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Author Topic: Preventing censorship: Torrent based webhosting  (Read 1542 times)
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June 01, 2011, 11:41:19 PM
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Would it be possible to do something like this so that if a website were to go down copies of it stored on the harddrives of others could  provide the content of the website?  To prevent people from trying to alter the appearance of it I imagine something similar to Bitcoin's method of authenticating coins.  Perhaps an encryption key would somehow be tied to the website so that the author could authenticate it.  (Please excuse me if this sounds n00bish as I don't have a complete understanding of how cryptography works, but I think I've provided enough information to convey the essence of my idea and I think it's sound.)
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June 01, 2011, 11:59:29 PM
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Would it be possible to do something like this so that if a website were to go down copies of it stored on the harddrives of others could  provide the content of the website?  To prevent people from trying to alter the appearance of it I imagine something similar to Bitcoin's method of authenticating coins.  Perhaps an encryption key would somehow be tied to the website so that the author could authenticate it.  (Please excuse me if this sounds n00bish as I don't have a complete understanding of how cryptography works, but I think I've provided enough information to convey the essence of my idea and I think it's sound.)

diskcoin. working on it.

trying to figure out mining implementation.

Proposal: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=11541.msg162881#msg162881
Inception: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/issues/296
Goal: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=12536.0
Means: Code, donations, and brutal criticism. I've got a thick skin. 1Gc3xCHAzwvTDnyMW3evBBr5qNRDN3DRpq
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June 02, 2011, 12:40:29 AM
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This depends essentially on what you mean by torrent based webhosting. If you want to have a censorship-proof website that anyone can easily access by simply putting a address (URL) into the browser, the answer is no since the domain name system is rather centralized and if the DNS server does not resolve the URL to an IP you can not use convenient names. Perhaps you remember, that wikileaks was forced to move from wikileaks.org to wikileaks.ch. The next step would be, that you communicate directly with an IP adress, which needs to be routed to a specific server (or rather a specific location). If this location is shut down, your website is again shut down until you manage the convince the routers to route your IP address to a different location. Or you move to a different address and tell everybody about it.

By contrast: if you start playing with protocols, then there are quite censorship resistant ideas floating around. I believe closest to what you have in mind is Freenet, but also some of the filesharing P2P networks work without central servers (torrent does not).
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June 02, 2011, 01:02:00 AM
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I think what I had in mind was a client that would run along side your browser and substitute the content of the original website with copies in the backup-network after it detected that the website was down.  So you wouldn't actually be connecting to the .com, but it would look like you were. I guess what I really meant was P2P webhosting.
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June 02, 2011, 04:53:11 PM
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I think what I had in mind was a client that would run along side your browser and substitute the content of the original website with copies in the backup-network after it detected that the website was down.  So you wouldn't actually be connecting to the .com, but it would look like you were.

A distributed backup of the internetz ... Smiley
The technical challenge should be, what is the expectation you have of the website. For example if you require the website to be down before you switch to the backup, then a attacker could just change the website to saying something like "This site is being blocked!"

However, a proxy which loads the site from the server and from a stored P2P copy should be possible. And if both differ then you get a icon in the browser which lets you switch between the site and the copy.

I guess what I really meant was P2P webhosting.
I never really looked intro freenet, but at least the wikipedia article sounds very much like what you have in mind.
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June 02, 2011, 05:04:59 PM
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diskcoin. working on it.

trying to figure out mining implementation.

What is this? A P2P filesharing/hosting using bitcoins as incentive to host files?
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June 02, 2011, 05:51:40 PM
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Look at freenet. I believe it already offers the features you're looking for and more.

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