In January, the makers of the P2P project formerly known as Pirate Bay launched ipredator, a pay-service that allows complete anonymity while sharing files through P2P networks.
As most of our readers will be all too familiar with, P2P networks have emerged as significant and alternative distribution channels for all kinds of cultural and artistic materials – films and documentaries, music, texts, etc. – a strategy that has pitted intellectual property merchants against advocates for a more expansive cultural commons. And while anonymity may be the new arms race in this battle of online wits, the real gamble is whether or not people will be willing to pay a price for the privilege of secrecy. Ipredator costs about 5 euros a month to join.
In a recent article on TorrentFreak, ipredator said that they will encrypt not only the connection between individual users and the ipredator network, but also all data leaving the network. The weak link in the identity chain will be the host of the network, and this is how ipredator wants to set itself apart in the market of virtual networks: ipredator will apparently not keep data logs or user details. If the servers are seized, there will be no records of how the network was used, by whom and for what.
It is a challenging parry in the ongoing dual between information freedom fighters and the intellectual property police. It raises many important questions about the balance of interests between privacy, lawfulness, the privatization of collective intellectual endeavor, and personal security.
The webite offers little information. If any of our readers sign up for the service, we’d love to hear about it – drop us a line and tell us about it.