Free Haven Project

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Free Haven Project was formed in 1999 by a group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology students with the aim to develop a secure, decentralized system of data storage.[1] The group's work led to a collaboration with the United States Naval Research Laboratory to develop Tor, funded by DARPA.[2][3]

Distributed anonymous storage system[edit]

The Project's early work focused on an anonymous storage system, Free Haven, which was designed to ensure the privacy and security of both readers and publishers.[4][5] It contrasts Free Haven to anonymous publishing services to emphasize persistence rather than accessibility. Free Haven is a distributed peer-to-peer system designed to create a "servnet" consisting "servnet nodes" which each hold fragments ("shares") of documents, divided using Rabin's Information dispersal algorithm such that the publisher or file contents cannot be determined by any one piece.[6][7][8] The shares are stored on the servnet along with a unique public key. To recover and recreate the file, a client broadcasts the public key to find fragments, which are sent to the client along anonymous routes. For greater security, Free Haven periodically moves the location of shares between nodes.[9][10]

Its function is similar to Freenet but with greater focus on persistence to ensure unpopular files do not disappear.[11] The mechanisms that enable this persistence, however, are also the cause of some problems with inefficiency.[12] A referral- or recommendation-based "metatrust" reputation system built into the servnet attempts to ensure reciprocity and information value by holding node operators accountable.[13][14] Although nodes remain pseudonymous, communication is facilitated between operators through anonymous email.[15]

Work with Tor[edit]

Tor was developed to by the US Naval Research Laboratory and the Free Haven Project to secure government communications, with initial funding from the US Office of Naval Research and DARPA. Tor was deployed in 2003, as their third generation of deployed onion routing designs.[2] In 2005, the Electronic Frontier Foundation provided additional funding to the Free Haven Project.[2] In 2006, the Tor Project was incorporated as a non-profit organization.[2]


  1. ^ "Free Haven". Free Haven Project. Archived from the original on 19 June 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Dingledine, R.; Mathewson, N.; Syverson, P. (2007). "Deploying Low-Latency Anonymity: Design Challenges and Social Factors" (PDF). IEEE Security & Privacy. 5 (5): 83–87. doi:10.1109/MSP.2007.108. S2CID 11387129. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-06-06. Retrieved 2022-01-04.
  3. ^ Jordan, Tim (2008). "The Politics of Technology: Three Types of 'Hacktivism'". In Häyhtiö, Tapio; Rinne, Jarmo (eds.). Net Working/Networking: Citizen Initiated Internet Politics. University of Tampere. p. 267. ISBN 9789514474644. Archived from the original on 2015-03-19. Retrieved 2022-01-04.
  4. ^ Hansen, J. A. (March 2010). "Adding privacy and currency to social networking". 2010 8th IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications Workshops (PERCOM Workshops). 2010 8th IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications Workshops (PERCOM Workshops). Mannheim. pp. 607–612. doi:10.1109/PERCOMW.2010.5470508.
  5. ^ Hermoni, O.; Gilboa, N.; Felstaine, E.; Shitrit, S. (January 2008). "Deniability — an alibi for users in P2P networks" (PDF). 3rd International Conference on Communication Systems Software and Middleware and Workshops, 2008. COMSWARE 2008. Communication Systems Software and Middleware and Workshops. pp. 310–317. doi:10.1109/COMSWA.2008.4554432. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 June 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  6. ^ Dingledine, R.; Freedman, M. J. & Molnar, D. (2001). "The Free Haven Project: Distributed Anonymous Storage Service" (PDF). Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2009. Proc. Workshop on Design Issues in Anonymity and Unobservability. Springer-Verlag. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  7. ^ Mayeba, M.; Mirembe, D. P.; Otto, F. (2007). "Analysis of Free Haven anonymous storage and publication system" (PDF). Proceedings of SREC'07, Kampala, Uganda. SREC'07. Kampala, Uganda. pp. 380–389. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 June 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  8. ^ Chothia, T.; Chatzikokolakis, K. (2005). "A Survey of Anonymous Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing" (PDF). Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Embedded and Ubiquitous Computing – EUC 2005 Workshops. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. pp. 744–755. doi:10.1007/11596042_77. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 August 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  9. ^ Perng, G.; Reiter, M. K.; Wang, C. (June 2005). "Censorship Resistance Revisited" (PDF). Information Hiding. 7th International Workshop, IH 2005. Barcelona, Spain: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. pp. 62–76. doi:10.1007/11558859_6. Retrieved 3 June 2014.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Xiao, R. (July 2008). "Survey on Anonymity in Unstructured Peer-to-Peer Systems". Journal of Computer Science and Technology. 23 (4): 660–671. doi:10.1007/s11390-008-9162-7. S2CID 28191470. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-06-06.
  11. ^ Oram, Andy (2001). Peer-to-Peer: Harnessing the Power of Disruptive Technologies. O'Reilly Media. ISBN 9780596001100.
  12. ^ Yianilos, P. N.; Sobti, S. (September–October 2001). "The evolving field of distributed storage" (PDF). IEEE Internet Computing. 5 (5): 35–39. doi:10.1109/4236.957893. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04.
  13. ^ Sniffen, B. T. (22 May 2000). "Trust Economies in the Free Haven Project" (PDF). Thesis. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  14. ^ Viljanen, L. (August 2005). "Towards an Ontology of Trust" (PDF). Trust, Privacy, and Security in Digital Business. Second International Conference, TrustBus 2005. Copenhagen, Denmark: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. pp. 175–184. doi:10.1007/11537878_18. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 June 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  15. ^ Oppliger, R. (October 2005). "Privacy-enhancing technologies for the world wide web". Computer Communications. 28 (16): 1791–1797. doi:10.1016/j.comcom.2005.02.003.

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