What Wikileaks Should Have Done
As most of you are probably aware the ultimate whistleblower site, wikileaks, has once again been in the news quite a bit because it has published thousands of documents, messages and so on that have proven to be a major source of embarrassment to not only the US government but to several other governments around the world.
As a result, not only is it’s top guy up to his eyeballs in legal trouble of all kinds, the site itself has been under attack in a big way. There’s several governments and mega-corporations pushing hard, doing their best to get the site taken down, even going so far as to remove DNS entries that make it work.
In response there’s a whole bunch of people working to mirror the site in several different places to keep it online. This is all fine and dandy and will no doubt work to varying degrees depending on jurisdiction but there’s one option that they have apparently decided not to consider.
One of the first places to mirror the data that they have been releasing ought to have been Freenet Classic Opennet (FCon).
Because the primary reason for the existence of FCon in the first place is to provide a means to publish and obtain information on the Internet without fear of censorship.
You see, FCon isn’t just another run of the mill P2P file sharing system like Kazaa, Limewire, or Bittorrent. Data inserted into FCon becomes part of an encrypted, distributed data store. Additionally, because the data store is encrypted, node operators cannot be expected to know the contents of their node’s data store. Nor do they have any ability to edit or censor that content.
Once something is inserted into the network it continues to be available even after the node that inserted it goes off-line. For example, there are websites that were inserted into the network as long ago as 2001 that can still be retrieved today even though the original authors have long since left the network.
The reason that I think Wikileaks should make use of FCon is because once the information they wish to publish is inserted, they can ask other FCon users to republish that information on the conventional internet. Thus the information still comes out while at the same time it’s in a position where it literally cannot be taken down or deleted.
In fact, once something is inserted into the FCon network, even the act of requesting it to see if it’s there will actually cause the network to propagate that data to more nodes, thus increasing the chances that it will still be available years later.
I’m not saying that wikileaks should use FCon exclusively but it IS something that they should add to their toolbox. I should also say that the title of this post isn’t necessarily the end of he situation. Wikileaks still has the option to download freenet (FCon), set up a node (or six, or a few dozen) and start inserting stuff that they don’t want taken down.
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