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Freenet Project More Stable, In Need 606

Posted by simoniker
from the programmers-can-be-retained-on-polo-mints dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Freenet Project is asking for donations to help keep their main programmer, Matthew Toseland. After a long time, finally Freenet, software which 'lets you publish and obtain information on the Internet without fear of censorship' is working fine (and fast) again, since their overload problems are almost completely fixed. They even plan to write a paper about the overload problems. If you want to try, be sure to run the latest stable or unstable snapshot."
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Freenet Project More Stable, In Need

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @07:59PM (#8321479)

    Welcome to the new world of Open Source, courtesy of the GNU Manifesto [gnu.org].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @07:59PM (#8321481)
    for my free Kevin. There was supposed to be a free Kevin. I'm not donating anything else until I get my free Kevin.
  • Good stuff (Score:3, Funny)

    by MSBob (307239) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @07:59PM (#8321485)
    I heard Gary Glitter was looking forward to this realease...

    Moderators, please have some fucking sense of humour.

  • What the net was (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StuWho (748218) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:02PM (#8321500) Journal
    Freenet is what the web was before big-business began to gather it in its claws - a true forum for free speech. Well worth donating to.
    • by __past__ (542467) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:08PM (#8321566)
      It is also about as fast as the web was with Netscape Gold and a 14.4 modem.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:02PM (#8321504)
    "Hey everyone: Freenet is finally able to cope with the load they've ben having. Let's go post it on slashdot."
  • Donate!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OverlordQ (264228) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:03PM (#8321516) Journal
    Many may, and probably will, complain that Freenet is slow, doesn't work, etc. This is why Freenet needs your donations. Matt has brought Freenet's speed back up to where it used to be before all the routing problems. I remember when you used to be able to DL movies off of Freenet at reasonable speeds. And it's a given the 'child porn on my computer' argument is going to be brought up with the Free Speech for everything but that! vs the Free Speech Perdiod zealots fighting it out.
  • Funny (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Phosphor3k (542747) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:03PM (#8321520)
    I just installed it and its running slow as shit. Same as last time. Is freenet being slashdotted or is this just hype?
    • Re:Funny (Score:5, Informative)

      by amphibian (691159) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:38PM (#8321804)
      Both. Sorry, somebody misinterpreted what we intended to say :). UNSTABLE is working pretty well, but is still being worked on. Unstable is a much smaller network, so it's easy to make it work well. Stable is not yet working "well", although it MAY have improved a bit recently; it may work better in the near future, as we get rate limiting sorted out. It is not CURRENTLY sorted out, it is in the process of being sorted out. I should know, I'm the project's one and only paid employee.
      • Re:Funny (Score:5, Funny)

        by peeping_Thomist (66678) * on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @10:07PM (#8322540)
        I'm the project's one and only paid employee.

        So WTF are you doing reading /.? Get back to work, man!

      • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:36AM (#8323750) Homepage
        Unstable is a much smaller network, so it's easy to make it work well. Stable is not yet working "well", although it MAY have improved a bit recently; it may work better in the near future, as we get rate limiting sorted out.

        Small works well. Then, every time there's something that spurs a lot of interest, the performance is abysmal. Now I'm sure the same excuse that this is just temporary growing pains will come up again, but I for one have lost faith in that.

        To me, it looks like Freenet has got fundamental scaling issues, as it would appear from the circle of people I know, that Freenet regains its past performance about the same time that the numbers using it are back to where it was.

        It's very easy to make something work well on a small scale - small enough, and even a dumbfire search (pick a route at random) works. Rate limiting, load balancing and getting the most out of each node is good, but I don't think it'll solve the real problem.

        I'm not saying I have the answers to make it so that it *does* scale well. But I think I've understood enough of what Freenet does to realize it *won't* scale well. Ah well...

        Kjella
  • by lawpoop (604919) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:05PM (#8321530) Homepage Journal
    An anonymous reader writes...

    An anonymous reader? Hah! I've traced the pirate back to the ip 234.4.119.181! So much for slashdot anonymity! Which just goes to show...
    You should have used FreeNet[tm].

