I2P

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I2P
I2P logo.svg
Original author(s) I2P Team[1]
Initial release 2003; 14 years ago (2003)
Stable release
0.9.32 / 7 November 2017; 15 days ago (2017-11-07)[2]
Repository github.com/i2p/i2p.i2p
Development status Active development
Written in Java
Operating system Cross-platform
Available in English, Spanish
Incomplete translations: Russian, French,Romanian, German, Swedish, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Dutch, Polish, Hungarian, Arabic, Japanese, Estonian, Persian[3]
Type Overlay network
License Free/Open Source – Multiple licenses[4] Public domain, BSD, GPL, MIT
Website https://geti2p.net

The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is an anonymous network layer that allows for censorship resistant, peer to peer communication. Anonymous connections are achieved by encrypting your traffic (by using end-to-end encryption), and sending your traffic through a volunteer-ran network of roughly 55,000 computers distributed around the world. Given the high possibility of paths your traffic can transit, a third party watching a full connection is unlikely, the software that implements this layer is called an I2P router and a computer running I2P is called an I2P node. I2P is free and open source and is published under multiple licenses.

Technical design[edit]

I2P is beta software since 2003,[5] the software's developers emphasized that there are likely to be bugs in the beta version and that there has been insufficient peer review to date.[6] However, they believe the code is now reasonably stable and well-developed, and more exposure can help development of I2P.

The network itself is strictly message-based (like IP), but there is a library available to allow reliable streaming communication on top of it (similar to TCP, although from version 0.6 there is a new UDP-based SSU transport). All communication is end-to-end encrypted (in total there are four layers of encryption used when sending a message), and even the end points ("destinations") are cryptographic identifiers (essentially a pair of public keys), so that neither sender nor recipient of a message need to reveal their IP address to the other side or to third-party observers.

Although many developers had been a part of the Invisible IRC Project (IIP)[7] and Freenet communities, there are significant differences between their designs and concepts. IIP was an anonymous centralized IRC server. Freenet is a censorship-resistant distributed data store. I2P is an anonymous peer-to-peer distributed communication layer designed to run any traditional internet service (e.g. Usenet, email, IRC, file sharing, Web hosting and HTTP, Telnet), as well as more traditional distributed applications (e.g. a distributed data store, a web proxy network using Squid, or DNS).

Many developers of I2P are known only under pseudonyms. While the previous main developer, jrandom, is currently on hiatus,[8] others, such as zzz, killyourtv, and Complication have continued to lead development efforts, and are assisted by numerous contributors.[1]

I2P uses 2048bit ElGamal/AES256/SHA256+Session Tags encryption[9] and Ed25519 EdDSA/ECDSA signatures.[10]

Releases[edit]

I2P has had a stable release every six to eight weeks. Updates are distributed via I2P torrents and are signed by the release manager (generally zzz or str4d).

Software[edit]

I2P 0.9.31-0 router console

Since I2P is an anonymous network layer, it is designed so other software can use it for anonymous communication, as such there are a variety of tools currently available for I2P or in development.

The I2P router is controlled through the router console which is a web frontend accessed through a web browser.

General networking[edit]

  • I2PTunnel is an application embedded into I2P that allows arbitrary TCP/IP applications to communicate over I2P by setting up "tunnels" which can be accessed by connecting to pre-determined ports on localhost.
  • SAM (Simple Anonymous Messaging) is a protocol which allows a client application written in any programming language to communicate over I2P, by using a socket-based interface to the I2P router.[34]
  • BOB (Basic Open Bridge) is a less complex app to router protocol similar to "SAM"[35][36]
  • Orchid Outproxy Tor plugin[37]

Chat[edit]

File sharing[edit]

  • Several programs provide BitTorrent functionality for use within the I2P network. Users cannot connect to non-I2P torrents or peers from within I2P, nor can they connect to I2P torrents or peers from outside I2P.[38] I2PSnark, included in the I2P install package, is a port of the BitTorrent client named Snark.[39] Vuze, formerly known as Azureus, is a BitTorrent client that includes a plugin for I2P, allowing anonymous swarming through this network.[40] This plugin is still in an early stage of development, however it is already fairly stable. BiglyBT, a continuation of Azureus, also includes the I2PHelper plugin[41]. I2P-BT is a BitTorrent client for I2P that allows anonymous swarming for file sharing. This client is a modified version of the original BitTorrent 3.4.2 program which runs on MS Windows and most dialects of Unix in a GUI and command-line environment. It was developed by the individual known as 'duck' on I2P in cooperation with 'smeghead', it is no longer being actively developed; however, there is a small effort to upgrade the I2P-BT client up to par with the BitTorrent 4.0 release. I2PRufus is an I2P port of the Rufus BitTorrent client.[42] Robert (P2P Software) is the most actively maintained I2PRufus fork. XD is a standalone BitTorrent client written in Go.[43]
  • Two Kad network clients exist for the I2P network, iMule and Nachtblitz. iMule (invisible Mule) is a port of eMule for I2P network. iMule has not been developed since 2013. iMule is made for anonymous file sharing. In contrast to other eDonkey clients, iMule only uses the Kademlia for proceeding to connect through I2P network, so no servers are needed. Nachtblitz[44] is a custom client built on the .NET Framework, the latest version is 1.4.27, released on March 23, 2016[45]. Nachtblitz includes a time lock to disable the software one year after its release date.
  • I2Phex is a port of the popular Gnutella client Phex to I2P. It is stable and fairly functional.
  • A port of Tahoe-LAFS has been ported to I2P. This allows for files to be anonymously stored in Tahoe-LAFS grids.

