[Tech] opennet/darknet

Matthew Toseland toad at amphibian.dyndns.org
Tue Dec 7 17:51:46 GMT 2010

On Sunday 05 December 2010 05:21:42 hppppl fdfjisoa wrote:
> Hello, I remember all the discussions about opennet vs. darknet with difficult security issues causing the project to focus on darknet, and I am reminded of my nagging questions by recent devl discussions.
> I have concerns about darknet that maybe you folks have all figured out, but I don't recall it being mentioned anywhere, so perhaps you can explain.
> Many people obviously correlate the desire for anonymity for the desire to conduct 'illegal' behavior. Would I want to directly ask people I know if they run or if they would be willing to run a freenet node in a society where there may be a stigma associated with this?
> What if a country makes running a freenet node illegal? Is it then more safe to be connected to people you know? Is it more safe to approach the people you know about it and risk getting turned in? Or when someone you know is caught operating a node, then they can confess about all the people they connect to, and whole groups of people can be caught at once.
> I am wondering if opennet's inadequacies are inherent or if making it more secure is very hard. I'm just trying to imagine how the different concepts play out in various scenarios. I guess I just don't understand the reasoning.
Opennet's inadequacies are IMHO inherent. It may be possible to build an opennet-style distributed onion routing network like I2P (but IMHO it's an open question), but on freenet's architecture it is inherently very vulnerable.

The answer to all such paranoid attacks on darknet is simple:
There is absolutely no way we can make it easy for a new user to get bootstrapped onto opennet without making it easy for an attacker to find and either connect to or block all opennet nodes.

Right now opennet's security is so poor that they are more likely to connect to them all rather than blocking them. However blocking them is a very cheap option.

The cost of creating a climate of fear where you can be subject to a dawn raid merely because somebody said they heard you talking about Freenet, and where you can be imprisoned merely because Freenet was found after that, or where a large proportion of your darknet peers are likely to knowingly run government surveillance software, is *vastly* higher than *any* conceivable attack on even a large opennet.
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