About Freenet

Nested deep within the internet, through layers of proxies and encryption, lies the Freenet. The Freenet is the internet as it was meant to be. No government controls or censors, complete anonymity if you want it, and a completely secure connection with strong encryption and virtually no method of tracing. The Freenet is primarily comprised of a number of nodes, created and maintained seemingly at random by the happenstance of similarly minded users getting together and keeping the connections open. These online communities are difficult to come across unless you know someone who is a member, and are similarly difficult to trace from the outside.


The most popular method of interacting across these nodes is through Telepresence, or the experiencing of the node in 3D space, interacted with via a virtual reality interface. Users create their own avatars which can in theory look like anything they like (though in practice due to system limitations they are usually humanoid) who interact within the node, with each other. This practice echoes popular MMORPGs and entertainment forums, and is widespread across the internet as a whole as well as on the Freenet.


It'd be nice to say that your avatar is limited only by your imagination. However, in reality your avatar is limited by your ability to create one. How your avatar looks IC is represented by how you look OC - if you can't represent something with props, costume, makeup etc. then you don't have it IC. If you come to session wearing a pirate costume with a plastic parrot on your shoulder OC, then your avatar looks like they're wearing that same pirate costume and have a plastic parrot on their shoulder IC.


In wide use across the Freenet is an interface program called BabelFish. This free program (almost always packaged with VR client software) interfaces with the user's connection in such a way as to automatically translate written and spoken language. The translation is surprisingly accurate even to the point of translating slang and obscure technical terminology, and can substitute for the meanings of turns of phrase. It even appears to learn what the user says to others, and can use this data in order to translate more effectively.


One such node, nicknamed #CLASSIFIED# (though its actual location is heavily encrypted) has played host for some time now to a secretive community whose interests revolve around conspiracy theories, the supernormal, and sharing information and contacts. The node's origins (and method of maintenance) are not obvious to the uninitiated but the node is apparently about as untainted by outside influence as anywhere on the Freenet.

The node appears to be particularly active at certain times, a pattern almost inscrutable to the uninitiated, but the most active times appear to happen once a month.

#CLASSIFIED# is accessed by those in the know through one-time personal keys. These allow a user to remain logged on for an indefinite session (though #CLASSIFIED# operates a policy of automatically logging out users who are inactive for longer than five minutes), but once logged off the user must then acquire a new key. Regulars of the channel know where to acquire keys, and this helps improve the privacy of the channel further.

Terms and Conditions of #CLASSIFIED#

Everyone who uses #CLASSIFIED# has to pass a short test to prove they are human and agree to a set of Terms and Conditions. They're phrased in legalese just like most forums and suchlike nowadays, and have a lot of arsecovering language. Here's an OC summary:

  1. No bots. Especially Spambots.
  2. No hacking #CLASSIFIED#.
  3. No hacking using #CLASSIFIED#. However, social engineering of non-moderators is not our problem.
  4. No using #CLASSIFIED# to locate its physical servers.
  5. If #CLASSIFIED# is unavailable for any reason, tough.
  6. Do what the moderators tell you.
  7. #CLASSIFIED# is a privilege, not a right (we reserve the right to throw you off or ban you)
  8. If you tell someone your real identity and get screwed, that's your problem.
  9. If you tell someone information that gets you or anyone else screwed, that's also your problem.
  10. In fact, just about anything that you do or that happens to you on #CLASSIFIED# is your problem.


It is very difficult to interact with your real world surroundings while telepresencing. To aid with taking notes about conversations and events, VR client software commonly incorporates VirtuaPad. This allows users to make a virtual notebook appear in the hands of their avatar, in which they can enter any text they so choose. When they log off at the end of the session, this is automatically converted into a text file, and saved to the user's hard drive. The VirtuaPads are visible to all in the node, and it is possible to read another's notes if you get close enough and they have left their notebook open. However, most nodes, especially those with areas of interest like #Classified#, consider it to be extremely bad form to spy on what notes others are taking, and those caught doing deliberately so are often shunned.

Out of character: If another player sees notes that you have taken, they are considered to have seen them in character.

freenet.txt · Last modified: 2009/11/12 18:57 by gareth
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