Bridging to Clearnet[edit]

Currently, Vuze and BiglyBT[46][47] are the only torrent clients that make clearnet (connections not through I2P) torrents available on I2P and vice versa, by using a plugin that connects them to the I2P network. Depending on the client settings, torrents from the internet can be made available on I2P (via announcements to I2P's DHT network) and torrents from I2P can be made available to the internet, for this reason, torrents previously published only on I2P can be made available to the entire Internet, and users of I2P can often download popular content from the Internet while maintaining the anonymity of I2P.[48][49]

Email[edit]

A screenshot of the inbox of I2P-Bote.
  • I2P-Bote is a free, fully decentralized and distributed anonymous email system with a strong focus on security.[50] It supports multiple identities and does not expose email metadata, as of 2015, it is still considered beta software. I2P-Bote is accessible via the I2P web console interface or using standard email protocols (i.e. IMAP/SMTP). All bote-mails are transparently end-to-end encrypted and signed by the sender's private key, thus removing the need for PGP or other email encryption software. I2P-Bote offers additional anonymity by allowing for the use of mail relays with variable length delays, since it is decentralized, there is no centralized email server that could correlate different email identities as communicating with each other (i.e. profiling). Even the nodes relaying the mails do not know the sender, and apart from sender and receiver, only the end of the high-latency mail route and the storing nodes will know to whom (which I2P-Bote address – the user's IP address is still hidden by I2P) the mail is destined. The original sender could have gone offline long before the email becomes available to the recipient. No account registration is necessary, all you have to do in order to use it is create a new identity. I2P-Bote can be installed as an I2P plugin .[51]
  • I2P also has a free pseudonymous e-mail service run by an individual called Postman. Susimail is a web-based email client intended primarily for use with Postman's mail servers, and is designed with security and anonymity in mind. Susimail was created to address privacy concerns in using these servers directly using traditional email clients, such as leaking the user's hostname while communicating with the SMTP server, it is currently included in the default I2P distribution, and can be accessed through the I2P router console web interface. Mail.i2p can contact both I2P email users, via user@mail.i2p and public internet email users from a user@i2pmail.org address.
  • Bitmessage.ch can be used over I2P or Tor.

Instant Messaging[edit]

  • I2P-Messenger is a simple Qt-based, serverless, end-to-end-encrypted instant messenger for I2P.[52] No servers can log the user's conversations. No ISP can log with whom the user chats, when, or for how long, as it is serverless, it can make use of I2P's end-to-end encryption, preventing any node between two parties from having access to the plain text. I2P-Messenger can be used for fully anonymous instant communication with persons the user doesn't even know, or, alternatively, to communicate securely and untraceably with friends, family members, or colleagues; in addition to messaging, file transfer is also supported.
  • I2P-Talk is another simple instant messenger incompatible with I2P-Messenger, but having the same security properties

Publishing[edit]

  • Syndie is a content distribution application, suitable for blogs, newsgroups, forums and small media attachments. Syndie is designed for network resilience, it supports connections to I2P, the Tor network (Syndie does not support Socks proxies, workaround needed for Tor access), Freenet and the regular internet. Server connections are intermittent, and support higher-latency communications. Connections can be made to any number of known servers. Content is spread efficiently using a Gossip protocol.
  • Aktie is an anonymous file sharing and distributed Web of trust forums system. Aktie can connect to I2P with its internal router or use an external router. To fight spam, "hash payments" (proof of CPU work) is computed for every published item.

