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The Internet

P2P Not Dead, Just Hiding 334

adavies42 writes "Contrary to media reports, P2P is not dying (PDF); it's just becoming harder to detect. In a paper for CAIDA, the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis, researchers present evidence that the supposed decline in P2P traffic is actually due to a decline in easy-to-track protocols as those that change port numbers on a regular basis become more popular."
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P2P Not Dead, Just Hiding

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  • Geez (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 29, 2004 @07:02PM (#10668949)
    Shut up already, let them think it's dying!
    • Re:Geez (Score:5, Insightful)

      by athanis ( 241024 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:31PM (#10669360)
      I know this is meant to be funny, but on a serious note, it's probably NOT a good thing for people to think P2P is on the decline.
      i) It would mean less people would join the P2P community, which means less sources and less content for sharing.
      ii) RIAA et co. may just think that their heavy-handed tactics are working and step-up their efforts.

      If anything, we WANT everyone to know that P2P is alive and kicking and there's no way of stopping the revolution.
  • First.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tracer_Bullet82 ( 766262 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @07:02PM (#10668952)
    they laugh at it.
    second, they fight it
    Third, they accept it as truth.

    The journey that is p2p is just starting.

    It WILL gain proper mainstream recognition, someday.
    • Re:First.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JeanBaptiste ( 537955 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @07:07PM (#10668981)
      good god. am I the only one that is sick of this gandhi quote being used for _everything_???

      To compare the struggle that gandhi went through, to P2P apps. Okay, I do see the freedom of speech angle, but really, this gandhi quote turns up about every third article. It only cheapens it. Much the same as the martin niemoller quote "first they came for the communists..." and so on.

      And parent didnt even get the quote right!

      "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

      Throw a "then profit" step in there, i dont care, at least get it right!

      And again, if you use it for each and every topic, it loses meaning. Please reserve such things for _important_ things. Maybe you consider this topic to be that important, okay, in that case I don't fault you directly. Im just sick of seeing important quotes from important people used on non-important topics.

      no offense.
      • and... (Score:3, Funny)

        by Cynikal ( 513328 )
        your dog wants accuracy
      • Re:First.. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by nutshell42 ( 557890 ) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @02:56AM (#10670960) Journal
        "Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first it is ridiculed, in the second it is opposed, in the third it is regarded as self evident."
        - Arthur Schopenhauer

        And it even is older than the Gandhi quote. So while his quote was correct it still doesn't make sense. I can't remember the RIAA ever ridiculing p2p instead they opposed it violently in the beginning they violently oppose it today and they'll oppose it with violence the day they file for chapter 11

    • Re:First.. (Score:3, Funny)

      by Tackhead ( 54550 )
      First... they laugh at it.
      > second, they fight it
      > Third, they accept it as truth.

      Fourth, they stop being able to track it by port number,
      Fifth, they say it's dying.
      Sixth, Netcraft confirms it! They have NO... sixth!
      In Soviet Russia, someone makes a joke about Seventh,
      Eighth, there is nothing for you to see here.
      Ninth, ...
      Tenth, Gandhi wins the (+5, Funny)?

    • Third, they find out it can be used for Porn.

      Forth, it proliferates out of control.

      Fifth, they give up.
  • by Mard ( 614649 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @07:03PM (#10668964)
    P2P "researchers" still unable to find suprnova.org...
    • 1. Post p2p networks not dead article on slashdot.
      2. Gather all the links that the geeks drop in the comments
      3. ???
      4. Profit!

