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Internet privacy involves the desire or mandate of personal privacy concerning transactions or transmission of data via the Internet. It also involves the exercise of control over the type and amount of information revealed about a person on the Internet and who may access said information. HP 448007-001 battery

Internet privacy forms a subset of computer privacy. A number of experts within the field of Internet security and privacy believe that privacy doesn't exist; "Privacy is dead – get over it" This should be more encouraged according to Steve Rambam, private investigator specializing in Internet privacy cases.  HP Pavilion DV7 battery

In fact, it has been suggested that the "appeal of online services is to broadcast personal information on purpose."[2] On the other hand, in his essay The Value of Privacy, security expert Bruce Schneier says, "Privacy protects us from abuses by those in power, even if we're doing nothing wrong at the time of surveillance."HP DV6-1120SA battery

Levels of privacy

People with only a casual concern for Internet privacy need not achieve total anonymity. Internet users may achieve an adequate level of privacy through controlled disclosure of personal information. HP DV6-1210SA battery

The revelation of IP addresses, non-personally-identifiable profiling, and similar information might become acceptable trade-offs for the convenience that users could otherwise lose using the workarounds needed to suppress such details rigorously. On the other hand, some people desire much stronger privacy. Compaq CQ50 battery

In that case, they may try to achieve Internet anonymity to ensure privacy — use of the Internet without giving any third parties the ability to link the Internet activities to personally-identifiable information (P.I.I.) of the Internet user. In order to keep your information private, people need to be careful on what they submit and look at online.HP Pavilion DV8 battery

When filling out forms and buying merchandise, that becomes tracked and because your information was not private, companies are now sending you spam and advertising on similar products.

The Sanders decision relied heavily on another California decision from a year ago. Sony VGP-BPS13 battery

In Shulman v. Group W Productions, the court concluded that two people injured in a car accident could sue for invasion of privacy because a cameraman recorded emergency care given in a rescue helicopter. According to the court, while the accident victims could not claim a reasonable expectation of privacy at the accident scene HP Pavilion TX1000 battery

(where they were recorded by the same cameraman), they could claim a reasonable expectation of privacy in the rescue helicopter, even if they expected that their conversations in the helicopter would be overheard HP Pavilion DV3500  battery .

Because these cases make it more difficult to determine under what circumstances undercover reporting would violate a reasonable expectation of privacy -thus exposing journalists to liability-news organizations may think twice about their approach to investigative reporting.   HP HDX X18-1005EA battery

In California at least, as a result of these recent decisions, trial judges will be reluctant to throw out cases before trial, allowing them to go before a jury. And because media lawyers are uncertain about whether jurors would think that a privacy invasion was justified by a legitimate need to gather news, they are likely to offer conservative advice and deter stations from engaging in certain investigations.  Compaq PF723A battery

Resulting, once again, in a chilling effect on the media.

Related State Laws Privacy of Personal Information: Nevada and Minnesota require Internet Service Providers to keep information private regarding their customers. This is only unless a customer approves their information being given out.  HP G6000 battery

According to the National Conference of State Legislator, the following states have certain laws on the personal privacy of its citizens.

Minnesota Statutes §§ 325M.01 to .09 -Prohibits Internet service providers from disclosing personally identifiable information, including a consumer's physical or electronic address or telephone number;   HP Compaq Business Notebook NW9440 battery

Internet or online sites visited; or any of the contents of a consumer's data storage devices. Provides for certain circumstances under which information must be disclosed, such as to a grand jury; to a state or federal law enforcement officer acting as authorized by law; pursuant to a court order or court action. Compaq Evo N800W battery

Provides for civil damages of $500 or actual damages and attorney fees for violation of the law.
Nevada Revised Statutes § 205.498 -In addition, California and Utah laws, although not specifically targeted to on-line businesses, require all nonfinancial businesses to disclose to customers, in writing or by electronic mail, the types of personal information the business shares with or sells to a third party for direct marketing purposes or for compensation. Compaq Evo N620C battery

Under the California law, businesses may post a privacy statement that gives customers the opportunity to choose not to share information at no cost.

There are also certain laws for employees and businesses and privacy policies for  websites.HP Pavilion DV7 battery

California, Connecticut, Nebraska and Pennsylvania all have specific privacy policies regarding websites, these include:

"California (Calif. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 22575-22578) California's Online Privacy Protection Act requires an operator,  HP Pavilion DV2745SE battery

defined as a person or entity that collects personally identifiable information from California residents through an Internet Web site or online service for commercial purposes, to post conspicuously its privacy policy on its Web site or online service and to comply with that policy.  HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM battery

The bill, among other things, would require that the privacy policy identify the categories of personally identifiable information that the operator collects about individual consumers who use or visit its Web site or online service and third parties with whom the operator may share the information.HP Compaq 490306-001 battery

Connecticut (Conn. Gen Stat. § 42-471) Requires any person who collects Social Security numbers in the course of business to create a privacy protection policy. The policy must be "publicly displayed" by posting on a web page and the policy must (1) protect the confidentiality of Social Security numbers,   prohibit unlawful disclosure of Social Security numbers, and (3) limit access to Social Security numbers.HP 520 battery

Nebraska (Nebraska Stat. § 87-302(14)) Nebraska prohibits knowingly making a false or misleading statement in a privacy policy, published on the Internet or otherwise distributed or published, regarding the use of personal information submitted by members of the public.HP TouchSmart TX2-1150EG battery

Pennsylvania (18 Pa. C.S.A. § 4107(a)(10)) Pennsylvania includes false and misleading statements in privacy policies published on Web sites or otherwise distributed in its deceptive or fraudulent business practices statute." HP Compaq 491278-001 battery

There are also at least 16 states that require government websites to create privacy policies and procedures or to include machine-readable privacy policies into their websites. These states include Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Sourth Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.Compaq Presario CQ70 battery

Risks to internet privacy

In today’s technological world, millions of individuals are subject to privacy threats. Companies are hired not only to watch what you visit online, but to infiltrate the information and send advertising based on your browsing history. People set up accounts for Facebook; enter bank and credit card information to various websites.HP Pavilion DV6000 battery

Those concerned about Internet privacy often cite a number of privacy risks — events that can compromise privacy — which may be encountered through Internet use. These methods of compromise can range from the gathering of statistics on users, to more malicious acts such as the spreading of spyware and various forms of bugs (software errors) exploitation.Compaq Presario CQ71 battery

Privacy measures are provided on several social networking sites to try to provide their users with protection for their personal information. On Facebook for example privacy settings are available for all registered users. The settings available on Facebook include the ability to block certain individuals from seeing your profile, the ability to choose your "friends," and the ability to limit who has access to your pictures and videos.HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO battery

Privacy settings are also available on other social networking sites such as E-harmony and MySpace. It is the user's prerogative to apply such settings when providing personal information on the internet.

In late 2007 Facebook launched the Beacon program where user rental records were released on the public for friends to see.Compaq Presario CQ50-105EL battery

Many people were enraged by this breach in privacy, and the Lane v. Facebook, Inc. case ensued.

HTTP cookies

An HTTP cookie is data stored on a user's computer that assists in automated access to websites or web features, or other stateinformation required in complex web sites.  HP Compaq 572190-001 battery

It may also be used for user-tracking by storing special usage history data in a cookie. Cookies are a common concern in the field of privacy. As a result, some types of cookies are classified as a tracking cookie. Although website developers most commonly use cookies for legitimate technical purposes, cases of abuse occur. HP Pavilion DV6373EA battery

In 2009, two researchers noted that social networking profiles could be connected to cookies, allowing the social networking profile to be connected to browsing habits.

