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The Pirate Bay’s plan to beat censorship for good

photo of Stacco Troncoso

Stacco Troncoso
16th March 2014


Extracted from Torrentfreak, the Pirate Bay are at it again, this time with an alternative DNS browser that could lead the way to a newly P2P based Internet. Read on:


“Over the past few years The Pirate Bay has had to deal with its fair share of censorship, mostly through court-ordered blockades.

In response to these efforts the site launched the PirateBrowser last summer, and not without success. The tool, which allows users to circumvent ISP blockades, clocked its 2.5 millionth download a week ago.

However, there’s a much bigger project in the pipeline, one that will make The Pirate Bay and other sites more resilient than ever before. Instead of bypassing external censors, the new tool will create its own P2P network through which sites can be accessed without restrictions.

“The goal is to create a browser-like client to circumvent censorship, including domain blocking, domain confiscation, IP-blocking. This will be accomplished by sharing all of a site’s indexed data as P2P downloadable packages, that are then browsed/rendered locally,” a Pirate Bay insider explains.

In other words, when users load The Pirate Bay or any other site that joins the new platform, the site’s data will be shared among users and stored locally. The website doesn’t require a public facing portal and only needs minimal resources to “seed” the site’s files to the rest of the world.

“It’s basically a browser-like app that uses webkit to render pages, BitTorrent to download the content while storing everything locally,” the Pirate Bay insider says.

All further site updates are incremental, so people don’t end up downloading the entire site day after day. The disk space users need for the locally stored sites ranges from a few dozen megabytes for a small site, to several gigabytes for a larger torrent index.

The new software will be released as a standalone application as well as Firefox and Chrome plugins.

Since the site data comes from other peers, there is no central IP-address that can be blocked by Internet providers. Site owners will still offer webseeds to speed up loading, but sites are fully accessible when these are blocked.

Another important change is that the new software will not use standard domain names. Instead, it will use its own fake DNS system that will link the site’s name to a unique and verified public key. For example, within the application bt://mysite.p2p/ will load 929548249111abadfjab29347282374.p2p.

“Site owners will be able to register their own names, which will serve as an alias for the curve25519 pub-key that will identify the site,” the Pirate Bay insider notes.

“The “domain” registrations will be Bitcoin authenticated, on a first come first served basis. After a year the name will expire unless it’s re-verified.”

The entire project will be open source and built using existing code such as Libtorrent, Webkit, SQLite v3 and node-js. The Pirate Bay team is still looking for coders to assist, mainly on the Windows side, but thus far the development has been going steady.

It may take a few months before the first version is released in public, but it already promises to be a game changer in the ongoing censorship Whack-a-Mole.”

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