Friend-to-friend

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See also: P2P | Cryptography | Groupware | Privacy | WASTE

Acronym: F2F

A particular type of anonymous P2P computer network in which people only use direct connections with their "friends". The primary difference between F2F and other anonymous P2P networks is in the routing method of their respective network architectures. F2F clients allow only trusted individuals (using cryptographic signatures) to connect directly to your node.

Dan Bricklin introduced the term F2F in August 11, 2000 bricklin.com

WASTE is an example of a F2F network. Both MUTE and Napshare can also be configured to build an F2F network.

Uses of F2F

  • F2F prevents random people from proving that your IP address can be used to get some controversial files (and as soon as you know all the IP addresses of your friends, you can even use a firewall to block all the other addresses from accessing your node port)
  • F2F that use link encryption but no end-to-end encryption (Mute and WASTE) allow you to control what kind of files your friends exchange with your node, in order to stop them from exchanging offensive files. In WASTE, bad clients can merely be removed from the pool of Public Keys. Other services may require using a firewall to block an individual's IP or simply warning the user.
  • Fewer security problems: since only your friends can connect to your node, no random cracker can try to break into your computer by connecting with your P2P node, exploiting a bug in the software. Dangerous documents (i.e. with viruses, buffer overflow attacks...) could even be avoided using strong reputation-based networks (see "Future uses" below)

Future uses of F2F

  • Strong encrypted F2F networks will only use strong symetric encryption for every link. This can only be achived in real F2F networks, since communication with someone you never met in person must use asymetric encryption to avoid serious Man-In-The-Middle problems.
  • A very strong reputation-based network could be built using these strong, encrypted F2F network: each document on this network would be certified as being true by all of the nodes that forward them (if a document appeared to be false, then you can decrease the reputation of the friend that sent it to you and block this document from being exchanged again).

what F2F is not

  • A F2F can be more effective than an encrypted private FTP (SFTP)server. Your F2F node can forward a file (or a request for a file) anonymously between two of your friends (when forwarding a file or a request between them, your node doesn't tell any of them who is the other and what is the other address). Then those friends can in turn forward anonymously this same file (or request) to one of their own friends. And so on.
  • A F2F is different from a private DirectConnect hub, since inside a DC hub everyone can know and use all the IP addresses of all the users (even when the address is from a friend from a friend from a friend..., someone you may never know)


External links