The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'p2p'
Spain has become the first country to completely outlaw peer-to-peer file sharing. Under the law, downloading files from peer-to-peer networks is in itself a civil offense, whilst ISPs face criminal sanctions for tolerating file sharing (which, presumably, means not blocking it). Oddly enough, the law also puts a tax on all digital media, with the money going to Big Copyright, presumably to reimburse them for all the content the public is absolutely prohibited from sharing on said media.
That sound you can hear is copyright-industry lobbyists in the rest of the world rubbing their hands with glee as they prepare to push for "harmonisation" of the local laws with Spain's.
In the aftermath of the KaZaA lawsuit, proprietary Windows file-sharing service Grokster suspends operations. Champagne corks pop across Los Angeles as the RIAA declares November 8 to be known, forevermore, as Victory Against Copyright Terrorism Day.
TinyP2P, a (not particularly scalable) peer-to-peer file-sharing application in 15 lines of Python. Expected to be printed on T-shirts by cypherpunk dissident types when such programs become illegal, while the rest of the world shrugs, says "those geeks are weird" and gets back to their Trusted Computing pay-per-play Windows Media singles.
The US Government looks set to pass a law jailing users of peer-to-peer filesharing software. In response, pirasite anarchoterrorist group Downhill Battle have organised a bounty for a Gaim plug-in for secure filesharing with trusted friends and people one invites. The plugin will "spread virally", allowing IM users to send friends invitations; meanwhile, all peer-to-peer communication through the IM network is disguised as messages in English (perhaps using a similar technique to SpamStego). Which is all very cloak-and-dagger.
The software urges people to not invite buddies that they did not know on a medium-term, face-to-face basis. You could also allow certain people to share your files without letting their friends share your files.
update checker - software will prompt user to update it when new versions are available so users won't get stuck with an insecure or broken version.
Unless, of course, the FBI/RIAA seize/hack the server and put up their own updates which sends lists of evidence home; encrypted, of course, and through a P2P network to disguise the telltale fbi.gov destination. The first most users will know about it is when they're rounded up in a series of dawn raids and the Attorney-General goes on CNN announcing that the FBI have cracked a major international piracy (or child pornography) ring.
The latest salvos in the War on Intellectual Property Terrorism: Paypal have unilaterally suspended donations to Freenet, an underground crimeware project allowing data to be distributed anonymously with no provision for law enforcement monitoring, thus providing a safe haven for paedophiles, terrorists and dissidents living under oppressive regimes. Freenet is not technically illegal (except perhaps in Japan), though appears to be being de facto outlawed and driven further underground through third-party sanctions. You can still contribute to Freenet by using E-Gold, an alternative online currency favoured by heavily armed anarchist militia whackos and the tinfoil hat crowd.
Earthstation 5 is the newest file-sharing network to play whack-a-mole with the RIAA. This one's different; for one, its servers are hosted in a Palestinian refugee camp, rendering them immune to RIAA lawsuits. (Though presumably not Israeli missiles.) The service is legal under Palestinian copyright law, which offers very weak protection to foreign copyrights. I wonder whether this will diminish any sympathy the US has towards the Palestinians, and perhaps prompt the Whitehouse to tacitly approve Israeli military operations it would have otherwise objected to. After all, intellectual property is at stake here.
This reminds me of the Bruce Sterling story in which China launched a devastating attack against the US economy by putting up massive servers hosting pirate copies of Microsoft Office and the latest Hollywood blockbusters, free for the taking. (via bOING bOING)
This looks interesting: DIBS, the Distributed Internet Backup System, a peer-to-peer system designed for data backup. Rather than sharing files, you share your surplus disk space for other users to store encrypted backups in; in return, they do the same for you. Which sounds promising, though I can see some potential problems with reliably getting things back. (How many redundant copies of data are backed up? What happens when peers disappear from the network?) Perhaps what this needs is some sort of "heartbeat contract" mechanism; where peers agree that if they don't communicate for a period (say, a week, or perhaps a month), the other peer has disappeared, and its disk space can be reclaimed for new backup partners. (via Slashdot)
H4x0r group claims to have written universal P2P infector, commissioned by the RIAA. The alleged worm infects MP3 files, exploits vulnerabilities in players under Windows and Linux and sends catalogues of your MP3s to the RIAA as evidence for prosecution. Oh, and did I mention that it's undetectable? So, if you have MP3s, physically destroy your hard disks NOW. (Don't just erase them; computer forensics people can recover wiped disks.) US federal prisons are not pleasant places to be.
(If the RIAA is involved, it'd be more likely that it would be a psychological warfare operation and not a technical operation; the purpose being to destroy as many unrestricted MP3s as possible. It would work like this: circulate a few things like this, stage some arrests (make sure there are TV crews to film the SWAT teams going in) and publicise that the "pirates" were brought to justice by a new P2P worm, and watch guilty geeks nuke their MP3 collections and drop their hard disks in sulphuric acid. Then, when the smoke clears, sell all the songs back to them in rights-managed pay-per-play versions, and laugh all the way to the shareholders' meeting. Could the RIAA possibly have a better way of getting all those pesky MP3 files off the market?)
(Of course, there's also the possibility that it's 100% bullshit made up by some bored teenager.) (via bOING bOING)
I just downloaded the Python/Linux client for SoulSeek. It's pretty doovy, and quite a decent replacement for AudioGalaxy. One nice thing about it is how many specialist genre fan communities there are on it; rather than just the usual Limp Bizkit/Britney Spears crud that clogs up MP3 sharing networks, you can find all sorts of indie, IDM, post-rock, electronica and so on. (A search for "Takako Minekawa" returned a lot of hits, and even something obscure like "Fog and Ocean" returned a few.)
One annoyance is that the interface depends on the wxgtk UI libraries, which are hardly part of every Python system. But the code looks modular enough, and hopefully someone will make a command-line-mode plug-in or interfaces for other OSes. (MacOS X Cocoa would be nice.)
A former employee of late lamented MP3-sharing application AudioGalaxy spills the beans on how it worked, and the lengths they went to to prevent copyright infringement (despite the RIAA's disingenuous protestations that they didn't try). (via Found)
Today I went to a talk on a rather interesting piece of software named Circle. This is a new, experimental peer-to-peer communication system with no central servers or points of control whatsoever, organised along the lines of a distributed hashtable. It was designed by a PhD student at Monash University (where the (centralised) Goofey messaging system originated a decade earlier). The Circle client, which is written in Python, includes instant messaging, a decentralised news service based on trust metrics and file sharing/searching using the distributed hash table; it seems pretty interesting.
Chutzpah, part II: Spammers subvert Gnutella, taking advantage of its anonymity to flood searchers with bogus results, with complete impunity. And for only US$80, you too can participate in the spam bonanza. Could this be an actual money-making scam, a RIAA-sponsored "black-op" of some sort, or a media stunt of some sort?
Kid Rock starves to death. MP3 piracy blamed. (The Onion)
An all-star fundraiser CD featuring Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit, and Korn was similarly scrapped when an individual known only by the user name PimpKracker69@aol.com acquired a promotional copy and made it available to millions of fans over the Internet.