New Firefox extension offers private file sharing

— 12:52 PM on August 25, 2006

A European company known as AllPeers has released a beta version of a new Firefox extension that promises secure and snoop-free peer-to-peer file sharing. Unlike traditional file sharing systems, the extension is designed for individuals and small groups of users—e.g. friends, family, and colleagues. It uses BitTorrent to power its back-end and encrypts all communications with the Secure Socket Layer protocol. Since the system is decentralized and doesn't allow uninvited parties to snoop into private networks, file sharing happens in an effective "darknet" where communications and data transfers are kept entirely private. AllPeers provides a tour of its software, and the extension itself can be downloaded from Mozilla's Firefox Add-ons website.

The AllPeers extension's beta release follows the launch of a commercial darknet by Sweden's Pirate Party two weeks ago. Where the extension lets users create small, private networks, the Swedish darknet offers an untraceable IP address that allows anonymousness in regular P2P networks. The two solutions are sure to worry organizations like the RIAA and MPAA, which in both cases should be powerless to prevent users from illegally sharing copyrighted content.

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