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Why Freenet is Complicated (or not) 153

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the stuff-to-think-about dept.
JohnBE writes "'This article is primarily a friendly rebuttal to Steven Hazel's CodeCon 2002 talk entitled "libfreenet: a case study in horrors incomprehensible to the mind of man, and other secure protocol design mistakes". Hazel presents the Freenet protocol as an overly complicated, self designed crypto layer. In fact, though somewhat complicated, literally every step in the protocol was carefully thought out to resist certain attacks and to increase certain properties desirable for Freenet operators and the network as a whole.' Interesting in light of Peek-a-booty, this article covers many of the issues involved with creating a anonymous P2P system."
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Why Freenet is Complicated (or not)

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  • Until... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 18, 2002 @04:53PM (#3028340)
    ...we can find the latest Britney Spears album, complete with high-res cover scans and 320kbps MP3s, I highly doubt Freenet will catch on. It's already surpassed by Morpheus and Gnutella in terms of users. The thing preventing Freenet from gaining wide acceptance is, for sure, the fact that mysterious files which you have no knowledge of their content, are automatically downloaded to your shared directory. This of course helps other people, including people you don't want to help.
  • The way k5 works.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by eightball (88525) on Monday February 18, 2002 @05:30PM (#3028507) Journal
    Stories are put in a submission queue for users to rate on. When a story has been sent to the front page (or a section), the date is set for that time.

    This story was submitted Feb 17 <21:33 (time of comment 1)

    I can't say anything of the submission process for infoAnarchy, as to whether it is readily available before it is 'posted'.
  • by hardburn (141468) <hardburn.wumpus-cave@net> on Monday February 18, 2002 @05:35PM (#3028529)

    In comparison to what? Client development? Ease-of-use? Node implementation?

    Freenet is pretty easy for client development and average for ease-of-use. However, node implementation is no easy task (just ask Adam Langly).

  • by james_underscore (468915) on Monday February 18, 2002 @05:41PM (#3028571)
    I'm not sure why I would want to install freenet on my system. From what I understand, basically I'm expected to download and install this software and give a certain amount of my own bandwidth and disk space over to the network. I have no way of knowing what's stored on my hard disk and being downloaded from me. I've peered through a key list for freenet and it seems most of the data is porn. You might accuse me of being alarmist but i'm fairly confident a good amount of that will be illegal porn (underage, etc) otherwise it would be on the web somewhere.

    So now I've paid money to buy bandwidth and disk space to set up a porn server, and I'm not even getting ad revenues.

    As for protecting speach, couldn't a government just make the freenet software itself illegal if it wanted to?

    I can't see it really catching on - apart from a few paranoid "lone gunmen" types and comic book store guy, who's it going to appeal to?

    Just a question.

    James
  • by Andreas(R) (448328) on Monday February 18, 2002 @05:55PM (#3028666) Homepage
    ... doesn't lie in its protocol or security, but in its inconvenience to users. Information simply disappears off of the network, making it almost impossible for regular use. While it was not designed for sharing music and porn, thats what most people think p2p networks are for these days. As a result, the oppressed people that the project was designed for can't use the system. The initial concept that one cannot store information on their system was good, but is being abused by too many people. There simply are not enough permanent connections with enough disk space to support the current incarnation of Freenet.

    The second problem is the inability to find information. Even if it does exist, very few people know how to find it. Until the key indices are completed and a uniform naming system is accepted, information will just sit there, and be as good as lost.

    I apologize for this being somewhat offtopic and please correct me if either of these problems have been solved. I'd really love to see Freenet take off, but it seems that it may be dead on arrival being too difficult to use for end users.
  • Re:I agree (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bnenning (58349) on Monday February 18, 2002 @06:32PM (#3028844)
    C would have been the language of choice simply because more people know C than java, porting would have been faster.


    It's much easier to write network applications in Java than C, and cross-platform compatibility is far better. Performance is another matter, but apparently they would rather make it work first and then make it work faster, which is entirely reasonable.


    While I konw C, i dont know java.


    There's your problem :) I know both, and in my opinion Java is a much better choice for what Freenet is trying to do.

  • by hardburn (141468) <hardburn.wumpus-cave@net> on Monday February 18, 2002 @06:56PM (#3028992)

    Anyway I think it is a great project and put all my (big)file releases up as a public KSK, simply beacuse it's a good, clean and simple way to share files.

    Sorry, but I'm about to make this a whole lot more complex :) In the Freenet development cicle we have a saying:

    DON'T USE A KSK!!!

    KSKs are highly insecure, because you have no means of validating that the data is really the data that you orginally inserted. I suggest you migrate your old KSK data over to a subspace.

    Until now Freenet has no popularity in both areas.

    The MAME community has distributed quite a number of ROM images via Freenet. That has to count for something.

  • by wurp (51446) on Monday February 18, 2002 @07:53PM (#3029254) Homepage

    Java is ok, but i have yet to see a successful project written in java.


    Wow, rarely have I seen such a ridiculous statement. J2EE is incredibly widely used for internet businesses of all kinds. In this time of declining job options for programmers, java (well, J2EE, anyway) programmers are still somewhat in demand.

    I have worked on many successful java projects. Xtra Online, Marconi Communications, and PDX, are just a few of the companies at which I have worked on successful java projects.

    Business software is generally about reliability. Computers are easily fast enough to do any kind of business calculation blindingly fast in virtually any language, and Java is fairly speedy. Java has great reliability (no buffer overflows, no uninitialized pointers, no stack overflows, no doubly-deleted pointers, etc, etc).

    If you think java is too slow for business applications, the game we are working on over at http://www.cosmgame.com is all in java. I get 50-100 frames per second in full screen 3d mode, all running under java. I shit you not. We will be showing it at the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco March 20-23rd at Sun's booth.

    Virtually no business application has anything vaguely close to the kind of performance requirements we have, and we run just fine.

    See you at the GDC! ;)

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