Systems do not generally make the user explicitly aware of the storing of a cookie. (Although some users object to that, it does not properly relate to Internet privacy. HP Pavilion DV2820EA battery

It does however have implications for computer privacy, and specifically for computer forensics.

The original developers of cookies intended that only the website that originally distributed cookies to users so they could retrieve them, therefore returning only data already possessed by the website. HP Compaq Business Notebook 6735S battery

However, in practice programmers can circumvent this restriction. Possible consequences include:

  • the placing of a personally-identifiable tag in a browser to facilitate web profiling (see below), or,
  • use of cross-site scripting or other techniques to steal information from a user's cookies.Compaq Presario 300 battery

Some users choose to disable cookies in their web browsers – as of 2000 a Pew survey estimated the proportion of users at 4%. Such an action eliminates the potential privacy risks, but may severely limit or prevent the functionality of many websites. All significant web browsers have this disabling ability built-in, with no external program required. HP Pavilion DV7-2085EL battery

As an alternative, users may frequently delete any stored cookies. Some browsers (such as Mozilla Firefox and Opera) offer the option to clear cookies automatically whenever the user closes the browser. A third option involves allowing cookies in general, but preventing their abuse. HP Compaq Business Notebook TC4400 battery

There are also a host of wrapper applications that will redirect cookies and cache data to some other location.

The process of profiling (also known as "tracking") assembles and analyzes several events, each attributable to a single originating entity, in order to gain information (especially patterns of activity) relating to the originating entity. HP Pavilion ZD8227 battery

Some organizations engage in the profiling of people's web browsing, collecting the URLs of sites visited. The resulting profiles can potentially link with information that personally identifies the individual who did the browsing.

Some web-oriented marketing-research organizations may use this practice legitimately, for example: HP Compaq HSTNN-LB51 battery

in order to construct profiles of 'typical Internet users'. Such profiles, which describe average trends of large groups of Internet users rather than of actual individuals, can then prove useful for market analysis. Although the aggregate data does not constitute a privacy violation, some people believe that the initial profiling does.HP Compaq 491278-001 battery

Profiling becomes a more contentious privacy issue when data-matching associates the profile of an individual with personally-identifiable information of the individual.

Governments and organizations may set up honeypot websites – featuring controversial topics – with the purpose of attracting and tracking unwary people. This constitutes a potential danger for individuals.HP DV9700 battery

Flash cookies

Flash cookies, also known as Local Shared Objects, work the same ways as normal cookies and are used by the Adobe Flash Player to store information at the user's computer. They exhibit a similar privacy risk as normal cookies, but are not as easily blocked, meaning that the option in most browsers to not accept cookies does not affect flash cookies.Compaq CQ35-100 battery

One way to view and control them is with browser extensions or add-ons.


An Evercookie is a JavaScript-based application which produces cookies in a web browser that actively "resist" deletion by redundantly copying themselves in different forms on the user's machine Sony VGP-BPS11 battery

(e.g.: Flash Local Shared Objects, various HTML5 storage mechanisms, window.name caching, etc.), and resurrecting copies are missing or expired.

Photographs on the internet

Today many people have digital cameras and post their photos online. The people depicted in these photos might not want to have them appear on the Internet.HP Pavilion DV6-1223EO Battery

Some organizations attempt to respond to this privacy-related concern. For example, the 2005 Wikimania conference required that photographers have the prior permission of the people in their pictures. Some people wore a 'no photos' tag to indicate they would prefer not to have their photo taken.Sony Vaio VGN-CR190E/L Battery

The Harvard Law Review published a short piece called "In The Face of Danger: Facial Recognition and Privacy Law," much of it explaining how "privacy law, in its current form, is of no help to those unwillingly tagged." Any individual can be unwillingly tagged in a photo and displayed in a manner that might violate them personally in some way, Sony VGN-CR11M Battery

and by the time Facebook gets to taking down the photo, many people will have already had the chance to view, share, or distribute it. Furthermore, traditional tort law does not protect people who are captured by a photograph in public because this is not counted as an invasion of privacy. Sony VGN-NR11Z Battery

The extensive Facebook privacy policy covers these concerns and much more. For example, the policy states that they reserve the right to disclose member information or share photos with companies, lawyers, courts, government entities, etc. if they feel it absolutely necessary.Sony VGN-NR11S Battery

The policy also informs users that profile pictures are mainly to help friends connect to each other.  However, these, as well as other pictures, can allow other people to invade a person’s privacy by finding out information that can be used to track and locate a certain individual.Sony VGN-NR110E Battery

In an article featured in ABC news, it was stated that two teams of scientists found out that Hollywood stars could be giving up information about their private whereabouts very easily through pictures uploaded to the Internet. Moreover, it was found that pictures taken by iPhones automatically attach the latitude and longitude of the picture taken through metadata unless this function is manually disabled. Sony VGN-NR110E/T Battery

Search engines

Search engines have the ability to track a user’s searches. Personal information can be revealed through searches including search items used, the time of the search, and more. Search engines have claimed a necessity to retain such information in order to provide better services, protect against security pressure, and protect against fraud . Sony VGN-NR110E/S Battery

Data logging

Many programs and operating systems are set up to perform data logging of usage. This may include recording times when the computer is in use, or which web sites are visited. If a third party has sufficient access to the computer, legitimately or not, the user's privacy may be compromised. This could be avoided by disabling logging, or by clearing logs regularly.Sony VGN-NR110E/W Battery

Privacy within social networking sites

Prior to the social networking site explosion over the past decade, there were early forms of social network technologies that included online multiplayer games, blog sites, news groups, mailings lists and dating services. These all created a backbone for the new modern sites, and even from the start of these older versions privacy was an issue.Sony VGN-CR11SR Battery

In 1996, a young woman in New York City was on a first date with an online acquaintance and later sued for sexual harassment as they went back to her apartment after when everything became too real. This is just an early example of many more issues to come regarding internet privacy. Sony VGN-CR11Z Battery

Social networking sites have become very popular within the last five years. With the creation of Facebook and the continued popularity of MySpace many people are giving their personal information out on the internet. These social networks keep track of all interactions used on their sites and save them for later use.Sony VGN-CR11S Battery

Most users are not aware that they can modify the privacy settings and unless they modify them, their information is open to the public. On Facebook privacy settings can be accessed via the drop down menu under account in the top right corner. There users can change who can view their profile and what information can be displayed on their profile.Sony VGN-CR11M Battery

In most cases profiles are open to either "all my network and friends" or "all of my friends." Also, information that shows on a user's profile such as birthday, religious views, and relationship status can be removed via the privacy settings. If a user is under 13 years old they are not able to make a Facebook or a MySpace account, however, this is not regulated. Sony VGN-CR11E Battery

Social networking has redefined the role of Internet privacy. Since users are willingly disclosing personal information online, the role of privacy and security is somewhat blurry. Sites such as Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter have grown popular by broadcasting status updates featuring personal information such as location. Sony VGN-CR21E Battery

Facebook “Places,” in particular, is a Facebook service, which publicizes user location information to the networking community. Users are allowed to “check-in” at various locations including retail stores, convenience stores, and restaurants. Also, users are able to create their own “place,” disclosing personal information onto the Internet.Sony VGN-CR21S Battery

This form of location tracking is automated and must be turned off manually. Various settings must be turned off and manipulated in order for the user to ensure privacy. According to epic.org, Facebook users are recommended to: (1) disable "Friends can check me in to Places," (2) customize "Places I Check In," (3) disable "People Here Now," and (4) uncheck "Places I've Visited."Sony VGN-CR21Z Battery

