|Operating system||Windows, Linux, OS X, FreeBSD, Android|
|Available in||Danish, German, English, Spanish, French, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, Ukrainian, Chinese.|
|Type||Peer-to-peer web hosting|
|License||GNU GPL v2|
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ZeroNet is a decentralized web-like network of peer-to-peer users. Programming for the network is based in Budapest, Hungary; is built in Python; and is fully open source. Instead of having an IP address, sites are identified by a public key (specifically a bitcoin address). The private key allows the owner of a site to sign and publish change, which propagate through the network. Sites can be accessed through an ordinary web browser when using the ZeroNet application, which acts as a local webhost for such pages. In addition to using bitcoin cryptography, ZeroNet uses trackers from the BitTorrent network to negotiate connections between peers. ZeroNet is anonymous by default, by hiding their IP address using the built in Tor-functionality.
The ZeroNet website and bittorrent tracker are blocked in China.
The existence of peer-to-peer online web-sites had been hypothesised for some time, with The Pirate Bay suggesting they would build a network, as well as BitTorrent Inc. which created the closed source Project Maelstrom. One other similar project is the SAFE Network by MaidSafe, though it has not yet seen widespread use, and has been said to focus more on file storage. Another application, Beaker browser, uses the P2P DAT files protocol to allow the creation, hosting and serving of websites without need of a server.
As of 2016[update] there is no way to take down a ZeroNet page which still has seeders, thus making such pages immune to third-party methods of taking them down, including DMCA takedown notices. By default, sites have a size limit of 10 megabytes, but users may grant a site permission to use more storage space if they wish.
- "Play: A P2P Distributed Torrent Site That's Impossible to Shut Down – TorrentFreak". TorrentFreak. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
- Kysar, Tom (18 March 2015). "ZeroNet Expands Key Distributed And Anonymous Features". bravenewcoin.com. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
- Sewell, Chase (15 January 2015). "Can Blockchain Technology Decentralize the Web?". insidebitcoins.com. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
- Kumar, Mohit (18 February 2015). "MegaNet — New Decentralized, Non-IP Based and Encrypted Network". The Hacker News. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
- Hill, Paul. "China blocks access to ZeroNet website and tracker". Neowin. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
- Prisco, Giulio. "BitTorrent-Powered ZeroNet Decentralized Web Pioneers Peer-To-Peer Internet". Bitcoin Magazine. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
- Inside Beaker
- "Steal This Show S01E07: Did P2P Break the Law? - TorrentFreak". TorrentFreak. Event occurs at 17m39s. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
and what's happened is [...] some forward-thinking person has created a site on ZeroNet called Play, a torrent site[...]. The difference is that you can't take it down. I think you literally can't take it down. [...] It sniffs at your DMCA.
- "Kim Dotcom's 'MegaNet' could be a bitcoin-inspired spy-resistant Internet". Upstart Business Journal. 31 March 2015.
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