Essay PreviewMore ↓
The internet today is a vast network that contains nearly limitless amounts of information and media. With this immense amount of data at our fingertips, the line between right and wrong has begun to blur. The illegal downloading of copyrighted material has exploded in recent years, but a larger issue looms over the current
copyrighting frenzy. It is that of the preservation of free speech in cyberspace. Should the government be allowed to limit our access to "unsuitable content"? And to what degree? These are not easy questions to answer, nor should they be. Similar questions have been raised throughout history. Freenet is a program that has been developed to provide an answer to the aforementioned question with a definite no. The following essay will explain what Freenet is and how it fits into the free speech debate and future of the internet. In this essay I will discuss the following:
•A quick history of free speech on the Internet
•An explanation of Freenet
•How Freenet functions
•Freenet's role in the future progression of the digital age
•The illegal usage of Freenet
Free Speech and the Internet
The first amendment to the constitution reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." (Constitution) We as Americans have the right to speak our minds. We are able to criticize the government and voice our opinions in the form of voting and political debate. This is not only a right, it is vital for the survival of our country. The internet is no stranger to free speech debates. In early 1996 the Communications Decency Act was passed. This act prevented "indecent" and "patently offensive" content which included profanity and many works of classic literature that contained such material. No less than 6 months later, the CDA was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. In 1997 the Supreme Court granted the Internet full protection under the 1" amendment entitling it the same freedoms of print media. Two sides are now battling on a new front: the abuse of 1" amendment in cyber space through the exchange of illegal material. I will discuss this issue in more detail later.
How to Cite this Page
"The Moral Issues of Freenet and Online File Sharing." 123HelpMe.com. 25 Feb 2020
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The internet has changed the traditional supply chain of the music industry and online file sharing has become a significant part of how music is distributed today. The original model was one of a circulation chain from artist to studio and finally to consumer, however the invention of the mp3 format and the introduction of p2p file sharing have facilitated more direct distribution channels. The first successful attempt at this new method of music sharing came in the form of Napster in 1999 which allowed users to share files across computers, connecting them at much faster speeds with larger sharing quantities in a peer-to-peer file sharing system.... [tags: Peer-to-peer, File sharing, Kazaa, Freenet]
961 words (2.7 pages)
- Freenet: Survey and Implications Abstract: Freenet is a peer to peer file sharing network protocol, first conceived by Ian Clarke, and designed to meet several goals: scalability, anonymity of both publishing and reading, and immunity to all but the most determined denial-of-service (DOS) attacks, whether legal or technological in nature. This paper briefly examines some of Freenet's predecessors, examines how Freenet attempts to achieve its design goals, and examines the implications of a fully functional, world scale Freenet.... [tags: Free Essays Online]
1650 words (4.7 pages)
- The History of File Sharing Abstract People have lots of options when it comes to file sharing, but BitTorrent is the most popular among the file sharing clients. File sharing began when the first floppy disks were established by IBM in 1971. The first floppy disk only held eighty kilobytes of storage. The floppy disk developed throughout time by getting smaller and having more space available on them. The first online bulletin board system was created 1978 by ward Christensen. This system let people share files over a very basic version of the internet.... [tags: File sharing, Peer-to-peer, Copyright]
1994 words (5.7 pages)
- The popularity of peer to peer file sharing was as an offshoot of the introduction of Naspers and people who were in need of certain information and those who could give it were interconnected.[ ] The workings of Peer-to-peer file sharing differ from the old-styled file downloading system in such a way that a software program is used to locate or search for computers that are in possession or have what you need rather than the web browser. The computers are called peers because they are same as yours, they are yours.[ ] So you run the software on your computer and send out a request for the file you need and the software will query other computers with the same software connected to the in... [tags: Peer-to-peer, File sharing]
722 words (2.1 pages)