Moreover, the Federal Trade Commission has received two complaints in regards to Facebook’s “unfair and deceptive” trade practices, which are used to target advertising sectors of the online community. “Places” tracks user location information and is used primarily for advertising purposes. Sony VGN-CR21SR Battery

Each location tracked allows third party advertisers to customize advertisements that suit one’s interests. Currently, the Federal Trade Commissioner along with the Electronic Privacy Information Center are shedding light on the issues of location data tracking on social networking sites. Sony VGN-CR31SR Battery

Recently, Facebook has been scrutinized for having a variety of applications that are considered to be invasive to user privacy. “The Breakup Notifier” is an example of a Facebook “cyberstalking” app that has recently been taken down. Essentially, the application notifies users when a person breaks up with their partner through Facebook, Sony VGN-CR31S Battery

allowing users to instantly become aware of their friend's romantic activities. The concept became very popular, with the site attracting 700,000 visits in the first 36 hours; people downloaded the app 40,000 times. Just days later, the app had more than 3.6 million downloads and 9,000 Facebook likes. Sony VGN-CR31E Battery

There are other applications that border on “cyberstalking.” An application named "Creepy" can track a person's location on a map using photos uploaded to Twitter or Flickr. When a person uploads photos to a social networking site, others are able to track their most recent location. Sony VGN-CR31Z Battery

Some smart phones are able to embed the longitude and latitude coordinates into the photo and automatically send this information to the application. Anybody using the application can search for a specific person and then find their immediate location. This poses many potential threats to users who share their information with a large group of followers. Sony VGN-CR41Z Battery

Facebook recently updated its profile format allowing for people who are not “friends” of others to view personal information about other users, even when the profile is set to private. However, As of January 18, 2011 Facebook changed its decision to make home addresses and telephone numbers accessible to third party members, Sony VGN-CR41S Battery

but it is still possible for third party members to have access to less exact personal information, like one’s hometown and employment, if the user has entered the information into Facebook . EPIC Executive Director Marc Rotenberg said "Facebook is trying to blur the line between public and private information. Sony VGN-CR41E Battery

And the request for permission does not make clear to the user why the information is needed or how it will be used." Similar to Rotenberg’s claim that Facebook users are unclear of how or why their information has gone public, recently the Federal Trade Commission and Commerce Department have become involved. Sony VGN-CR41SR Battery

The Federal Trade Commission has recently released a report claiming that Internet companies and other industries will soon need to increase their protection for online users. Because online users often unknowingly opt in on making their information public, the FTC is urging Internet companies to make privacy notes simpler and easier for the public to understand, therefore increasing their option to opt out. Sony VGN-CR42ZR Battery

Perhaps this new policy should also be implemented in the Facebook world. The Commerce Department claims that Americans, “have been ill-served by a patchwork of privacy laws that contain broad gaps,”.Because of these broad gaps, Americans are more susceptible to identity theft and having their online activity tracked by others.Sony VGN-CR42Z Battery

Spokeo Spokeo is a “people-related” search engine with results compiled through data aggregation. The site contains information such as age, relationship status, estimated personal wealth, immediate family members and home address of individual people. Sony VGN-CR42S Battery

This information is compiled through what is already on the internet or in other public records, but the website does not guarantee accuracy.

Spokeo has been faced with potential class action law suits from people who claim that the organization breaches the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Sony VGN-CR42E Battery

In September, 2010, Jennifer Purcell claimed that the FCRA was violated by Spokeo marketing her personal information. Her case is pending in court. Also in 2010, Thomas Robins claimed that his personal information on the website was inaccurate and he was unable to edit it for accuracy. Sony Vaio VGN-CR11S/L Battery

The case was dismissed because Robins did not claim that the site directly caused him actual harm. On February 15, 2011, Robins filed another suit, this time stating Spokeo has caused him “imminent and ongoing” harm.

Twitter Case - In January 2011, the government recently obtained a court order to force the social networking site, Twitter, to reveal information applicable surrounding certain subscribers involved in the WikiLeaks cases. Sony Vaio VGN-CR190E/P Battery

This outcome of this case is questionable because it deals with the user’s First Amendment rights. Twitter moved to reverse the court order, and supported the idea that internet users should be notified and given an opportunity to defend their constitutional rights in court before their rights are compromised.Sony Vaio VGN-CR190E/R Battery

Facebook Friends Study - A study was conducted at Northeastern University by Alan Mislove and his colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, where an algorithm was created to try and discover personal attributes of a Facebook user by looking at their friend’s list. Sony Vaio VGN-CR190E/W Battery

They looked for information such as high school and college attended, major, hometown, graduation year and even what dorm a student may have lived in. The study revealed that only 5% of people thought to change their friend’s list to private. For other users, 58% displayed university attended, 42% revealed employers, Sony Vaio VGN-CR21/B Battery

35% revealed interests and 19% gave viewers public access to where they were located. Due to the correlation of Facebook friends and universities they attend, it was easy to discover where a Facebook user was based on their list of friends. This fact is one that has become very useful to advertisers targeting their audiences but is also a big risk for the privacy of all those with Facebook accounts.Sony Vaio VGN-CR21E/L Battery

Law enforcement prowling the networks - The FBI has dedicated undercover agents on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn. The rules and guidelines to the privacy issue is internal to the Justice Department and details aren't released to the public. Sony Vaio VGN-CR21E/P Battery

Agents can impersonate a friend, a long lost relative, even a spouse and child. This raises real issues regarding privacy. Although people who useFacebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites are aware of some level of privacy will always be compromised, but, no one would ever suspect that the friend invitation might be from a federal agent whose sole purpose of the friend request was to snoop around. Sony Vaio VGN-CR21S/L Battery

Furthermore, Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace have personal information and past posts logged for up to one year; even deleted profiles, and with a warrant, can hand over very personal information. One example of investigators using Facebook to nab a criminal is the case of Maxi Sopo. Sony Vaio VGN-CR21S/P Battery

Charged with bank fraud, and having escaped to Mexico, he was nowhere to be found until he started posting on Facebook. Although his profile was private, his list of friends were not, and through this vector, they eventually caught him.

In recent years, some state and local law enforcement agencies have also begun to rely on social media websites as resources.Sony Vaio VGN-CR21S/W Battery

Although obtaining records of information not shared publicly by or about site users often requires a subpoena, public pages on sites such as Facebook and MySpace offer access to personal information that can be valuable to law enforcement.  Police departments have reported using social media websites to assist in investigations, locate and track suspects, and monitor gang activity.Sony Vaio VGN-CR21Z/N Battery

Teachers and MySpace - Teachers’ privacy on MySpace has created controversy across the world. They are forewarned by The Ohio News Association[32] that if they have a MySpace account, it should be deleted. Eschool News warns, “Teachers, watch what you post online.”Sony Vaio VGN-CR21Z/R Battery

The ONA also posted a memo advising teachers not to join these sites. Teachers can face consequences of license revocations, suspensions, and written reprimands.

The Chronicle of Higher Education wrote an article on April 27, 2007, entitled "A MySpace Photo Costs a Student a Teaching Certificate" about Stacy Snyder.Sony Vaio VGN-CR220E/R Battery

She was a student of Millersville University of Pennsylvania who was denied her teaching degree because of an unprofessional photo posted on MySpace, which involved her drinking with a pirate's hat on and a caption of “Drunken Pirate". As a substitute, she was given an English degree.Sony Vaio VGN-CR23/B Battery

Internet privacy and Blizzard Entertainment - On July 6, 2010, Blizzard Entertainment announced that it would display the real names tied to user accounts in its game forums. On July 9, 2010, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Mike Morhaime announced a reversal of the decision to force posters' real names to appear on Blizzard's forums. Sony Vaio VGN-CR23/P Battery

The reversal was made in response to subscriber feedback.

