The Rise of DarkNets in Response to File Sharing

This is no surprise.

The music industry shouldn't get too comfortable with its recent Supreme Court victory over Grokster. An Irish programmer announced at a computer security conference last week that he is developing a new peer-to-peer file trading system that would be

virtually invisible to the prying eyes of government and corporations.

Promoting the idea of a "darknet," free-speech advocate Ian Clarke, 28, said he's developing a new version of his Freenet file-sharing system that will make it easier to trade digital information anonymously, in a bid to combat censorship and political repression — but not to necessarily violate copyright…

But I am confused about one point. Is it anonymous or not?

Clarke's new software — which he plans to release in a few months — differs from current open P2P networks, instead using a closed system that requires new users to be trusted by an existing member to enter into their "web of trust," keeping out those they don't know.

That doesn't exactly sound anonymous to me. But it does, in some ways, help reduce network censorship.

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I'm sure there will be a lawsuit at some point. What's interesting is that people keep pursuing new file sharing services and programs, despite the potential legal ramifications. That indicates that a huge demand exists for them. Too bad the RIAA doesn't embrace it and develop new business models.