Internet is huge, it’s decentralized and it’s basically free (let’s say that anyone can publish anything…). So in theory there is no censorship and no one can influence you. But because internet is huge you always access the information using a search engine: that it’s centralized, closed source and owned by a private company. Ops.
YaCy is a search engine that you can run on your own pc: YOU decide what to index, YOU the decide the ranking criterias, YOU have the source code.
But no one can index the entire internet alone: so YaCy is peer-to-peer: you now have a search engine that is powerful, free (“free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer”. It’s supported by the FSF) and decentralized: bingo!
The best way to step into YaCy is download the software for the official site, install it and start to play with it. The installation is simple and it’s available from Linux, Mac and Windows. It’s really great to see it running and check all the parameters through the web interface.
I’ll always was concerned about search engines: they can hide you some information, show you an opinion instead of another and profiling you. I found YaCy to be a clever solution: the best is when nobody can be evil.
I seriously thinking of dedicate a specific machine for running YaCy and index all the developer sites I use most (stackoverflow, JavaRanch, …). I feel that’s the “right” thing to do. Try it out and tell me if you have the same feeling.