Freenet Archives

Another Internet Inventor In Favor Of Throttling P2P

Lawrence Roberts is one of those names that most people using the Internet have probably never heard or read before.  He’s one of the people that were involved in developing what has come to be the Internet that we all use today.  Specifically, He did a lot of the groundbreaking work in “networking through data packets”

Recently however, He’s got something else going on and it touches one of the hot topics in today’s Internet: P2P file sharing.

He’s put together a company called “Anagran” that’s producing “deep packet inspection” devices that he claims can detect which file transfers are P2P and is therefore able to throttle those transfers “in favor of other, more ‘high-priority’ traffic”

All I can say is that it’s a good thing that P2P software developers are continuing their work to stay ahead of efforts to block or throttle people’s ability to share files.  Other than that, he’s just about guaranteed himself a place of high prominence in the pantheon of the most despised people online.

Technorati Tags: p2p, deep packet inspection, throttling, file sharing, bittorrent, throttle p2p, bandwidth, p2p software, detect p2p

Thingamablog Templates And Freenet 0.5

Recently I wrote about a project Modifying Thingamablog For Freenet 0.5 and while I have not yet been able to solve the puzzle of how to make the needed mods for the current version of Thingamablog, I have run into a problem with the templates.

Thingamablog uses tags within the templates that need to be converted into the final urls for each of the various pages within a blog.  For example, every occurance of <$BaseURL$> in the template will be replaced with the BaseUrl of the blog.  i.e. http://blog.domain.com

There are several of these tags:
<$IndexPageLink$>
<$ArchiveLink$>
<$PageLink$>
<$FrontPageLink$>

They present a problem when inserting the blog into freenet however because in order to do that, the BaseUrl has to be #$#ps.key;/#$#e:ps.ednum;//, which the Freesite Insertion Wizard (FiW) will replace with the correct /SSK@publickeyvalue/edition-number//

The problem is that this only works for the index.html page of the blog.  I need to find a way to convince FiW to parse all of the .html pages in the blog instead of just the index.  This is needed in order for the different pages of the blog to work within freenet.

I’d appreciate input from Freenet 0.5 users or Thingamablog users on ways to get the themes that are distributed with Thingamablog to work properly for freenet blogs (flogs)

I’d really like to get this off the ground because publishing within freenet is a great way to be able to distribute material that would otherwise be subject to censorship and Thingamablog is a great tool for creating and formatting the flog (freenet blog) before it is published.

Technorati Tags: blog, Blogging, fiw, flog, Freenet, freenet+0.5, freesite+insertion+wizard, template+tags, thingamablog

Modifying Thingamablog For Freenet 0.5

When I started my first blog, I was using thingamablog to do it with.  I’ve long since converted to WordPress but I remember it well.  It was actually a decent program.

Then on the latest edition of the flog “My Two Cents Worth(freenet link*)” there’s talk of a version that’s been modified so that it’s possible to use it for freenet.  I’ve known about this version since it was created and I even knew that the original developer of the freenet mod hasn’t worked on it in a long time and has, in fact lost their source code in a hard drive crash.  What I hadn’t realized however was that in all this time, nobody else has taken up the project.

So, I took a look at the test flog (freenet link*) and the flog (a ‘flog’ is a Freenet Blog) of the guy who did the mod (freenet link*) and it’s all very familiar Thingamablog style blog, though the only known executable: Thingamablog-1.0.5.freenet.jar

has got a few bugs that need to be worked out.  Apparently it’s not quite the version used to insert /jaff/15// (freenet link*) and the original project was never completed.

Since the modified source is not available, I got the source for Thingamablog 1.16b from Sourceforge and tried to recreate what had been done on 1.0.5 Here’s the source code for what I’ve managed so far: Source code for freenet version of thingamablog1.16b

So far, I’ve managed to do the part described in /jaff/12// (freenet link*), so it’ will accept
#$#ps.key;/#$#e:ps.ednum;// as a base URL which FiW can then parse into the correct freesite key for insertion, but there still remains the part described in /jaff/13// (freenet link*).

I’ve not been able to figure out where in the source the thing puts together the URLs for categories, archive pages, or individual article permalinks

The problem is that while I’ve varying degrees of skill in Basic, C, html, php, tcl and a bit of javascript I haven’t done much with Java at all.  This makes figuring out somebody elses code a lot more difficult.

Back in January I tried asking on the Thingamablog forum on Sourceforge and haven’t yet seen a reply.

If somebody would be willing to take a look at this source and give me a clue or six I’d love to see this project completed and working.  Especially if it could achieve Jafo’s original goal of adding functionality to TAMB that would let it handle the inserts as well as the blog management duties.

This would make creating and maintaining a flog so easy that it could well bring more *current* freesites into existence.

Besides, as was pointed out on /mytwocents/61//(freenet link*), 0.7 has taken this idea and run with it.  THEY have a thingamablog that is tailored to talk directly to the 0.7 node.

http://downloads.freenetproject.org/alpha/thingamablog/thingamablog.zip

I don’t know about anybody else but this idea originated on 0.5 and I’d like to see 0.5 benefit from an easy to use, self contained, Flog publishing system that this could turn into.

