The worst nightmare of rights holders may come true soon, as researchers at the Netherlands's Delft University of Technology are only a few months away from releasing a new BitTorrent client that will not only work anonymously, but it will also be free, and will speed up downloading too.
Already successful with their totally decentralised Triber client, dubbed the most resilient BitTorrent client currently available, the researchers plan to release the next major update to Tribler, and anonymity will be the key new feature.
Currently, rights holders and agencies working for them can easily track the IP addresses of those downloading and uploading in any swarm, as this data has to be published publicly in order for the BitTorrent protocol to work. This lack of privacy has led to for-profit mass lawsuits, and also government sponsored anti-piracy monitoring as part of 'graduated response' laws.
Currently, users can make their BitTorrent havits private by subscribing to a paid monthly VPN service. But the Delft University researchers want to bring out a free solution that works just as well, if not better.
The new technique works by introducing a new proxy layer to regular BitTorrent traffic. This layer not only add privacy to the transaction, but it also acts as a "cache" and speeds up the file sharing process.
The new version of Triber featuring this technology will be available in the coming month, and as usual, it will be released as a free, open source package, available for all major operating systems.
The goal of the research team is not to take piracy to the next level, but rather, position this modified BitTorrent protocol as a next-generation file transfer protocol, allowing for a more efficient way to transfer files, including legal ones, across the entire Internet.