AfterDawn: Tech news

P2P traffic putting enormous strain on Tor network

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 14 Oct 2005 15:12 User comments (5)

P2P traffic putting enormous strain on Tor network Tor, an anonymity tool from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is being misused by many file sharers to make their BitTorrent clients run through the system, providing them with anonymity and a shield against the RIAA and MPAA. Tor allows people to anonymize their web browsing, instant messaging, IRC use and other things that use the TCP protocol. How it behaves is simple, communication is bounced around a network of servers called onion routers making it hard to trace the source or destination of data packets.
Now BitTorrent users are reconfiguring their BT clients to take advantage of the anonymity provided by Tor, to attempt to share and download material anonymously. This is putting an enormous strain on the network of servers and as a result is hindering performance. One of the main aims of the EFF is protect Internet users against "traffic analysis" which is often used by advertising companies to track your Internet use and create a profile of advertisements that would suit you.

The EFF sees traffic analysis as a threat to personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. However, it is not known how the EFF will react to BT clients using the network for file sharing. The network wasn't designed for the volume of traffic required by this form of file sharing.

However it does appear that the EFF was expecting that Tor would be used by file sharers who might want to download copyrighted material anonymously. The EFF offers node maintainers a DMCA response template in case any DMCA complaints or threats are sent in their direction. While it is strongly advised not to use Tor for file sharing, those interested in how it's done should look here.

Broadband Reports

Previous Next  

5 user comments

114.10.2005 17:52

thanks. will be an interesting ready 2nite. I've been wondering how this works.

214.10.2005 18:42

It's too bad that anonymous file sharing thus far has had so many performance issues.

315.10.2005 19:54

Ha! Why doesnt this crap surprise me? Womens Lib caused all this you know...

419.10.2005 11:51

MrToast, that is one of the most ignorant and downright stupid comments I have ever heard. That said, does anyone know, does encrypting only the tracker communcation put a huge strain on? Or are people trying to privitize their communications with peers?

520.10.2005 6:03

hey MrToast, you need to have your water checked man, there's some wierd crap in there! heh.

Comments have been disabled for this article.

Latest user comments

News archive