      (Where ??? in this case is shutdown those sites.)
  • by RelliK ( 4466 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @07:04PM (#10668968)
    MS-DOS is not dead. It just smells funny.
  • I have to agree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 29, 2004 @07:05PM (#10668971)
    Current connected Kazaa users: 2,319,581

    Sharing 1,360,174,152 files (38,675,976 GB)
  • No news here... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ptlis ( 772434 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @07:05PM (#10668973) Homepage
    I don't think peer to peer networks will ever die out; they're simply too good a way to distribute files and information, and I don't Just mean warez and the like, just look at the number of torrents running for various linux distros and the BSDs. The thing general populous is beginning to realize that the fasttrack network Kazaa uses is a pile and are moving to decentralised networks like bittorrent and as such the various organisations which would like to monitor the usage of peer to peer networks are having a much harder time getting accurate figures.
    • Decentralized? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:21PM (#10669326) Homepage
      and are moving to decentralised networks like bittorrent

      As much as bittorrent is the greatest thing since sliced bread, it is not decentralized. It is 1st gen P2P with a centralized tracker, despite actually being better than 2nd gen networks like KaZaA. And I certainly wouldn't want to compare it with 3rd gen networks like Freenet, MULE etc. which are at present even worse. So there's no shame in calling it 1st gen, far from it.

      Of course, bittorrent more or less emulates a decentralized structure as each torrent operates independently of each other, but bittorrent itself is not. That does make it considerably harder to take down torrents than e.g. Napster, though.

      Kjella
    • I'm not sure how much I like this artificial line between legal and illegal file transfers.

      A lot of torrent stuff I do are video clips from political shows, the daily show, etc. I upload an excerpt which as far as most people are concerned is fair use. We use it to talk about an event. Its the same as using a blockquote of text from a news article or photocopying an article for a class or seminar.

      To these P2P researchers I'm sure this falls under the category of pirating (lovely word, should I get an ey
      • I'm sure this falls under the category of pirating (lovely word, should I get an eyepatch and a parrot?).

        Use of the word "piracy" in reference to the infringement of intellectual property dates back to at least 1771 according to the Oxford English Dictionary [Ref [65.66.134.201]]:

        2. fig. The appropriation and reproduction of an invention or work of another for one's own profit, without authority; infringement of the rights conferred by a patent or copyright.

        1771 LUCKOMBE Hist. Print. 76 They..would suffer by this act

        • >I think it's time to just come to grips with the fact that stealing software and music is in fact called "piracy".

          No thanks. The history of piracy consists of murder, theft, and rape on the open seas.

          This is copyright infringment. Or Fair Use, depending.

          It is not theft. Copying a tv show is not the same as stealing a physical DVD.

          These are important differences, and letting the content industry frame the issue this way gives them a semantic advantage that is very, very real.
    • Are there others like me that had problems with Bitorrent? With legit items, I'd rather just download it via FTP or something, and less than legit items, I just have better things to do with my time than wait.

      I have T1 access and with many files, I get less than 8kB/s, despite having capacity to near 180kB/s, bidirectional. It all seemed kind of pointless to me, if I wanted near-modem speed I would have stuck with a modem.
  • Freenet (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 29, 2004 @07:07PM (#10668978)
    Freenet [wikipedia.org] - not only hidden, but actually impossible to find and decrypt. This is the future of illegal (illegal pr0n, piracy, avoiding censorship in oppressive regimes) P2P. Actually, it is not the future. It is the present. The only disadvantage is speed, but it is getting better and connections are getting faster anyway.
    • Re:Freenet (Score:5, Interesting)

      by casuist99 ( 263701 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @07:20PM (#10669060) Homepage Journal
      I tried Freenet about 6 months ago and was kind of confused. It seemed incredibly slow and didn't have hardly any content available. Now, has is recently "caught-on" such that more content is available, or are we still talking about the REALLY SLOW and low content network that it was in the past?
      I agree that the concept is probably the way that p2p will travel in the future.
      Are there links to files/sites available on Freenet which don't have to be found by searching through Freenet? While I realize an unencrypted list of files might defeat the purpose of the network, it was hard to find content when I used it.
      I genuinely like the model for p2p that Freenet represents, but definitely would need a concrete reson to switch over from BT.
      • Re:Freenet (Score:5, Insightful)

        by damiam ( 409504 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @07:34PM (#10669135)
        Freenet is not designed for pirating large media files, although it could be used that way. There are very few movies/albums on Freenet at the moment, because there are much easier and faster forms of distribution.