Internet privacy and Google Maps - In Spring 2007, Google improved their Google Maps to include what is known as "Street View". This feature gives the user a 3-D, street level view with real photos of streets, buildings, and landmarks . Sony Vaio VGN-CR23/R Battery

In order to offer such a service, Google had to send trucks with cameras mounted on them and drive through every single street snapping photos. These photos were eventually stitched together to achieve a near seamless photorealistic map. However, the photos that were snapped included people caught in various acts, HP Pavilion DM3 battery

some of which includes a man urinating on the street, nude people seen through their windows, and apparently, a man trying to break into someone's apartment, etc; although some images are up to interpretation. This prompted a public outburst and sometime after, Google offered a "report inappropriate image" feature to their website. HP Pavilion DM4 battery

Internet privacy and Facebook advertisements The illegal activities on Facebook are very wild, especially “phishing attack” which is the most popular way of stealing other people’s passwords. The Facebook users are led to land on a page where they are asked for their login information, and their personal information is stolen in that way. HP Pavilion DV6-1210SA battery

According to the news from PC World Business Centerwhich was published on April 22, 2010, we can know that a hacker named Kirllos illegally stole and sold 1.5 million Facebook IDs to some business companies who want to attract potential customers by using advertisements on the Facebook. Dell N3010 battery

Their illegal approach is that they used accounts which were bought from hackers to send advertisements to friends of users. When friends see the advertisements, they will have opinion about them, because “People will follow it because they believe it was a friend that told them to go to this link," said Randy Abrams, director of technical education with security vendor Eset.Dell Inspiron N4010 battery

There were 2.2232% of the population on Facebook that believed or followed the advertisements of their friends.[38] Even though the percentage is small, the amount of overall users on Facebook is more than 400 million worldwide. The influence of advertisements on Facebook is so huge and obvious. Dell INSPIRON 9100 battery

According to the blog of Alan who just posted advertisement son the Facebook, he earned $300 over the 4 days. That means he can earn $3 for every $1 put into it. The huge profit attracts hackers to steal users’ login information on Facebook, and business people who want to buy accounts from hackers send advertisements to users’ friends on Facebook.Dell XPS 1340 battery

Internet service providers

Internet users obtain Internet access through an Internet service provider (ISP). All data transmitted to and from users must pass through the ISP. Thus, an ISP has the potential to observe users' activities on the Internet.Dell Inspiron 1464 battery

However, ISPs are usually prevented from participating in such activities due to legal, ethical, business, or technical reasons.

Despite these legal and ethical restrictions, some ISPs, such as British Telecom (BT), are planning to use deep packet inspectiontechnology provided by companies such as Phorm in order to examine the contents of the pages that people visit.Dell Inspiron 1764 battery

By doing so, they can build up a profile of a person's web surfing habits, which can then be sold on to advertisers in order to provide targeted advertising. BT's attempt at doing this will be marketed under the name 'Webwise'.

Normally ISPs do collect at least some information about the consumers using their services. Dell Inspiron 1564 battery

From a privacy standpoint, ISPs would ideally collect only as much information as they require in order to provide Internet connectivity (IP address, billing information if applicable, etc).

Which information an ISP collects, what it does with that information, and whether it informs its consumers, pose significant privacy issues. Dell Inspiron 1720 battery

Beyond the usage of collected information typical of third parties, ISPs sometimes state that they will make their information available to government authorities upon request. In the US and other countries, such a request does not necessarily require a warrant.Dell Inspiron Mini 12 battery

An ISP cannot know the contents of properly-encrypted data passing between its consumers and the Internet. For encrypting webtraffic, https has become the most popular and best-supported standard. Even if users encrypt the data, the ISP still knows the IP addresses of the sender and of the recipient. (However, see the IP addresses section for workarounds.)Dell LATITUDE D800 battery

An Anonymizer such as I2P – The Anonymous Network or Tor can be used for accessing web services without them knowing your IP address and without your ISP knowing what the services are that you access.

General concerns regarding Internet user privacy have become enough of a concern for a UN agency to issue a report on the dangers of identity fraud.Dell Inspiron 6400 AC Adapter

While signing up for internet services, each computer contains a unique IP, Internet Protocol address. This particular address will not give away private or personal information, however, a weak link could potentially reveal information from your ISP.

Social networking has redefined the role of Internet privacy.SONY VAIO VGN-FWZJ/H Battery

Since users are willingly disclosing personal information online, the role of privacy and security is somewhat blurry. Sites such as Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter have grown popular by broadcasting status updates featuring personal information such as location . SONY VAIO VGN-FW41M/H Battery

Facebook “Places,” in particular, is a Facebook service, which publicizes user location information to the networking community. Users are allowed to “check-in” at various locations including retail stores, convenience stores, and restaurants. Also, users are able to create their own “place,” disclosing personal information onto the Internet. SONY VAIO VGN-FW37J Battery

This form of location tracking is automated and must be turned off manually. Various settings must be turned off and manipulated in order for the user to ensure privacy. According to epic.org, Facebook users are recommended to: (1) disable "Friends can check me in to Places," (2) customize "Places I Check In," (3) disable "People Here Now," and (4) uncheck "Places I've Visited.".SONY VAIO VGN-FW90NS Battery

Moreover, the Federal Trade Commission has received two complaints in regards to Facebook’s “unfair and deceptive” trade practices, which are used to target advertising sectors of the online community. “Places” tracks user location information and is used primarily for advertising purposes. SONY VAIO VGN-FW83XS Battery

Each location tracked allows third party advertisers to customize advertisements that suit one’s interests. Currently, the Federal Trade Commissioner along with the Electronic Privacy Information Center are shedding light on the issues of location data tracking on social networking sites. SONY VAIO VGN-FW30B Battery

Legal threats

Use by government agencies of an array of technologies designed to track and gather Internet users' information are the topic of much debate between privacy advocates, civil libertarians and those who believe such measures are necessary for law enforcement to keep pace with rapidly changing communications technology.SONY VAIO VGN-AW41MF/H Battery

Specific examples

  • Following a decision by the European Union’s council of ministers in Brussels, in January, 2009, the UK's Home Office adopted a plan to allow police to access the contents of individuals' computers without a warrant.SONY VAIO VGN-AW41MF Battery
  • The process, called "remote searching", allows one party, at a remote location, to examine another's hard drive and Internet traffic, including email, browsing history and websites visited. Police across the EU are now permitted to request that the British police conduct a remote search on their behalf. SONY VAIO VGN-AW41JF/H Battery
  • The search can be granted, and the material gleaned turned over and used as evidence, on the basis of a senior officer believing it necessary to prevent a serious crime. Opposition MPs and civil libertarians are concerned about this move toward widening surveillance and its possible impact on personal privacy. SONY VAIO VGN-FW31Z Battery
  • Says Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty, “The public will want this to be controlled by new legislation and judicial authorisation. Without those safeguards it’s a devastating blow to any notion of personal privacy.”SONY VAIO VGN-FW31M Battery
  • The FBI's Magic Lantern software program was the topic of much debate when it was publicized in November, 2001. Magic Lantern is a Trojan Horse program that logs users' keystrokes, rendering encryption useless.

