posted 20 Jun 2012, 09:47
Freenet is a peer-to-peer platform for censorship-resistant, secure, and anonymous communication and filesharing. It uses a decentralized distributed data store to store information, and has a suite of free software for working with this data store. Both Freenet and some of its associated tools were originally designed by Ian Clarke, who defines Freenet's goal as providing freedom of speech with strong anonymity protection.▼9 comments
Freenet works by storing small encrypted snippets of content distributed on the computers of its users and connecting only through intermediate computers which pass on requests for content and sending them back without knowing the contents of the full file, similar to how routers on the Internet route packets without knowing anything about files—except with caching, a layer of strong encryption, and without reliance on centralized structures. This allows users to publish anonymously or retrieve various kinds of information. Freenet has been under continuous development since 2000.
Since Version 0.7 (2008), it offers two modes of operation: a darknet mode in which it connects only to friends, and an opennet-mode in which it connects to any other Freenet user. Both modes can be used together. When a user changes to pure operation, Freenet becomes very difficult to detect from the outside. The transport layer created for the darknet mode allows communication over restricted routes as commonly found in mesh networks, as long as these connections follow a small-world structure.
The distributed datastore of Freenet is used by many third-party programs and plugins to provide microblogging and media sharing, anonymous, decentralised version tracking, blogging, a generic Web of trust for decentral spam resistance, Shoeshop for using Freenet over Sneakernet and many more.
Freenet has always been free software, but for most of its history it required users to install non-free Java software. In 2011, this problem was solved and Freenet can now also work with the free OpenJDK Java system.
Freenet is different from most other peer-to-peer applications, both in how users interact with it and in the security it offers. It separates the underlying network structure and protocol from how users interact with the network; as a result, there are a variety of ways to access content on the Freenet network. The simplest is via FProxy, which is integrated with the node software and provides a web interface to content on the network. Using FProxy, a user can browse freesites (web sites that use normal HTML and related tools, but whose content is stored within Freenet rather than on a traditional web server). The web interface is also used for most configuration and node management tasks. Through the use of separate applications or plugins loaded into the node software, users can interact with the network in other ways, such as forums similar to web forums or Usenet or interfaces more similar to traditional p2p "filesharing" interfaces.
While Freenet provides an HTTP interface for browsing freesites, it is not a proxy for the World Wide Web; Freenet can only be used to access content that has been previously inserted into the Freenet network. In this way, it is more similar to Tor's hidden services than to anonymous proxy software like Tor's proxy.
Many of the differences in how Freenet behaves at a user level are direct or indirect consequences of its strong focus on free speech and anonymity. Freenet attempts to protect the anonymity of both people inserting data into the network (uploading) and those retrieving data from the network (downloading). Unlike file sharing systems, there is no need for the uploader to remain on the network after uploading a file or group of files. Instead, during the upload process, the files are broken into chunks and stored on a variety of other computers on the network. When downloading, those chunks are found and reassembled. Every node on the Freenet network contributes storage space to hold files, and bandwidth that it uses to route requests from its peers.
As a direct result of the anonymity requirements, the node requesting a datum does not normally connect directly to the node that has it; instead, the datum is routed across several intermediaries, none of which know which node requested the datum or which one had it. As a result, the total bandwidth required by the network to transfer a file is higher than in other systems, which can result in slower transfers, especially for unpopular content.
Since Version 0.7, Freenet offers two different levels of security: Opennet and Darknet. With Opennet, users connect to arbitrary other users. With Darknet, users connect only to “friends” with whom they previously exchanged Public Keys, named node-references. Both modes can be used together.
Freenet Project Homepage
posted 17 Jun 2012, 18:18
I2P is an anonymizing network, offering a simple layer that identity-sensitive applications can use to securely communicate. All data is wrapped with several layers of encryption, and the network is both distributed and dynamic, with no trusted parties.▼3 comments
Many applications are available that interface with I2P, including mail, peer-peer, IRC chat, and others.
The I2P project was formed in 2003 to support the efforts of those trying to build a more free society by offering them an uncensorable, anonymous, and secure communication system. I2P is a development effort producing a low latency, fully distributed, autonomous, scalable, anonymous, resilient, and secure network. The goal is to operate successfully in hostile environments - even when an organization with substantial financial or political resources attacks it. All aspects of the network are open source and available without cost, as this should both assure the people using it that the software does what it claims, as well as enable others to contribute and improve upon it to defeat aggressive attempts to stifle free speech.
Anonymity is not a boolean - we are not trying to make something "perfectly anonymous", but instead are working at making attacks more and more expensive to mount. I2P is a low latency mix network, and there are limits to the anonymity offered by such a system, but the applications on top of I2P, such as Syndie, I2P mail, and I2PSnark extend it to offer both additional functionality and protection.
I2P is still a work in progress. It should not be relied upon for "guaranteed" anonymity at this time, due to the relatively small size of the network and the lack of extensive academic review. It is not immune to attacks from those with unlimited resources, and may never be, due to the inherent limitations of low-latency mix networks.
I2P works by routing traffic through other peers, as shown in the following picture. All traffic is encrypted end-to-end. For more information about how I2P works, see the Introduction.
Help, Guides, Troubleshoot - English and Italian Support for I2p Installation