- Multimedia, everybody loves it, weather its Music, Movies, Video Games, Pictures etc. we all enjoy it. You would usually or typically buy your music, movies, video games or photos online, from some online media service, such as iTunes or Amazon .etc. or at a movie store, or at Wal-Mart. Nothings free weather you’re paying 99 cents for a song or $20.00 for a new Movie that just came out, it’s not free. Sometimes, you might let your friend borrow your movie or something, and then they might lend it to their friend, it might seem like it was free, but it wasn’t you still had to pay for it.... [tags: illegal downloading of music, movies from internet]
734 words (2.1 pages)
- Music File-Sharing- Right or Wrong. To file share or not to file share. That is the question. Should free music off the internet be legal. Who is in the right- Napster or the music industry. There are some of the topics I hoped to discuss when I invited four journalists to my house to debate the controversial issue of online music. Ding-dong. “Uh-oh”, I think, wiping my hands on a paper towel. “They must be here early.” It’s six-thirty, my guests aren’t due to arrive until seven, and I am already a half-hour behind.... [tags: Internet File Sharing Essays]
2547 words (7.3 pages)
- The Pros and Cons of Legalizing File Sharing of MP3s An estimated 70 million people have reportedly engaged in online file sharing, most of it illegal. Illegal downloading mostly of music and some of movies or programs, took off in the late 1990's with the file-sharing programs like Napster, Kazaa, Morpheus, Audiogalaxy, and more. Many of these programs have started charging money for downloads like Napster, have been shut down by the RIAA like Audiogalaxy, or are still downloading illegally like Kazaa.... [tags: File Sharing Music Downloading]
1197 words (3.4 pages)
- An Examination of File-sharing on the Internet “Napster and its founder held the promise of everything the new medium of the Internet encompassed: youth, radical change and the free exchange of information. But youthful exuberance would soon give way to reality as the music industry placed a bull's-eye squarely on Napster.” I. Introduction Today the use of a computer has provided many privileges to its users, and among those privileges the main and largest one is the distribution of information across the internet.... [tags: Research File Sharing Internet Essays]
4591 words (13.1 pages)
- The Global Ethical Perspective of Peer-to-peer File-sharing Introduction This paper is an analytical essay on global ethical issues on peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing. A history and background of peer-to-peer file-sharing will be given, as well as how it became an issue. This paper will explore what aspects of file-sharing are ethical and at what point it becomes unethical. An explanation of the laws will be described and whether the laws different from region-to-region around the world. The paper will include personal experiences with file sharing, as well as an in-depth analysis on the topic with high-quality industry and academic references to defend a particular moral/ethical positio... [tags: Technology Internet File Sharing Essays]
4077 words (11.6 pages)
- File Sharing Survey With a coke in one hand and the computer mouse in the other, Jack Napster is busy downloading Mp3's from Limewire with his super fast college Ethernet connection. Jack Napster lives for his music and consequently makes use of file sharing programs in order to keep up with current musical trends. He can access all the new hit songs and even some underground artists that his friends have recommended to him. Jack feels that file sharing is an ethical practice even though it is deemed illegal by the law.... [tags: File Sharing Illegality Essays]
1616 words (4.6 pages)
What is Freenet?
Freenet is free, downloadable software that enables users to exchange information across a decentralized network without worrying about censorship. Although there are many people involved with the project, its upstart is mainly credited to Ian Clarke and
Oskar Sandberg. Freenet is described as an "internet within the internet". (The Freenet Project) All users are completely anonymous and files are dispersed among them without any traceable source. Freenet is constructed by placing nodes in every computer on the network. Each computer contributes part of its hard drive space and bandwidth to the network. Files are stored randomly on nodes across the network and may move from computer to computer during their existence on the network. This makes it more difficult to locate files, but ensures that no one file can be traced to the person that provided it or the person that is using it. (Clarke) How does this differ from other p2p file sharing programs? Traditionally these programs have all used a centralized location to store or route all uploaded and downloaded content. This method makes it easy to see who has been doing what and prevent them from doing so. Freenet is limited to storing only the amount of information that can fit onto all of the nodes. This means that the more users Freenet has, the more information it can provide them. It utilizes a system of holding onto more popular files and discarding less popular ones to manage large amounts of information on limited space. (Clarke) One downside to using Freenet is that it is not particularly user friendly. Complaints about the interface include that only tech savvy users can really utilize it although as it evolves so will it's usability.
