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Thread: File-sharing 'darknet' unveiled

  1. #1
    Barbarossa's Avatar mostly harmless
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    File-sharing 'darknet' unveiled

    A "darknet" service that allows users to share music files anonymously on the web has been launched in Sweden.

    Relakks, as the service is known, allows users to send and receive files through a heavily-encrypted connection.

    It is the first commercial example of a darknet, a virtual network set up to share files between trusted users.

    The service is endorsed by political group the Pirate Party which is running for election in Sweden under a banner to reform the country's copyright laws.

    "There are many legitimate reasons to want to be completely anonymous on the internet," said Rickard Falkvinge, chairman of the Pirate Party.

    "The right to exchange information in private is fundamental to the democratic society. Without a safe and convenient way of accessing the internet anonymously, this right is rendered null and void."

    Closed groups

    A darknet is a cordoned-off, anonymised section of the net where users can meet, chat and swap data.

    Usually darknets are confined to small tight-knit groups such as hackers who use the secure connections to distribute information and hacking tools.

    They have also been used by paedophiles to distribute images of child abuse.

    Many are invitation-only services where potential members have to upload material to prove themselves to the group before they are granted full access.

    Similar identity-hiding tools such as Tor are used by net dissidents in countries like China to avoid persecution for their activities on the web.

    Previous attempts to launch large scale anonymous networks, such as Nullsoft's Waste program have been unsuccessful. After its release in 2003, Waste was removed form distribution by Nullsoft's parent company AOL.

    Unique service

    The new system claims to be the world's first commercial darknet. It is provided by Swedish company Relakks and is endorsed by the Pirate Party.

    It works by giving a user's computer a new IP address, the unique number the machine uses to identify itself and communicate with other machines over the net.

    IP numbers allocated by your internet service provider (ISP) can be used to trace and identify a specific computer on a network.

    Computers using the Relakks system look like they have a Swedish IP address, no matter where they are in the world.

    Users can then share files, such as music or films, with any other users. In theory anyone monitoring user's online activities will not be able to trace their geographical location.

    The Pirate Party acknowledge that the service could be used to distribute copyright material or other content such as images of child abuse.

    "We hear the argument a lot," Mr Falkvinge told the BBC News website. "No, we don't have any control over what is being sent over the network but that's the point.

    "People who want to hide their activities online already have the means to do so. We're just giving those tools to the general public."

    Democratic rights

    File sharing and copyright law is a divisive topic in Sweden. Until recently the country was a hotbed of piracy where films, music and software were readily swapped online.

    Last year, it outlawed the unauthorised downloading of copyrighted movies and music in an attempt to curb piracy, after criticism from Hollywood.

    The Pirate Party was launched in part to temper what they say are "aggressive" tactics by the entertainment industry to enforce copyright infringement.

    They say techniques such as tracing IP addresses threaten privacy and democracy.

    The Relakks service, they say, offers people the ability to use the internet "without fear of being monitored or logged". It costs five euro (£3) per month with some of the funds going towards supporting the Pirate Party.

    However, not everyone is convinced that it is what it claims to be.

    In a forum on the US website of the Pirate Party, a post by a user called Smironv questioned whether the service is really anonymous.

    "You can't connect to Relakks anonymously, because then they'd have no way of verifying you are a paying customer - so Relakks knows who you really are when all your traffic goes through them.

    "What is the difference between trusting them and trusting my own ISP not to give me away?"

    Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4798059.stm
    Homepage: http://news.bbc.co.uk

  2. News (Archive)   -   #2
    delimare's Avatar Polyamorous BT Rep: +2
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    First OFFS and now this. I’ll be giving them both a try out of sheer curiosity.

  3. News (Archive)   -   #3
    FreeDoom's Avatar Obsessed By Cruelty
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    They have also been used by paedophiles to distribute images of child abuse.
    That is definitely not good
    Together with the anonymously erm....

  4. News (Archive)   -   #4
    GepperRankins's Avatar we want your oil!
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    commercial? i think this has like crossed the line. profiting off of others work isn't on. no matter how much they earn

  5. News (Archive)   -   #5
    Filliz's Avatar ______________
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    Quote Originally Posted by delimare View Post
    First OFFS and now this. Iíll be giving them both a try out of sheer curiosity.
    OFFS?

    hmm...asspie

  6. News (Archive)   -   #6
    delimare's Avatar Polyamorous BT Rep: +2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Filliz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by delimare View Post
    First OFFS and now this. Iíll be giving them both a try out of sheer curiosity.
    OFFS?
    Owner-Free File System. There was a news post here a few days ago on it, the one about the hackers, https://filesharingtalk.com/vb3/showthread.php?t=125771. Haven't had much luck with it though. Crashes after a few minutes of use no matter what I do or try.

  7. News (Archive)   -   #7
    Cubeman's Avatar The Cubeman
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    I doubt they'll ever be able to bring one up and keep it up.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Demonoid: R: 0.89 ~ Ul: 32.02 ~ Dl: 36.94
    OiNK: R: 0.418 ~ Ul: 1.15 ~ Dl: 3.74
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  8. News (Archive)   -   #8
    Snee's Avatar Error xɐʇuʎs BT Rep: +1
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    Guess which party I'm voting for next month...

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