Laws for Internet Privacy Protection   SONY VAIO VGN-FW31B Battery

USA Patriot Act

The purpose of this act, enacted on October 26, 2001 by former President Bush, was to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools, investigate online activity, as well as to discourage terrorist acts both within the United States and around the world. SONY VAIO VGN-FW31E Battery

This act reduced restrictions for law enforcement to search various methods and tools of communication such as telephone, e-mail, personal records including medical and financial, as well as reducing restrictions with obtaining of foreign intelligence. SONY VAIO VGN-FW31J Battery

Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA)

This act makes it unlawful under certain conditions for an individual to reveal the information of electronic communication and contains a few exceptions. One clause allows the ISP to view private e-mail if the sender is suspected of attempting to damage the internet system or attempting to harm another user.Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery

Another clause allows the ISP to reveal information from a message if the sender or recipient allows to its disclosure. Finally, information containing personal information may also be revealed for a court order or law enforcement’s subpoena.Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery

Employees and Employers Internet Regulations

When considering the rights between employees and employers regarding internet privacy and protection at a company, different states have their own laws. Connecticut and Delaware both have laws that state an employer must create a written notice or electronic message that provides understanding that they will regulate the internet traffic.Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery

By doing so, this relates to the employees that the employer will be searching and monitoring emails and internet usage. Delaware charges $100 for a violation where Connecticut charges $500 for the first violation and then $1000 for the second. When looking at public employees and employers, Sony VGP-BPS21A/B Battery

California and Colorado created laws that would also create legal ways in which employers controlled internet usage. The law stated that a public company or agency must create a prior message to the employees stating that accounts will be monitored. Without these laws, employers could access information through employees accounts and use them illegally.SONY VGP-BPS21 Battery

In most cases, the employer is allowed to see whatever he or she pleases because of these laws stated both publicly and privately.

Other potential Internet privacy risks

  • Malware is a term short for "malicious software" and is used to describe software to cause damage to a single computer, server, or computer network whether that is through the use of a virus, trojan horse, spyware, etc. SONY VGP-BPS21A Battery
  • Spyware is a piece of software that obtains information from a user's computer without that user's consent.
  • A web bug is an object embedded into a web page or email and is usually invisible to the user of the website or reader of the email. It allows checking to see if a person has looked at a particular website or read a specific email message.SONY VGP-BPS21B Battery
  • Phishing is a criminally fraudulent process of trying to obtain sensitive information such as user names, passwords, credit card or bank information. Phishing is an internet crime in which someone masquerades as a trustworthy entity in some form of electronic communication.SONY VGP-BPS21/S Battery
  • Pharming is hackers attempt to redirect traffic from a legitimate website to a completely different internet address. Pharming can be conducted by changing the hosts file on a victim’s computer or by exploiting a vulnerability on the DNS server.
  • Social engineering   SONY VGP-BPS21A/B Battery
  • Malicious proxy server (or other "anonymity" services)

Specific cases

Jason Fortuny and Craigslist

In early September 2006, Jason Fortuny, a Seattle-area freelance graphic designer and network administrator, posed as a woman and posted an ad to Craigslist Seattle seeking a casual sexual encounter with men in that area. SONY VGP-BPS13/Q Battery

On September 4, he posted to the wiki website Encyclopædia Dramatica all 178 of the responses, complete with photographs and personal contact details, describing this as the Craigslist Experiment and encouraging others to further identify the respondents.SONY VGP-BPS13/Q Battery

Although some online exposures of personal information have been seen as justified for exposing malfeasance, many commentators on the Fortuny case saw no such justification here. "The men who replied to Fortuny's posting did not appear to be doing anything illegal, so the outing has no social value other than to prove that someone could ruin lives online," said law professor Jonathan Zittrain,SONY VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery

while Wired writer Ryan Singel described Fortuny as "sociopathic".

The Electronic Frontier Foundation indicated that it thought Fortuny might be liable under Washington state law, and that this would depend on whether the information he disclosed was of legitimate public concern. SONY VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery

Kurt Opsahl, the EFF's staff attorney, said "As far as I know, they (the respondents) are not public figures, so it would be challenging to show that this was something of public concern."

According to Fortuny, two people lost their jobs as a result of his Craigslist Experiment and another "has filed an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against Fortuny in an Illinois court." Toshiba Satellite M300 Battery

Fortuny did not enter an appearance in the Illinois suit, secure counsel, or answer the complaint after an early amendment. Mr. Fortuny had filed a motion to dismiss, but he filed it with the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, and he did not file proof that he had served the plaintiff.Toshiba Satellite 1200 Battery

As a result, the court entered a default judgment against Mr. Fortuny and ordered a damages hearing for January 7, 2009.[54] After failing to show up at multiple hearings on damages, Fortuny was ordered to pay $74,252.56 for violation of the Copyright Act, compensation for Public Disclosure of Private Facts, Intrusion Upon Seclusion, attorneys fees and costs.Toshiba Satellite A200 Battery

USA vs. Warshak

The case United States v. Warshak, decided December 14, 2010 by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, maintained the idea that an ISP actually is allowed access to private e-mail. However, the government must get hold of a search warrant before obtaining such e-mail. Sony VGP-BPS21 battery

This case dealt with the question of emails hosted on an isolated server. Due to the fact that e-mail is similar to other forms of communication such as telephone calls, e-mail requires the same amount of protection under the 4th amendment. Sony VGP-BPS14 battery

Search engine data and law enforcement

Data from major Internet companies, including Yahoo! and MSN (Microsoft), have already been subpoenaed by the United States and China. AOL even provided a chunk of its own search data online, allowing reporters to track the online behaviour of private individuals.Sony VGP-BPL8 battery

In 2006, a wireless hacker pled guilty when his Google searches were used as evidence against him. The defendant ran a Google search over the network using the following search terms: "how to broadcast interference over wifi 2.4 GHZ," "interference over wifi 2.4 Ghz," "wireless networks 2.4 interference," and "make device interfere wireless network." Sony VGP-BPS22 battery


ile court papers did not describe how the FBI obtained his searches (e.g. through a seized hard-drive or directly from the search-engine), Google has indicated that it can provide search terms to law enforcement if given an Internet address or Web cookie.  Sony VGP-BPS11 battery

US v. Zeigler

In the United States many cases discuss whether a private employee (i.e., not a government employee) who stores incriminating evidence in workplace computers is protected by the Fourth Amendment's reasonable expectation of privacy standard in a criminal proceeding.Sony VGP-BPS9 battery

Most case law holds that employees do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy when it comes to their work related electronic communications. See, e.g. US v. Simons, 206 F.3d 392, 398 (4th Cir., Feb. 28, 2000).

However, one federal court held that employees can assert that the attorney-client privilege with respect to certain communications on company laptops.Sony VGP-BPS10 battery

See Curto v. Medical World Comm., No. 03CV6327, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29387 (E.D.N.Y. May 15, 2006).

Another recent federal case discussed this topic. On January 30, 2007, the Ninth Circuit court in US v. Ziegler, reversed its earlier August 2006 decision upon a petition for rehearing. In contrast to the earlier decision, the Court acknowledged that an employee has a right to privacy in his workplace computer. Toshiba PA3399U-2BRS battery

However, the Court also found that an employer can consent to any illegal searches and seizures. See US v. Ziegler, ___F.3d 1077 (9th Cir. Jan. 30, 2007, No. 05-30177). [1] Cf. US v. Ziegler, 456 F.3d 1138 (9th Cir. 2006).

