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SuprNova Leader Crafts New P2P Program

SuprNova Leader Crafts New P2P Program
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Jan 5, 2005 11:56 AM PST    Text size: 
CYBERSPACE — Scant weeks after the entertainment industry hamstrung the BitTorrent community by bringing down its most popular torrent indexes with a legal blitzkrieg, members of the peer-to-peer community have risen up and begun work on a new software designed to circumvent methods currently used to capture file sharers.

“Sloncek,” head of the recently closed SuprNova.org website, announced the new product, designed to be more decentralized than the existing BitTorrent technology, on the NovaStream Webcasting network.

Called Exeem, the new software operates on a modified BitTorrent protocol, but uses a distributed file system more similar to eDonkey. The hope is that, by removing the need for Torrent seeds to be posted on websites, it will make the software users and operators harder for the entertainment industry to locate.

“It’s like Kazaa and BitTorrent all together,” Sloncek said. “It’s a peer-to-peer program with the same specifications as BitTorrent had, but with its own network and its own files on it. It’s not really up to website to host the torrents anymore, because they’re all hosted on a decentralized network.”

While the new network structure may make it harder to pinpoint users engaging in illegal file-sharing, it also presents drawbacks by removing one central hash used to identify a file, experts say.

“One of the big advantages of BitTorrent is the high level of integrity of both the content and the meta-data (information such as movie name or file size),” wrote Delft University of Technology researcher Johan Pouwelse in a recent paper. “A decentralized scheme such as in Kazaa has no availability problems but lacks integrity, since Kazaa is plagued with many fake files.

Among the many features included in the new software will be a rating and comment system available for anyone who downloads a file, and the ability to use magnet links.

Magnet links work similar to the eDonkey’s ed2k URL links, according to Sloncek.

“A magnet link is like, on eDonkey, those links you see on websites,” Sloncek said. “When you click it, you’re connected to the network and you can download the file.”

According to Sloncek, the development of the software had been ongoing for several months.

After the developers, who Sloncek insisted must remain anonymous for the time being, contacted the head of the now-defunct SuprNova.org and asked for his help in finding beta testers, it only took a few months for Sloncek to be offered a job as official representative of the company.

While Sloncek was tight-lipped in his radio appearance regarding his new employers, the website for the new software is registered to a company called Swarm Systems, based on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts & Nevis.

This wouldn’t be the first time that operators of file-sharing networks have tried to place themselves outside the reach of law enforcement by basing themselves in offshore countries. Sharman Networks, currently under fire by the Australian arm of the RIAA, is incorporated on Vanuatu, located in the Pacific ocean.

The program, which is currently undergoing beta testing, is expected to be released later this month.

“It’s going to happen very soon,” said Sloncek. “Not this week or next week, but very soon after that.”

Internet users will be able to find the software by either visiting the SuprNova.org site or visiting Exeem.com.

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