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[FYI] No-Name Internet Use Poses Security Threat-Report


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Wednesday March 22 4:27 PM ET 

No-Name Internet Use Poses Security Threat-Report  

LONDON (Reuters) - An Internet system designed to guarantee anonymous 
free speech on the Web could be used by child pornographers and 
terrorists, according to New Scientist magazine.  

Freenet was created by Edinburgh University graduate Ian Clarke and 
other programmers to make tracing the originators of a file 
impossible, thereby giving dissidents in countries without free 
speech a voice.  

But the Internet Watch Foundation, an independent body that monitors 
Web sites in Britain, fears the decentralized system could be used 
for more sinister purposes.  

``There is clear potential for misuse by criminals, terrorists and 
pedophiles,'' Roger Darlington, the chairman of the foundation, told 
the weekly magazine in its latest issue.  

British police also warned that it could make policing the Internet 
and tracking down computer crimes even more difficult.  

Freenet's authors are difficult to track down because files do not 
have a unique Internet address and are distributed on computers 
belonging to Freenet members.  

``When a file is stored, it is given a key, Freenet's equivalent of a 
Web address. The software then forwards the data to other servers, 
but the creator of the file doesn't know to which. To retrieve a 
file, users enter the key,'' New Scientist said.  

According to Clarke a single computer user cannot be held responsible 
for Freenet files because the originator cannot be traced.  

``It's perfect machine anarchy,'' said Clarke. ``No single computer 
is in control.''  

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