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Adding support for anonymous network I2P to µTorrent?


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Azureus has had support for the (in practice) fully anonymous network I2P for quite a while. Could this be added to µTorrent also?

I2P is an anonymizing network like TOR, but specifically made to handle large transfers, like bittorrent. In fact there is a bittorrent client included in the default I2P installation.

For those who don't know how anonymizing networks work, they are based on a combination of using peer proxies and encryption. Basically, you are never ever in direct contact with a peer, you are always going via someone else (a proxy). At the same time, your communication with the peer is always encrypted, so the proxy doesn't know what you are sending to the peer. The result is that your peer doesn't know your IP, it will only see the IP of the proxy. And the proxy (the only one that knows your IP) can not see anything at all of what you are sending to the peer. So the proxy can't accuse you of filesharing; I2P also runs web, email, on-line games (though slowly) and other stuff. It gets a lot more complicated to take care of various specialized attacks (assuming hostile peers/proxies), but if you are interested in the details check out the I2P network website.

The downside of an anonymizing network like I2P is that it costs bandwidth. To be a part of the I2P network you will act as a proxy for others. This means that half your bandwidth will be spent shifting (unreadable) data for others, while others spend half their bandwidth shifting data for you. Another disadvantage is that you can only be in contact with other peers running in the anonymous network, so until more people use I2P your swarms become smaller. The same goes for trackers; you can only use trackers inside the anonymous network (I2P already has several, though). Finally, your bandwidth can never be better than the bandwidth of the proxies you connect to. Right now the anonymous networks are still quite small, but they are quickly growing.

I would really, REALLY, like the option of being totally anonymous when I feel I need to, even if it costs me half my bandwidth. Remember, it doesn't cost me half my file transfer rate, it only costs me half my total bandwidth. If I am connected to slow peers, my connection will have space over to proxy for others without reducing my transfer rate to those slow peers.

What I am hoping for is an option where I can choose between only running anonymously in I2P (if my ISP sends me threatening letters), running both open and anonymously (this would give me access to download from both normal peers and the growing numbers of anonymous swarms) and only running open (if I don't want to be part of anonymous networks).

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