A subnetwork within the Internet that is used to publish controversial and illegal material. Including Web pages, forums, chat sites and a search function, it is a distributed network accessed via Freenet software. All users contribute some of their bandwidth and disk space and are actually unaware of the nature of the encrypted data that happens to be on their drives at any given moment.
Freenet can be run at different security levels, the top one being "darknet" mode, which is available only to selected users. The higher the security desired, the slower Freenet runs, because there are fewer contributors in the network. Freenet was developed by Ian Clark, a student at Edinburgh University, who released the software in 2000. For more information, visit www.freenetproject.org. See dark Web