  • by aiyo (653781) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:05PM (#8321537)
    I am also in need of a donation for Free 'Net. Yes thats right, with and small paypal donation you can provide me with free cable Internet access! With your donation you will recieve one picture* of me using the Internet, and a monthly status update on my browsing expierence. Sure you can mod me down and ignore this post, but that doesn't do anything to help the problem of us who pay our own bills.

    *Content of picture my be inappropriate and disturbing. 18 and over only.
  • by funny-jack (741994) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:06PM (#8321541) Homepage
    ...when trying to pull up the freenet website results in something like this (what I see at work):

    Request for URL http://66.35.250.209:80/ denied by WebBlocker (Status: denied Category: questionable/illegal/gambling). This site has been blocked per Company [or country] policy.

    Are there alternate sources to get Freenet in the first place?
    • by Burpmaster (598437) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:54PM (#8321948)

      They already thought of that. Freenet comes with the ability to host a distribution page for others to download Freenet from.

      You can download Freenet from my node [comcast.net]. (Will be up for 24 hours or 100 downloads, whichever comes first)

    • by Loki_1929 (550940) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @09:51PM (#8322425) Journal
      "Are there alternate sources to get Freenet in the first place?"

      Sure, from the same place you should be getting your seednodes if you're in a dangerous place to be running Freenet: a trusted friend.

      I know it's an incomplete and semi-'chicken and egg' response, but it does apparently work, as there are definitely some folks from China who use this to safely communicate with one another. To me, that's worth all the extra baggage that comes along with running Freenet.

  • Freenet... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sentosus (751729) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:06PM (#8321548)
    While I don't have much to add other than I was using the software for months on end, I wanted to point out that free speech is only one of the many valuable resources available.

    What if it was YOU that had your personal information dragged all through freenet from an Ex-Wife or Disgruntal banker? I bet then you would wish for some control to the service.

    • Re:Freenet... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SheldonYoung (25077) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:21PM (#8321666)
      The inverse is also true. What if YOU had something you needed to say but couldn't?
    • by fenix down (206580) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:24PM (#8321689)
      Disgruntal takes no responsibility for the actions of our bankers taken off company time. If you have a dispute with a Disgruntal banker, we suggest that you take it up with the banker him/herself.

      Oh, and your ex told me about that last Christmas before she left you. You totally deserve it, you fucker. And what the hell were you doing with the owls in that picture? There's all this glare coming off the ice sculpture.
    • Re:Freenet... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by seanadams.com (463190) * on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:24PM (#8321692) Homepage
      What if it was YOU that had your personal information dragged all through freenet from an Ex-Wife or Disgruntal banker? I bet then you would wish for some control to the service.

      No, I would be going after my ex-wife or banker, not complaining about freenet.
      • That is... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kjella (173770)
        No, I would be going after my ex-wife or banker, not complaining about freenet.

        ...of course assuming you know who did it. Won't do much good if you don't know who. And even if you "know", you need to prove it. Neither of which Freenet is going to help you with.

        Basicly, Freenet is open to libel, slander, fabrications, pump&dumps, fraud, disclosure of trade secrets, personal information and whatever else you can imagine that involves misuse of information.

        It's not just the kiddie porn. And if you wan
  • Hmmm (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:07PM (#8321558)
    is freenet free as in beer or free as in speech or free as in free base or free as in free bsd or free as in free bird or free as free lance or free as in free bsd?
  • by Magila (138485) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:08PM (#8321565) Homepage
    ...now give me an implementation that doesn't use 120MB of memory and 50% of my CPU. Freenet has been a total resource pig for quite a while now, I'm surprised there hasn't been more emphasis on reducing it's usage.
    • by SheldonYoung (25077) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:14PM (#8321614)
      There has been a significant amount of work done on reducing memory and CPU usage during the last couple of months. In addition to a lot of tuning and profiling, a great improvement was made by switching to asychronous IO (multiplexing).

      If for some reason you have a particularily slow computer the resource usage can be reduced by turning down the number of threads and/or connections it uses.
    • by Loki_1929 (550940) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @10:02PM (#8322507) Journal
      " give me an implementation that doesn't use 120MB of memory and 50% of my CPU. Freenet has been a total resource pig for quite a while now, I'm surprised there hasn't been more emphasis on reducing it's usage."

