Privacy Mode

Status: initial design

Enables faster downloading with complete privacy. Privacy mode uses sophisticated algorithms to both increase download speed and offer privacy while downloading content from Bittorrent swarms. This represents a momentous improvement over prior work where anonymity significantly reduced download speed.

Bandwidth as a currency

How can we have privacy and more speed? The answer is obtaining commoditised bandwidth when you need it.

A thought-provoking doctrine is to turn bandwidth into an global currency. Our technology creates the first marketplace for bandwidth. The structure of this marketplace is unique, it requires no central servers. The scientific term for this is full self-organisation, meaning that the marketplace is highly robust, fault-tolerant, and has unbounded scalability. In short, the marketplace for bandwidth is implemented in true 4th generation P2P style.

Download speeds can be doubled or even quadrupled using this marketplace. The technology automatically goes to this marketplace to acquire more bandwidth. Your downloads can be accelerated up to the maximum download speed of your Internet connection, depending on the success of this bandwidth shopping spree. The ability to shop around essentially turns bandwidth into a commodity good. You get your privacy because the actual Internet content access is decoupled from your computer and tied to a bandwidth market.

The mechanism behind "privacy mode" works a bit like using unmarked coins to pay for an adult entertainment magazine.

Technical background

The technical side is a bit complicated. We generalised the concept of both anonymising proxies and virtual tunnnels for faster downloads of Bittorrent pieces.

The bandwidth you acquired on the aforementioned market place for bandwidth consists of idle upload capacity of peers. Peers with spare upload capacity advertises themselves on the bandwidth market. You can ask peers with advertised idle upload to join your ongoing swarm download. After they joined your swarm they actively upload and download pieces using the Bittorrent protocol which enhances performance of fast uploaders. Using this mechanism you can then create a team of a dozen or so peers which engage in tit-for-tat collecting of complete Bittorrent pieces. You never download pieces directly from the swarm thus your IP address is no longer associated with specific swarms. Completed pieces are send to you at full speed by this team thereby saturating your download bandwidth

Flowerpot, related MIT work