Routers[edit]

  • I2PBerry is a Linux distribution which can be used as a router to encrypt and route network traffic through the I2P network.
  • Kovri[53] is an I2P router written in C++. It was forked from i2pd following developer disagreements.[54] Kovri's primary purpose is to integrate with the cryptocurrency Monero to send new transaction information over I2P, making it much more difficult to find which node is the origin of a transaction request,[55] those using the Kovri router will be running full I2P routers that contribute to the I2P network the same way the current Java router does. This project is expected to benefit both the Monero and I2P communities, since it will allow for greater privacy in Monero, and it should increase the number of nodes on the I2P network.[56]

The Privacy Solutions project[edit]

The Privacy Solutions project,[57] a new organization that develops and maintains I2P software, launched several new development efforts designed to enhance the privacy, security, and anonymity for users, based on I2P protocols and technology.

These efforts include:[58]

  • The Abscond browser bundle.
  • i2pd,[59] an alternate implementation of I2P, written in C++ (rather than Java).
  • The "BigBrother" I2P network monitoring project.

The code repository and download sections for the i2pd and Abscond project is available for the public to review and download.[60] Effective January, 2015 i2pd is operating under PurpleI2P.[61]

Android[edit]

I2P running on Android.
  • Release builds of an I2P Router application for Android can be found on the Google Play store under The Privacy Solutions Project's Google Play account or on an F-Droid repository hosted by the developers.[62]
  • Nightweb is an Android application that utilizes I2P and Bittorrent to share blog posts, photos, and other similar content. It can also be run as a desktop application, it is no longer in development.[63]

Crypto-Currency[edit]

Current crypto currencies that support I2P, or plan it are listed below.

  • The Monero crypto-coin project.
  • VERGE $XVG[64] crypto-coin project.
  • BATA $BTA[65] crypto-coin project.
  • ANONCOIN $ANC[66] crypto-coin project.

Terminology[edit]

I2P's mascot, itoopie, who is covering his face with a mask.
Eepsite
Eepsites are Websites that are hosted anonymously within the I2P network. Eepsite names end in .i2p, such as ugha.i2p or forum.i2p. EepProxy can locate these sites through the cryptographic identifier keys stored in the hosts.txt file found within the I2P program directory. Typically, I2P is required to access these eepsites.[67]
.i2p
'I2p' is a pseudo-top-level domain which is only valid within the I2P overlay network scope. .i2p names are resolved by browsers by submitting requests to EepProxy which will resolve names to an I2P peer key and will handle data transfers over the I2P network while remaining transparent to the browser.[68]
EepProxy
The EepProxy program handles all communication between the browser and any eepsite. It functions as a proxy server that can be used by any web browser.
Peers, I2P nodes
Other machines using I2P that are connected to user's machine within the network. Each machine within the network shares the routing and forwarding of encrypted packets.
Tunnels
Every ten minutes, a connection is established between the user's machine and another peer. Data to and from the user, along with the data for other peers (routed through the user's machine), pass through these tunnels and are forwarded to their final destination (may include more jumps).[69]
netDb
The distributed database that holds information on I2P nodes and I2P eepsites. This database is split up among routers known as "floodfill routers". When a user wants to know how to contact an eepsite, or where more peers are, they query the database.[70]

I2PCon[edit]

David Dagon presenting at the first I2Pcon.

From August 15, 2015 to August 16, 2015 the first I2P convention was held in Toronto, Ontario,[71] the conference was hosted by a local hackerspace, Hacklab. The conference featured presentations from I2P developers security researchers.

August 15, 2015 mainly had presentations on the past growth of the I2P network, a talk on what happens when companies sell your personal information, and a round-table discussion on general privacy and security topics, the day ended with a CryptoParty which helped to introduce new users to installing I2P, sending secure emails with I2P-Bote, and using I2P along with Vuze.

August 16, 2015 had more technical discussions than the previous day, the talks focused what how to dissuade bad-actors from using the network, how I2P has worked computer connection limits, how to do application development using I2P, and on the development of the Android version. This day ended with a development meeting.

Cultural references[edit]

In House of Cards Season 2 Episode 2, I2P is referenced[72].

See also[edit]

