The conventional Internet is currently like a system of roads with deep potholes and highwaymen all over the place. Even if you still can use the roads (e.g. send emails, or browse websites) your vehicle might get hijacked, damaged, or long arms might reach into its back and steal your items (data) to use it against you and sell it to others - while you can't even notice the thievery nor accuse and hold the scroungers accountable. The Internet was not designed with security in mind: protecting against address forgery, routers learning metadata, or choosing trustworthy third parties is nontrivial and sometimes impossible.
Your metadata is just as revealing as the actual content; and it gets exposed on the Internet.
Even though transport encryption is increasingly being deployed on the Internet, it still reveals data that can threaten democracy: the identities of senders and receivers, the times, frequency and the volume of communication are all still revealed.
Today, monitoring increasingly centralized infrastructure, proprietary implementations, traffic shapers and firewalls restrict all of the essential freedoms to various degrees.
GNUnet is a self-organizing network and it is free software as in freedom. GNUnet puts you in control of your data. You determine which data to share with whom, and you're not pressured to accept compromises. It gives users freedoms to securely access information ("run" the network), to study all aspects of the network's operation ("access the code"), to distribute information ("copy"), as well as the freedom to deploy new applications ("modify").
The ongoing hype around distributed ledgers and blockchains is detrimental to the health of our planet.
GNUnet does not require a decentralized, public ledger. This eliminates the need for wasteful, continuous consensus mechanisms, which do not scale and are ecologically unsustainable. GNUnet and its applications employ decentralization only where it provides the most value and use more efficient technology stacks where needed.
Instead of sharing common components and tools for building P2P systems, every P2P project seems to re-invent the wheel. This heightens the effort and increases the potential number of vulnerabilities.
It offers a metadata-preserving foundation for your application. It offers components for addressing, reliable encrypted channels with advanced routing and resource discovery and naming. Our work is based on continuous research spanning almost two decades.