Firstly, you are right that to provide meaningful anonymity Freenet needs to have a lot more nodes.
Secondly, there *are* freenet users from oppressive regimes. But I accept that they are few in number, despite us having an (anonymously contributed) chinese translation of the UI (we don't have a Farsi translation, if you can make one then please contact us). The Freenet website itself is blocked in China and probably other places, which must be a problem... but also, Freenet itself is far from having reached our goals for speed, security, and usability. However, it *is* an improvement on many of the alternatives. Controversial is not bad. Illegal may not even be bad, depending on the law and where you are. "Filesharing" has come to mean "copyright infringement". Copyright infringement is ILLEGAL and not something the Freenet Project can endorse, focus on, or market Freenet as a means for. However it is important to make Freenet work well for "everyday people" - in particular for people who are not "technologists". Some of these may be in China, Iran etc - it's a fair bet that most of them are not experts in cryptography! Some of them may value their privacy, may want to discuss controversial matters, avoid becoming "fair game", or speak out against those who are more powerful than they are, whether government, corporate, cult or whatever. Examples which have been posted to Freenet include: - Pictures of the suppressed Tibet protests. - Leaked source code and memos from Diebold about their allegedly insecure voting machines. - Leaked emails from MediaDefender about their campaign to poison regular p2p networks. - Material on the Church of Scientology and its use of copyright and libel laws, and less respectable tactics, to silence its critics. (Did I just score myself a lawsuit? At least Diebold eventually gave up on chasing the leaks...) I accept that the above are generally available through the regular web at the moment. However this may not always be the case, and it is certainly not the case in those countries with overt political filtering of the web. Even in the "free" world, there is infrastructure for censorship. Whether it stops at blocking child porn and soon terrorist advocacy, or goes on to cover other categories, remains to be seen ... Copyrighted material will very likely be blocked in the not too distant future, else what is the point of killing p2p if it can just move offshore (admittedly at a performance cost)? There have been sites blocked other than child porn and terrorism in a number of European countries already, it's likely only to get worse IMHO. (It's interesting that what is allowed in the offline world is frequently blocked in the online world ... do you see the libraries being stripped of content that *might* one day be deemed to be child porn??) We have done a lot of work on making Freenet work transparently through firewalls. More work may be needed, but it is a vast improvement on 0.5. Right now the user interface is far from friendly, but this is something which we are aware of and hopefully will be able to address in the reasonably near future. A big part of the problem is the lack of an integrated easy to use forums system in the web interface; this is being addressed. Installation is not particularly problematic but could be improved and will be improved. "The latest pirated music" is illegal by definition. We do not support piracy. Piracy is in my opinion as a private individual short-sighted, unfair and parasitic (however some of the means proposed and sometimes implemented to prevent piracy are even worse). IMHO action by governments to eliminate Freenet (and essentially all other unrestricted peer to peer systems) is inevitable, and primarily *because of copyright*. I see very little evidence of the Ivory Tower mentality that you refer to on Freenet 0.7: the 3 indexes we link to from the homepage are free of child porn, and in general sites are categorised, described and have meaningful titles. Although in some cases you will need to know some jargon to decode those titles. Forums are likewise generally classified, although their names will often use acronyms; they will often have a descriptive text even then. Classification in the sense of labelling sites in categories within an index is something which we encourage, because it makes it easier to find data. We do not directly support it within the search function yet, but it is widespread on the index sites. On the other hand, any sort of filtering system will be impractical and for us to provide it by default would have to block ALL illegal content including copyrighted materials. Our criteria for index sites are simply to link to the indexes which best enable users to find what they are looking for. We do not take any editorial input here. We removed one index site, Another Index, which did not have adequate categories, did not have descriptions at all in many cases, and had sites in wrong categories. In particlar it had a child porn site in the Indexes category, without any form of labelling or warning apart from the title which is only understandable by those who know the jargon. We would not have removed it for linking to child porn, any more than we would an index for linking to hate speech or copyrighted materials: We removed it because it was not usable for a new user trying to locate content on some topic, because it was misleading. -------------- next part -------------- A non-text attachment was scrubbed... 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