The Internet regards censorship as damage, and routes around it. As the methods of censorship become more sophisticated and sinister, better technology is needed to avoid these faults in the network and maintain an efficient flow of information. To this end, programmers are busy developing the next generation of censorship-resistant systems.

They seek to achieve this primarily by using encryption, distribution and non-centrality to obscure the actual location of sensitive data so it can't be removed from the network. FreeNet is a development project for a non-centralised network that sits on top of the Internet, and in which every participant stores a share of the information.

Encryption ensures that it's very difficult to know exactly where a piece of information resides, while keeping it easy to retrieve the data. Distribution makes sure that information is widely reproduced across the globe, making it more difficult for censors to prevent rightful access. A cool feature is that when the network detects an attempt to remove information, it spreads even more copies of that data around. A non-hierarchical structure means that FreeNet contains no central server such as that used by Napster, so there is no single critical point which is vulnerable to attack by the forces of evil.

If you want to participate in this project (currently in beta) to protect your rights and the rights of your children, visit the Web site for more information.


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