"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."