A vision for a social Freenet with WoT, FreeTalk and Sone

I let my thought wander a bit around the question how a social Freenet (2.0 ;) ) could look from the view of a newcomer.

I imagine myself installing freenet. The first thing to come up after starting it is the node page. (italic Text in brackets is a comment. The links need a Freenet running on to work)

“Welcome to Freenet, where no one can tell you’re reading”

“Freenet tries hard to project your privacy. Therefore we created a pseudonymous ID for you. Its name is Gandi Schmidt. Visit the [your IDs site] to see a legend we prepared for you. You can use this legend as fictional background for your ID, if you are really serious about staying anonymous.”

(The name should be generated randomly for each ID. A starting point for that could be a list of scientists from around the world compiled from the wikipedia (link needs freenet). The same should be true for the legend, though it is harder to generate. The basic information should be a quote (people remember that), a job and sex, the country the ID comes from (maybe correlated with the name) and a hobby.)

“During the next few restarts, Freenet will ask you to solve various captchas to prove that you are indeed human. Once enough other nodes successfully confirmed that you are human, you will gain write access to the forums and microblogging. This might take a few hours to a few days.”

(as soon as the ID has sufficient trust, automatically activate posting to FreeTalk, Sone and others. Access is delayed to ensure that when people talk they can get answers)

“Note that other nodes don’t know who you are. They don’t know your IP, nor your real identity. The only thing they know is that you exist, that you can solve captchas and how to send you a message.”

“You can create additional IDs at any time and give them any name and legend you choose by adding it on the WebOfTrust-page. Each new ID has to verify for itself that it’s human, though. If you carefully keep them seperate, others can only find out with a lot of effort that your IDs are related. Mind your writing style. In doubt, keep your sentences short. To make it easier for you to stay anonymous, you can autogenerate Name and Legend at random. Don’t use the nicest from many random trials, else you can be traced by the kind of random IDs you select.”

“While your humanity is being confirmed, you can find a wealth of content on the following indexes, some published anonymously, some not. If you want to publish your own anonymous site, see Upload a Freesite. The list of indexes uses dynamic bookmarks. You get notified whenever a bookmarked site (like the indexes below) gets updated.”

“Note: If you download content from freenet, it is being cached by other nodes. Therefore popular content is faster than rare content and you cannot overload nodes by requesting their data over and over again.”

“You are currently using medium security in the range from low to high.”

“In this security level, seperated IDs are no perfect protection of your anonymity, though, since other members might not be able to see what you do in Freenet, but they can know that you use freenet in the first place, and corporations or governments with medium sized infrastructure can launch attacks which might make it possible to trace your contributions and accesses. If you want to disappear completely from the normal web and keep your freenet usage hidden, as well as make it very hard to trace your contributions, to be able to really exercise your right of free speech without fearing repercussions, you can use Freenet as Darknet — the more secure but less newcomer friendly way to use freenet; the current mode is Opennet.”

“To enter the Darknet, you add people you know and trust personally as your darknet friends. As soon as you have enough trusted friends, you can increase the security level to high and freenet will only connect to your trusted friends, making you disappear from the regular internet. The only way to tell that you are using freenet will then be to force your ISP to monitor all traffic coming from your computer.”

“And once transport plugins are integrated, steganography will come into reach and allow masking your traffic as regular internet usage, making it very hard to distinguish freenet from encrypted internet-telephony. If you want to help making this a reality in the near future, please consider contributing or donating to freenet.”

“Welcome to the pseudonymous web where no one can know who you are, but only that you are always using the same ID — if you do so.”

“To show this welcome message again, you can at any time click on Intro in the links.”

What do you think? Would this be a nice way to integrate WoT, FreeTalk, Sone and general user education in a welcome message, while adding more incentive to keep the node running?

PS: Also posted in the Freenet Bugtracker, in Freetalk and in Sone – the last two links need a running Freenet to work.

PPS: This vision is not yet a reality, but all the necessary infrastructure is already in place and working in Freenet. You can already do everything described in here, just without the nice guide and the level of integration (for example activating plugins once you have proven your humanity, which equals enough trust by others to be actually seen).

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