[BitTorrent] Should data be encrypted between friends?

Bill Cox bill at viasic.com
Wed Jan 19 05:07:11 EST 2005

I see that BT use to have some encryption capability, and that it was
removed for various reasons.

In my proposed BT friends protocol extension, peers do an insecure
handshake the first time they meet, but later use their secret keys for
proper recognition of old friends.  If I wanted to secure a socket with
an old friend, all I have to do is use something like BlowFish to
encrypt data on the socket, using the secret friendship keys.  The
computational overhead is low, and the coding should be trivial.

Should it be done?

In general I do not support piracy, so that's not a good reason.  I'm
based in the U.S.  So far as I can tell, there are no restrictions on
open-source encryption algorithms.  However, if I add encrypted streams
to the BT friends extension, will I upset anyone in the security
community?  I'd prefer not to.  Finally, would ISPs get upset?  You
really wouldn't want that.

I'm leaning towards leaving it out.  It just bugs me that the friendship
keys are just sitting there, begging to be used.


Bill Cox <bill at viasic.com>

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