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GNUnet 0.11.0pre66

We are pleased to announce the release of GNUnet 0.11.0pre66.

This is a pre-release to assist developers and downstream packagers to test the
package before the final release after four years of development.

In terms of usability, users should be aware that there are still a very
large number of known open issues in particular with respect to ease of
use, but also some critical privacy issues especially for mobile users.
Also, the nascent network is tiny (~200 peers) and thus unlikely to
provide good anonymity or extensive amounts of interesting information.
As a result, the 0.11.0 release and especially this pre-release are only
suitable for early adopters with some reasonable pain tolerance.

License change

GNUnet 0.11.0pre66 is the first release that will be made under the
GNU Affero General Public License v3+. After a significant amount of
internal discussion lead constructively by Lynx (thanks!), the
conclusion has been that the IPC and REST APIs should be extended with
support for an GNUNET_MESSAGE_TYPE_AGPL or /agpl request that enables
users of these client/service-style APIs to download the source code.

Naturally, the discussion on licensing may not necessarily end here, but
at this point we are not aware of any dissent in the community and this
release seems to be the right time to make such a change. While the
final decision was not subjected to a broad feedback round, this was
done simply on the grounds that this placement of the AGPL API seems to
addresses all concerns that were raised. Finally, thanks to the
copyright assignment all developers are participating in, the community
will be able to revise this decision later if necessary.

It should also be noted that this change does not impose additional
restrictions on the licensing models of GNU Taler or pEp: both projects
have agreements with GNUnet e.V. that ensure that they can make
decisions that fit these applications (not to mention significant parts
of GNU Taler are already AGPLv3+ already).

About GNUnet

GNUnet is a framework for secure peer-to-peer networking. GNUnet's
primary design goals are to protect the privacy of its users and to
guard itself against attacks or abuse. At this point, GNUnet offers four
primary applications on top of the framework:

The file-sharing service allows anonymous censorship-resistant
file-sharing. Files, searches and search results are encrypted to make
it hard to control, track or censor users. GNUnet's anonymity protocol
(gap) is designed to make it difficult to link users to their
file-sharing activities. Users can also individually trade-off between
performance and anonymity. Despite providing anonymity, GNUnet's
excess-based economy rewards contributing users with better performance.

The VPN service allows offering of services within GNUnet (using the
.gnu TLD) and can be used to tunnel IPv4 and IPv6 traffic over the P2P
network. The VPN can also be used for IP protocol translation (6-to-4,
4-to-6) and it is possible to tunnel IP traffic over GNUnet (6-over-4,
4-over-6). Note that at this stage, it is possible for peers to
determine the IP address at which services are hosted, so the VPN does
not offer anonymity.

The GNU Name System (GNS) provides a fully-decentralized and censorship
resistant replacement for DNS. GNS can be used alongside DNS and can be
integrated with legacy applications (such as traditional browsers) with
moderate effort. GNS provides censorship-resistance, memorable names and
cryptographic integrity protection for the records. Note that at this
stage, it is possible for a strong adversary to determine which peer is
responsible for a particular zone, GNS does not offer strong anonymity.
However, GNS offers query privacy, that is other participants can
typically not decrypt queries or replies.

Conversation allows voice calls to be made over GNUnet. Users are
identified using GNS and voice data is encrypted. However, Conversation
does not provide anonymity at this stage --- other peers may observe a
connection between the two endpoints and it is possible to determine the
IP address associated with a phone.

Other applications, including in particular the SecuShare social
networking application, are still strictly experimental.

For developers, GNUnet offers:

  • Access to all subsystems via clean C APIs
  • Mostly written in C, but extensions possible in other languages
  • Multi-process architecture for fault-isolation between components
  • Use of event loop and processes instead of threads for ease of
    development
  • Extensive logging and statistics facilities
  • Integrated testing library for automatic deployment of large-scale
    experiments with tens of thousands of peers

Noteworthy improvements in 0.11.0pre66

Improved documentation, converting Drupal handbook
to Texinfo (thanks ng0!)
GNU Name System now can take over arbitrary TLDs, and
support for conversion from DNS zones to GNS exists
Critical bugfixes in CORE, DHT and CADET subsystems

The above is just the short list, our bugtracker lists over 350
individual issues that were resolved
(see https://gnunet.org/bugs/changelog_page.php).

Known Issues

We have a few issues that are most likely not resolved in the final
release. Users should be aware of these issues, which we hope to address
shortly.

  • There are known major design issues in TRANSPORT, ATS and CORE
    which will need to be addressed for usability, performance
    and security.
  • There are known moderate implementation limitations in CADET that
    impact performance.
  • There are known moderate design issues in FS that also impact
    usability and performance.
  • There are minor implementation limitations in SET that create
    unnecessary attack surface for availability.
  • The Web site and manuals still need significant rework.
    Subsystems related to SecuShare and RPS remain experimental.

In addition to this list, you may also want to consult our bug tracker
at https://gnunet.org/bugs/ which lists about 200 more specific issues.

Availability

The GNUnet 0.11.0pre66 source code is available from all GNU FTP
mirrors. The GTK frontends (which includes the gnunet-setup tool) are a
separate download. Please note that some mirrors might still be
synchronizing.

GNUnet on a FTP mirror near you
http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/gnunet/gnunet-0.11.0pre66.tar.gz
GNUnet GTK on an FTP mirror near you
http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/gnunet/gnunet-gtk-0.11.0pre66.tar.gz
GNUnet FUSE on an FTP mirror near you
http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/gnunet/gnunet-fuse-0.11.0pre66.tar.gz
GNUnet on the primary GNU FTP server
ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/gnunet/gnunet-0.11.0pre66.tar.gz
GNUnet GTK on the primary GNU FTP server
ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/gnunet/gnunet-gtk-0.11.0pre66.tar.gz
GNUnet FUSE on the primary GNU FTP server
ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/gnunet/gnunet-fuse-0.11.0pre66.tar.gz

Note that GNUnet is now started using "gnunet-arm -s". GNUnet should be
stopped using "gnunet-arm -e".

Thanks

This release was the work of many people. The following people
contributed code and were thus easily identified:
Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Bart Polot, Sree Harsha Totakura,
Nathan S. Evans, Martin Schanzenbach, Julius Bünger, Nils Gillmann,
Philipp Tölke, Florian Dold, Руслан Ижбулатов, tg(x), David Barksdale,
Christian Fuchs, Nils Durner, Omar Tarabai, Maximilian Szengel, Supriti
Singh, lurchi, David Brodski, xrs, Fabian Oehlmann, Carlo von lynX,
Christophe Genevey Metat, Jeffrey Burdges, Safey A.Halim, Daniel Golle,
Phil, Bruno Cabral, Ji Lu, Heikki Lindholm, Markus Teich, t3sserakt,
Claudiu Olteanu, Marcello Stanisci, Moon, anryko, Arthur Dewarumez,
Julien Morvan, Adnan H, Lin Tong, Andreas Fuchs, Christian Rupp, jah,
Alejandra Morales, Matthias Kolja Miehl, Andrew Cann, Antonio Ojea,
Pascal Mainini, amirouche and hark.