Software[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "I2P Project Members". geti2p.net. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "0.9.32 Release". geti2p.net. 
  3. ^ I2P (project), Transifex .
  4. ^ "Licenses", Get involved, Get I2P .
  5. ^ Get I2P (blog) .
  6. ^ "Benefits of Tor over I2P". I2P Dev Team. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "IIP", Invisible IP, Source forge .
  8. ^ "Jrandom's Announcement - I2P". geti2p.net. Retrieved 2017-07-15. 
  9. ^ https://geti2p.net/pl/docs/how/elgamal-aes
  10. ^ https://trac.i2p2.de/wiki/Crypto/ECDSA
  11. ^ zzz (8 February 2014). "0.9.11 Release". geti2p.net. 
  12. ^ zzz (31 March 2014). "0.9.12 Release". geti2p.net. 
  13. ^ zzz (22 May 2014). "0.9.13 Release". geti2p.net. 
  14. ^ zzz (26 July 2014). "0.9.14 Release". geti2p.net. 
  15. ^ zzz (9 August 2014). "0.9.14.1 Release". geti2p.net. 
  16. ^ zzz (20 September 2014). "0.9.15 Release". geti2p.net. 
  17. ^ zzz (1 November 2014). "0.9.16 Release". geti2p.net. 
  18. ^ zzz (30 November 2014). "0.9.17 Release". geti2p.net. 
  19. ^ zzz (22 February 2015). "0.9.18 Release". geti2p.net. 
  20. ^ zzz (12 April 2015). "0.9.19 Release". geti2p.net. 
  21. ^ zzz (2 June 2015). "0.9.20 Release". geti2p.net. 
  22. ^ zzz (31 July 2015). "0.9.21 Release". geti2p.net. 
  23. ^ zzz (12 December 2015). "0.9.22 Release". geti2p.net. 
  24. ^ str4d (19 November 2015). "0.9.23 Release". geti2p.net. 
  25. ^ zzz (27 January 2016). "0.9.24 Release". geti2p.net. 
  26. ^ zzz (3 March 2016). "0.9.25 Release". geti2p.net. 
  27. ^ zzz (7 June 2016). "0.9.26 Release". geti2p.net. 
  28. ^ zzz (17 October 2016). "0.9.27 Release". geti2p.net. 
  29. ^ zzz (12 December 2016). "0.9.28 Release". geti2p.net. 
  30. ^ zzz (27 February 2017). "0.9.29 Release". geti2p.net. 
  31. ^ zzz (3 May 2017). "0.9.30 Release". geti2p.net. 
  32. ^ zzz (7 August 2017). "0.9.31 Release". geti2p.net. 
  33. ^ zzz (11 November 2017). "0.9.32 Release". geti2p.net. 
  34. ^ "SAM", API, I2P .
  35. ^ "BOB", API, Get I2P .
  36. ^ BOB: Basic Open Bridge API to the I2P router (official eepsite) .
  37. ^ https://github.com/subgraph/Orchid
  38. ^ I2P Bittorrent FAQ (forum), DE: i2p2, archived from the original on 2011-11-03 .
  39. ^ The Hunting of the Snark Project – BitTorrent Application Suite, Klomp .
  40. ^ "How To for I2P Network Plugin", I2PHelper (Howto) (setup tutorial), Vuze .
  41. ^ "I2P", I2P (Howto) (setup tutorial), BiglySoftware .
  42. ^ "Rufus – BitTorrent Client". Sourceforge. .
  43. ^ https://github.com/majestrate/XD/
  44. ^ Official Nachtblitz Resource, nachtblitz 
  45. ^ http://echelon.i2p.xyz/nachtblitz/changelog.txt
  46. ^ "Former Vuze Developers Launch BiglyBT, a 'New' Open Source Torrent Client". TorrentFreak. Retrieved 19 October 2017. 
  47. ^ "BiglyBT - Bittorrent Client". BiglyBT. Retrieved 19 October 2017. 
  48. ^ "Vuze Speeds Up Torrent Downloads Through "Swarm Merging"". TorrentFreak. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  49. ^ "I2PHelper HowTo". VuzeWiki. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  50. ^ I2P-Bote, I2P .
  51. ^ Plugins, I2P 
  52. ^ Introducing I2P, Nov 10, 2015 
  53. ^ https://getkovri.org/index.html
  54. ^ "What is the difference between i2pd and Kovri?". StackExchange. Retrieved 4 March 2017. 
  55. ^ "Kovri - Moneropedia". GetMonero. Retrieved 4 March 2017. 
  56. ^ "What use cases will Kovri have for Monero?". StackExchange. 
  57. ^ Privacy Solutions project .
  58. ^ List of ongoing Privacy Solutions projects .
  59. ^ http://i2pd.website/
  60. ^ Active development, The Privacy Solutions 
  61. ^ Active development, Purple I2P 
  62. ^ Android App Releases 
  63. ^ Discontinued, Nightweb .
  64. ^ "i2P Cryptocurrency Exchange". .
  65. ^ "Barter Currency". .
  66. ^ "Anoncoin Privacy-Centric Currency". .
  67. ^ "Intro". I2P. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  68. ^ "Naming and Addressbook - I2P". geti2p.net. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  69. ^ "Tunnel Routing". I2P. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  70. ^ "The Network Database". I2P. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  71. ^ "I2PCon: Mission Accomplished - Blog". I2P. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  72. ^ "Hacker-Turned-Consultant Helps 'House Of Cards'". New Orleans Public Radio. 9 April 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2017. 

External links[edit]