[p2p-hackers] darknet ~= (blacknet, f2f net)

Ian Clarke ian.clarke at gmail.com
Fri Dec 2 04:07:32 PST 2005

On 29/11/05, zooko at zooko.com <zooko at zooko.com> wrote:
> However, the media seems to have started using the word "Darknet" to mean a
> friend-to-friend net and/or a blacknet [7, 8], thus simultaneously making
> harder for people to think about blacknets which are based on other than
> friend-to-friend architectures and making it harder for people to think
> friend-to-friend networks which are used for other than illegal information
> sharing.
> I place some of the blame for this development on the Freenet folks, who may
> the first to promulgate this munging, and if they aren't the first they're
> certainly the most effective.

As Michael Rogers pointed out, I am not sure this is as clear-cut as
you suggest, the goal for Freenet 0.7 is very close to the idea
outlined in the caption for Fig. 3 of the Microsoft Darknet paper,
which is a friend-to-friend network.

That paper may be the first common usage of the term "darknet", but so
far as I can see, it contains no concise definition of what a
"darknet" is.  I would therefore say that there is no authorative
basis on which to invalidate any particular definition of the term
that is broadly within the area of P2P networks which conceal user

As such, defining the term "darknet" as a f2f network that is designed
to conceal the activities of its participants (this being, so far as I
have seen, one of the main motivations for building an f2f network),
is as valid a definition as any other I have seen (and more useful
than most).

As a side-point, I think it is somewhat pejorative to say that any
technology is "designed" for illegal usage, just because it conceals
user activity and therefore may be capable of illegal usage.  There
are many legal reasons why people might wish to preserve their
anonymity and privacy.

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