Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, April 12, 2004

P2P for text sharing

Tracey Logan, File-sharing to bypass censorship, BBC News, April 9, 2004. Ross Anderson of Cambridge University, one of the first to advocate P2P file-sharing, now wants to extend the practice to the distribution of news. Not only would P2P networks bypass censors, they would break the monopoly of major news syndicators. Quoting Anderson: "The effect of peer-to-peer networks will be to make censorship difficult, if not impossible. If there's material that everyone agrees is wicked, like child pornography, then it's possible to track it down and close it down. But if there's material that only one government says is wicked then, I'm sorry, but that's their tough luck". (PS: Of course the same networks could be used for research data and articles, preprints and postprints. This would aid in preservation and freedom from censorship, but would hinder efforts to measure traffic and usage.)