In Ziegler, an employee had accessed child pornography websites from his workplace. Toshiba Satellite T4900 Battery

His employer noticed his activities, made copies of the hard drive, and gave the FBI the employee's computer. At his criminal trial, Ziegler filed a motion to suppress the evidence because he argued that the government violated his Fourth Amendment rights.Toshiba Satellite L305 Battery

The Ninth Circuit allowed the lower court to admit the child pornography as evidence. After reviewing relevant Supreme Court opinions on a reasonable expectation of privacy, the Court acknowledged that Ziegler had a reasonable expectation of privacy at his office and on his computer. SONY VGN -FZ210CE Battery

That Court also found that his employer could consent to a government search of the computer and that, therefore, the search did not violate Ziegler's Fourth Amendment rights.

State v. Reid

The New Jersey Supreme Court has also issued an opinion on the privacy rights of computer users,Dell Precision M70 Battery

holding in State v. Reid that computer users have a reasonable expectation of privacy concerning the personal information they give to their ISPs.

In that case, Shirley Reid was indicted for computer theft for changing her employer's password and shipping address on its online account with a supplier.Acer Aspire One battery 10400mAh

The police discovered her identity after serving the ISP, Comcast, with a municipal subpoena not tied to any judicial proceeding.

The lower court suppressed the information from Comcast that linked Reid with the crime on grounds that the disclosure violated Reid's constitutional right to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure.Dell RM791 battery

The appellate court affirmed, as did the New Jersey Supreme Court, which ruled that ISP subscriber records can only be disclosed to law enforcement upon the issuance of a grand jury subpoena. As a result, New Jersey offers greater privacy rights to computer users than most federal courts.Dell Inspiron E1505 battery

This case also serves as an illustration of how case law on privacy regarding workplace computers is still evolving.

Robbins v. Lower Merion School District

In Robbins v. Lower Merion School District (U.S. Eastern District of Pennsylvania 2010), Dell Studio 1737 battery

the federal trial court issued an injunctionagainst the school district after plaintiffs charged two suburban Philadelphia high schools violated the privacy of students and others when they secretly spied on students by surreptitiously and remotely activating webcams embedded in school-issued laptops the students were using at home. Dell Inspiron 300M Battery

The schools admitted to secretly snapping over 66,000 webshots and screenshots, including webcam shots of students in their bedrooms.

Freenet is a decentralized, censorship-resistant distributed data store originally designed by Ian Clarke.Dell Latitude E4200 Battery

According to Clarke, Freenet aims to providefreedom of speech through a peer-to-peer network with strong protection of anonymity; as part of supporting its users' freedom, Freenet is free and open source software. Freenet works by pooling the contributed bandwidth and storage space of member computers to allow users to anonymously publish or retrieve various kinds of information. Dell Latitude E5400 Battery

Freenet has been under continuous development since 2000.

Features and user interface

Freenet is different from most other peer-to-peer applications, both in how users interact with it and in the security it offers. It separates the underlying network structure and protocol from how users interact with the network;Sony VGN-FW139E/H battery

as a result, there are a variety of ways to access content on the Freenet network. The simplest is via FProxy, which is integrated with the node software and provides a web interface to content on the network. Using FProxy, a user can browse freesites (web sites that use normal HTML and related tools, but whose content is stored within Freenet rather than on a traditional web server). Sony VGN-FW11M Battery

The web interface is also used for most configuration and node management tasks. Through the use of separate applications or plugins loaded into the node software, users can interact with the network in other ways, such as forums similar to web forums or Usenet or interfaces more similar to traditional p2p "filesharing" interfaces.Sony VGN-FW11S Battery

While Freenet provides an HTTP interface for browsing freesites, it is not a proxy for the World Wide Web; Freenet can only be used to access content that has been previously inserted into the Freenet network. In this way, it is more similar to Tor's hidden servicesthan to anonymous proxy software like Tor's proxy.Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Battery

Many of the differences in how Freenet behaves at a user level are direct or indirect consequences of its strong focus on free speech and anonymity. Freenet attempts to protect the anonymity of both people inserting data into the network (uploading) and those retrieving data from the network (downloading). Dell Latitude D620 Battery

Unlike file sharing systems, there is no need for the uploader to remain on the network after uploading a file or group of files. Instead, during the upload process, the files are broken into chunks and stored on a variety of other computers on the network. When downloading, those chunks are found and reassembled.Dell Latitude D830 Battery

Every node on the Freenet network contributes storage space to hold files, and bandwidth that it uses to route requests from its peers.

As a direct result of the anonymity requirements, the node requesting a piece of data does not normally connect directly to the node that has it;Toshiba Satellite M60 battery

instead, the data is routed across several intermediaries, none of which know which node requested the data or which one had it. As a result, the total bandwidth required by the network to transfer a file is higher than in other systems, which can result in slower transfers, especially for unpopular content. Dell Studio 1457 Battery


Freenet's founders argue that only with true anonymity comes true freedom of speech, and that what they view as the beneficial uses of Freenet outweigh its negative uses. Their view is that free speech, in itself, is not in contradiction with any other consideration — the information is not the crime. Dell Latitude D610 Battery

Freenet attempts to remove the possibility of any group imposing their beliefs or values on any data. Although many states censor communications to different extents, they all share one commonality in that a body must decide what information to censor and what information to allow. Dell Studio 1457 Battery

What may be acceptable to one group of people may be considered offensive or even dangerous to another. In essence, the purpose of Freenet is that nobody is allowed to decide what is acceptable.

Reports of Freenet's use in authoritarian nations is difficult to track due to the very nature of Freenet's goals. Dell Studio 1450 Battery

One group, Freenet-China, has translated the Freenet software to Chinese and is distributing it within China on CD and floppy disk.

Technical design

The Freenet file sharing network stores documents and allows them to be retrieved later by an associated key, as is now possible with protocols such as HTTP. Dell Inspiron 1320n Battery

The network is designed to be highly survivable, with all internal processes completely anonymized and decentralized across the network. The system has no central servers and is not subject to the control of any one individual or organization, including the designers of Freenet. SONY VGP-BPS13AS Battery

Information stored on Freenet is distributed around the network and stored on several different nodes. Encryption of data and relaying of requests makes it difficult to determine who inserted content into Freenet, who requested that content, or where the content was stored. SONY VGP-BPS13A/S Battery

This protects the anonymity of participants, and also makes it very difficult to censor specific content. Content is stored encrypted, making it difficult for even the operator of a node to determine what is stored on that node. This provides plausible deniability, and in combination with the request relaying means that safe harbor laws that protect service providers also protect Freenet node operators.SONY VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

Distributed storage and caching of data

Unlike other P2P networks, Freenet not only transmits data between nodes but actually stores them, working as a huge distributed cache. To achieve this, each node allocates some amount of disk space to store data; this is configurable by the node operator, but is typically several GB (or more).SONY VGP-BPS13A/B Battery

Files on Freenet are typically split into multiple small blocks, with additional blocks added to provide redundancy. Each block is handled independently, meaning that a single file may have parts stored on many different nodes.

Information flow in Freenet is different from networks like eMule or BitTorrent:SONY VGP-BPS13/S Battery

  1. A user wishing to share a file or update a freesite "inserts" the file "to the network"
  2. After "insertion" is finished, the publishing node is free to shut down, because the file is stored in the network. It will remain available for other users whether or not the original publishing node is online.SONY VGP-BPS8 Battery
  3. No single node is responsible for the content; instead, it is replicated to many different nodes.

Two advantages of this design are high reliability and anonymity. Information remains available even if the publisher node goes offline, and is anonymously spread over many hosting nodes as encrypted blocks, not entire files. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ38M Battery

Freenet is also not affected by a typical peer-to-peer availability problem: a lack of "seeds" or full copies of a file does not affect whether a file can be retrieved as long as all the parts of the file are available somewhere.