        Freenet is still fairly slow, but that doesn't really matter. The goal of Freenet is that you can post and download stuff, completely anonymously. No one really cares if you download the latest movies from BT, but you'd get tracked down and in major trouble if you posted classified documents or other such material. On Freenet, you can do whatever you want, and no one can find you or stop you. That's the purpose of the network, not petty copyright infringement.

        • I didn't mean to imply that's the reason I was using Freenet. I think that the ability to spread files of any sort without consequence is a major advantage.

          Large media files are not my primary downloads on BitTorrent either, but it's nice that it's ABLE to handle that as well. I mean, I think I downloaded small video clips, documents, etc from BT over the years just because that's how people chose to post them rather than kill their bandwidth. The Jon Stewart on Crossfire /.'ed torrent is the most recen
    • Re:Freenet (Score:3, Funny)

      by Mantorp ( 142371 )
      from what I hear not only is it impossible to find and decrypt, but also impossible to use.
    • Re:Freenet (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @07:53PM (#10669212) Homepage
      The only disadvantage is speed, but it is getting better

      Let me guess. It is getting better because it is working better on the developer/unstable network than the stable network? Well, here's a secret. It always did. Smaller network, easier to route, better. Doesn't mean Freenet is getting better.

      Kjella
    • if a half dozen fresh eyes from the open source community sat down with that code, cleaned it up and gave a new perspective on old bugs and troubles, I think the freenet userbase(and thus, its security as it grows more reliable and secure when it scaleS) would double on a weekly basis.

      The concept is there, the code is there, the design is there. Freenet has been plagued with instability and innefficient algorithms for finding and retrievin(and inserting) data.

      Also, an ability to host(though you would lose
    • Freenet's a cool idea, but it's too glacially slow. I've been considering setting up eMule [emule-project.net]-over-Tor [freehaven.net] at some point. I think it'd be reasonably fast (e.g. only 1/6 as fast as not-over-Tor) and still pretty much 100% secure. Especially once there's a lot of people using it.

      As an added bonus, eMule-over-Tor could be added to eMule itself, and you could easily flag which files are "Tor only" and leave the base eMule protocols to handle all the other files.
    • Also I2P (Score:5, Informative)

      by Famatra ( 669740 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @10:39PM (#10669921) Journal

      A good, and working, anonymous P2P alternative to Freent is I2P [wikipedia.org]. The creator of I2P has been around for a while and cross talks with Freenet developers on occasion as both the Freenet and I2P community channels are on the anonymous irc network IIP, and irc.freenode.net.

      A lot of I2P is put into the public domain, with parts of it being GPL. Try www.i2p.net [i2p.net] for more information.

  • "private networks" (Score:5, Informative)

    by exhilaration ( 587191 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @07:08PM (#10668993)
    Many people have switched to private networks open only to their friends.

    Tools such as Waste [sourceforge.net] make this very easy to set up.

    • by sH4RD ( 749216 )
      Took the words right out of my mouth (read my .sig, then look at sf's project members list).

      WASTE is indeed safe, private, and underground sharing/collaboration. Thanks to the newest beta it's even undetectable thanks to random packet length. It appears as just more data on the network. P2P is becoming quite sly at hiding itself.
    • Many people have switched to private networks open only to their friends.

      So have the RIAA, et al., won at least a minor victory in limiting world wide distribution?
    • by marktaw.com ( 816752 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:08PM (#10669283) Homepage

      And Waste is impossible to detect because each person running Waste can set their own port number (from the default 1337), and even set it to run on port 80 if they wanted.

      Anonymous P2P like Mute [sourceforge.net] is calling itself the next generation in P2P, and sacrifices performance for privacy - i.e. you don't know who's requesting a file, you only know who you're connected to, so you could actually be a conduit for dozens of people sharing files.

