Since apparently there are freenet folks watching and participating, it would be interesting to know what SAFE could learn from them.
What design features would the FREEnet have done different if they could start over? What is the most useful and annoying parts of their systems?
How many of us SAFE enthusiast have downloaded and played with FREEnet? What did we like, what didn’t we like? Why do we think SAFE will be different? Chances are good that FREEnet did what they did for good reason, and if there is something that we don’t like it FREEnet, we need to make sure it is engineered around in SAFE…
There are a lot of discussions like DNS where things seem to be pretty up in the air, (or kinda left out for the market to solve later) Other projects may have come to various conclusions that might be helpful for SAFE…
As an aside, I plan on forking safe_dns and refactoring it to use the Petname System as described here - allowing multiple DNS systems to be built on top and chosen to be added or ignored by the user. But that’s still just a proposal and not set in stone.
I am very interested to follow this thread, as learning from past experience is one of the highest forms of learning.
I think the glaringly obvious thing for me is that (AFAIK), in order to have a true ‘darknet’ mode in Freenet, you need to be able to ‘trust’ another node. That is, you need to know exactly who you are communicating with to ensure that they aren’t law enforcement or another bad actor. If it works the way I understand it, then every leaf of a ‘trusted node tree’ is exposed to potential law enforcement or NSA hijacking.
SAFE doesn’t work that way. No trust is required; the system self heals and punishes bad node behaviour.
The second issue for me is the speed. I think that SAFE will be faster, and this is based purely on @dirvine 's assertions that we may see ‘faster than disk access’ comms. Freenet is woefully slow compared to the general internet (I speak from experience). We still have to see how SAFE goes on this issue, though.
A lesson we could learn from Freenet is the appearance of child pornography. I’m no advocate of censorship, and will argue against any kind of infrastructure-level limiting of the type of information that appears on the network. But the fact is, it’s actually quite difficult to access Freenet (at least through Frost), without coming across people asking about child porn and informing each other how to get it. It’s ok for me, I can ignore it. But I wouldn’t allow my children to use it; it’s not a SAFE environment. And even though you still need to follow their links to find the boards that contain child porn, kids may get curious, and then potentially fall prey to these people themselves. The future internet must be configurable (by parents) to be SAFE for kids.
I think the solution to this is built into SAFE, at least potentially. The app-focused approach should allow app devs to be able to screen out this sort of thing, effectively removing it from system-wide visibility. It’ll still be there, but it will be hard(er) for children to come across it by accident. We shouldn’t ‘police’ everything, but I think app devs will be able to mitigate this kind of thing quite easily.