      What good is a node whose CPU and memory are hardly used, but fullfills no requests because the network is screwed up?

      Priority 1: Create secure, anonymous, decentralized network

      Priority 2: Get network reasonably functional

      Priority 3: Get resource usage reasonably low

      Priority 4: Get network running very well

      Priority 5: Get resource usage way down

      Right now, I'd say they're working towards 3 and 4, and doing a damn fine job at it. When you can design a functional, anonymous, secure, scalable, and fault-tolerant network, and have each and every node use minimal resources, feel free to let the Freenet team know. Until then, either run a node, or don't run a node - donate, or don't. But don't sit there and complain with no useful suggestions, corrections, help, or ideas to offer.

  • by dupper (470576) <adamlouis@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:09PM (#8321573) Journal
    I tried using it every day for a week, and I could only get to the help page and the "Are you sure?" BS of one of the others, and each took almost half an hour to load. Even so, I kept it installed for almost a month.

    I'm glad that they claim to have fixed those issues, because I seriously love the concept, and I'm jumping at the chance to try it again.

  • Great Idea, but.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:11PM (#8321578)
    Freenet is a great idea for a project, and seems to have some great information on their system, but one thing I hated about it when I remember running it within the last year or two, was the Java VM would eat up memory and CPU like there is no tomorrow. I would be doing other stuff on my system, and notice a very considerable slowdown. While listing my processes I noticed that the JVM was eating like 100-200MB of memory and 50% or more of CPU at times. It wasn't like this all the time, but seemed to happen every couple or few hours. Maybe it was some bug in my setup, but things like this really shouldn't be an issue when you are dealing with a P2P application. I know Freenet encrypts and decrypts lots of information, but on a system with decent specs (2GHz CPU, 1GB Ram), it shouldn't be that noticeable.
  • 2 Questions (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chadjg (615827) <chadgessele2000NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:11PM (#8321580) Journal
    I'm sympathetic to Freenet's idea, as I understand it, but still a little hesitant. I have two questions.

    First, is it relatively safe? Does it do what the directions say it does and no more? Is especially vile content a big problem and will I feel guilty once I get into it?

    Second, Is it being run efficiently? I really don't know what it would take. One programmer plus a herd of volunteers sounds good, but please do let me know.

    Thanks. I have a new bunch of parts coming in and will soon have more than 500MB of disk space to spare, so this isn't an entirely idle bunch of questions.
    • Re:2 Questions (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Rocinante (121371) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:43AM (#8324307) Homepage
      First, is it relatively safe? Does it do what the directions say it does and no more?

      Yes, as far as I can tell (been running freenet sporadically for several years, constantly since last summer). The source is open, and due to the nature of the project there are a lot of slightly paranoid people looking at it. The bandwidth limiting code is actually kind of flaky, but if it's a big concern to you you can always run lower-level traffic shaping software.

      Is especially vile content a big problem and will I feel guilty once I get into it?

      Well, I've never felt guilty about running a node. There's certainly quite a bit of illegal distribution of copyrighted material going on over freenet, as well as a non-trivial amount of actual bad shit (read: child porn) (at least, I assume there is; I've seen links indicating that that's what they lead to, but never followed them). I feel, however, that there are better ways of dealing with such stuff than by making all secure, anonymous communication impossible. It's about as easy to avoid content you don't wish to see on the freenet as it is on the regular old web.

      Second, Is it being run efficiently? I really don't know what it would take. One programmer plus a herd of volunteers sounds good, but please do let me know.

      Um... it's kind of chaotic, but it gets results (in fits and starts, sometimes). The active developers are mostly nice, very smart people. You might be interested in perusing the freenet-devel archives [gmane.org].

      more than 500MB of disk space to spare

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but that will fill up in about a weekend. My local datastore is currently about 12GB, and I'll be putting in a spare 40GB drive soon just for freenet. Don't let this put you off, though; the network has plenty of storage space; what it really needs is more bandwidth. If you have a fast network connection, you should really try it out. It's an interesting project to follow, and could end up actually being very valuable to the world.
  • by ikewillis (586793) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:19PM (#8321646) Homepage
    Anyone know of a production quality native code implementation of the FreeNet protocols? I'd love to set up a FreeNet node, however all the systems I have free to dedicate to that purpose are not powerful enough and lack sufficient RAM to run the standard FreeNet Java implementation.
  • by fembots (753724) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:19PM (#8321654) Homepage
    Reading its philosophy, especially the part about "child porn, offensive content or terrorism", it sounds good. However further down in the security section, it's not real anonymity at all.

