: There are way
cleaner and simpler ways to do this. My path is somewhat tortured in an effort to try to touch each piece. Obviously this is just a redundancy exercise, not an anonymity exercise.
Posted a HowTo basically chronicling my efforts to host Tor, I2P and Freenet hidden services.
Here are the steps I cover...
- Create Github Pages (Jekyll) repo.
- Create a VM ( ~$3/mo )
- Install webserver in VM and host  in it
- Install tor, i2p, freesite into VM
- Host  in tor and i2p
- Upload  to freenet
- Archive  to web-archive
- Archive  to web-archive
- Now the one set of data is available in:
- GitHub's webserver
- Own VM webserver
- Own VM TOR hidden service (onion)
- Own VM I2P hidden service (eepsite)
- Freenet USK (freesite)
- WebArchive of GitHub's instance
- WebArchive of VM instance
- 7 instances of the data if the VM stays up
- 4 instances of the data if the VM provider (amazon, google, microsoft) deplatforms you.
- 3 instances of the data if the VM provider and GitHub (microsoft) both deplatforms you.
Trying to illustrate if someone fears that an ISP, platform, or network may object to their content, there are still ways (on the cheap) to make sure that data is available to the public. The instance I'm testing is small enough that it might be able to do the same on a Raspberry Pi. Of course if hosting on a Raspberry Pi, the ISP could deplatform the data, by blocking incoming connections (most ISPs forbid hosting
Links (don't know how long I'll keep up...)
Here are my thoughts.
As a privacy enthusiast, I am somewhat dismayed by the amount of abuse that anonymous networks such as Freenet, Tor, and I2P see in the world today. What initially drew me to Freenet was that it actively segregated "ethical" content from clearly unethical content. The filtered index is of infinitely higher moral ground than Tor's 'hidden wiki'. I love the nostalgic look and feel of freesites, how easy it is to put up a basic HTML text site, and the overall philosophy of the network. Also it's written in Java which is really cool. In many ways, the prospect of adding "friends" humanizes the idea of a darknet. I think Freenet can become what the Internet was in the 90's before the NSA spied on everyone and ISP's sold your internet history. Anyone can create a website and upload it, there is no cost, no centralization, no proprietary software. It's practically a free association of producers! Everything I advocate as a socialist!
I still feel this burning enthusiasm for this tool. But after a few days of exploring I was very, very upset when I saw the garbage on the automated "Yet another freesite index" or whatever it is called. Do people realize how much pedo trash is going around on the Freenet? I feel even more horrified by the fact that I enthusiastically opted for a bigger-than-asked-for storage of encrypted bits of data on my personal computer. This is not to say I do not support the idea of Freenet, I just want to burn away the immoral and indefensible swine that has burrowed into it. I have come to the conclusion that the only real way to do this is to try to get more people to use the network and contribute to it. Is that crazy? On the clearnet, I'd imagine blatantly unethical content makes up what? Around 2% or so of the total internet? That's not because sickos aren't out there, but because normal people of sound morality make up the overwhelming majority of society. The security of the clearnet is improved through hackers, the majority of whom are ethical/ white hat hackers. On the offensive, those who produce and cower behind the unethical are typically, though not always, targeted first and foremost by these hackers (often in law enforcement). This strikes terror into the hearts of the guilty, but sometimes into the hearts of the innocent too, which is the problem. This is what NSA mass surveillance programs did, which is why services such as Freenet are so crucial to preserving what the internet once was. I do not even want to speculate what that percentage is on Freenet, hopefully less than 30%. If we get more and more people to use Freenet, we can hopefully get that number down to 2%.
I would invite pen-testers and law enforcement to Freenet for the explicit purpose of targeting the users and creators of child pornography on Freenet. It is, in many ways, a "trial by fire" of the Freenet architecture and it also has the effect of "striking terror" into the hearts of those who do such things. But I have noticed in browsing this subreddit in particular, that this "terror" has affected not only the guilty, but the innocent as well. For instance: https://www.reddit.com/Freenet/comments/4es8lv/law_enforcement_freenet_project_links/
OP here says that, "They've basically decided that everyone that uses Freenet is an offender. If they cannot reliably deanonymize users, they'll simply lie about being able to do so.
If you run Freenet on Opennet, you're at risk of having your house searched and computers seized."
This is a huge problem as it scares innocent users (who I hope and believe make up the overwhelming majority of users) away from Freenet, while it does nothing to stop the guilty from using Darknet mode.
Such statements mark the degeneration of a network, but this degeneration is not permanent. What can we do to change this? Freenet by its very nature is censorship resistant. It's defining and most noble attribute is, at the same time, it's most fatal flaw. When a bug is detected, it should be, in my view, used to de-anonymize those, and only those, who explicitly and consciously upload and download child abuse material. Only then should it be fixed by the developers. I do not mean that they should identify the bug to law enforcement and allow them to handle it on their own. That would be a dangerous bargain and it could set a disastrous precedent for the network. Rather, if such power is to be wielded, it should be wielded by the developers themselves. This would strike terror into the hearts of the guilty and the guilty alone, it is the only responsible way to fix things in my view. I would argue that this radical action would mark not a betrayal of the ethical and philosophical principles on which Freenet was founded, but rather a turn towards the original goal of a censorship-resistant darknet with a human face. Only purification of the network can ensure this renewal.
So what will I do in the meantime? I will create more freesites detailing my thoughts and ideas, regardless of what others think of them. That is the beauty of a truly decentralized free press, such as the one Freenet embodies. I will encourage more people to use the network. And most pressingly, I want to hear the thoughts and ideas of those who use and develop Freenet as to how we can address this. I appeal to the morality of the developers. What do we want Freenet to be? How can we realize this vision? To me, I cannot accept things the way they are. Freenet can be something so much more in my opinion.
If the current problem is hosting the database on a decentralised network, is it possible to take a database file, and update similarly to freesites (i.e. pull most recently found version)? The page itself could house a key required to decrypt the file, so that only it can view and edit the database, and pull the relevant data to create a dynamic page.
Just an idea, thoughts?