Baker & McKenzie Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre
at UNSW Law Faculty
invites you to a free talk


FreeNet, the 'savage PET':
Anonymous, Uncensorable Publication and the Limits of Legality

  Speaker: Russell Allen  
  Date: Wednesday, 7 May 2003  
  Time: 1:00 to 2:00 pm, including 15 minutes for questions  
  Venue: UNSW Law Faculty, Library stage II Tower, Room 1301 (13th floor).
Enter via Gate 11 Botany St Randwick.


Our visiting professor Roger Clarke has classified privacy-enhancing technologies, 'PETs', as either 'gentle' (with built-in access for authorised surveillance) or 'savage' (without any intrinsic weakness).

FreeNet is an Internet system that has recently emerged in the latter category after a number of years development. It is an anonymous global 'peer-to-peer' publication network which is explicitly designed to thwart attempts to trace authors, publishers and readers. Each reader must also participate by hosting a publishing and caching node. This raises potential challenges for online policy: some states in the US have passed laws which threaten its legality, while on the other hand the right to anonymity, which FreeNet implements, has recently become codified in Australia's National Privacy Principles. Russell Allen introduces the technology and its implications, and outlines the issues.

  About the speaker: Russell Allen is a researcher at AustLII and guest lecturer in law at UNSW with a long-standing interest in the technical and policy aspects of online communities.  


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