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CNET News.com: Free, anonymous information on the anarchists' Net

Apr 27, 2000, 20:20 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Borland)

"Clarke and a growing group of allied programmers are creating a kind of parallel Internet called "Freenet," where censorship is impossible, surfers are anonymous, and content is moved and hosted automatically to points near the people who want it...."

"The system is built around the efforts of volunteers, who set up Freenet network "nodes," or connection points, on their own computers to store content. Once a song, document, video or anything else is uploaded into this system, it is distributed around participating computers, automatically stored in nodes near the users who ask for the content, and removed from machines where there is no interest."

"The system is designed to be almost entirely anonymous. The actual content on any given host computer changes over time, and will ultimately be encrypted, so no host will know what is on his or her machine. The keywords used to search the network for files are also scrambled, making it extremely difficult for authorities to find out who is hosting what, or who is looking for what particular piece of information...."

"While it's impossible to tell how many people are using the system at any given time, about 20,000 people have downloaded an early version of it in the last few weeks...."

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