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The Internet Privacy

Deluge Anonymizing Browser Now Includes Bittorrent 158

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the how-do-you-spell-that-anyway dept.
markybob writes "An open-source bittorrent client, Deluge, now provides an internal, anonymizing browser to protect its users from overzealous ISPs. The client runs on Windows, Linux and OS X. From the site: "Everyone knows that it is common practice for ISPs to do their best to either block or throttle bittorrent users. We believe that this is wrong and unethical, as there are many legal uses for bittorrent. If an ISP is throttling or blocking bittorrent traffic, you can pretty much bet that they're tracking which users visit bittorrent-related sites so that they can better block or throttle those users." Their forum has more info"
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Deluge Anonymizing Browser Now Includes Bittorrent

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  • by Symbolis (1157151) <symbolis@@@gmail...com> on Sunday December 23, 2007 @12:43PM (#21798876)

    "Deluge BitTorrent Client Now Includes Anonymizing Browser"

    And to be exact, this is Deluge 0.5.8RC1

    • all I get is

      Error in download_count on line 262.
      ./ubuntu/gutsy/0.5.7.95/deluge-torrent_0.5.7.95-1_i386.gutsy.deb is already defined.
      and I'm trying to download the sources!
  • the links to both the source code and the debian package is broken...
  • Mac OS X (Score:5, Informative)

    by christurkel (520220) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @12:54PM (#21798936) Homepage Journal
    Small correction: The Mac OS X version uses X11, not Cocoa.
    • Small correction: The Mac OS X version uses X11, not Cocoa.

      I don't see where Cocoa is mentioned in the summary, or linked articles. Was the summary/article silently updated - or were you correcting your own assumption that an OS X binary must be cocoa?
  • by stsp (979375) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @12:57PM (#21798956) Homepage

    In related news, semantically reversed article headlines now include slashdot!

    Also, the summary is highly misleading. This is not a bittorrent-based replacement for TOR as one might conclude from the summary. The browser is merely designed to conceal the IPs of people surfing websites hosting torrents by going through a proxy. You also see ads while using the service. I wonder how long it will take ISPs with an anti-bittorrent agenda to block their proxies... Quoting TFA's FAQ:

    Can we use the internal browser to surf any site?

    No. This is a very touchy subject, so I want to be very clear. Our proxy servers have a whitelist of bittorrent-related sites (trackers, index sites, etc), which it allows you to visit.

    Why are there ads? Are you turning evil? This is free software!

    This is free software, however, our proxy servers (which anonymizies the browsing) costs us very real dollars.

    I can't download any files. What is that about?

    To prevent abuse, Deluge's internal browser only allows you to download bittorrent files..
    • by timeOday (582209)

      I wonder how long it will take ISPs with an anti-bittorrent agenda to block their proxies...
      Why would they? And for that matter, why would they care who visits bittorrent sites in the first place (which is the premise of this service)? Visiting a bittorrent website doesn't use any special amount of bandwidth. And if the users do go on to actually use bittorrent, it's easier just to detect and throttle that when it happens.
  • From their FAQ [deluge-torrent.org]:

    Why are there ads? Are you turning evil? This is free software! This is free software, however, our proxy servers (which anonymizies the browsing) costs us very real dollars. Also, if you don't use our internal browser, you'll never see an ad. In the spirit of freedom, I openly disclose that it costs around US$800 per month (with a two-month contract) for us to cover the hosting expenses, which we need to make up for somehow, or else it comes out of my personal pocket. Deluge does not have a

    • by Tom9729 (1134127) <tom9729&gmail,com> on Sunday December 23, 2007 @01:31PM (#21799172) Homepage
      Sorry, but did you even read the paragraph you cited? The guy is funding the service out of his own pocket. He needs to have some way to make back at least most of the money he's spending.

      This on top of the fact that he's already dedicating his time to writing the software... Geez.

      It's worth pointing out that the ads aren't showing up in the actual program. If you don't want to see them, don't use the anonymous browsing service.
      • It's worth pointing out that the ads aren't showing up in the actual program. If you don't want to see them, don't use the anonymous browsing service.

