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preventing being snooped on

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I've been an avid supporter of p2p and anonymous networks for sometime, and after reading the Virgin Media bullshit (http://news.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/hi/te...00/7486836.stm) I thought I'd post this.

The problem is everyone in a swarm can see the IP address of everyone else. When a client connects to the tracker, it could automatically be assigned a private IP address - it's own hamachi style VPN if you like - all nice and secured over SSL. The tracker would only ever contain private IP addresses, never the public ones. All secure, and encrypted (prevents data snooping - important if Sweden is to snoop all international traffic!!).

What do you think?

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Your link doesn't work...perhaps you meant this one?:


And where are we going to get the proxy with the infinite bandwidth to run it?

Many trackers are already under really heavy loads, thanks to poorly-written BitTorrent clients that request too often...and people who manually requery thinking that speeds up their downloads.

If the monitoring companies (Media Defender is the best example at the moment) think you are sharing copyrighted material they don't want you sharing, they can even frame you with false evidence if they wanted to...just to make the charges stick:


And if they can't stop you, they'll DDoS your server/s offline:


...And if that's not enough, Media Defender isn't secure enough to say that anything they're doing isn't being tampered with by outside forces:


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thanks for your comments Switeck.

Bandwidth - very good point. We're looking at a couple of small packets per peer connection for the mediation. Potentially that could add up. I don't have a good answer for that right now (other than the standard advertising or asking people to pay for a service that is truly difficult to throttle and spy on...).

As for the stuff about media defender, well, I hope my idea will prevent them snooping on our data. If the connection between peers is as anonymous as it'll ever get, and fully encrypted, and the mediation server never sees any of your data, then how could anyone accuse you of anything? Media defender would have a hard time trying to break in to an ever shifting ad-hoc global VPN! I suppose a compromised tracker+mediation server would allow them to see real IP addresses in swarms, but then if they obtained the pirate bay servers they'd see all that anyway. At least this proposed change to the protocol and clients makes it almost impossible to spy on and throttle (unless ISPs throttle all encrypted traffic!!!)

Good points though, I'll have a think about them.

To anyone else who's interested, think WASTE + hamachi + tracker = what I'm suggesting.

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How can it be just a couple of small packets per peer connection for the mediation?

The mediator essentially has to tell the peers and seeds how to find each other, and that means outgoing packets to seeds/peers with the true internet ip destinations in their headers. Something like wireshark packet-monitoring software could see that easily.

In other words, no real secrecy/privacy there...and you've used considerable extra bandwidth to reach that point.

If peers and seeds are to act as random proxy servers for random other peers/seeds, then overall bandwidth is effectively halved (or worse!) as peers/seeds would be receiving and resending everything at least once.

All this would further increase firewall issues, as ONLY unfirewalled connections could act as 2-way proxy servers. And they'd probably need to be 2-way for more than just standard TCP/IP packets, which reduces the "pool" of unfirewalled peers/seeds further. :(

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oh, thanks switeck, you reminded me why I don't use forums.

I'm being blunt, but it's quite a request you're asking for.

Firon said what is the crux of the matter: peers/seeds KNOW the internet ips of other peers/seeds. They may not know all of them, but that matters little if monitoring companies use 100+ fake peers/seeds per torrent they care to monitor.

Even if the software doesn't show the users the ips of other peers/seeds, tracking can be done using simple TCP/IP networking tools.

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You're lucky you get any response at all, lol. From the people who don't know what bittorrent is trying to ask for a base-protocol-change, or even more specifically for it to be added to the client... They shouldn't be responsible for your downloading speed beyond a reasonable management... impedance from ISPs for basic shaping based upon protocol headers and other unique information has been lessened for 1.8, and people who don't come up with unique reasons get responses NICE like Switeck or laughed at for their obvious ignorance (me)...

Bittorrent requires PEER information including an IP and PORT. Who's to say your choice for VPN/tunnel won't get a request and give up your information any more readily than your ISP...

You clearly don't have any idea what you're talking about, and prefer to be spoon-fed information instead of reading and understanding yourself. If you don't want to be snooped on, get a new ISP... or get more involved in the "freedom" movement and form a branch of the appropriate organization in your area... maybe the EFF or pirate party... Since you seem to care so much about rights.

Or maybe you only want to get your content --which required $ to make and shouldn't be pirated --and don't really care about the underlying as long as you "feel" safer. If that's the case, install PeerGuardian. They seem to like to tell their users they're "protected".

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It's even remotely possible (at least with earlier versions or other BitTorrent clients) for your client to report your real internet ip address when it should be reporting your proxy's internet ip address to other seeds/peers/tracker. (Now, that might be avoided with advanced settings to tell uTorrent what ip address to report.) So even a VPN/tunnel proxy may not be a solution. :(

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