please help FreeNet by becoming a node

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From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Wed Mar 01 2000 - 15:38:39 PST

(((I urge you to donate some of your computational/networking
   resources to the Freenet project, even if it's a single xDSL
   box. Details how to help see Latest News below.)))

"I worry about my child and the Internet all the time, even though
she's too young to have logged on yet. Here's what I worry about. I
worry that 10 or 15 years from now, she will come to me and say
'Daddy, where were you when they took freedom of the press away from
the Internet?'" -Mike Godwin


 Latest News

18th Feb 2000 - Now is your chance to help Freenet is now in its
testing phase, to facilitate this we need people who can run a Freenet
node on their computers. To participate you will need a computer
capable of running java 1.1 which has a permanent connection to the
Internet, a fixed IP address, and is not behind a firewall. If you
have access to such a beast and would like to help the Freenet project
please click here for instructions on how to install a Freenet server.

 What is Freenet?

The Freenet project aims to create an information publication system
similar to the World Wide Web (but with several major advantages over
it - see next section), where information can be inserted into the
system and associated with a "key" (the key is normally some form of
description of the data such as "freenet source code V1.0"). Later
anyone else can retrieve the data using the appropriate key. In this
respect it is a little like the World Wide Web which requires a "URL"
to retrieve a particular document. To participate in this system
users will simply need to run a piece of Java software on their
computer, and optionally use a client to insert and remove information
from the system. Anyone can write a client (or indeed a server)
however the reference implementations will be written in Java. If you
are interested in why someone might want to create a system like
Freenet please take a look at the philosophy page.

 Why is Freenet interesting?

Click on any of the following reasons for more information about each:

     Freenet does not have any form of centralised control or
     It will be virtually impossible to forcibly remove a piece
     of information from Freenet
     Both authors and readers of information stored on this
     system may remain anonymous if they wish
     Information will be distributed throughout the Freenet
     network in such a way that it is difficult to determine
     where information is being stored
     Anyone can publish information, they don't need to buy
     a domain name, or even a permanent Internet
     Availability of information will increase in proportion to
     the demand for that information
     Information will move from parts of the Internet where
     it is in low-demand to areas where demand is greater

 What is Freenet's current status?

Much of the server is complete, and a command line client (which is
developed in parallel and shares some code with the server) is also
nearing completion. As of 8th Feb 2000 the following remains to be

     Some minor changes to message behaviour
     Fix hashing on Liberator (a contributed Perl
     implementation of a Freenet client)
     Implement tunneling (a mechanism which will
     dramatically improve Freenet response times)
     Speed up handshaking mechanism (which will also
     improve response times)
     Conduct a wide-scale multi-node beta-test (at present
     most tests have been conducted by running several nodes
     on the same computer).

You should subscribe to the announcement mailing list to be informed
of major releases (this is a low traffic mailing list).

 Can I help?

Yes, definitely. If you have Java programming experience, or are
familiar with cryptography then you will be particularly useful, but
everyone is welcome. If you just want to find out more make sure you
have read everything on this site - and then join the General mailing
list. If you are keen to contribute, first take a look at the code in
CVS, then you should join the Development mailing list and let us know
what you think you can do.

 Why implement the first Freenet server in


     Java is the most cross-platform language currently
     There are free Java implementations available such as
     Kaffe, we will ensure that Freenet is always compatible
     with these versions even if Sun attempt to make it more
     difficult for free Java implementations to keep up.
     Java has excellent network support
     Java is easier to debug than other languages such as C++,
     and this lets us get on with the business of implementing
     Freenet quickly and reliably!

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