Turtle is a free and open source anonymous peer-to-peer network project facilitating free speech and sharing information by combining encryption with peer-to-peer (P2P) technology. Like no other anonymous P2P software, it allows users to share files and otherwise communicate without fear of legal sanctions or censorship.
The basic idea behind Turtle is to build a P2P overlay on top of pre-existing trust relationships among Turtle users. Each user acts as node in the overlay by running a copy of the Turtle client software. Unlike existing P2P networks, Turtle does not allow arbitrary nodes to connect and exchange information. Instead, each user establishes secure and authenticated channels with a limited number of other nodes/friends controlled by people he or she trusts (friends).
Turtle is a peer-to-peer architecture for safe sharing of sensitive data with full sender and receiver anonymity using only connections among trusted friends. This way, sharing information and transfering files is a kind of friendslist to trusted friends only. Technically, Turtle is a friend-to-friend (F2F) network – a special type of peer-to-peer network in which all your communication goes only to your trusted friends, and then to their friends, and so on, to the ultimate destination.
In the Turtle overlay, both queries and results move hop by hop; the net result is that information or files are only exchanged between people that trust each other and the network connections among Turtle friends is always encrypted. Consequently, a snooper or adversary has no way to determine who is requesting/providing information, and what that information is. Given this design, your Turtle network offers a number of useful security properties, such as confined damage in case of node compromise, and resilience against denial of service attacks (for more details on this see the Documents section).
Turtle friends can exchange information deemed “controversial or “risky (for example whistleblowers exposing government or corporate abuse) without being exposed to legal or economic pressure from parties that may want to censor or suppress this information. Such users are likely to be found in countries where the government routinely snoops on citizens’ communications. It will also be attractive to people in all countries who value their privacy.”