“Transparent end-to-end encryption for the Internets” is not the solution

July 13, 2008

Last week the guys behind the popular torrent site The Pirate Bay went public with their project of an opportunistic encryption of all traffic from an computer. The project is called “Transparent end-to-end encryption for the Internets” (IPETEE) but it is not the first time something like this is tried. Due to the pressure by the media industry it has more success chances than the last tries but I think we should target something else.

So what should be our target?

To build an overlay network with allows anonymous, encrypted and censor resident communication for unchanged IP based protocols over the internet. From the user perspective the software creates a virtual network adapter like OpenVPN does and every traffic that goes into that device is send via this overlay network. The overlay network does not send the traffic to the other peer directly (in this case the communication would not be anonymous) but via other peers taking part in that network. The more security you need to more peers it takes, but it will also get slower. This enables the usage of the network by different user groups.

This would be a real solution and not a half one like the idea from The Pirate Bay guys. Ah, before I forget it, following are non-goals.

  • This network should not guard against information leak through programs which use this network (e.g. mail client sending real IP address)
  • No military security/anonymity is targeted, it should be just enough to have a plausible deniability.
  • It is not the goal of this network to provide access through the network to the outside world. What goes into to network should stay there. But this does not mean that any effort is invested to prevent anyone to play proxy. (e.g. http proxy)

What do you think about it?

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