        Well considering that the main point of using his software is to be able to download torrents anonymously, it's rather self-defeating to say if you don't want the ads don't use the anonymizer. I don't begrudge the guy for wanting to make some money back on this, and obviously he's not twisting anyone's arm here, but come on.

        • by thegnu (557446) <thegnu.gmail@com> on Sunday December 23, 2007 @01:56PM (#21799342) Journal

          Well considering that the main point of using his software is to be able to download torrents anonymously, it's rather self-defeating to say if you don't want the ads don't use the anonymizer. I don't begrudge the guy for wanting to make some money back on this, and obviously he's not twisting anyone's arm here, but come on.

          Picture if you will a pasty-white geek who has written some software. "The service my software provides puts people who use it at risk," he muses, "How might I protect those who may not know how to protect themselves?"
          Suddenly, a light goes off. Or on. I think it goes on. Anyway, he thinks, "I could integrate a browser that accesses a limited number of related services in such a way as to provide a safety net for the non-nerds whom I appreciate so well!"
          Time passes. "Oh, fuck. This is going to cost me money," the nerd thinks, "How can I provide this service when it costs me money, and I need to buy Ramen?"
          Another lightbulb does its thing. "Advertisement!"

          There you have it. If you don't like it, cut pasty-dude a check.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Tom9729 (1134127)
          Not sure where you got the idea that "the main point" of using his software is to be able to download anonymously.

          I've used Deluge for a long time before the announcement of this feature. It's a bittorrent client, just like Azureus or Ktorrent. The new anonymous browsing feature is nothing more than a built in web browser that uses their proxy.

          I haven't been able to run the new release yet (download links are broken), so I might be wrong on this, but I'm pretty sure the anonymous part is only referring to f
      • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @03:22PM (#21799936)
        One of the problems with "Free Software" are the take, take, take folk. Ultimately if you value something you should support it, either financially by direct payment or by recognising that it needs money (eg putting up with ads).

        To give you those "free roads" you drive on, the government charges you taxes. To give out free services, charities accept contributions.

        I doubt many of the gimme,gimme, free software takers actually develop anything substantial or contribute anything, apart from annoyance.

        Perhaps with time people will mature in their outlook and freely contribute better than they do now: "Hey I like service x or software y. Here's $20 to say thanks!". This is not yet happening but perhaps it will one day.

        • by Blakey Rat (99501)
          This software is intended only for "take, take, take" movie and music pirates. Why would you expect any different response?
          • You make a good point. The typical pirate-types (OK, a generalization: oly 90% of bt traffic is pirating) have a notion of internet==free. If you make a service available to these people then don't expect any support.
        • by wrook (134116) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @09:11PM (#21802176) Homepage
          Actually, the take, take, take, gimme, gimme, gimme users provide invaluable benefit to Free software producers. But to understand this, you must understand the economics of Free software development (I will assert that most people, even Free software producers have a difficult time understanding this). With Free software, you *can* make money off of distribution, but really it won't last for long. Eventually, since the cost of distribution is nearly free, someone will undercut you. Instead, you must make money (or better stated, value) out of the software itself.

          This can be done in a few ways. First, you can get value from using the software you wrote. Often the value you receive more than offsets the cost of development. If the software is popular and useful, then you can also benefit from forming a consortium with other parties to do development. You each share the costs and share the benefits. People who fund development get a greater say in what gets written (i.e., they write it ;-) ). Examples of this are the Apache software and the Linux kernel.

          Second, you can get value from future work on the software. If it is a popular, useful work, then often someone else will be able to receive value from funding you to do some new development. Probably the best example of this is the GCC tool set as it was developed by Cygnus software (google around for Michael Tiemann's description of how to make this work -- it's brilliant.)

          Finally, you can gain value (either directly or indirectly) through advertising. Usually (as is the case with this software), the software allows you to connect with a service that gains value from advertising. The best example of this is Mozilla who make nearly $100 million a year from the google search bar in Firefox.