    So if the government really wants to find out who posted what, it is still possible.

    Can someone please enlighten me? Is Freenet a false sense of anonymity?
    • by amphibian (691159) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:47PM (#8321891)
      Eh? What makes you think it provides a false sense of anonymity? Unless you post from a transient node, establishing whether your node was ultimately responsible for an insert or request is very hard. It's not entirely impossible if you are inserting a large site or a large splitfile, but it is hard, probabilistic, and we plan to deal with that vulnerability in the mid term future. Furthermore for single files it is afaics pretty safe, unless the attacker for example compromizes a large fraction of the nodes on the network.
  • by braddock (78796) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:29PM (#8321738)
    The version on the download page is ancient. If you read VERY CAREFULLY to the bottom of the download page then you might end up running the "upgrade.sh" script which might actually give you performance. Then after about a day of struggle you may stumble upon the "Nubile Tutorial" so that you actually know how to use Freenet.

    It had always seemed that Freenet leadership is obsessively interested in getting press, yet at the same time embarrased enough by the actual system that they make it impossible for anyone but the most dedicated techies to get started using it. Considering that at startup some of the first content encountered is (quite unfortunately) child pornography collections, I wouldn't be surprised if this is almost intentional to keep the Press talking about the high ideals without seeing the current reality. Maybe it's even best for the project at this stage.

    If freenet is to succeed, and we all desperately need it to, it's going to have to make itself both USABLE and RESPECTABLE. That means new potential users should not be confronted with stomach wrenching content even if such things are available by the nature of the system.

    -braddock

    • by amphibian (691159) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:54PM (#8321954)
      The Windows version auto-updates. Unix users are generally clueful enough to upgrade, or at least to go to the IRC channel and ask why it isn't working, and be told to upgrade. And we have not released any official releases for a while, because there was not a point at which it would have been sensible to do so. Our last major release got MAJOR press coverage resulting in the network being effectively DoSed for weeks! Oh and as regards respectable, we have a LOT of content, the overwhelming majority of what is on the main portals, which is not such filth; last I checked 12 out of 440 URLs on TFE were probably child porn judging by the titles.
    • Hey slick, in case you hadn't noticed, this isn't even a 1.0 release. Could the documentation and hand-holding scripts use a bit of work? Absolutely. Would they have to be changed almost constantly due to the ever-changing nature of the code, the application, the nodes, and the network? Yup.

      When the network and the code base are less volatile, then it makes more sense for people to get working on things to help out newbies. As it is, it's probably best that the AOL crowd NOT join up just yet, as they're no
  • Depends on Sun (Score:4, Insightful)

    by John Hasler (414242) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:34PM (#8321774) Homepage
    > Freenet contains NO spyware or adware , it's Free
    > Software!

    But it requires the Sun JRE, which is proprietary bloatware.
  • by tabdelgawad (590061) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:41PM (#8321840) Homepage
    Full Disclosure: I've never installed Freenet, but I've been following its development closely since its inception. I'm subscribed to the notification of new releases from Sourceforge ...

    And therein lies the problem. The last release on that page is dated July 17, 2003. And by Clarke's own admission in his 'State of the Freenet' letter, it doesn't work very well. He *thinks* this new algorithm will solve the problems, but nobody knows that for sure.

    Projects that deliver results have an easier time attracting donations *and* volunteer developers. Sourceforge lists 4 project admins and (count them!) 60 developers! Is Freenet so hard that this many programmers can't deliver a working version in close to a year?!

    The goals of Freenet are lofty, and for that maybe they deserve more patience, but when does the community just cut and run?
    • Err....

      Their page is somewhat misleading....

      The client will happily update itself to the latest 'testing' version.

      Built nightly, I might add---

      These changes (version changes) propagate themselves through the network version.

