Posted on August 9, 2010 in Anomos by Rich 25 Comments »

Chris Ballinger has updated the Anomos OS X build to version 0.9.5. You can download it from SourceForge here. Thanks Chris!

Also – A lot of people have been asking where to find ‘atorrent’ files. The answer is coming soon. In fact, those of you who read german p2p blogs might have found out already, before we actually intended for anybody to know, but that’s okay. Gives us more pressure to make everything clean and shiny. We’ll be making an official announcement very soon! We’ll also need some translators again! If you have any non-english language skills, we can use your help from some light-to-medium translation of a website! (And if anybody really really wants to see it early, shoot us an email or join #anomos on

Rich out!

Posted on July 11, 2010 in Anomos by Rich 13 Comments »

Really quick post!

Anomos version 0.9.5 is now available on the download page for Linux and Windows! You’ll need the latest version if you actually want to be able to connect to the network. If you’re upgrading from an old client, you’ll need to delete your old configuration files (Windows: Your Documents/Application Data/Anomos , ~/.anomos on Linux). Also please remember to forward your ports!

We will also be at HOPE in New York City with some cool new stuff to show off, so if you’re going to be there, send me and email and we’ll meet up, or just stop by and say hi! We’ll probably have a table set up at some point.

Thanks er’body!

Posted on June 8, 2010 in Anomos by Rich 3 Comments »

Good news!

We’ve added another member to Team Anomos! Everybody raise a glass to Namespace, a wonderful Kraut who will be assisting us. This also means that I have to announce the project that Namespace will be working on..

As some of you might have noticed, the largest barrier for Anomos adoption has been the availability of anonymous torrents. Namespace is helping us solve that issue by working on web software which can accept uploaded torrents and search the database. The code is forked from an Erlang project called Chaosbay (written by Astro at the Chaos Communication Congress, which we were at!) and it is available in git here: Anonbay Git. We’re calling it ‘Anonbay’ and it’s available under the AGPL.

In other news, we’ve started a mailing list to discuss Anomos development. You are invited to join the new anomos-dev mailing list ( anomos-dev), where we will discuss the next generation of features for the Anomos indexer, tracker and client. Together, we can create the future of anonymous publishing and content distribution!

We are particularly interested in finding and fixing bugs in the cross-platform Anomos client, improving the packagings for Windows, OSX and Linux, adding Anomos support to already existing clients/trackers (FYI: Anomos support was the second most requested feature for uTorrent (behind Linux support) with over 1000 votes! Results here ), improving the scalability of the tracker (either by improvements of language ports), as well as extensions to the Anomos protocol to add new features such as dynamic content, chat and search.

So, if you are interested in development or discussion of anonymous peer to peer publishing systems, please join the anomos-dev mailing list here.

Please introduce yourself to the group and say what you are interested in and what you would like to work on. Also, if you have any friends who are talented, motivated coders in python or erlang (or any other language, for that matter), who are interested in privacy/p2p, please invite them to join this list! Feel free to forward this to any other lists you think might be interested too.

We are going to be working very hard on Anomos in the next few weeks to (hopefully) produce a major release for the HOPE conference in NYC in July. We’d really like your help with development and testing, so please join the list and give us feedback!

I think that’s all,

Posted on May 6, 2010 in Anomos by Rich 8 Comments »

There’s been a bit of hubbub in the geek media in the past few days about the dangers of using BitTorrent over Tor. This isn’t news to us here at ALE, but it’s come as a bit of an eyeopener to a lot of people. The TOR blog has written up a pretty good analysis about the problem called BitTorrent Over Tor Isn’t a Good Idea. In the comments, there are some kind words about Anomos. Unfortunately, there is a common misconception I’d like to dispel here: Anomos does NOT require that the tracker know your IP! You can be entirely anonymous while downloading and uploading over Anomos. I’ll explain.

Now normally when you connect, it looks like this:

In this case, yes, the tracker knows your IP, but other members in the network know nothing about your data transfers.

But, because Anomos announce requests to the tracker are done with HTTPS, you can also do this over Tor/Privoxy, like so:

In this case, the tracker has no idea who you are. First of all, this is hard to set up. It means installing additional software and fiddling with proxy settings, which is just too complicated for most users and goes against the Anomos philosophy of usable privacy. There are downsides to this – you will not be assigned to other peers in the network, you will only be able to connect out to peers, and not the other way around (this is the same effect as peers who don’t forward their ports.) This has a damaging affect on the network.

When all peers are reachable (the optimal scenario) – the graph of connectivity looks like this (where blue peers are connectable, and yellow ones aren’t):

And when 90% of peers are behind Tor, or aren’t forwarding their ports, the network looks like this:

He looks happy, but he’s not, because this means that there aren’t as many paths for file transfer to take, so the central peers will be overloaded and the network will become congested and slow. If every single person does this, nobody will be able to connect to each other, so it won’t work at all!

