Update: We’re getting quite a lot of traffic because of this announcement and the server is struggling to keep up. Please be patient!
Today is June 4th, 2009. Twenty years ago today, the government of the People’s Republic of China brutally massacred intellectuals and students who had gathered in Tianamen Square to peacefully protest for freedom. Most of the western world now knows of the atrocities committed there because of the stories and the images which were able to escape the following media crackdown. Yet, most of the youth in China remain completely unaware of those events because of constant, total censorship which still occurs in China.
A lot has changed in twenty years. Digital technology has led to the creation of powerful, democratizing tools which let people from around the world communicate and collaborate. Still, state and corporate censorship persists all over the globe.
On this anniversary of the Tianamen Square Massacre (六四屠城), in response to continued global repression of information, we are pleased to announce the first public release of Anomos. Anomos is a modification of the popular BitTorrent peer-to-peer file sharing protocol which adds layers of cryptography to create a network which is completely secure and anonymous. In this system, nobody besides the trusted central tracker is able to know who is transferring any file being tracked. Using the same techniques which provide security to online shopping and banking, Anomos is able to resist censorship and pass through oppressive national firewalls.
We have created this system in hopes that it will be used to bring knowledge to those in places where knowledge is forbidden. We strongly believe in the freedom of information, that people with information are able to make better decisions and are better equipped to take care of each other. The world is a better place when people know more.
Anomos is by no means finished, and no anonymity system yet has gotten it totally right on the first try, but it works. We wouldn’t recommend it be used for matters of life-and-death until it has been thoroughly reviewed and inspected; remember, this is just the beta version. Still, we are ready to provide the beginnings of what may become a global shift in the way information is transferred around the world, without interference from censors who want enforce ignorance. Anomos is a Free and Open Source project which seeks help from all willing participants who are able to provide code, translation, bandwidth or moral support.
Downloads are available here for GNU/Linux and here for Windows. Further instructions for both systems are available on the Downloads page. Windows users may also have to install the latest version of OpenSSL (.9.8k “Light”) available here.
In the next week or so, when we are legally in the clear to do so, we will be launching a public tracker so that citizen journalists and brave whistle blowers throughout the world can anonymously distribute their materials. In the meantime, you can help test the system by using the software and seeding on our test torrent, a live performance by the post-rock band A Silver Mount Zion: which you can download here.
Before you begin, please make sure that port 6881 is forwarding properly to your computer.
If you would like to be involved in the further development of this project, please join the mailing list at lists.anomos.info, come chat with us in #anomos on irc.freenode.org, file bugs on the BugTracker and, as always, seed, seed, seed!
Anomos is graciously funded by the NLNet foundation. Source code is available at git.anomos.info under the GNU-GPL. More information about the protocol and the development process is available by clicking the ‘FAQ’ link above.
TL;DR: Censorship is bad, so we made an anonymous version of BitTorrent. It’s still early but it works and we’d like you to help us make it better. Thank you!
PS: Press/blog coverage is more than welcome! We’re friendly and quite passionate, so if you’d like to have a chat with us please send us an email. Also, there’s a larger version of the logo here if you want to use it for something.