The folks at Freenet have released 0.7 alpha. From their release we find out that:

Freenet 0.7 represents a major new approach to peer-to-peer network design. To protect the network, and the user's anonymity, Freenet users will now have the ability to connect directly to other people that they know and trust, together forming a "global darknet" making it extremely difficult for any third party, whether a government or another powerful organisation, to determine that a user is participating in Freenet, let alone what they are doing with it.


The new Freenet employs a simpler and more flexible routing model than previous versions, which in the future may allow diverse applications ranging from efficient search, to near-real time instant messaging and chat between anonymous participants.

So it seems that Freenet has absorbed the meme of "the buddy list is the center of the universe" (connect only to those you know and trust) and are looking into IM as well. Interesting...

Peter Saint-Andre > Journal