Anomos is designed with the assumption that at least some peers are only concerned about their neighbours spying on them, and that they trust the tracker enough to connect to it. However, those with more serious privacy concerns will be able to share files totally anonymously. This doesn’t only work with Tor, it will work with any proxy or anonymity network, like I2P. Some day, we’d like to distribute Anomos and Tor bundled together and configured for totally anonymous transfers right out of the box. For now, you’ll have to install Tor and Privoxy separately, then change the proxy settings on your own.

I hope this clears things up for everybody!

Posted on April 30, 2010 in Anomos by Rich 1 Comment »

Good news, everybody! Chris Ballinger has built upon the earlier work of Joao Almeida to create a version of Anomos 0.9.2 which works for OS X.

You can download it here.

To install it, you must copy both and CANVAS_OSX to your /Applications folder. Apparently, there are a few minor flaws (particularly, the info window doesn’t display), but transfer works. At least now it works at all, and we can start fixing the things that are broken.

It also looks like butt, but I’m convinced that if somebody were to dig around in the GTK themes, they could come up with something nice looking (Aqua on GTK on OSX? It’s theoretically possible, people have done it before. I just can’t do this myself because I don’t have a Mac.)

Anyway, great job Chris. As a test, the Anomos 0.9.2 DMG is also available to download via atorrent.

Happy atorrenting!,

Posted on April 20, 2010 in Anomos by Rich 6 Comments »

This is a minor but important update – all Windows users must switch to this version if they want to be able to transfer files. This introduces a lot of bugfixes and some changes to match recent modifications to the protocol (nothing major, just reducing some overhead). Apparently it’s also much better on Windows 7.

Windows users should click here to download the latest version! Linux users should pull from the git repository (more info on the Downloads page).

I’ve created two test atorrents for you to experiment with. The first is Patent Absurdity, a new documentary about software patents (CC-BY-SA). It features interviews with Tim Lee, who I met at the Free Culture X conference in DC. He is the man, you should listen to what he has to say!

The other is Collateral Murder, the complete footage of the film recently released by WikiLeaks.

If you download either of the atorrents, please seed them for as long as you can! I’m seeding them, but I don’t have very much bandwidth (1 DSL shared by twelve machines..) The network around our tracker is getting dangerously small, which is why transfers aren’t starting for some people. Also, please make sure that you forward your ports to your machine so that other people can connect to you! By default, Anomos uses 5061, but you can change this in the settings if you want to use the BitTorrent default of 6881.

Happy seeding,

Posted on April 9, 2010 in Anomos by Rich No Comments »

We’ve spent the weekend working on the Anomos specification as we prep for 1.0, and now we have this fancy document:

Before we stabilize the protocol at 1.0 and focus on stability and community development, we’d like to have as many people as we can look at the documentation and look for problems, either technical or linguistic. It’s not exactly light reading, but we’ve tried to write it so that anybody with a knowledge of BitTorrent will be able to read and comprehend it. If you do read it and you find any technical problems or grammatical mistakes, if you think something needs clarification, or if you have any other comments, please send an email to so we can bring your suggestions and changes into the 1.0 version.

Also note that this version describes changes which will break compatibility with the current builds, so those versions will stop working as we move to to test versions which match this protocol. We’ll be releasing new windows builds as we approach final testing.

Your help is very much appreciated and your contributions will be noted!

Posted on April 7, 2010 in Anomos by Rich 5 Comments »

Here at ALE we’re getting ready for our big 1.0 release, and to ease the transition from BitTorrent to Anomos, I’ve just committed a new script which will convert a .torrent file or a directory full of .torrent files to .atorrent files which use our tracker.

As The Pirate Bay released their own database of torrents, with this script, it would be easy to move the world’s largest collection of torrent data to Anomos format with a single command. If anybody is interested and tries this experiment, send me an email and let me know how it went.

To use the script, get the latest version of Anomos from the testing git branch (see the Downloads page), and then run:

python --path /path/to/torrent/directory/

and watch it go! You can also use the –announce argument to supply a different announce URL.

Keep your eyes open, we should be releasing the complete 1.0 documentation some time in the next week for all you hackers and geeks interested in the design of Anomos networks.

Posted on March 30, 2010 in Anomos by Rich 2 Comments »

Windows users – get it here! Linux users should checkout from our git repository (more information on the downloads page.)

The new version introduces a few new features and translations, greatly improves connectivity and is now finally fully compatible with Windows 7. It also breaks compatability with 0.9.0, so all users are strongly advised to download the latest version.

As always, you can still use our tracker, , to announce your atorrents and anonymously share your files. Tell your friends!

Mucho love,

Posted on March 11, 2010 in Anomos by Rich 6 Comments »

Holy shit! We had an awesome response for the call for translations – Anomos is now available in 9 different languages! How cool is that!

Here is a screenshot from a fan in Germany:

You can see all of the translations on our page. There are still plenty of languages left, so if you’re interested in helping us localize, please give it a shot!

In other news, there’s also a Top Secret project now under development – but I’ve already said too much – all will be revealed when the time is right.

Keep watching us!

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