Chapter 12. Free Haven

Roger Dingledine, Reputation Technologies, Inc., Michael J. Freedman, MIT, and David Molnar, Harvard University

The Free Haven Project is dedicated to designing a system of anonymous storage that resists the attempts of powerful adversaries to find or destroy any stored data. Our goals include the following:


We try to meet this goal for all parties: the publishers that insert documents, the readers that retrieve documents, and the servers that store documents.


The publisher of a document—not the servers holding the document—determines its lifetime.


The system functions smoothly as servers are added or remove themselves.


We apply a reputation system to servers that attempts to limit the damage done by those that misbehave.

In this chapter, we’ll show how Free Haven tries to meet these goals. We spend a particularly large amount of time on anonymity. It is not adequate to speak of “anonymity” as a monolithic concept. In Section 12.2, we’ll enumerate the many different kinds of anonymity that are important to protect participants in the system.

Free Haven differs from the other projects in this book in the wide range of difficult goals we have taken on. We try to assure anonymity, server accountability, and persistent storage for data independent of its popularity, all at the same time. Here are some comparisons to other projects:


The strength of Gnutella is its extremely flexible network design. But when a search ...

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