The key disadvantage of the storage method is that no one node is responsible for any chunk of data.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31Z Battery

If a piece of data is not retrieved for some time and a node keeps getting new data, it will drop the old data sometime when its allocated disk space is fully used. In this way Freenet tends to 'forget' data which is not retrieved regularly (see also Effect).SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31M Battery

While users can insert data into the network, there is no way to delete data. Due to Freenet's anonymous nature the original publishing node or owner of any piece of data is unknown. The only way data can be removed is if users don't request it.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31J Battery


The network consists of a number of nodes that pass messages among themselves. Typically, a host computer on the network runs the software that acts as a node, and it connects to other hosts running that same software to form a large distributed network of peer nodes. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31B Battery

Some nodes are end user nodes, from which documents are requested and presented to human users. Other nodes serve only to route data. All nodes communicate with each other identically — there are no dedicated "clients" or "servers". It is not possible for a node to rate another node except by its capacity to insert and fetch data associated with a key. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31E Battery

This is unlike most other P2P networks where node administrators can employ a ratio system, where users have to share a certain amount of content before they can download.

Freenet may also be considered a small world network.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ4000 Battery

The Freenet protocol is intended to be used on a network of complex topology, such as the Internet (Internet Protocol). Each node knows only about some number of other nodes that it can reach directly (its conceptual "neighbors"), but any node can be a neighbor to any other; SONY VAIO VGN-FZ480E Battery

no hierarchy or other structure is intended. Each message is routed through the network by passing from neighbor to neighbor until it reaches its destination. As each node passes a message to a neighbor, it does not know or care whether the neighbor will forward the message to another node, or is the final destination or original source of the message. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ460E Battery

This is intended to protect the anonymity of users and publishers.

Each node maintains a data store containing documents associated with keys, and a routing table associating nodes with records of their performance in retrieving different keys.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ340E Battery


The Freenet protocol uses a key-based routing protocol, similar to distributed hash tables. The routing algorithm changed significantly in version 0.7. Prior to version 0.7, Freenet used a heuristic routing algorithm where each node had no fixed location,SONY VAIO VGN-FZ220E Battery

and routing was based on which node had served a key closest to the key being fetched (in version 0.3) or which is estimated to serve it faster (in version 0.5). In either case, new connections were sometimes added to downstream nodes (i.e. the node that answered the request) when requests succeeded, SONY VAIO VGN-FZ180E Battery

and old nodes were discarded in least recently used order (or something close to it). Oskar Sandberg's research (during the development of version 0.7) shows that this "path folding" is critical, and that a very simple routing algorithm will suffice provided there is path folding.Sony VAIO VGN-NR11Z/T Battery

The disadvantage of this is that it is very easy for an attacker to find Freenet nodes, and connect to them, because every node is continually attempting to find new connections. In version 0.7, Freenet supports both 'Opennet' (similar to the old algorithms, but simpler), and 'Darknet' (all node connections are set up manually, so only your friends know your node's IP address).Sony VAIO VGN-NR11M/S Battery

Darknet is less convenient, but much more secure against a distant attacker.

This change required major changes in the routing algorithm. Every node has a location, which is a number between 0 and 1. When a key is requested, first the node checks the local data store. Sony VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Battery

If it's not found, the key's hash is turned into another number in the same range, and the request is routed to the node whose location is closest to the key. This goes on until some number of hops is exceeded, there are no more nodes to search, or the data is found. If the data is found, it is cached on each node along the path. Sony VAIO VGN-NR11S/S Battery

So there is no one source node for a key, and attempting to find where it is currently stored will result in it being cached more widely. Essentially the same process is used to insert a document into the network: the data is routed according to the key until it runs out of hops, and if no existing document is found with the same key, it is stored on each node. Sony VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery

If older data is found, the older data is propagated and returned to the originator, and the insert "collides".

But this only works if the locations are clustered in the right way. Freenet assumes that the Darknet (a subset of the global social network) is a small-world network, and nodes constantly attempt to swap locations (using the Metropolis–Hastings algorithm) in order to minimize their distance to their neighbors. SONY VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Battery

If the network actually is a small-world network, Freenet should find data reasonably quickly; ideally on the order of  hops. However, it does not guarantee that data will be found at all.

Eventually, either the document is found or the hop limit is exceeded. SONY VAIO VGN-NR11M/S Battery

The terminal node sends a reply that makes its way back to the originator along the route specified by the intermediate nodes' records of pending requests. The intermediate nodes may choose to cache the document along the way. Besides saving bandwidth, this also makes documents harder to censor as there is no one "source node."SONY VAIO VGN-NR11S/S Battery


Initially, the locations are distributed randomly (whether on Opennet or Darknet). This means that routing of requests is essentially random. But since different nodes have different randomness, they will disagree about where to send a request, given a key. So the data in a newly started Freenet will be distributed somewhat randomly.SONY VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery

As location swapping (on Darknet) and path folding (on Opennet) progress, nodes which are close to one another will increasingly have close locations, and nodes which are far away will have distant locations. Data with similar keys will be stored on the same node.SONY VAIO VGN-FW31J Battery

The result is that the network will self-organize into a distributed, clustered structure where nodes tend to hold data items that are close together in key space. There will probably be multiple such clusters throughout the network, any given document being replicated numerous times, depending on how much it is used. SONY VAIO VGN-FW31J Battery

This is a kind of "spontaneous symmetry breaking", in which an initially symmetric state (all nodes being the same, with random initial keys for each other) leads to a highly asymmetric situation, with nodes coming to specialize in data that has closely related keys.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21E Battery

There are forces which tend to cause clustering (shared closeness data spreads throughout the network), and forces that tend to break up clusters (local caching of commonly used data). These forces will be different depending on how often data is used, so that seldom-used data will tend to be on just a few nodes which specialize in providing that data, SONY VAIO VGN-FZ18 Battery

and frequently used items will be spread widely throughout the network. This automatic mirroring counteracts the times when web traffic becomes overloaded, and due to a mature network's intelligent routing, a network of size n should only require log(n) time to retrieve a document on average.HP Pavilion DV8000 battery


Keys are hashes: there is no notion of semantic closeness when speaking of key closeness. Therefore there will be no correlation between key closeness and similar popularity of data as there might be if keys did exhibit some semantic meaning, thus avoiding bottlenecks caused by popular subjects.HP Pavilion DV6000 battery

There are two main varieties of keys in use on Freenet, the Content Hash Key (CHK) and the Signed Subspace Key (SSK).

A CHK is a SHA-256 hash of a document (after encryption, which itself depends on the hash of the plaintext) and thus a node can check that the document returned is correct by hashing it and checking the digest against the key. HP Pavilion DV8000 battery

This key contains the meat of the data on Freenet. It carries all the binary data building blocks for the content to be delivered to the client for reassembly and decryption. The CHK is unique by nature and provides tamperproof content. A hostile node altering the data under a CHK will immediately be detected by the next node or the client.HP Pavilion DV6000 battery

CHKs also reduce the redundancy of data since the same data will have the same CHK.

SSKs are based on public-key cryptography. Currently Freenet uses the DSA algorithm. Documents inserted under SSKs are signed by the inserter, and this signature can be verified by every node to ensure that the data is not tampered with. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ Battery

SSKs can be used to establish a verifiable pseudonymous identity on Freenet, and allow for documents to be updated securely by the person who inserted them. A subtype of the SSK is the Keyword Signed Key, or KSK, in which the key pair is generated in a standard way from a simple human-readable string.HP PAVILION DV8000 Battery

Inserting a document using a KSK allows the document to be retrieved and decrypted if and only if the requester knows the human-readable string; this allows for more convenient (but less secure) URIs for users to refer to.


