Designing Privacy Enhancing Technologies

Volume 2009 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 46-66


Freenet: A Distributed Anonymous Information Storage and Retrieval System

  • Ian ClarkeAffiliated withUprizer, Inc.
  • , Oskar SandbergAffiliated with
  • , Brandon WileyAffiliated with
  • , Theodore W. HongAffiliated withDepartment of Computing, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine

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We describe Freenet, an adaptive peer-to-peer network application that permits the publication, replication, and retrieval of data while protecting the anonymity of both authors and readers. Freenet operates as a network of identical nodes that collectively pool their storage space to store data files and cooperate to route requests to the most likely physical location of data. No broadcast search or centralized location index is employed. Files are referred to in a location-independent manner, and are dynamically replicated in locations near requestors and deleted from locations where there is no interest. It is infeasible to discover the true origin or destination of a file passing through the network, and dificult for a node operator to determine or be held responsible for the actual physical contents of her own node.