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Play: A P2P distributed torrent site that's impossible to shut down (torrentfreak.com)
120 points by ionised on Mar 2, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 19 comments

This is interesting, one thing that does concern me though is the fingerprint of the traffic, is this "impossible to shut down" presuming ISPs don't analyze their own users traffic and don't apply restrictions to such in certain circumstances. For example ip traffic unless to a dst of 80/443 with proto tcp (or 53/udp dns) could be classified as potential-P2P and throttled. Or if residential ISPs don't let end users run servers possibly by something as primitive as a router ACL on ports <1024, and then throttle P2P where src port and dst port both > 1024 then how will this survive?

It sounds like this solves the discover-ability issue, but weather it can be crippled vs shutdown Im not so sure.

Also does this have anything to do with popcorn time, looks very similar, movie time :)

Can you please not suggest such things? It gives the idiots ideas.

Let me just break it four different ways in three seconds to prove the point. Tor is not suitable for torrenting because the relays don't have enough bandwidth, but hosting a trivial website like this requires very little bandwidth so that wouldn't be a problem, and Tor relays use TCP port 443. Similarly, anyone using a VPN would be unaffected. And unless what you've described was done by by every ISP everywhere in the world, people on ISPs that did it could still connect to everyone on an ISP that didn't do it and the site would remain available everywhere. And, because a site like this would require very little bandwidth per user, throttling would be completely ineffective anyway.

But your proposal would violate network neutrality and interfere with the nascent movement to decentralize things back from having everything go through Facebook, so no.

I2P is similar to Tor and torrents are a first class citizen in it. There is a thriving filesharing scene and speeds are often alright.

> ...is this "impossible to shut down" presuming ISPs don't analyze their own users traffic...

It reminds me the Gnutella slogan (The network than can resist a nuclear attack).


>The network than can resist a nuclear attack

Wasn't that the intent when creating the Internet as a whole?

Possibly, but it's no longer the case. Too many aspects of the modern internet are centralized to a degree that makes resistance against that difficult.

(Replying to vmorgulis):

> Yes. I remenber a recent post claiming it's near impossible to manage it's own mail server anymore because gmail and others mark all new senders as spam. It takes years to be recognized as a legitimate server.

That's just wrong. It's a hassle for sure, but it doesn't take years.

I thought most isps already do bandwidth shaping and p2p throttling? Most serious pirates have a seedbox which avoids this problem.

Wouldn't that be a problem with torrents in general, though? After all, the vast majority of torrents aren't encrypted.

Well if ISP-s try to make themselves smart I will politely explain that I pay for connectivity to 3+B ip addresses with 65535 ports each. And probably also ask FCC if they think that too. I've heard that this guy Wheeler is kinda sympathetic towards the rights of the end points in the network.

Good luck with that. Your ISP might politely explain to you that they don't have any real competition.

If you have the money, you can always rent antenna space on a nearby office building and get commercial-grade internet in that building hooked up to a 5ghz link going to your house. E.g. ubiquiti nanobridge (30 km LoS range) is only $200 for a pair.

I'm interested in how the site maintains database. I've heard of something like distributed hash tables, but I'm not sure if that is related. They would have to have a database to store the magnet links and they would need to be able to query the database to display content. Is each computer on the network holding the entire site or only pieces, and then are all computers holding the entire database?

How is this different from other overlay networks?

Does "utilizes Bitcoin cryptography" mean that there is a BT-ish system of bandwidth credits?

It uses namecoin for domains.

Personal identities are essentially bitcoin addresses (public keys) with corresponding private keys. This provides passwordless logins and authentication.

Sites on ZeroNet are bitcoin addresses with modification permission given based on ownership of the equivalent private key.

Noob question, why don't torrents get transferred over SSL?

The material doesn't need to be hidden from the world (ISP at most) because it's already public material. It includes checksums in the protocol at a more appropriate frequency.

Plus (some) SSL has only just become hardware accelerated. It's only now or in the next few years that someone would consider SSL in torrents - just for hiding from ISPs. Still too many other problems. MPAA are known to download films for the peer list. You'd still be on that.

it's impossible to shut down because it doesn't open?

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