Friday, September 25, 2009

Explaining About Bittorrent Encryption

I remember I downloaded a torrent with KTorrent in my Slackware-Linux box, thinking that everything is alright, but that was in the office. After I downloaded that source, which is an ISO file, I told my boss to share that I did download an updated version of that file. Then he look at me and ask me disparagingly, "Are you downloading it securely or using encryption?". I ask myself, "dang, what did I do?" and stuck in a moment, geeze! We'll he told me to download anything since our internet is faster than a DSL.

Okay, cut the crap! I'm not digressing here.

So I did a research about encryption and other stuffs with Bittorrent and this will be explained!

I read some articles "
How To Encrypt BitTorrent Traffic", "BitTorrent Encryption Confuses the BPI, ISPs and Journalists Who Don’t Research", and "BitTorrent Encryption Myths" and learned that encryption doesn't do anything about hiding user's end information or even the data packets being shared are not encrypted in a way that, you can hide the data being transmitted from one user to another user's end. AFAIK, in P2P system, IP is not hidden from it's origin.

Bittorrent clients that implements encryption are using MSE/PE (Message Stream Encryption/Protocol Encryption) or PHE (Protocol Header Encryption). Its purpose
IS NOT TO PROVIDE ANONYMITY OR CONFIDENTIALITY of files being shared/transferred. This encryption only aims to speed up the download at full-speed using bittorrent clients which avoids the third parties (ISP's) to throttle the traffic in a peer-to-peer network.

I don't think so that a P2P system that enables a massive downloads by user's would enable the encryption that makes your data secure or anonymously hide your information from the provider, though it is but it worth a penny and I cannot call it as massive or swarm uploads.


I realize that, the thoughts that my boss he has was wrong with encryption in bittorrent clients implicitly saying that "it would provide data security or anonymity to user using bittorrent clients", sorry but it's not that way.

At least, I made it clear now. =)

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