      Anonymity (Mute) vs. Privacy (Waste) are mutually exclusive. You either know who you're talking to reliably, or you don't. You can't both know who you're talking to AND be anonymous.

      Private networks suffer from the same problems as ShadowCrew - if you let too many people in, one person could comprimise the entire network and learn the identities of everyone. There are websites out there that share waste networks. That just seems silly to me. Waste is about *privacy* so publicizing your existance is just stupid. The problem then becomes finding a group of people you trust who have different content from you.

      I read somewhere a while back about a Japanese DVD trading ring - they actually mailed DVD's back and forth, perhaps pirating them once they had them. When you joined you had the name of the person who invited you in attached to your name until you built up a reputation. People looking to go underground would be wise to adopt such a policy. Invitation only, stay small, and develop a reputation system. Don't these people watch undercover movies like Wu jain dao [imdb.com] (Infernal Affairs here in America)?

      • Geez...where on earth have you seen people advertising their WASTE networks? That's just stupid...........

        (p.s. I only did that to prime mine....I know everyone on it now, anyone new has to be known by someone on it)
        • HA HA HA. I don't remember the sites, it was a long time ago. There was one that just let you post your public key & IP address, but I think you had to know the network name to retrieve it. There were forums dedicated to this as well. This was a year or two back when Waste first came out and there was a lot of excitement around the product.
      • I read somewhere a while back about a Japanese DVD trading ring - they actually mailed DVD's back and forth, perhaps pirating them once they had them.

        What was their URL, www.netflix.jp? :)
      • Anonymity (Mute) vs. Privacy (Waste) are mutually exclusive. You either know who you're talking to reliably, or you don't. You can't both know who you're talking to AND be anonymous.

        Actually there's a variation of p2p, which gives both privacy and anonymity.

        When you join in, you connect to the person you know and whom you have a mutual trust with. That person may be connected to other nodes, but those are not directly visible to you. Your peer is proxying for them instead. This way (at a cost of a proxyi
      • The solution you provided at the end there is almost exactly how some closed torrent sites work. The good members (Ratio of 1.2+) get invitations they can send to friends. The friend gets a membership, and if they fuck up the person who invited them gets in trouble and the friend gets banned.

        Empornium.us for example.
  • I wouldnt mind (Score:5, Interesting)

    by macromegas ( 823729 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @07:11PM (#10669002)
    if the conclusions of the article turn out to be true

    Breaking the asymmetrical bandwidth assumption. If P2P
    traffic continues to increase and legal complications are overridden,
    the P2P paradigm will bring dramatic changes in supply and
    demand in edge and access networks. Bit rates of many access
    links, in particular for DSL and cable modems, are currently provisioned
    asymmetrically with significantly lower upstream bandwidth.
    This provisioning was based on the expectation of users
    downloading much more data than they send upstream. The relevance
    of such technologies will be challenged and their market
    share will dwindle if alternative broadband technologies can offer
    comparable upstream and downstream performance.
    The effect of P2P could propagate from the access points upward
    the network hierarchy to Tier 2 and even Tier 1 ISPs creating
    the need for more peering among ISPs. Current practices
    require balanced bidirectional load among peers10, a stipulation

    easier to achieve with symmetric link utilizations as the
    norm. There is no doubt that the P2P paradigm will change Internet
    engineering as we know it today. Given the observed trends,
    the only remaining question is when, not if.

    as I can not find anyone whod be willing to give me a symetrical here in worlds end; maybe thatll finally change.
  • by cyclop ( 780354 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @07:13PM (#10669013) Homepage Journal
    It means people aren't scared of RIAA-MPAA hyenas and that more and more art and information is shared on the Internet for all of us to enjoy. Good. Anyway I think, given the bad legal situation of file sharing in USA (and soon in Europe), that we should begin to use more secure P2P clients. The eDonkey network is easily traceable, let alone networks like DC or SoulSeek. I'd like to try MUTE or FreeNet, but I'm not fully sure about how hard their security is, and about the possible drawbacks. What do you think about?
    • It's a vicious circle. Freenet and MUTE dont catch on because there's not a lot of content. There's not alot of content because not many people use it, etc...
    • I'd like to try MUTE or FreeNet, but I'm not fully sure about how hard their security is, and about the possible drawbacks.