A network is said to be scalable if its performance does not deteriorate even if the network is very large. HP PAVILION DV6000 Battery

The scalability of Freenet is being evaluated, but similar architectures have been shown to scale logarithmically. This work indicates that Freenet can find data in O(log2n) hops on a small-world network (which includes both opennet and darknet style Freenet networks). HP Pavilion dv8000 battery

However, this scalability is difficult to test without a very large network. Furthermore, the security features inherent to Freenet make detailed performance analysis (including things as simple as determining the size of the network) difficult to do accurately. As a result, the real-world scalability of Freenet has not been thoroughly tested.HP Pavilion dv6000 Battery

Darknet versus Opennet

As of version 0.7, Freenet supports both "darknet" and "opennet" connections. Opennet connections are made automatically by nodes with opennet enabled, while darknet connections are manually established between users that know and trust each other. Sony VGP-BPL15 battery

Opennet connections are easy to use, but darknet connections are more secure against attackers on the network, and can make it difficult for an attacker (such as an oppressive government) to even determine that a user is running Freenet in the first place. For users in such places, the darknet option may be a requirement in order to avoid prosecution by such a government.Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery

The core innovation in Freenet 0.7 is to allow a globally scalable darknet, capable (at least in theory) of supporting millions of users. Previous darknets, such as WASTE, have been limited to relatively small disconnected networks. This scalability is made possible by the fact that human relationships tend to form small-world networks,Sony VGP-BPL9 battery

a property that can be exploited to find short paths between any two people. The work is based on a speech given at DEF CON 13 by Ian Clarke and Swedish mathematician Oskar Sandberg. Furthermore, the routing algorithm is capable of routing over a mixture of opennet and darknet connections, Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery

allowing people who have only a few friends using the network to get the performance from having sufficient connections while still receiving some of the security benefits of darknet connections. This also means that small darknets where some users also have opennet connections are fully integrated into the whole Freenet network,Sony VGP-BPS13A/B battery

allowing all users access to all content, whether they run opennet, darknet, or a hybrid of the two.

Current development

Freenet 0.7, released on the 8th of May 2008, is a major re-write incorporating a number of fundamental changes. Sony VGP-BPS13/S battery

The most fundamental change is support fordarknet operation, described above. Other modifications include switching from TCP to UDP, which allows UDP hole punching along with faster transmission of messages between peers in the network. Sony VGP-BPS13 battery

Freenet 0.7.5, released on June 12, 2009, offers a variety of improvements over 0.7. These include reduced memory usage, faster insert and retrieval of content, significant improvements to the FProxy web interface used for browsing freesites, and a large number of smaller bugfixes, performance enhancements, and usability improvements. Dell Studio 1555 battery

Version 0.7.5 also shipped with a new version of the Windows installer.

As of build 1226, released on July 30, 2009, features that have been written and will be included in version 0.8 include significant security improvements against both attackers acting on the network and physical seizure of the computer running the node. Dell KM958 battery

Like version 0.7.5, version 0.8 will be based on the 0.7 code. Other features likely to be included in version 0.8 are continued improvements to both performance and security, as well as usability enhancements and bug fixes.

Related tools and Freenet applications

Unlike many other P2P applications, Freenet does not have a single application which provides all functionality. Dell XPS M1210 Battery

Instead, Freenet has a modular structure: the core application focuses on connecting to the network, and acts as a "proxy", providing an open application interface named FCP (Freenet Client Protocol) for other programs to use. Those additional applications use the API to implement services like message boards, file sharing, or online chat. SONY VAIO VGN-FW33GW Battery

Additional functionality can also be added with plugins; several plugins are distributed with Freenet to handle tasks such as UPnP support andIP address detection.

Distributed forums in Freenet

Message boards (forums) are particularly popular among Freenet users: SONY VAIO VGN-FW33G/E1 Battery

slow speed is not a problem, content is generated by users themselves so there's no lack of content, and the wish to stay anonymous is natural among forum users. Message boards also provide a convenient way to announce new freesites and file uploads.

Frost is a popular message board system for Freenet.SONY VAIO VGN-FW290JTH Battery

It is very popular in the area of file sharing and is the most widely used Freenet messaging application. Frost is written in Java. Frost is not currently bundled with Freenet and can be downloaded from Frost home page on Sourceforge, or from the Frost freesitewithin Freenet. SONY VAIO VGN-FW290JTB Battery

The design of the Frost protocol allows posting by any user, whether pseudonymous or anonymous, and is inherently vulnerable to spam and DoS attacks. Despite these attacks, it remains reasonably popular.

Freenet Messaging System (FMS) is an application brought to solve limitations and issues with current messaging protocol of Frost (in particular the denial of service attacks and spam).SONY VAIO VGN-FW29/B Battery

It uses published lists of trusted users with outbox polling: each user only downloads messages from identities they trust, or identities trusted by identities they trust, avoiding the need to download probably spam messages before determining whether they are in fact spam. SONY VAIO VGN-FW31ZJ Battery

FMS is anonymously developed and can be downloaded from the FMS freesite within Freenet. There is ongoing debate as to whether the FMS trust system makes it too easy to censor people who post content that is merely objectionable, rather than simply spam.SONY VAIO VGN-FW27/W Battery

Freetalk integrates the ideas of FMS into the Freenet node using a generic Web of Trust (WoT) plugin as backend. It can currently be installed as experimental plugin. Once its development enters beta stage, it will be installable directly over Freenet using the web interface.SONY VAIO VGN-FW27/B Battery

File sharing tools

Thaw is a file sharing application which is primarily a download manager and tool for browsing and creating file indexes. File indexes can link to one another and thus form a kind of web of download channels.

Frost is popular for file sharing as well as forums.SONY VAIO VGN-FW26T/B Battery

Freesite tools

The simplest way to handle freesite uploading is with jsite. A web page is first created in a standard html editor, and then jSite handles management of keys and uploading of all component files.SONY VAIO VGN-FW25T/B Battery

Development libraries

FCPLib (Freenet Client Protocol Library) aims to be a cross-platform but natively compiled set of C-based functions for storing and retrieving information to and from Freenet. There are routines for storing documents to Freenet from the local disk, and other routines for moving data in memory to and from Freenet.SONY VAIO VGN-FW21Z Battery

FCPLib is now routinely compiled on the following platforms: Microsoft Windows NT/2K/XP, Debian, BSD, Solaris, and Mac OS X. The FCPTools are command-line driven programs for inserting and retrieving files with Freenet. They are linked against FCPLib and serve as examples of library use.SONY VAIO VGN-FW21M Battery

The Freenet Tools perform roughly the same tasks as FCPTools, however it does not include a client library for use in other projects. The Freenet Tools are written in ANSI C, and runs on Unix-likeOSs.SONY VAIO VGN-FW21L Battery


According to CiteSeer, Ian Clarke's "Freenet: A Distributed Anonymous Information Storage and Retrieval System" was the most cited computer science paper of 2000. Dell Latitude E6400 ATG Battery

Freenet has also had significant publicity in the mainstream press, including articles in the New York Times, and coverage on CNN, 60 Minutes II, the BBC, and elsewhere. The mainstream press coverage has been primarily concerned with Freenet's impact on copyright enforcement, rather than Freenet's asserted goal of freedom of communication.Asus M52N Battery ,SONY VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery,Ibm THINKPAD X200 BatteryIbm THINKPAD X200 Battery,Ibm THINKPAD X200 Battery ,HP Pavilion DV7 battery

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