          Now, I hope you'll excuse my tangent, I'm finally coming to the point. What all these methods of creating value have in common is that they work best (return the most value) when the software is *popular* and *useful*. Take, take, take, gimme, gimme, gimme people are essential to creating popular and useful software. First, they are often the absolute best sources for ideas. They are so internally focussed (i.e., selfish) that they have a really highly developed sense of what they want. Yes, they are annoying, but if you cut through the annoyance, you find gold. Second, these people are like rats. When one finds a good source of food *all their buddies join in*. This is indispensable for a Free software project.

          Now, what I read from the posts above is that these selfish users are not happy with direct advertising on the associated service. This is incredibly useful feedback! It means that there is significant risk involved in the venture. People are not against advertising per se. Take the google search bar in Firefox. I've never heard anyone complain about it. The connection between the google advertising and the search bar is removed enough to appease the user. But I would worry, in this case, that users will not accept the advertising on the associated service.

          In the end, cherish your selfish users. They are a PITA, but they are honest and they will spare no expense to tell you what they think. For software projects that don't have budgets for things like user studies, these people will pave the road to success.
          • by Alsee (515537)
            You're post was 2 long.
            Shorten and gimme in email.
            kthxbai

            -
          • In the end, cherish your selfish users. They are a PITA, but they are honest and they will spare no expense to tell you what they think.
            Great idea! I'll see if they accept my selfish users' opinions at the grocery store checkout counter. Maybe my ISP will accept them, too!

            Very insightful!!!11oneone
        • by Alioth (221270)
          The author probably has enough brain cells to realise that since he's producing software for leechers, there's no chance he's going to get paid for his software. Let's face it, this software will mainly be used to download unauthorized copies of songs/movies - if the users are happy to violate copyright law and risk prosecution to avoid paying, they aren't going to pay someone who makes the software that enables them to violate copyright law.

          So really, advertising is the only way he's going to get payment f
      • by Blakey Rat (99501)
        Wait, so let me get this straight.

        This "service" allows you to get away with pirating movies and music. (Otherwise, if it were legal downloads, why would you need to be anonymous?) And to receive this protection, you have to pay this guy to use it?

        How is this any different from Kazaa charging for pirating media? Except that with this service you're slightly less likely to get caught.
        • by Sancho (17056)
          The service allows you to visit the web portion of BitTorrent trackers without revealing your IP. I'm not even sure there's much value in that, but nevertheless, he's running a server and showing ads on it. If you don't want to deal with the ads, find another anonymizer (and use a different browser.)

          How is this any different from Kazaa charging for pirating media? Except that with this service you're slightly less likely to get caught.

          I don't know much about KaZaA's business model. Were they charging for the use of the network? Charging for the software? Displaying ads in the software? Does it even matter in this context (for that matter,

        • by aussie_a (778472)
          Kazaa got screwed over when they advertised that they're product was great for pirates. Until deluge does this, they're actually safe (at least safe from getting screwed over the way Kazaa was). If for example, the deluge creator says on his website "Deluge is great for downloading movies without getting caught!" this would be equivalent to what Kazaa said and would result in him being liable to get screwed over. If however he says "Great to download torrents for the security conscious" he hasn't made the s
      • by NoMaster (142776)

        He needs to have some way to make back at least most of the money he's spending.

        No he doesn't, but it's a common mistake to make. He wants (or hopes, or chooses, or expects) to make back at least most of the money he's spending. And that's fine, but don't confuse the two. His desire to offset the cost != a "need" to see ads.

        Apart from that, it's pointless. If ISPs are watching/throttling users who visit trackers, then they'll just start watching/throttling users who visit his proxy. I mean, it's not as if

        • by aussie_a (778472)
          If his aim was to provide users a secure way to pirate copyrighted content, then it would be rather pointless. If, however, his aim was to place his own advertisements on other people's torrent sites in order to make money, he has succeeded. While he needed to claim it was for the "poor pirates with bad ISPs" in order to quell the anger, it was little more then an excuse.
    • > Instead of attempting to out-tech Big Content there should be a focus on improving consumer rights.

