Suppport for Anonymous P2P Filesharing?

Dictatorschips like China and Russia are cracking down on VPN Usage (Most VPN IPs are Known)… So it becomes more difficult for people in this countires to bypass Internet Censorship. Therefore it may become beneficial to promote the usage of decentralized filesharing tool so people in censored countires may still get access to Free Knowledge, Cultural Content and Books.

I find the Tribler Project most interesting for this Purpose as it is a Torrent Client but with TOR Style End2End Encryption and IP Adress Anonymization. Therefore allowing Anonymous P2P Filesharing. Normal Torrents from Sites like Piratebay can also be downloaded using its Exit Relays run by the Project.

Tribler is a research project of Delft University of Technology. Tribler was created in April 2005 as a new open source Peer-to-Peer file sharing program. During this time over one million users have installed it successfully and three generations of Ph.D. students tested their algorithms in the real world.

Tribler is the first client which continuously improves upon the aging BitTorrent protocol from 2001 and addresses its flaws. We expanded it with, amongst others, streaming from magnet links, keyword search for content, channels and reputation-management. All these features are implemented in a completely distributed manner, not relying on any centralized component. Still, Tribler manages to remain fully backwards compatible with BitTorrent.

Work on Tribler has been supported by multiple Internet research European grants. In total we received 3,538,609 Euro in funding for our open source self-organising systems research.

Roughly 10 to 15 scientists and engineers work on it full-time. Our ambition is to make darknet technology, security and privacy the default for all Internet users.

We created a dedicated Tor-like onion routing network exclusively for torrent downloading. Tribler follows the Tor wire protocol specification and hidden services spec quite closely, but is enhanced to need no central (directory) server.

Bittorrent offers no privacy protection. It is easily traced that you are downloading certain (controversial) content. Content is offered openly and everybody can see who is doing what. Dissidents and unpopular opinions can be easily discovered and subsequently stopped.

All downloads now go through other computers. All direct contact with the Bittorrent swarm is gone. The proxy layer is simply a set of computers that relay messages between you and the Bittorrent swarm. However, you need to fully trust all these selected proxies, they can see exactly what you download. The proxies encrypt the data, only you can read it.

Adding three layers of proxies gives you more privacy. Three layers of protection make it difficult to trace you. Proxies no longer need to be fully trusted. A single bad proxy can not see exactly what is going on. The first proxy layer encrypts the data for you and each next proxy adds another layer of encryption. You are the only one who can decrypt these three layers correctly. Tribler uses three proxy layers to make sure bad proxies that are spying on people can do little damage.

Maybe the European Pirates should consider to support the development of such technologies as it could help to pass streams of free information and culture into authoritarian countries with strong internet censorship. Especially the fully decentral architecture of Tribler that unlike TOR does not need any central servers may make it more difficult to block and censor.

The more Books, Movies and other content from liberal western Democracies people in russia or china can consume the more it may weaken the state Propaganda. Developing censorship resistant Information sharing technologies like Tribler may therefore be a key element to promote democratic perspectives and culture all around the world.

What do you pirates think about this ideas ?