      a) Considerably better than others. If your name is Osama B., I wouldn't put them to a test though.
      b) Try them, you'll find them quickly enough. (Hint: Speed, content)

      Kjella
    • The trouble is, you only have 2 real options, each with several implementations. You have Tor-like networks, which supplement their lack of content with outproxying to the internet. And then you have your freenet-like networks, completely internal (which I prefer ideologically).

      The former seem to desire preserving the layer 3 protocols, meaning that they are (nearly) true networks that we are used to. However, even they have drawbacks... hidden services aren't currently able to have anything similar to dom
  • by aclarke ( 307017 ) <`spam' `at' `clarke.ca'> on Friday October 29, 2004 @07:16PM (#10669030) Homepage
    ... It's just pining for the fjords.
  • More expensive? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RuneB ( 170521 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @07:18PM (#10669049)
    Isn't it more expensive to measure P2P traffic accurately? It seems to me that scanning the actual content of every packet would eat up a lot of processing time on a busy network/hub/etc. Unless, of course, the media companies ask for help from the all powerful NSA.

    How could you accurately (and more importantly quickly) determine whether some traffic is some P2P program as the article suggests when you have a really BIG haystack and a tiny needle?

  • by the_skywise ( 189793 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @07:19PM (#10669052)
    That networking would be more and more private? Basically it's gone back to word of mouth and individual trades.. much like it's been for years via "sneaker net".

    (y'know we only have rotate the port frequencies... or was it port harmonics... to keep them from getting a bead on us...)
    • by petrus4 ( 213815 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:01PM (#10669250) Homepage Journal
      If the RIAA had even a microscopic degree of intelligence, rather than simply being a cabal of cash-fixated boomers, they might have been able to predict this.

      I remember going to DCC warez channels a few years back on IRC, and seeing constant ads/notifies there about bedroom FTPs set up via dyndns and so on...not to mention the "leet" (private) IRC servers you'd hear about. (although I heard about those a lot less often)

      If the RIAA had been realists, they would have realised a couple of important things straight off the bat:-

      1) The Internet was designed to be able to withstand a nuclear exchange, and P2P in particular probably operates more purely via decentralised mesh topology principles than just about any other net application in existence. (As opposed to say IRC, which typically uses branch topology...which is why a single netsplit on the wrong server can lobotomise the entire network) In other words, they have less than no chance of EVER being able to stop it, or even tracing the origin node of a given file in most cases.

      2) Given the fact as stated above that they'd have more chance of moving the rock of Gibraltar than shutting down P2P, the truly clueful thing for them to do would have been to try and figure out a way to use it as a source of revenue for themselves. On a network where anything is available, the neatest trick is isolating/finding what you want...so they could have had "featured" lists stacked with their own artists and used a subscription model for their search service, OR run their own private show AKA Kazaa and again used the subscription model for that. For another thing...in an environment of files, just about everything is a generic copy of a copy of a copy. With the "mashy" thing a bit back, David Bowie's fans demonstrated that what they really wanted was personalisation...something that an individual could feel was uniquely theirs, and not just an identical copy of what everyone else had. This would be more difficult to make money from, to be sure, but in different ways I'm betting it could be done.

      Yet *another* way they could have made major cash for themselves would be by mining the online indy scene. They encourage the proverbial bedroom DJs, who then not only produce more fodder for the subscription model, but could even in some ways go towards satisfying the "individual" demand mentioned above via exclusive/semi-exclusive concert type recordings, individualised remixes, etc. The possibilities are endless.

      3) The very LAST thing they should have wanted to do was push this underground, because once they've do that, they lose the ability to a) monitor/police it AT ALL, and b) profit from it because they either don't know where it is, or because they've already destroyed user goodwill by previously attempting to destroy it.

