Tuesday, May 5, 2009

OneSwarm 0.6 Turns P2P into F2F

New friend-to-friend (F2F) data sharing application allows users complete control over how data is shared, with the public, with friends, with some friends but not others, and so forth.
Some of the same researchers at the University of Washington that brought us BitTyrant have now developed a new privacy preserving file-sharing client called OneSwarm. It’s based on BitTorrent (and backwards compatible), but includes some new features like search, friend to friend data sharing (F2F), permissions, and a web UI with real time audio/video trans-coding and remote access to name a few.

Based on BitTorrent, and backwards compatible, OneSwarm is one of the many emerging new Darknet file-sharing applications that offers users concerned with privacy the ability to share data away from prying eyes.
What OneSwarm does in a nutshell is basically allow users to establish networks of friends or contacts with which to share data. It allows users to then specifically fine-tune which data is shared and with whom.
OneSwarm even goes a step further by using source address rewriting to protect user privacy. Instead of always transmitting data directly from sender to receiver (immediately identifying both), OneSwarm may forward data through multiple intermediaries, obscuring the identity of both sender and receiver.
“Although widely used, currently popular P2P networks expose the sharing behavior of their users to monitoring by third parties,” reads OneSwarm’s technical report. “To curb the indiscriminate sharing that enables this, we have built OneSwarm, a friend-to-friend file sharing client that restricts direct data sharing to trusted friends with verifiable persistent identities. Associating persistent names with peers gives users explicit control over their privacy by defining sharing permissions at the granularity of data objects and friends.”
The only drawback to Darknet apps like OneSwarm will always be the finite amount of data shared and as well as the difficulty in maintaining a large swarm of trusted peers. That said, some will find it useful, especially in countries with overzealous copyright holders.
It’s available for MAC, PC, and Linux.

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