      In the windows version, you need to click on a menu choice. In the linux version, you need to run update.sh

      There are plenty of interim versions, and they have VASTLY improved the project, and VASTLY improved performance.

      They aren't willing to release a new 'stable', but the projec
    • by Loki_1929 (550940) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @11:17PM (#8322768) Journal
      " Full Disclosure: I've never installed Freenet, but I've been following its development closely since its inception. I'm subscribed to the notification of new releases from Sourceforge ..."

      "I've never driven, or for that matter seen, the 2004 Jaguar XKR, but I looked at it on a website. I've got to say, the thing is a total piece of junk. The radio looks like it probably doesn't give good sound, the seats don't appear very comfortable, and I seriously doubt it rides very well either. Plus, judging by the way the engine looks, it probably doesn't have any power at all. I don't understand why anyone would even bother considering to buy one"

      "The last release on that page is dated July 17, 2003."

      The last major release was then. That being said, the very fact that we're not even at 1.0 means that major changes happen all the time. Had you bothered to look further, or perhaps subscribed to the devl list, you'd see that stable receives updates about once a week on average, and unstable is updated almost daily. Each 'minor' update contains numerous bug fixes, and often contains new routing features or additions to the protocols. The current stable release is 5070, which was released today. The last stable release was put out about 3 or 4 days ago. The rapid, sustained development of Freenet continues to be the fastest I've ever seen, of any project I've ever followed.

      "And by Clarke's own admission in his 'State of the Freenet' letter, it doesn't work very well. He *thinks* this new algorithm will solve the problems, but nobody knows that for sure."

      You're taking the letter very much out of context. Again, reading the devl mailing list would provide you with far better understanding of the issues surrounding Freenet's development, problems, and solutions.

      "Is Freenet so hard that this many programmers can't deliver a working version in close to a year?!"

      This, you discern, without even having tried it? That's incredible. Listen, put down the 3-way call with Kenny Kingston and Ms Cleo, and ask some people who actually run Freenet. Or, wait a week or two for the Slashdot-Freenet overload to die down a bit (takes a little while for the network to adjust to massive influxes of new people), and *gasp* download the program so you can try it for yourself?! In case you're wondering, Freenet has worked to varying degrees since I started using it about a year ago. As the protocols and code is adjusted, things either get really good, really bad, or somewhere in between. When you're doing something this brand new, and making major changes all the time, there's nothing else to be expected. As of right now, stable is working fairly well (was working outstanding a few weeks ago), and unstable is working even better.

      "The goals of Freenet are lofty, and for that maybe they deserve more patience, but when does the community just cut and run?"

      I would assume that most 'cut and run' within a few days of downloading the program at this point. Why? Because it's not a simple AOLesque installation. It requires some configuration, some manual configuration, a bit of knowledge, and a lot of patience. There is a large group of die-hard Freenet users, such as myself, that would need to have serious, prolonged problems with the software before thinking about giving up on it. Most of us have talked with Toad and Ian enough to know that we're not being jerked around, and that this thing is going to move forward to the benefit of many, many different people. They're open and honest about progress and problems, and they both make themselves available all the time. Toad, especially, has gone the extra mile with me on a few different occassions to make sure that I was able to solve problems I was experiencing. I didn't get a 'RTFM', nor a non-response, and I certainly didn't get ignored. My mail to the support list has always been answered with much help from numerous people. I couldn't possibly fault any
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:51PM (#8321932)
    Seriously.

    Nearly all of the posts i'm seeing talk about how horrible freenet is because it may be used for child pornography or other illegal things and then go on to say that freenet should not exist and how terrible they must be etc. etc. I've even seen posts saying (to paraphrase) 'everyone should have free speech except kiddie pornographers and nazis'.

    get a clue and go fuck yourselves! If you want to filter what someone says because you dont agree with it than it's not really free speech, is it?

    Further, these morons arguing against freenet are using the same argument i see used so fervently in defense of DeCSS or any other tool that allows them to pirate music or do something 'cool'...

    'Hey! you cant make this tool illegal! Just because I have a card programmer doesnt mean I am stealing. i have rights, man! Free speech!'

    So, which is it?

    (a) Tool X can be used for illegal things and therefore should be banned.

