After 3 years of development, the latest version of Freenet is here. This version protects users from persecution for even using Freenet, let alone for the content they’re distributing. Freenet is a vital tool against censorship, particularly in countries like China where freedom of speech is often severely curtailed. For the unfamiliar, here’s the quick description of Freenet from their site:
Freenet is free software which lets you publish and obtain information on the Internet without fear of censorship. To achieve this freedom, the network is entirely decentralized and publishers and consumers of information are anonymous. Without anonymity there can never be true freedom of speech, and without decentralization the network will be vulnerable to attack.
Congratulations to Ian Clarke, Matthew Toseland, and the other the Freenet developers. The quote on the Freenet site epitomizes the importance of the project:
“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, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Freenet is a vital weapon in that war.
I’m also excited to have Ian as a new addition to the LittleShoot advisory board, one of many things we’ll be making more announcements about soon. I’ve always had a great respect for Ian’s emphasis on p2p’s importance as a politically disruptive tool for free speech. We all got caught up in the copyright wars and missed the big picture, but not Ian.