P2p networks for underground propaganda

In his speech at a security conference in Las Vegas, Ian Clarke said that the next version of the p2p program Freenet makes it quite difficult for government agencies to trace the identities of its members. These kinds of networks, typified as darknets, can only be reached if an already existing member lets the new user in. In addition, Freenet is set up in such a way that it is practically impossible to track users or control the information being shared. This makes it particularly suitable for spreading illegal information, such as banned books or child pornography. However, the purpose for which Clarke has written Freenet is political in nature; he wants to enable users to get out of the censorship applied by the government in countries like China. The developer believes that the disadvantages of a darknet, such as enabling software piracy, do not outweigh the advantages of an uncensored and anonymous network.

Conventional p2p networks like Gnutella and eDonkey can easily be reached by downloading a client that contacts other members and nodes of the respective network via a server. In the past, networks that connect through a main server have come under fire from anti-piracy organizations and music and movie companies for their ability to distribute illegal files. As a result, new networks such as Kademlia were developed. In these types of networks, any computer with a client acts as a server that can perform searches. Experts believe that the legal action that organizations such as Brein and BSA are taking against developers and users of p2p clients will make the networks look more and more like darknets and the programs will contain similar functionality.