The Future of Freenet
Freenet is poised to change the way that we access and trade information. Rob Raisch, chief analyst for the consulting firm Raisch.com said, "If this takes off, then the (record industry) and (movie industry) are swiftly moving into a world where they have
no hope of curbing what they see as a rampant misuse of technology." (Borland) Never before have we had the ability retain privacy while communicating on such a large scale. Freenet's future is uncertain. It may not ever gain the support needed to become successful. Interface problems, the devotion of disk space, and the sacrifice of internet speed may prevent it from gaining enough of a following to develop. Even more, it may be deemed as more of a burden than a help to society. Only time will tell.
The Dark Side of Freenet
A balance exists between the free flow of ideas and information and the exchange of offensive material. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to limit one without affecting the other in some way. One of the difficulties lies in the definition of offensive. What offends one person may come off as trivial to another. How then do we attempt to provide a universal answer to the problem at hand? Throughout history social standards of right and wrong have evolved and changed continuously. Many things that were deemed as inappropriate fifty years ago are acceptable by today's standards. This is the heart of the free speech on the internet debate. Freenet allows a safe place for the anonymous exchange of information. Anonymity is an important concern of Freenet. Individuals are often persecuted for reading and providing controversial documents. Although it doesn't seem as relevant in our western society, this is a huge issue in other parts of the world. China, for example, suffers from heavy government censorship. Freenet is reportedly being used to communicate information that their government prefers to hide. (Jardin) This also provides anonymity for wrong doers. Critics of Freenet accuse it of being simply a haven for copyrighted material exchange and child
pornographers. While there is merit in this accusation, Freenet is more than just a network of illegalities and filth. Many people thought the same of the internet when it first began. Like many other things, the ideal behind Freenet is a great one: freedom of expression from censorship. But that is just that, an ideal. The reality of the matter is
that along with the benefits of such a network, inevitable pitfalls still exist, as they always will. The question in the end is do the negative aspects of Freenet outweigh the benefits. What is the cost of our right to speak freely and what is its worth?
Freenet is a decentralized that is devoted to the free exchange of ideas and information. There is a downside to this technology in that it can be used for illegal purposes. Freenet is currently in the middle of a free speech debate and claims to be intended strictly in the interest of free speech. If the necessary support for Freenet is generated, it will lead us into a new future where the freedom of speech is still a right all of human kind is able to share information without fear of reprimand.
Allison, Juliann Emmons, ed. Technology, Development, and Democracy. New York: State University of New York Press, 2002.
Bell, Mary Ann, Berry, Mary Ann, and Van Roekel, James L. Internet and Computing Fads. New York: The Haworth Press, Inc., 2004.
Clarke, Ian, Sandberg, Oskar, Wiley, Brandon, and Hong, Theodore W. Freenet: A Distributed Anonymous Information Storage and Retrieval System. 1999. http://freenetproject.org/freenet.pdf
Clarke, Ian, Sandberg, Oskar, Wiley, Brandon, and Hong, Theodore W. Protecting Free Expression Online with Freenet. January-February 2002. http://freenet.sourceforge.net/papers/freenet-ieee.pdf
Jardin, Xeni. P2P App's Aim: Defend Free Speech. 29 October 2002. Wired News. 29 October 2002
The Freenet Project. June 1999. The Freenet Project. June 1999.
http://freenet.sourceforge.net/index. php?page=index&mode=beginner .
Thierer, Adam, and Wayne Crews, eds. Copy Fights. Massachusetts: Cato Institute, 2002.
United States. Hearing before the Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate. The dark side of a bright idea: Could personal and national security risks compromise the potential of peer-to-peer file-sharing networks?. Washington: GPO, June 17, 2003.
United States. Hearing before the Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate. Privacy and Piracy: The paradox of illegal file sharing on peer-to-peer networks and the impact of technology on the entertainment industry. Washington: GPO, September 30, 2004
Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia 7 Sep 2004 Wikipedia <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freenet>
Communications Decency Act Us Supreme Court Strikes Down CDA 2 February 2002 http://www.epic.org/free speech/CDA/
Borland, John. Free, anonymous information on the anarchists Net 26 April 2000 Cnet New.com 26 April 2000 http://news.com.com/2100-1033-239756.html?legacy=cnet