Matthew Toseland :
On Thursday 24 Feb 2011 23:27:01 Nomen Nescio wrote:
you have a right to know


I'm only going to say this once.

First off, it was nearly 5 years ago.

Second, I made it clear in the post and the extensive discussion at the time 
that Hereticnet
and Freenet are (hypothetically) *two* *different* *networks*, using
different (albeit related) software.

No need to defend, Matthew. The idea of internal censorship may be a lousy one, at least it sounds like that to me. But the conclusion our anonymous crusader starts out with: 'proof of his hypocrisy' and you not to be trusted, is pretty ridicilous. Were you indeed not to be trusted, you wouldn't have done this brainstorming about a sort of censorship-from-the-inside in the open, and were you out on implementing whatever backdoor in FN in order to expose users, you'd surely not published about it at all.

For convenience of those interested, below the text on the freepage.

Herein LiE the words of Toad.
Proof of his hypocrisy.

Among other things, you will find proof, in his own statements, that he obviously desires to enable and encourage censorship in freenet so that he can purge it of content that he disapproves of.

He is therefore not to be trusted

Nor is his code to be trusted without intense peer review

(this site mirrored to both networks to insure Toad sees it in the unlikely event he has the 'nads to respond.)

In this first example Toad describes a theoretical means by which somebody who inserted something into freenet could be identified and then forced out of the network.

Toad, you know better than this!

Freedom of speech must be ABSOLUTE or it is not truly free.

If somebody could be identified, they can also be given up for prosecution, whether they actually deserve it or no simply because you and your fellows disapprove of him. This makes you no better than the forces that freenet aims to avoid.

You named this entry accurately indeed

I am certainly grateful that you no longer code for 0.5!

0.7 users beware of Toad and his not quite so hidden agenda!


Another amphibian


There are a number of persecuted groups who would greatly benefit from freenet's technology, but who cannot use it for moral or political reasons. For example, persecuted churches. Even if you are an atheist I hope you accept that freedom of thought, and therefore of religion, is important: You have the right to sincerely believe in the Jesus, Buddha or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, if you want to. Others have the right to ignore you and think you are crazy. So there may be room for a darknet variant which uses a lot of freenet's code, but has different goals. Note that I am saying nothing against Freenet itself: I like Freenet, I am morally happy with it, but I think there may be room for something else as well, once Freenet has reached a reasonable level of stability.

Such a network would be resistant to external censorship, but provide for internal censorship. In other words, it would be a high standards darknet: A community with its own standards for content, which it could enforce through expulsions and schisms, but which is not necessarily the same as the outside world's standard. On such a network, content inserts would be tagged with a cryptographic structure allowing the insert to be traced back one hop at a time, but only with the consent of (for example) 2/3rds of the nodes surrounding each hop. If somebody found some content they object to, they could file a complaint. This would be discussed on the chat system, and ultimately people on the network would inspect the disputed content (hence the need for a fairly 'high' standard), and decide whether to vote to trace the author, to trace the complainant, or to do nothing. If enough nodes vote to trace the author at each hop, he would be traced. He would then be identified to his direct peers, and everyone else would know his topological position. The network must then decide what to do with him. His direct peers may simply disconnect from him. Or they may choose to protect him, (either after the trace or during it), in which case they themselves may be disconnected from. Irreconcilable differences will have to be dealt with by a larger network split: What was one community is now two.

This is by no means an easy way out of the conundrum that is freedom of speech. It requires significant effort on the part of the users, and it also requires a fairly high standard; "anything but child porn", for example, is likely to result in permanent brain damage (or at least a need for counselling) to active participants on the network, since disputed content will normally be close to the border between what is allowed and what is not. A persecuted church would have a much higher standard, while most of its content would still be illegal by the local laws. And it is likely that such networks would have major problems with splits and schisms, as any other community does. It would closely represent the underlying community. It seems to me that this would be an interesting experiment, and it might be useful to somebody. Comments? Contact me!

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