      The problem with too many corporate bodies these days is the desire to make money via scorched earth techniques...but what they never think of is that by destroying the host environment today, (whether online or off) they lose the ability to make money from it tomorrow...whereas if they were smart, they could capitalise on these things indefinitely.
      • "3) The very LAST thing they should have wanted to do was push this underground, because once they've do that, they lose the ability to a) monitor/police it AT ALL, and b) profit from it because they either don't know where it is, or because they've already destroyed user goodwill by previously attempting to destroy it."

        What they should of done is make people think theyre going underground by having to resort to irc, but then setting up a giant warez irc network to monitor people [rizon.net] *subliminal message*

        hint:
    • Yes, and don't forget to initiate a burst of verteron particles. That helps to fully randomize the transmission.
  • Actually those that know how to look find the increase in P2P traffic easily. The tendency to hide is also not surprising. Many people have predicted this. I know I have.

    • I've been doing more downloading here lately than in the past. P2P is certainly alive and kicking! Networks such as DirectConnect, eDonkey, kad, BitTorrent, et cetera all make P2P even easier than it was in the past. Not to mention the fact that a wider and wider vaiety of stuff is available online everyday!
  • Not dying at all (Score:3, Informative)

    by ATAMAH ( 578546 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @07:49PM (#10669197)
    Not only is it not dying but it is being more and more adopted for non wzrez/moviez/pr0n related tasks. You can find pretty much any distro of unix/linux on p2p which takes a lot of strain off of the ftp sites. There is also a few schools i know of that use bittorrent to distribute movies that students create in class. So maybe the "P2P? Oh that is that software/movie piracy thing??" mindset is being corrected slowly but steadily?
  • Don't forget (Score:4, Informative)

    by u-238 ( 515248 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:08PM (#10669277) Homepage
    the likes of programs such as protowall [bluetack.co.uk] and peerguardian [methlabs.org], both of which have huge active communities constantly updating IP block lists, blocking all the p2p evils out there like bayTSP and other monitoring agencies.

    A huge amount of p2p clients (most kazaa lite buids, azureus, one of the most popular bit torrent clients) have methods built in to support these block lists, and are turned on by default.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:14PM (#10669305)
    Posting anonymously for obvious reasons but here is a simple thought experiment. Feel free to punch all sorts of holes in my argument. My aim is to expose the futility in regulating P2P or cracking down on infringers if you can't do that legally. If the content cartel want to put P2P out of business, make the media too attractive and too cheap to bother stealing on P2P.

    Anyway, here is the proces:

    1) Take copyrighted-song.mp3 and XOR it with copyrighted-song.mp3-prndbits.bin of the same size to get prndbits.bin-copyrighted-song.mp3

    2) Share both files BUT NOT AT THE SAME TIME ON THE SAME MACHINE! In fact, with this approach, the files could be posted on the World Wide Web in an analagous fashion.

    3) After time, both files are on the P2P network of your choice. You need both to get copyrighted-song.mp3 back and yet mere non simultaneous possession of either of the two files on a machine that 'form' the song is not (seemingly) illegal. If the labels come after you for sharing such a file, tell them to sod off as the file in question is worthless without the other file which you did not share at the same time, did you?

    The only way the content cartel can get the last word in is to simply make encryption illegal worldwide except for authorized parties.

    That means no more legal use of such encryption software like PGP, GPG, CipherSaber, PCP, and the like by the average Internet user.

    Just envison the backlash such a move would cause....
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:59PM (#10669475)
      The only way the content cartel can get the last word in is to simply make encryption illegal worldwide except for authorized parties.

      We're working on it.

      -- Your friends at the RIAA
    • Did you post this anonymously because you're karma is too high? The **AA will be applying for a patent on this exact idea tomorrow. Anyone who tries it will get sued for patent infringement.

