Frequently Asked Questions

sanity edited this page Apr 23, 2011 · 12 revisions

Basic Questions

Using Tahrir

How does a user subscribe to a feed? E.g. if I want to follow you, how would I do that?

Several methods:

  • Cut and paste my "feed public key" into Tahrir's user interface, it will be a string of about 350 random characters
  • Download my feed public key as a file, it will be automatically imported into Tahrir
  • You might see one of my tweets if searching on a particular topic, in which case you can follow me with a single click, just like Twitter

How does a computer running Tahrir join the Tahrir network initially?

Your node requires the address of at least one computer that is already part of the Tahrir network, a "seed node". Much as a person may initially only know one person in a group, they can quickly meet many other people through that person.

For users in uncensored countries a list of seed nodes will be downloaded automatically on startup from a central location. For users in censored countries, seed nodes can be provided by a friend or other trusted source that is already using Tahrir - and do not need to be publicly known.

Project background and history

Why call it "Tahrir"?

Tahrir is Arabic for "liberation", it is also the name of a major public square in Cairo, Egypt which was a focal point of the 2011 Egyptian revolution. This revolution, and related unrest in the middle-East and North Africa in 2011 was the inspiration for this project.

How is "Tahrir" pronounced?

You can hear how it is pronounced by a native Arabic speaker here and here. The founder of this project (a native-English speaker) pronounces it "ta rear", with the first syllable pronounced like "ta" in "tap".

Relationship to other anti-censorship software

Is Tahrir intended to replace Freenet?

No. Freenet is geared towards the sharing of "large" data, files that are potentially hundreds of megabytes of data. Tahrir is based on something we didn't know 10 years ago when we started Freenet, which is that a communication medium consisting of only 140 character messages would be useful. Focussing on "small" messages like this allows numerous architectural choices that weren't available to us with Freenet. In particular, latency requirements are greatly relaxed, permitting a "store-and-forward" architecture similar to usenet. This in-turn provides useful "cover traffic", helping to protect anonymity.