    (b) Tool X can be used for illegal things. It does, however, serve useful, legitimate purposes. Keep it legal.

    I vote for option B myself.
    • by Famatra (669740) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @09:51PM (#8322424) Journal
      Very good post, please mod parent up further.

      There has always been a bugaboo, right now it is child porn and terrorism but not long ago it was communism, or the KKK or neo-nazi's or what ever.

      If you do not like child pornography then you are free to set up a freenet webpage and give your views as to why it, and anything else you dont like, is wrong.

      As to the parent, I also agree that people seem to be hypocritical in that they think one type of 'illegal' speech is ok (MP3 copying etc.) but other types (child porno) is bad. Reminds me of that Simpsons episode where Marge is forced to stop trying to censor the violent cartoon industry because she realized she was a hypocrite in wanting Michangelo's David (nudity) to be shown. :)
    • by 7-Vodka (195504) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @12:02AM (#8323154) Journal
      Don't be so black and white. Free speech does not involve causing havoc by calling in false bomb threats or yelling fire in a crowded movie theater. Neither does free speech involve spam or stalking etc etc ad nauseum.

      We cannot forget that while we need to aspire to freedom of speech as much as possible, it should not encroach on the freedom of others in society.

      If you're sleeping in your house and I start yelling at you through the window like a fucking moron, let's see how you like that.
      If someone is doing brainsurgery on you with a speech-controlled robot and I run past the O.R. purposefully yelling "LABOTOMY LABOTOMY LABOTOMY" that's not free speech at work and should not be protected.

      When free speech is only a cover for destroying the essential FREEDOMS of others, it is not free speech at all, but the cry of a coward to cover up a crime.

      And yes, child pornography is an example of just that. Freedom of speech cannot be used to defend this because you've severely curtailed the Freedom of the child. Directly or indirectly don't try to fool yourself.

      What's even worse, is in your black&white world, you don't even consider the case of when an individual exercising his right to 'free speech' prevents another individual from exercising his right to 'free speech'.

      This can happen in a room, out on a street, online, in print and many other situations.

      Now it is not my intention to set up a straw man, so I will quote you directly:
      So, which is it?
      (a) Tool X can be used for illegal things and therefore should be banned.
      (b) Tool X can be used for illegal things. It does, however, serve useful, legitimate purposes. Keep it legal.

      How about we include many other options.
      (c) We keep Tool X legal, but regulate it's uses and take action against individuals who we deem misuse it like we've done with other things in the past.
      or
      (d) We keep Tool X legal, but reshape it so it becomes impossible to do illegal things with it while still retaining the benefits of the legal aspects.

      Freenet is not a solution to our problems. It's designed to treat a symptom of curtailed freedom of speech, but it comes with side-effects(like yes child porn).
      Why don't we instead concentrate on treating the disease so that we can avoid having our freedom of speech curtailed and also avoid the side-effect of letting people commit crimes.

      By the way, I actually think freenet is a really cool project and am in no way against it's development. I'm just trying to show you that the debate you think is old hat, is in no way settled and should be encouraged, not discouraged like you're doing.

    • I've even seen posts saying (to paraphrase) 'everyone should have free speech except kiddie pornographers and nazis'.

      Sounds pretty European to me. A lot of European countries *really* still have a lot of social crap left over from after World War II. Garmany and France, in particular, are incredibly uptight (at least from an American standpoint) about Nazi-related stuff. The UK has some kind of pedophiliaphobia. I mean, sure, nobody likes the worst-case sort of sexual content related to kids -- kids g
  • by topynate (694371) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @09:27PM (#8322215)
    Those who think that freedom of speech is great, and all, but they don't want child porn on their computer, think of this:

    By the most sensible definition of location of data, the child porn is not on your computer.

    What you have on your computer is indistinguishable by all known statistical tests from random noise. The sum of this pseudo-random data on all nodes, viewed in a particular way, i.e. through a suitable client, is the Freenet network. The child porn is there, all right - if you're sick enough to seek it out. But the nature of Freenet means that no mapping can be found between data in it, and encrypted data on nodes. That's the whole point. So why worry? If there was a scheme by which you mailed your hard drive to some island and they added it to a pool of storage anyone could access, would you have the same qualms about your disk being possibly contaminated?

