Ernesto at TorrentFreak has some solid technical details on a move by hacktivists concerned by Internet censorship in general and more recently the domain seizures undertaken by US law enforcers. He also points to COICA, a bill here in the US that could make takedowns of a key part of the Internet’s infrastructure much more common. If COICA passes, it is not a stretch to imagine trade pressure akin to ACTA being brought to bear to expand such seizure powers more broadly.
As Ernesto explains, the goal of Dot-P2P isn’t to replace the existing DNS system. Rather it will augment it, handling requests for any domain ending in “.p2p” via a distributed network partly powered by BitTorrent while passing all other requests through for normal name resolution. This reminds me a great deal of Tor’s efforts to provide directory services within its encrypted network to allow sites and surfers to stay within the network rather than potentially exposing their activity via dropping out to plain text DNS.
The project is still quite young but is attracting support, most notably from Peter Sunde, one of the co-founders of the Pirate Bay and currently working on the micro payment system, Flattr.
“For me it’s mostly to scare back. To show that if they try anything, we have weapons of making it harder for them to abuse it. If they then back down, we win,” Peter Sunde told TorrentFreak in a comment.
This is the risk of regulation like COICA, that it may spark an arms race around the technologies it targets. I see a project like Open-P2P best serving this debate by slowing things down, giving everyone pause for thought, to come up with better solutions, focused more on outcomes, than specific technological means.
BitTorrent Based DNS To Counter US Domain Seizures, TorrentFreak