"Freenet - one of the Big Three of P2P (the others, of course,
are Napster and Gnutella) - has mostly been written about, even by
founder Ian Clarke, as a censorship-proof network, where no one
knows where a specific piece of information exists. Even the
owners of Freenet nodes don't know what content exists on their
computers. But Freenet is much more than an anonymity system:
Clarke has built into it the seeds of a radically new
"What makes Freenet technology radical is the way information is
propagated across the system. On the Web, a person puts up a
document on a server and clients ask for it. The more popular the
content is, the more difficult it is to make it available. If your
document is a new book by Stephen King, your server starts to
buckle under the load, your bandwidth slows to a crawl, and not
only the popular document, but all documents on your server become
less and less available. To alleviate the problem, you have to add
more servers, more redundancy."
"In Freenet, as Clarke explains in this interview, a request for
information not only delivers the information to the requesting
node, but also replicates the document on the nodes closest to the
requestor. This has two effects: information moves closer to people
who want it and the more popular information is, the more copies of
it exist. Unlike the Web, the more popular content is, the more -
not less - available it is."
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