  • by localman (111171) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @09:49PM (#8322405) Homepage
    I don't use Freenet, and I don't currently have anything controversial to say. But I believe, that the principle is important. I signed up for a $5/mo recurring contribution.

    That's nothing compared to what I spend on stupid crap that the monolithic media corporations have convinced me I need to be happy while they work to take away my freedoms.

    And just preemptively: I don't think everything should be free. I don't download songs illegally. I am an creator/artist who has been paid for my creative/artistic work on occasion, and would like to make that my life, though I've yet to be able to do so. Still, I think the current lack of consumer rights is appalling.

    I am glad to support this project that gives us the technilogical means to work around the crap that's become acceptable in our free country.

    Cheers.
  • by expro (597113) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @10:05PM (#8322530)

    I believe in the principles of Freenet.

    I am willing to dedicate disk space

    I am on a broadband connection where I can affort x GB / week.

    I have tried freenet carefully setting the supposed bandwidth controls. At first everything was fine, but as days and weeks went by my node got more and more popular. Eventually it was way above the limits I had set and I could find no way to throttle it back to a reasonable rate, so I was forced to remove the service. This was far more problem than even it's slow speed -- it made it impossible for the average user to use. Normal users get into trouble if their bandwidth usage keeps going up without limit. I also run web pages that eventually become unusable if they get too much competition. That is the make-or-break feature for me. I must have bandwidth controls that put a real cap on bandwidth.

  • by teamhasnoi (554944) <teamhasnoi@@@yahoo...com> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:41AM (#8323776) Homepage Journal
    This story's turned into a child porn witchhunt. Every insightful post I've seen on the value of free speech is replied to by some AC idiot,(who is using the cover of anonymous posting to post his drivel - how ironic) who says that if he can't control the free distribution of information then it shouldn't be distributed.

    Guess what? Before you ask or accuse, I don't like the idea of child porn. Duh. Does anyone other than the small minority of people who have some deep seated issue? Quit parroting every politico seeking reelection.

    Just because you find ponography (to you) of any sort, doesn't mean that something like Freenet is bad or not needed. There is an ever increasing inabillity to exercise free speech every day. Read your ISP's TOS. Try and get a letter to the editor printed that is critical of the paper. Try to buy an ad during the SuperBowl.

    Why isn't this figured out by now? I kill someone with a hammer. Oh, outlaw hammers! Nevermind that with that same hammer I could help fix a poor family's house. I know, "But you still killed someone with the hammer!"

    It's rather obvious to me that those who would filter free speech are the world's biggest pussies. Frankly, I enjoy and use my human! (NOT GOVERNMENT GIVEN) right of free speech every day.

    Those who would filter it miss the whole point, and miss the irony of the fact that they are encouraging the removal of any personal responsibility, free action or speech.

    Yeah! Freedom of Speech is great as long as I like it! You can recite that over and over, when you're in prison for saying something that your new leader didn't like.

  • i hate freenet (Score:3, Interesting)

    by shren (134692) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:45AM (#8323799) Homepage Journal

    When they need support or money, they're the last best hope for freedom online. When you want them to actually produce something that looks like results, they're a research product and they claim that any useful code they produce is only a biproduct.

    I wish slashdot would quit passing them free publicity. Better projects have gotten farther without getting a dime.

  • Still slow (Score:3, Informative)

    by retro128 (318602) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:58AM (#8323870)
    I downloaded it and installed it (again), and it's still incredibly slow. If there's any speed improvement, it went from 20 minutes to load each page to 15. I had an easier time getting pr0n out of the 'Net in 1992 than I do getting text in Freenet.

    I respect the goals that Freenet is trying to accomplish. And contrary to what some people say in here, it's not the spread of child porn. The ability to say things without fear of reprisal is important. Not just from the government, but from corporations, too. How many times have we heard about a big corp coming down on a whistleblower?

    That said, I believe anonymous systems are important to the future of communication, especially with the orgy of civil surveillance that's going on in the US right now. But regarding Freenet specifically, I have to wonder what the point of anonymous system is if it's completely unusable.

You can do more with a kind word and a gun than with just a kind word. - Al Capone

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