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  • Tribler: BitTorrent Client that Doesn’t Need Tracker Sites, Can’t Be Shut Down

    Tribler is, as the developers claim, “designed to keep BitTorrent alive, even when all torrent search engines, indexes and trackers are pulled offline,” and can only be shut down if you “take down the Internet” itself.

    These days an air of uncertainty blankets the P2P world as torrent tracker sites like BTJunkie and others have decided to voluntarily close their doors in the wake of the MegaUpload raid by US authorities.

    Sure a majority of remaining sites are safe, at least those in countries that smartly recognize the fact that torrent tracker sites don’t actually host any copyrighted material, but the question is for how long? Tribler is likely the answer.
    Though not new to the scene, it’s been around for more than five years, reserachers at Delft University of Technology have been picking up the pace to make it a virtually bulletproof form of P2P data sharing. I first covered its creation back in 2006, and the researchers have been working tirelessly to perfect it ever since.
    “Our key scientific quest is facilitating unbounded information sharing,” Dr. Johan Pouwelse told in a recent interview. “We simply don’t like unreliable servers. With Tribler we have achieved zero-seconds downtime over the past six years, all because we don’t rely on shaky foundations such as DNS, web servers or search portals.”

    And that’s the key to fighting back against legislation like SOPA, PIPA, and even the ACTA: Tribler doesn’t need torrent tracker sites. Downloading data is done independent of a centralized server. Tribler users enter a query into the built-in search engine, and it returns a list of results from other connected peers.


    To weed out spam and fake files propagated by anti-P2P groups users can create “channels” of verified content that other users can “like.” The more “likes” a channel garners the further it rises in popularity.

    When it comes to vulnerability to outside forces, govts and international entertainment conglomerates in particular, Dr. Pouweise says that “The only way to take it down is to take The Internet down.”

    How’s that for one hell of a game of whac-a-mole?

    It just goes to show that no matter what groups like the MPAA and RIAA try to do fight P2P in the end technology ALWAYS wins. It’s not the most popular BitTorrent client, and as result content selection is somewhat lacking, but that could all well change in the near future if legislation like SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA come to fruition.

    Tribler runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux so nobody will feel left out.
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. duke0102's Avatar
      duke0102 -
      Nice idea but these 'channels' would probably be filled with fakes and rubbish like usenet groups.
    1. EyeCandy's Avatar
      EyeCandy -
      Quote Originally Posted by duke0102 View Post
      Nice idea but these 'channels' would probably be filled with fakes and rubbish like usenet groups.

      ^^Better than your idea, 'negative nancy'
    1. iratetechie's Avatar
      iratetechie -
      Ok again I am going to throw a newbe question up. And see if I get this right in my thinking.... Isn't this just uTorrent on steroids? It will still grab an IP of both the downloader and the uploader, correct?
    1. ziggyjuarez's Avatar
      ziggyjuarez -
      I don't like it.
    1. PastTense's Avatar
      PastTense -
      The biggest torrent search engine seems quite immune to the possibility of being shut down--it's name is Google. (just search for the title of what you are interested in and add torrent).

      I think the biggest threat to torrents is not to the search sites but to the users (the three or six or whatever strikes and you lose internet access, as well as the extortion letters from shady lawyers).
    1. Frankthetank1's Avatar
      Frankthetank1 -
      OMG this is awesome news. take that MPAA and RIAA u assholes
    1. twisten's Avatar
      twisten -
      @duke0102 : I believe the point being made was that a user created channel could only be modified by that user (i.e. only he/they could post new content to it) and other users rating of that channel would result in higher ratings for more trustworthy channels.

      Same goes for usenet groups btw, if you know how - you just follow the postings of people you trust (rather than get the post information directly from usenet).

      @iratetechie : You're probably right.
    1. temisturk's Avatar
      temisturk -
      I like the ideas behind Tribler but I've tried it and as a client it's really sucky. It is pioneering though.
    1. 0ctane's Avatar
      0ctane -
      It looks like exeem similar idea and failed.
      plus this is no different than using utorrent with DHT and peer exchange enabled