      In the long run, yes - this is the primary objective. But if this tool is just one more head of a hydra that overzealous ISPs or the **AA have to fight then it is a good thing, even if you or I never use it and it only works for a limited time. If they have to fight this war on 100 fronts then they will soon find that even their pockets have a limited depth and decide the fight is not worth it. Yeah, a
    • by Nullav (1053766)
      Why would ads bother you if you'll only see them for about three pages (provided you know what you're looking for)? As long as they're non-animated banner ads or text ads, why is it a problem?
      He's also paying for this completely out of pocket. I see three options here: use the service and ignore the ads, hope the service starts relying on donations and pay like that (or freeload while others donate), or use TOR/nothing instead. It's not like the client has flashing 'catch the Pope, win an iPod' ads at the t
  • Almost a year ago I switched from Comcast Cable Modem to AT&T ADSL just to save money. My BT traffic wasn't throttled then (though I see stories that now Comcast is throttling it at least in some areas), and it isn't throttled now. So I don't know that it is a common practice, would like to hear of all ISP that do so, please post your experiences. I'm 30 miles north of Chicago.
    • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
      I've heard a lot of complaints of 'throttling' even on the ISP I'm on who don't throttle anything at all. I'm not convinced anyone is doing it.

      Basically bittorrent is slow because you always end up downloading from people on dialup etc. instead of downloading from a fast mirror as you do with FTP. Plus unless your firewall is wide open you aren't uploading.. which means the trackers will throttle you because your upload ratios are too low.
      • by Sancho (17056)

        I've heard a lot of complaints of 'throttling' even on the ISP I'm on who don't throttle anything at all. I'm not convinced anyone is doing it.

        There are companies that specialize in traffic shaping devices which do just this. It's possible that no one actually uses the devices, but if that's true, it's odd that these companies are still in business.

        Then there's the Comcast thing, which isn't throttling in the strictest sense (instead of dropping packets, they send a RST after a few seconds.)

        Basically BitTorrent is slow because you always end up downloading from people on dialup etc. instead of downloading from a fast mirror as you do with FTP. Plus unless your firewall is wide open you aren't uploading.. which means the trackers will throttle you because your upload ratios are too low.

        BitTorrent is a boon to content distributors, since it takes some of the weight off of their servers. It can be faster overall than just FTP for popular re

    • From what I'm seeing Comcast isn't throttling BT traffic specifically, downloads are just fine, and uploads work as long as your downloading, but when you cross that line from peering to serving the gig is up. Now I've tried to be nice and severely limit connections and upload bandwidth during prime-time and even, during off-peak, but no dice almost nothing goes upstream. Anything they identify or misidentify as as a server gets forged resets; If I was a java coder I'd be hacking Azureus to use UDP instead
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Poppler (822173)

        If I was a java coder I'd be hacking Azureus to use UDP instead of TCP
        I would think that using UDP to actually download chunks would be horribly inefficient; the client wouldn't know if it received the data intact until it does a checksum on the chunk, and then you'd have to re-download the whole chunk if you missed even a single packet.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by oggiejnr (999258)
          According to a quick search (so may not be accurate) current "semi-official" block size is 16KB which easily fits into a single datagram packet (allowing for IP Fragmentation). Or if you are determined to keep your datagrams under the Ethernet MTU then you could employ some form of erasure coding to the data (at the expense of CPU cycles) and then if a few packets get lost then not to worry or you could advertise a 1k block transfer size at the expense of great application level overhead. Any system would
        • Right now with comcast my BT is probably sending more handshanking back and forth than actualy data anyways.
    • by jo42 (227475)
      Where I is, Sympatico throttles BitTorrent down to 60 Kbp/s around 4:30 PM EST. Around 6:00 PM EST it goes down even more to 30 Kbp/s until sometime after midnight where it goes back up to full speed. They also charge up to $30 for going over your monthly GB download cap. So much for the "unlimited" connection that was advertised several years ago. During these periods, HTTP and FTP transfers still go full speed. Cork smoking bastages.
  • i am not able to download the windows version. anyone else having the same issue? cheers
    • >i am not able to download the windows version. anyone else having the same issue? cheers


      Links are OK. Just look at the right side of page after you select your OS and pick one of the packages.

