If you want to do discreet (if not completely anonymous) P2P, Bittorrent and Gnutella or Kazaa are not your friends. With the advent of more attention from authorities, it is difficult to consider them as good opportunities.
I have been looking quickly at some of the possible solutions to protect your privacy while exchanging files over the Internet. I found the following ideas:
- Omemo is a recent Spanish development. I tried it and it is very obvious that the program is still in beta. Essentially, I was unable to download a file if it was not very small in size or to upload any. Let’s wait until it works.
- GigaTribe seems a good solution if you are willing to pay for the Premium package. It builds a closed network with your friends, but the standard (free) software is not able to grab files from multiple computers at the same time. So performance is very limited for the free version. GigaTribe3 is said to correct a number of issues some time later in 2008.
- Freenet is rather difficult to use at first, but if you run Thaw, one of the applications provided at installation, you will get a large choice of file downloads and performance while limited is not ridiculous: A few days for 2GB of video, it could be much worse. However, some may be troubled by the kind of data found there: While the common P2P data can be observed, you will also find conspiracy-related information and a quite significant load of pornography and child pornography (normally not found on the more open Internet).
I don’t know where the future of P2P lies, but it is certainly around some of these darknets (networks that are protected from external Peeping Toms). Freenet is supposed to be the best and most secured one, even if it is not perfect (it seems clear that some powerful agencies have setup some Freenet nodes in order to be able to spy the traffic).