Darknet (file sharing)

Darknet (file sharing)

The term darknet refers to any private, distributed P2P filesharing network, where connections are made only between trusted peers (sometimes called "friends") using non-standard protocols and ports[1]. Darknets are distinct from other distributed P2P networks as sharing is anonymous (that is, IP addresses are not publicly shared), and therefore users can communicate with little fear of governmental or corporate interference[2]. For this reason, they are often associated with dissident political communications, as well as various illegal activities. More generally, the term "darknet" can be used to describe all non-commercial sites on the Internet[3] , or to refer to all "underground" web communications and technologies, most commonly those associated with illegal activity or dissent[4] .

Contents

History

Originally coined[citation needed] in the 1970s to designate networks which were isolated from ARPANET (which evolved into the Internet) for security purposes, darknets were able to receive data from ARPANET but had addresses which did not appear in the network lists and would not answer pings or other inquiries. The name is derived or related to the term black box[citation needed], which meant a system or device whose contents were unknown.[citation needed]

The term gained public acceptance following publication of The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution, a 2002 article by Peter Biddle, Paul England, Marcus Peinado, and Bryan Willman, four employees of Microsoft who described the concept as follows:

The idea of the darknet is based upon three assumptions:

  1. Any widely distributed object will be available to a fraction of users in a form that permits copying.
  2. Users will copy objects if it is possible and interesting to do so.
  3. Users are connected by high-bandwidth channels.
The darknet is the distribution network that emerges from the injection of objects according to assumption 1 and the distribution of those objects according to assumptions 2 and 3.

The Microsoft researchers argued that the presence of the darknet was the primary hindrance to the development of workable DRM technologies. The term has since been widely adopted and seen usage in major media sources, including Rolling Stone and Wired. Recently darknet's are often discussed in many fields of network security. Largely because users who occupy such areas have gone there for various reasons. Some publish on darknets for fear of political reprisal, while some publish on darknets for criminal gain, and or profit. One trend that has been suggested is the use of "darknets" to share media files that are copyrighted, will become common place. Recent trends show political pressure from many areas are creating enforcement in the form of censorship.

Terms

When used to describe a file sharing network, the term is often used as a synonym for "friend-to-friend" -- both describing networks where direct connections are only established between trusted friends. Software such as Nullsoft's Waste use this method. The most widespread "Non Darknet" file sharing networks, such as Bittorrent, are not true darknets since peers will communicate with anyone else on the network. Darknet is also commonly used in a broader sense to describe any network which is non commercial, that offers some level of anonymity and or obscurity. These networks usually make it less cost effective to uncover a users activities. Some of these networks are used for whistle blowers as well as criminals. Many "darknets" require software to be installed to access them. Popular "darknets" include "Tor (routing system), Freenet, and I2P (Mix Network)". Almost all known darknets are decentralized, as a result considered peer to peer. The current version of Freenet, unlike typical darknets, claims to be capable of supporting potentially millions of users using an application of small world theory[citation needed].

See also

Software

Defunct Software

References

  1. ^ Mansfield-Devine, Steve (December 2009). "Darknets". Computer Fraud and Security 2009 (12): 4–6. 
  2. ^ Wood, Jessica (2010). "A Digital Copyright Revolution". Richmond Journal of Law and Technology 16 (4). http://jolt.richmond.edu/v16i4/article14.pdf. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Lasica, J. D. (2005). Darknets: Hollywood's War Against the Digital Generation. Hoboken, NJ: J. Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0471683345. 
  4. ^ Wood, Jessica (2010). "A Digital Copyright Revolution". Richmond Journal of Law and Technology 16 (4). http://jolt.richmond.edu/v16i4/article14.pdf. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  • Darknet: Hollywood's War Against the Digital Generation, J. D. Lasica, 2005, John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-68334-5

External links


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