===

* Note: links marked with “(freenet link*)” will only work if you have freenet 0.5 running on 127.0.0.1:8888

Technorati Tags: Anonymity, anonymous+blogging, anonymous+publishing, Blogging, blogs, flog, Freenet, freenet+blog, freenet+publishing, java, Open+source, Programming, publishing, sourceforge, thingamablog

Freenet 0.7.0 release candidate 1 released

First, I’ll quote the “official” announcement that appeared on the Freenet support list this morning:

Freenet is a global peer-to-peer network designed to allow users to publish and consume information without fear of censorship.  To use it, you must download the Freenet software, available for Windows, Mac, Linux and other operating systems.  Once you install and run Freenet, your computer will join a global, decentralized P2P network. You will be able to publish and consume information anonymously, either through your web browser, or through a
variety of third party applications.

Freenet 0.7 is a ground-up rewrite of Freenet.  The key user-facing feature in Freenet 0.7 is the ability to operate Freenet in a “darknet” mode, where your Freenet node will only talk to other Freenet users that you trust.  This makes it much more difficult for an adversary to discover that you are using Freenet, let alone what you are doing with it. 0.7 also includes significant improvements to both security and performance.

Freenet 0.7 RC1 can be downloaded from:

http://freenetproject.org/download.html

There’s been a lot of work done on 0.7 since it was split off from 0.5 back in Dec 2005 and yes, 0.7 is faster … for small files and Frost messages.  I understand that large files can still take two to three times longer to retrieve or insert on 0.7 as the same files will take on 0.5

However, 0.7 is worth checking out and looking around.  It will probably take a while for people new to freenet to become familiarized with how things work and get a feel for best practices.  However, with either version there are some basics:

1), For best results, your node should run 24/7 or as much of the time as possible.

2), The larger your node’s data store, the better.  I’d recommend at least 1GB and preferably more. My 0.5 node has 25GB of store and my 0.7 node is set to use 10GB for now.

3), When a new node first starts up, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a day or so to get sufficiently integrated into the network for freesites and files to start loading at a decent pace.

4), On 0.7, you’re better off to exchange darknet refs with ~ 10 to 15 other nodes and disable “promiscuous mode” (opennet)

I personally intend to stay with 0.5 as my primary freenet experience.  Especially since development work has re-started on it a few months ago.

I will also continue to maintain my own “unofficial freenet alternative download” page with installers for several recent builds of freenet, a seednodes.ref file and a little bit of help getting it installed and started.  I’ve just started some update work on this page and will be adding several more pages to cover several freenet utilities as time permits.

Technorati Tags: anonymous+p2p, anonymous+file+sharing, 0.7+release, alternative+download, alternative+freenet+download, download, Freenet, freenet+0.5, freenet+0.7, freenet+download, freenet+help, freenet+utilities, node+reference, seednodes, unofficial+freenet

Japan to Cut Internet Access for Winny Users

Japan’s four main Internet provider organizations have gotten together and worked out an arrangement where they’re going to be cutting Internet access to people using the “WinNy” P2P file sharing program.

Their big reason for this is the big battle against piracy.  They’re claiming that most of the files being traded by the 1.75 million or so WinNy users in Japan are illegal copies of:

3.55 million examples of illegally copied gaming software, worth about 9.5 billion yen at regular software prices, and 610,000 examples of illegally copied music files, worth 440 million yen,

I have to say that it’s interesting that they claim there is so much more trading of games than there is of music which, as far as I know, is totally backwards from claims made elsewhere about what’s being shared.

They haven’t gone into any details of course as to HOW they’re deciding that a particular WinNy user is sharing “illegal copies” of programs and music, which is particularly interesting because while I understand that WinNy message forums aren’t anonymous, the file transfer system itself *IS* anonymous.  Given that, there’s no real way to be sure that any one user has, in fact, uploaded or downloaded any given file (at least, without searching their hard drives and even then if the user in question maintains good security practices, that will also prove fruitless.)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that WinNy is and has been used for trading a lot of “illegal copies” of stuff, but it also serves as an anonymous means of sharing information and as such is valuable in spite of any illegal use.

The thing is though, that it apparently can be detected and therefore blocked and it’s also possible to identify users by tracing the non-anonymous forum part of it’s network to identify the IP addresses of users.

I’m thinking that this is a situation in which the people using WinNy would do well to consider switching to Freenet.  Freenet has a distinct advantage in that ALL of it’s traffic is 100% anonymous and encrypted.  Content being distributed over freenet cannot be identified by an observer, nor is it possible to determine who is inserting or requesting any particular file.

Freenet also has a messaging system that keeps all of the message exchanges within the same encrypted, anonymous transport layer that is used to store and move files.  I believet that it’s also been reported that Freenet nodes can often communicate even in situations where other networks have been blocked.

There are currently two main branches of freenet in use:

Freenet 0.5, which is considered by many to be the “stable” version, has been around for quite a while and is once again under active development.

Freenet 0.7, which is the new version that’s currently in “alpha” state of development where a lot of new code is being developed and tested.

Because of the anonymous nature of Freenet it is not possible to know exactly but it’s estimated that both versions have several thousand users with that number growing all the time on both versions of the network (note: Freenet 0.5 and Freenet 0.7 are separate networks and do not [currently, I think that may change someday] communicate with each other directly.

I think that both networks would benefit greatly by the increase in the number of nodes that’s possible if WinNy users switch to one or the other network.

Technorati Tags: Anonymity, anonymous+p2p, file+sharing, Freenet, internet+access, japan, japanese+isp, p2p, winny

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