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CNET: Networks promise unfettered file swapping

Jun 19, 2001, 17:37 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Borland)

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"While the first generation of file-trading technologies fights over Napster's leavings, more radical Net programmers are still committed to building a wholly anonymous, virtually untraceable way of communicating and trading files online. Chief among these is Freenet, an open-source project viewed by many as the ultimate inheritor to Napster's original promise of free online file swapping.

For the first time, the largely volunteer effort has hired a paid staffer, Swedish student Oskar Sandberg, who will get $2500 for two months of work, using funds from an online donation pool. Developers hope that allowing one of their members to work full time on the project will help the completion of a new release, the first in almost a year, that finally will make Freenet faster and easier to use.

"This release will move away from Freenet as a research platform," said Ian Clarke, the British programmer who originally conceived Freenet as a university thesis. "We never expected it to be used widely this early in its development."

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