      • by fuziwuzi (1207084)
        i keep getting an error when clicking on the two windows links, can u try for me i get this error --- Error in download_count on line 262. ./ubuntu/gutsy/0.5.7.95/deluge-torrent_0.5.7.95-1_i386.gutsy.deb is already defined. --- cheers
    • I am running FireFox with NoScript and I had to turn off the script block for the root site to allow the windows link to work. Hope that helps.
  • by wdebruij (239038) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @02:05PM (#21799422) Homepage
    The best solution, ofcourse, is to switch to a less zealous ISP. But that is not always possible: I, for example, find myself subletting an
    apartment that comes with horrible, horrible Comcast DSL (who actively reset with your TCP connections [slashdot.org]).

    In these cases say Aye, matey and hook up to the swedish Pirate Party's Relakks [relakks.com] VPN service (as seen on Slashdot [slashdot.org])
    to get past your pesky ISPs rules. It's also be very useful if you use coffeeshop wireless a lot and your email provider still requires plain-text passwords.

    Arrr, we be lootin' again!
    • by wdebruij (239038)
      > Arrr, we be lootin' again!

      Oh wait, I'm in RIAA country now. Did I say looting? I meant to say "sending holiday greetings to our loved ones".

      5GB/day? Why yes, officer, I do write long emails.
  • not this ISP (Score:5, Informative)

    by not_anne (203907) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @02:39PM (#21799636)

    "...you can pretty much bet that they're tracking which users visit bittorrent-related sites so that they can better block or throttle those users."
    My employer, a large cable ISP, does not track or monitor what sites customers visit. However, we do track the types of traffic on our network and shape traffic as needed to keep the network reasonably healthy.

    We don't single out users, we monitor nodes, which many customers are attached to. If a node is exceeding healthy levels (different nodes have different max levels, there's no one set "healthy" level) then that node is shaped until the traffic goes down.
    • by rtechie (244489)
      "Shaped" in this context means sending TCP rsts to any connections above an arbitrary threshold from a particular IP on a particular node. The boxes they use are deployed be node. This is VERY crude "traffic shaping". And it won't work. You guys are just begging the Bittorrent developers to switch to UDP and flood your network. Keep pushing, and they'll just have it spoof DNS requests. Going to block that?

      It's very simple, Bittorent is here to stay. The solution to Bittorent traffic on your network is to HE
  • While the anonymization may be useful for other reasons, if your problem is filtering by your ISP then a better solution is, if possible, to get a different ISP. If you keep giving them your money, then not only do you seem to be implicitly consenting to their behavior, you're actually financially supporting it.

    Now I realize that in some places people may really have no reasonable choice, but it's been my experience that many people who live in an area where there is a choice still go with providers (

  • For what definition of "best"? This is terrible writing. I would subtract a full letter grade from any undergraduate paper with that phrase by the second semester of first year.

    It's a pretty simple matter if you control the hardware to set up an ISP's network so that no peer-to-peer packets are exchanged whatsoever.

    I guess the implication is that "best" has something to do with not being quite so blatant. Another step or two down this path, we could just as easily s/do their best/strike a balance/ "betwe
  • Deluge is great. (Score:3, Informative)

    by lattyware (934246) <gareth@lattyware.co.uk> on Sunday December 23, 2007 @06:24PM (#21801174) Homepage Journal
    The best client out there for Linux users with Gnome (KDE users can look to kTorrent). Been using it for some time.
  • Sometimes (opensource?) software projects get ahead of themselves. Stick to what you're good at. Improve the code, make the program faster, leaner, smaller, but there's no need to add in completely unrelated and extemporaneous features.

    An anonymous browser built in to a bittorent program? Ugh. With ad-support?!? I just puked into my mouth a little. Make a separate program for that crap, or at the very least make it an optional plugin (with no signs of it or adding resource usage otherwise).

    Pleas
    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      Please Deluge creators and maintainers... you've created a fantastic open-source bittorrent program. Don't ruin it and turn it into another bloated slow Azureus.
      Azureus isn't slow at all for me, nor does it feel bloated. Maybe you should try the GCJ build that doesn't require Sun's Java runtime.

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