Why use Syndie?
"Racists, fascists, and lawyers continually harass the operator of my community's
website, causing us to lose access and find another provider."
Syndie lets your community seamlessly use many different resources at once,
such as individual websites, mailing lists, Freenet keys, and file sharing
networks, so there is no one place the lawyers/fascists/racists can attack.
Anyone in your community can exploit whatever resources they find to share
data without needing anyone's permission. This is of course still the case in
more pedestrian situations, like when a server crashes or the forum administrator
forgets to pay the bill.
"When they don't take down the server we're using, they passively monitor
everything we do - who says what, who they say it to, and when they say it,
invading the privacy and violating the security of my community's members."
By distributing your community across many different servers and networks,
they lose their single point where they can monitor your activities.
Syndie also lets your community take whatever steps are necessary to
compartmentalize your organization, limiting the exposure from any individual
leaks - for instance, one group of users could use Syndie through a shared
wiki, while another group uses Syndie through a mailing list, a third group
uses Syndie through Freenet, and a fourth group through Gnutella, and as long
as one member of each knew about one of the other group's resources, everyone
can talk to each other. Of course, Syndie's data is automatically protected
with strong cryptography, even when sharing information with the public, so
simple passive monitoring - even across a global scale - will not expose
"I'd like to learn more about some topics or share my experiences with others,
but all the places I find are full of sketchy popups, viruses, and scams."
Syndie has been designed from the ground up with the understanding that
the Internet is full of scammers, crackers, and other bad guys who are trying
to violate your privacy. Syndie treats all identifying information as
sensitive - unlike most software, Syndie includes the simple fact that you are
communicating, as well as who you're communicating with and when you're doing it
as part of that identifying information.
"I hear that my web browser and email client can leak information or make my
even with strict filters in place."
Rather than integrate a full browser to display messages, Syndie avoids the
browser's vulnerabilities by implementing simple rendering itself. This means
that Syndie only supports rendering things that are known to be safe.
"I'm about ready to give up on email and blogging, and I gave up on Usenet
years ago, because of spam and phishing"
Syndie uses best practices in secure interface design along side strong cryptography
to give you control of your inbox, your forum, and your blog. You decide who
can be a part of your community, and in what way, and no one can pretend to be
someone you know.
While you can have many different identities ("pseudonyms") in Syndie, using a
different one to participate in different forums, you can also use an identity in
several different forums. Whenever and wherever you post to a forum, you tell Syndie
both what forum you are posting to and who you are posting as. People in that forum
will then know its really you (or, more specifically, know its the pseudonym you selected
to post as). They won't have to ask "hey, are you the same jrandom from I2P?"
"I'd like to join a community, but I don't necessarily want them to know who I am,
or even for people to know I'm even interested in that community"
Syndie pays particular attention to identifying information and does its best to
keep you "pseudonymous" - people in your community can tell you apart from someone
else claiming to be you, but cannot tie your "pseudonym" to your real life identity.
Depending on how dedicated your adversary is, Syndie can use tools like
to enhance your privacy.
"My community has been looking at using anonymity tools like I2P, Tor, Freenet,
and Mixminion, but I'm not sure if they're strong enough to protect us"
Tools like those listed are great for what they do, but they're only a piece
of the picture. Syndie works at a higher level - at the content and application
layers, rather than the transport layer - so as to protect your content and
computer rather than to protect your content in transit. Both are important,
and for strong pseudonymity, both are necessary.
"Some people in my community need to use high latency anonymity tools like
Mixminion and Mixmaster to participate, while others only require the protection
of low latency anonymity tools like I2P and Tor, and others require even less."
Syndie's distributed nature means that different people can use whatever technologies
are appropriate for them to participate in a forum - some people can even access
an archive directly while others would have multiple day delays through email remixers.
A forum can even use a collection of different archives, each with their own benefits
and drawbacks (safer and slower vs. more risky and faster, etc)