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Megaupload and S.O.P.A. Spark Interest in Decentralized File-Sharing

DrBob doesn't want to know your name.
retrosharetransfers Megaupload and S.O.P.A. Spark Interest in Decentralized File Sharing

Retroshare screengrab

Arrests, shutdowns of established file-sharing sites like Megaupload and legislation such as S.O.P.A. have driven users to seek a new breed of file-sharing destination. File-sharers are looking for security and privacy and they may have found it with newer solutions such as RetroShare and Tribler.

Naturally, since governments the world over are actively pursuing shutting down file-sharing in a variety of ways, anonymity and a lack of censorship are highly prized. TorrentFreak has more on why these and other options are gaining in popularity:

[There] are more file-sharing tools that are specifically built to withstand outside attacks. Some even add anonymity into the mix. RetroShare is such a private and uncensored file-sharing client, and the developers have also noticed a significant boom in users recently.

The RetroShare network allows people to create a private and encrypted file-sharing network. Users add friends by exchanging PGP certificates with people they trust. All the communication is encrypted using OpenSSL and files that are downloaded from strangers always go through a trusted friend.

RetroShare, according to TorrentFreak, is “a true Darknet and virtually impossible to monitor by outsiders.” RetroShare’s founder, comfortingly named “DrBob,” said that downloads of his 6-year-old client have “massively shot up” in recent months. The downloads were apparently directly tied to interest in S.O.P.A. and also the February disabling of cyberlockers such as RapidGator. DrBob also told TorrentFreak that RetroShare is completely uncensored,  “A network that allows you to use any pseudonym, without insisting on knowing your real name.”

“Darknet” may not be the wisest way to describe RetroShare–Anonymous has an Operation Darknet in play that’s taken down multiple  child porn sites. If they begin targeting the kind of anonymity tool they might also prize, it could cause a rip in the Anonymous Up-time Continuum.

Follow Steve Huff via RSS. shuff@observer.com