This new "FreeNet"
April 26, 2000 2:29 PM   Subscribe

This new "FreeNet" sounds like a perfect utopia, where all information is free like beer, and not just free like speech. Some of the provisions for the network, like not being able to remove a file, remaining anonymous, and not even being able to track down where the files are really coming from make it sound like a anarchist's paradise. I'm wondering though, will it be a place to exchange banned books, or will it be clogged with porn, warez, and mp3s? Will it be populated with idealists against censorship, or AOLers wanting free stuff? Do things always go to the lowest common denominator right away, or does it take time?
posted by mathowie (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It will end up in court.

'FreeNet' has already been trademarked, by the "get your local information and email without paying" folks, for one of which I volunteer.
posted by baylink at 2:33 PM on April 26, 2000

Do things always go to the lowest common denominator right away, or does it take time?

Used Gnutella? I imagine the evolution of the two will be virtually identical. In capability they aren't horribly different, though Freenet is vastly more elegant. Oh, and Gnutella's searchable, Freenet isn't.
posted by Jeremy Bowers at 2:50 PM on April 26, 2000

I've a huge advocate of privacy and free speech, but I see this and think "Cool! Now I can post that accusation that Matt Haughey is a bank embezzler and he can't do anything about it! Doctored photos and all! Let the libel and slander begin!" :)

There is always a tradeoff. Complete anonymity begats complete freedom of speech; complete anonymity begats complete freedom from integrity and ethical behavior. I don't know if it's worth that tradeoff or not. Honestly, I don't. Something to think about.
posted by mrmorgan at 3:41 PM on April 26, 2000

Also I can't see freenet being used for anything beyond the trading of anything but flat files, so that will mean mp3, warez and porn. Could you set up a weblog that is distributed over freenet? How about a discussion group? Could metafilter be run off this environment?

One step forward, two steps back.
posted by captaincursor at 7:19 PM on April 26, 2000

Since it's open source, someone will eventually make a server that supports cgi. Although th' current clients are text-based (I think) someone could make a browser.
And if it's not natively searchable, someone could make a bot to index it, no? It's been a while since I read about it, I might be off on this.
posted by sonofsamiam at 6:15 AM on April 27, 2000

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