      And since the RIAA and MPAA more or less own Congress, it's a mute point. They will just have a new law passed that makes any "mathematical derivation" of copyrighted information even more of a violation than the original.

      I have little doubt that many of the people paying those RIAA out of court settlements only had pa
    • If the labels come after you for sharing such a file, tell them to sod off as the file in question is worthless without the other file which you did not share at the same time, did you?

      The copyright merely has to "subsist in" the data, not be the recording itself. Even though worthless in isolation, I'm sure this would not hold water in court; it'd be an absurd interpretation of the purpose of the act if the only reason this file existed was to infringe copyright.

      Incidentally, the careful choice of the w
    • by Chandon Seldon ( 43083 ) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @01:16AM (#10670631) Homepage
      This technique was talked about in detail a while ago. The first attack on it is as follows:

      - Since the only purpose for distributing the files is to distribute the copyrighted material, it is likely to be legally the same.
      - Needing to download two files of the same length as the file you want from different servers is really annoying.

      One solution is a large repository of seemingly random data with separately distributed "recipe files" that describe how to rebuild the files you want. If you make the random files sufficently interconnected, you can make it so that any order to stop distributing a specific random looking block of data will prevent numerous legal files from being built in addition to the copywrited data that is targeted.

      There are still some problems with that system, mostly in lack of ease of use.

      As long as eMule still works, it's unlikely that anyone will actually adopt any system so complex.
  • Is there any viable P2P IM protocol?

    Maybe some sort of mini-DNS like thing, parts of the who-is-online db replicated amonst the clients, etc.

    E.g. something with no central server.

    Maybe there are problems with this architecture, beyond having to open some ports in your firewall?

    Just curious, but haven't thought about it too hard...

  • Torrents? (Score:4, Informative)

    by WhatAmIDoingHere ( 742870 ) <sexwithanimals@gmail.com> on Friday October 29, 2004 @08:54PM (#10669458) Homepage
    With more and more people discovering the community enhanced joy that is bittorrent, I'm not surprised.

    BitComet's default setting is to use a randomly generated port, and you can switch from port to port with the click of the "Random Port" button as often as you'd like.

    Or you can choose to not listen on any ports, if you're like that, but you'll take a hit to the download speed.

    MySpleen is one of the greatest torrent communities I've found, and if you're interested in MST3k, ATHF, Venture Bros, or the other Adult Swim 'toons, check us out!
  • Someone (Score:4, Funny)

    by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @09:23PM (#10669606) Homepage
    Someone with more writing talent than myself should PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD make a BSD is Dying post for this.

  • come on guys... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by vettemph ( 540399 )
    The name of the game is STFU. keep it on the down low. You can do anything you want, ...anything, just keep it quiet. ;) It has alway been that way and always will.
  • stealthier (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheSHAD0W ( 258774 ) on Friday October 29, 2004 @10:31PM (#10669896) Homepage
    I am the lead coder of a BitTorrent client [bittornado.com]. A few months back I began to receive reports of ISPs either blocking or severely throttling the upstream (to a point where the protocol became non-functional) of BitTorrent connections. As a result, I modified my codebase to by default choose a server port randomly, rather than within the default BitTorrent port range.

    Lately, I've gotten more reports indicating that these ISPs that have been blocking BitTorrent have been using more sophisticated methods of detecting the protocol, by apparently sniffing the initial protocol handshake.

    My response was this letter [degreez.net]. The next iteration of the BitTorrent protocol is already being planned, and if this sort of behavior spreads, the new protocol's handshake will be made nearly impossible to sniff out. Yes, it's true BitTorrent is being misused for trading pirated content, but it's also being used for good purposes, such as publishing Linux distros, and in some cases it is practically impossible to obtain content without doing so via BitTorrent.

    This will of course make it difficult to meter how much network traffic is being used by BitTorrent, or to throttle it moderately, but the purpose of BitTorrent is to distribute content, and all other concerns come second.
    • The next iteration of the BitTorrent protocol is already being planned, and if this sort of behavior spreads, the new protocol's handshake will be made nearly impossible to sniff out.

