Alternative BitTorrent Protocol

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Alternative BitTorrent Protocol

Post by Grendel12 on Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:39 am
([msg=71494]see Alternative BitTorrent Protocol[/msg])

Hi guys,

I have an idea for a new BitTorrent-esque protocol that might have a chance of circumventing legal issues that commonly arise with file-sharing.

Essentially, where BitTorrent contains Seeders and Leechers, I would add another class called, I dunno, let's say "Feeders," that act as a proxy between the other two. When a Leecher requests a file from a known Seeder, the data is first sent through a (random) Feeder as a proxy, which records no data on either the file or the Leecher. Since, the Feeder is not actually storing the file and doesn't record the Leecher's IP, it shouldn't be illegal for the Feeder to act as a proxy. As of now, I use BTGuard as a proxy for my BitTorrent connections, which does essentially the same thing: proxies my BT data and keeps no records. This is how a "pirate" would be able to use BTGuard to safely and anonymously share files.

One flaw in this scheme that may turn up is Copyright-Infringement Scouts could act as a Feeder, picking up IP addresses that turn up (only assuming they used a packet sniffer to detect IPs, because the Protocol itself would not do so), but this could potentially be fixed by using 2 Feeders per Seed, which further obfuscates the Leecher.

The legal burden might then fall on Seeder for having Copyrighted material on the open web, but as I understand it now, currently the legal burden falls on the Leechers when they download and are caught by CI-Scouts, which is what I am trying to fix.

Hopefully I'm not grasping at straws. I am really keen on starting this, assuming that such legal issues could be avoided. I am currently in my second semester of Networking classes and I am confident that, given a certain amount of time, I could complete such a protocol.

Before I look further into doing this, I wanted to run it by some other hackers, see what you guys think. Any input would be appreciated.
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Re: Alternative BitTorrent Protocol

Post by weekend hacker on Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:51 pm
([msg=71503]see Re: Alternative BitTorrent Protocol[/msg])

Not sure what legal issues this would solve since you still need to know the location of seeders. And it would dramatically slow things down.
Right now the focus is on obscuring who has the data you want, in an attempt that each user can only get a certain subset of that list and without a central location that holds all the data.
Because of the nature of torrents, both seeder and leecher are possibly doing illegal things. So even with this type of proxy system in place if the leecher wants to go after seeders, he can. And since everyone is at some point a seeder(or the system won't work) this results in everyone being still being visible.
If you imagine torrents right now: they leech, store the data, and then seed it to others. They're already effectivly working as a proxy for a seeder, reducing his load and are the reason why everything can move so fast. If they ware to do this without storing the data then they'd need to redownload parts of files everytime someone else who is proxying through them would want to download it. Not only would it undo the potential speed gains of torrents, it'd actually make things slower!
And to provide effective anonymity it'd have to work somewhat like tor hidden services work. The leecher doesn't know where he is connecting to, and the seeder doesn't know where that leecher is connecting from. This won't only make things slower as above, but will do so by a factor of atleast 3. And there would still be possible ways to find the seeder or leecher if you have several nodes in your controll on the network :\
Not to mention the obvious abuses that would exist if there was a huge proxy system like this. If it works for torrents, it could work for other things.

TL;DR; I think it would not be effective.
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Re: Alternative BitTorrent Protocol

Post by not_essence2 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:07 pm
([msg=71535]see Re: Alternative BitTorrent Protocol[/msg])

It sounds like you're giving a Tor-aspect to it. Might want to use onion routing as well.
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Re: Alternative BitTorrent Protocol

Post by fashizzlepop on Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:18 am
([msg=71541]see Re: Alternative BitTorrent Protocol[/msg])

I agree with weekend hacker. Both leechers and seeders are potentially breaking the law and it would be easy enough to gather data on either side. Plus it will reduce the speed of downloading drastically.

I'd like to add, creating your own protocol (or even re-implementing one) is a great way to learn and practice.
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Re: Alternative BitTorrent Protocol

Post by Grendel12 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:47 pm
([msg=71551]see Re: Alternative BitTorrent Protocol[/msg])

Alright, I appreciate the advice. I'm very interested in BitTorrent and will see if I can think of other ways to anonymize it, or get around the legal issues.

On a side-note, the recent "Mega" site (formly MegaShare) remake has a very satisfying method to avoid their former legal troubles.
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Re: Alternative BitTorrent Protocol

Post by Wootz on Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:56 pm
([msg=71567]see Re: Alternative BitTorrent Protocol[/msg])

It's an interesting idea, I'd like to see it developed further.


Although maybe that's just because I'm a sucker for protocols.
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Re: Alternative BitTorrent Protocol

Post by Cerebral Bore on Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:13 pm
([msg=71702]see Re: Alternative BitTorrent Protocol[/msg])

Really theirs a lot of ways to lock things down on the Bit-torrent topic, one of them being not to use it and use something different ^^

Unfortunately though as is all too often the case, the more network security you have the less connectivity you have.
Meaning your download speed takes a big hit, though your not on the radar as much vs anti-P2p bots so to speak ;)
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