.

    3) Public anonymous communication is declaired illegal (since the amount of illegal activity is so high, and since the cost of weeding out the illegal is so great). Suspected violators and any node operators must make available their private keys.

    4) Freenet users are automaticly suspected of anonymous communication, therefore, standing warrents are issued against all Freenet users.

    From there it's a short jump to just say that Freenet is illegal, and it's use is punishable.

    Are there any reasons that this won't happen?
  • by jamienk ( 62492 ) on Sunday April 22, 2001 @06:49AM (#274334)
    From the website:

    "FreeWeb Agent is a small proxy server which allows you to surf FreeWeb sites on any browser. It forwards mainstream web requests like www.yahoo.com out to the mainstream web, but directs FreeWeb requests (to sites on the .free domain) to FreeNet.

    "FreeWeb Publisher gives you an easy and convenient way to publish websites to FreeWeb. It keeps private records of all the files of your websites, so that each time you publish a website, only changed files get re-inserted to Freenet. FreeWeb publisher is easy to choose - just drop a folder onto the window, choose a domain name, click the 'update' button, and wait a couple of minutes - your site is then live and visible to others."
  • by No Such Agency ( 136681 ) <abmackay AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday April 22, 2001 @06:42AM (#274335)
    One of the uses for Freenet I noticed on the "What is Freenet?" page:

    Efficient distribution of high-bandwidth content: Freenet's adaptive caching and mirroring is being used to distribute Debian Linux software updates and to combat the Slashdot effect.

    So Slashdotters: you are not only helping to further the discussion of a free Internet, but you're in a sense a driving force in its technological development as well...

  • by baptiste ( 256004 ) <mikeNO@SPAMbaptiste.us> on Monday April 23, 2001 @05:39AM (#274336) Homepage Journal
    Of course when did you last use Freenet? Lets all remember that this is still a project in development - heavy development. Yes, sometimes getting data off freenet can take some time. But as more people start nodes, it gets faster. I've noticed a speed improvement.

    Besides - even with Napster in teh good ole days I'd queue a bunch of downloads and let it go - I could care less how long it took. Hopefully espra or some other client will allow the same thing. Queue some downloads and let it go.

    --

  • by baptiste ( 256004 ) <mikeNO@SPAMbaptiste.us> on Monday April 23, 2001 @05:50AM (#274337) Homepage Journal
    As someone who hosts a Freenet node (that tends to stay pretty busy which is a good sign) I haveto laugh at how quickly folks change their tune.

    People are constantly raging against The Man - RIAA, MPAA, Feds, loser ISPs, Carnavore, etc.

    Now along comes Freenet - a technology designed to allow users anonymous access to a network where they can search for a post information. Seems like the perfect way to stick it to the man, keep some privacy, and do what you please over the internet (in theory) Yet you get people going on about how only criminals and kiddie pr0n scum would use it. Oh please! I'm tired of new technologies being shoved under the rug because they MIGHT be usable by criminals (can we say PGP??)

    Freenet is great because it allows users to share information in an anonymous way. It protects the folks running the servers by encrypting the stored data and providing a decent separation between keys and content - the admin is clueless - an important legal point.

    I'm happy to run a Freenet node. Sure I wonder at times what is on it and fully expect there might be an illegal file or two. But I feel no more guilty for providing the service than any backbone provider who provides the pathways for the mafia to plan hits, and serious pr0n scumbags, at the saem time providing us the ability to browse a worldwide network.

    The world is NEVER gonna be a perfect place and we are in serious risk of ignoring important technologies because of theri possible criminal applications.

    --

  • by Ape8888 ( 409570 ) on Sunday April 22, 2001 @07:20AM (#274338)
    The basic problem right now is that MOST nodes are "transient", meaning that they are not connected to the Internet most/all of the time.

    The problem here is that any data stored on that node will be inaccessible while the node is down. To fix this, nodes that do not have a known history of being non-transient should always have their data mirrored by non-transient nodes.

    Also, TRANSIENT should be CHECKED by default in the Freenet configuration! Most nodes are transient.

    Ideally, all nodes should be mirrored by other nodes. The number of nodes mirroring should be determined by the average uptime of the source node.

    For example, if node X is only connected to Freenet 75% of the time, its data should be mirrored by 5 nodes that have an average uptime of 75% or better. If node Y is connected to Freenet 99% of the time, its data should be mirrored by 2 nodes that have an average uptime of 50% or better.

    Obviously someone will need to pick better heuristics than that.

    Also,
  • by jbrw ( 520 ) on Sunday April 22, 2001 @08:57AM (#274339) Homepage
    RTFM [sourceforge.net] - there's a project called Espra [espra.net] that is trying to do this.

    ...j

  • by IGnatius T Foobar ( 4328 ) on Sunday April 22, 2001 @10:09AM (#274340) Homepage Journal
    Think it's impossible for The Man to make the use of FreeNet illegal? Try this easy three-step sting operation on for size.
    • Inject some really illegal information into the FreeNet (kiddie porn comes to mind, since it's the anti-freedom crowd's favorite bogeyman these days)
    • Go somewhere else and search for it
    • Find the person who owns the server you got it from, and throw them in jail.
    It doesn't matter that the person you're throwing in jail probably didn't even know what was on the box. Under the DMCA, they're responsible anyway. After a few of these sting operations, done at a high enough profile to make an example of them, no one will want to run FreeNet servers anymore. In fact, most server operators will put a closer eye on what their users are doing -- exactly the desired effect.

    Welcome to AmeriKKKa. How DO you like it?!
    --
  • by 1010011010 ( 53039 ) on Sunday April 22, 2001 @06:38AM (#274341) Homepage
    Interesting that this came out of Russia.

    Over here in the "mand of the free, home of the brave," we're heading in the opposite direction.



    - - - - -
  • by jesser ( 77961 ) on Sunday April 22, 2001 @08:55AM (#274342) Homepage Journal
    Why does this software create a fake TLD (.free) instead of creating a freenet:// protocol? If you're going to distribute links that only a few people can use, you might as well distribute them in a way that browsers can give the correct error message ("protocol not supported" instead of "host not found").
  • It only took me 1 minute of reading the about page to discover that the author
    • Plans on a full open source release as soon as the codebase settles
    • Plans on developing a Linux port very soon
    People should spend more time reading the pages about which these posts are placed before posting needless questions to /.
  • by electricmonk ( 169355 ) on Sunday April 22, 2001 @06:37AM (#274344) Homepage
    but the users can be sought out after

    Of course, they can be sought after, but, at least in the United States, any authority would need proof that certain content was actually being distributed by that person or entity.

    One of the features of Freenet is the inability to determine exactly where you data is really coming from, and so there would be no way to legally shut someone down, unless the program itself and its use was outlawed.

  • by electricmonk ( 169355 ) on Sunday April 22, 2001 @06:33AM (#274345) Homepage
    My cable modem provider, for example, has pretty good access to the data I send around.

    Well, one could simply take a look at what freenet is all about, such as ENCRYPTION IS USED EVERYWHERE, and you would discover that, lo and behold, your cable provider would still have access to the data that you send around with freenet, but they wouldn't be able to understand a single thing.

"The Avis WIZARD decides if you get to drive a car. Your head won't touch the pillow of a Sheraton unless their computer says it's okay." -- Arthur Miller

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