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A project, founded by IanClarke?, currently in development to create a peer-to-peer network for sharing information.

The purpose of Freenet is to create/preserve free speech on the internet. To achieve this goal, the authors are focusing on making Freenet:

In many ways, FreeNet is like network news (see UseNet), the first really successful decentralized information system. Technologically, it is like a distrubuted filesystem (AFS, CODA). It is often compared to NapsterDotCom, the commercially-owned software that has been used primarily for music piracy.

[1 August 2000] IanClarke? and four others are founding a company called Uprizer to use FreeNet to distribute "independent" music artists for money.


Read an interesting comment today: People will balk at using FreeNet because of the thought of storing illegal (possibly unsettling) content on their computers.

Is FreeNet secure from a PhonyFlood?

From the Freenet FAQ [1]:

Is Freenet vulnerable to flooding attacks?

Short answer: no. Long answer:

We don't think so. Aside from protecting freedom of speech, Freenet is also designed to be an efficient dynamic caching system. If information is requested a lot from a limited number of nodes, the nodes that the requests pass through will cache the information, lowering the load on the network. If information is inserted on a limited set of nodes and then subsequently requested a lot from a separate set of nodes, with repetition, the sets will close in on one another in the network topology until they are "neighbors" and only the originally targeted nodes are suffering from the attack.

In other words, in order to harm Freenet with a flood you need to consistently change your point of entry into the network and continually insert and request new data, and you will still only increase the workload for the network that is linear to your own. Given an immense will and capacity greater than the total of the entire network, it is possible to cripple any public network (including the Internet itself) with floods, but it is our intention to always keep Freenet as resistant to this as theoretically possible.

A PhonyFlood is not at all like a network flood. It's completely semantic, which makes it immune (orthogonal) to network approaches at stemming the flood. Essentially, the resource being consumed is mindshare, not bandwidth. The text of PhonyFlood addresses this. It notes that the attack can be built over time. The JFK assassination conspiracy theories in a way demonstrate this. Also, reconsider the TWA800 missile hoax. That PhonyFlood did not carpet bomb UseNet, but instead just planted a few lies in appropriate places and then let them snowball through the majority of the population. You can't CommunityExile the entire community. What does that mean? -- SunirShah

I suspect the person answering the question misunderstood PhonyFlood, thinking it meant flooding the network with false (phoney) documents using the same names (or "keys" in Freenet jargon) as legitimate ones. Otherwise, the answer doesn't make sense. No network can be immune to a PhonyFlood, just as no computer security system can be immune to SocialEngineering: both involve exploiting the people using the technology, rather than the technology itself. -- StephenGilbert


See also


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