      If the protocol spec is open, any decent stateful firewall manufacturer will be able to put together BitTorrent-NG sniffer in under a week. That's regardless of whether it uses dynamic ports, port-hopping or any other evasion techniques.

      If the protocol has full-blown privacy and authentication (think IKE or TLS), it won't be
  • by QuietRiot ( 16908 ) <cyrus@80d. o r g> on Friday October 29, 2004 @10:33PM (#10669904) Homepage Journal
    [Tips for running a successful Freenet node]

    3 Most important ingredients:
    Permanent connection
    Bandwidth
    Disk space

    Without these you'll be complaining like the rest. Go ahead and set up a node, but optimum performance is a dream without all 3 above elements. Also, count on 2 days of letting it just run before you'll be able to get much done. After you're integrated things run much more smoothly!

    If you're behind a firewall you'll need to know how to setup port forwarding. Windows install is the easiest, GNU systems should be trivial and there's a port for FreeBSD. I believe MacOSX can run it as well. If you can run a modern JavaVM, Freenet should be no trouble for you.

    (About firewalls - if your $50 router/NAT/switch thingy cannot handle the hundreds of TCP connections Freenet can generate, you might want to either invest in a dedicated box (OpenBSD works well for me and allows me to prioritize traffic behind my interactive_ssh and vonage queues - Linux floppy distros should be fine too) or specify in freenet.conf to limit the number of open connections. Just be aware as connection tables can overload and distrupt the connection for all behind the NAT. Then again your $50 box may have no trouble at all. Port numbers are all random high port numbers making Freenet difficult to detect and firewall. Connections out will be made but the portforward is necessary for other nodes to connect to you. If nodes can't connect to you, performance will most likely be horrendous.)

    If you just install Freenet and immediately try and download large files, you will be frusturated and give up. DON'T! Many freesites will not appear at all. NEVER FEAR! Let your node run in the background for a few days and get itself integrated into the mesh. Nodes that are more useful to the network (fast connection, large data store) will end up the most successful when downloading or uploading content. If you can't leave your machine running all the time or want to use freenet over dialup, fine, but your performance will not match those of others that can provide more to the network. Leeching is fine, it allows others to leech off of you - but leave your machine connected and Freenet's performance may end up suprising you.

    Towards the beginning you may just want to start a number of downloads and count on many of them not completing - JUST WALK AWAY or do something else. Don't waste your time. By grabbing whatever bits you can, you'll increase the data in your own datastore and your connections within the network. If others find those bits from your node, your status will increase, more will connect to you and they will then be potential sources for more desired bits of your own. The better connectivity you've got, the more you will find. Leaving your node up at all times and keeping your datastore intact are the best ways to increase Freenet's performance (not just for you but for all).

    THOSE PARANOID: I've been running my Freenet node wide open (no throttle) on my Earthlink cable connection in the heart of Raleigh, NC for some time. No threatening letters or trouble, my Vonage works fine (I do use pf's ALTQ) and those in my house have no trouble with connections, download or upload speeds)

    For those that are already on Freenet and trying to download large files, one tool is critical. FUQUD [localhost] (Freenet Utility for Queued Uploads and Downloads). Find it. Use it. Fred (the built in web interface) isn't going to cut it.

    Regarding disk space. Unless you've got around say 2Gigs to dedicate to a node, your node may not perform as well as it could (200M is practical minimum). Consider the value you choose to be relatively permanant. You can't trade it with other uses - you build a datastore and that's the size, unusable for your MP3's or ogg's for example. They don't grow or shrink. You s
  • Tippingpoint [tippingpoint.com] Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) blocks all P2P regardless of port selection.
  • Has anyone noticed that the RIAA employed slashdot posters seem to have Saturday off? I'm sure on Monday we will see scores of anti-P2P "it's stealing, you dirty thieves" posts. Hey, it's a living.

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