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GNUnet – A Secure Peer-to-Peer Networking Framework

GNUnet is one of the open-source peer-to-peer frameworks which focusses on providing the security and privacy.
The GNUnet started with the idea for anonymous censorship-resistant file-sharing but it has grown to incorporate many other applications as well as generic building blocks for more secure networking applications. GNUnet now includes GNU Name System which is a privacy-preserving, decentralised public key infrastructure.


The system tries to achieve anonymity depending on the idea that users can become anonymous if they hide their actions in the traffic which is created by other users. But this process requires participating in traffic, bringing back the old technique of using indirection and source rewriting. The source rewriting is required to gain anonymity because normally an adversary can tell where a message is originated from by looking at the source address. If all packets look like they have originated from a node, adversary can not predict which ones originate from that node and which are routed. Note: in this mindset, any node can decide to break the source-rewriting paradigm without violating the protocol, as this only reduces the amount of traffic that a node can hide its own traffic in.
If the user wants to hide his actions in the traffic of other nodes, he must make his traffic indistinguishable from the traffic that he routes for others. As your queries must have you as the receiver of the reply (otherwise they would be useless), you must put yourself as the receiver of replies that actually go to other hosts; in other words, you must indirect replies. Unlike other systems, in anonymous file-sharing, as implemented on top of GNUnet you do not have to indirect the replies if you don’t think that you need more traffic to hide your own actions.

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