BitTorrent’s Project Maelstrom Will Protect The Free Internet With Reverse DDoS

The Pirate Bay is back online, but its recent take-down shows that there is an urgent need of a new, more resilient, decentralized and distributed Internet infrastructures and software platforms. In December, we reported that BitTorrent is testing a P2P web browser called Project Maelstrom, based on BitTorrent technology. Project Maelstrom is one of the ongoing initiatives aimed at building a new Internet that works like BitTorrent, decentralized and free. More Project Maelstrom news have been revealed recently.

Also read: Welcome to The New Internet, Decentralized and Free

Maelstrom Web Sites Will be Split and Served in Pieces Like Files Shared via BitTorrent

BitTorrentExtremeTech reports that Project Maelstrom is getting very close to reality, and a consumer version is expected this year. BitTorrent is looking to change the way websites are hosted by keeping the data not on a centralized server, but on the home computers of users. These sites would be split up into pieces just like a file shared via a torrent.

Project Maelstrom will make the Internet not only more open and free, but more efficient as well. When lots of users access a web server, it slows down. That is the basis of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, where hostile agents artificially create so many page hits that the central server slows to a halt. On the contrary, BitTorrent users know that when many people are downloading and seeding a file, the system becomes faster and more reliable, not less.

According to MIT Technology Review, the Maelstrom browser can access conventional websites. But it can also be used to publish and browse websites that don’t reside on any particular server, known as torrent Web pages. To access a site published in that way, the browser grabs the data from the browsers of people who are already viewing it or have visited the site recently.

Rob Velasquez, a product manager at BitTorrent, told MIT Technology Review that the peer-to-peer method used by BitTorrent makes it possible to deal very efficiently with large crowds and provides resistance against denial-of-service attacks that shut down sites by bombarding them with traffic.

JBG News notes that Project Maelstrom could protect websites against DDoS attacks:

“The key difference between it and other programs is that Maelstrom would keep the data needed to access websites in a network of users already accessing said site, rather than bank solely on servers. In that sense, it’s the reverse of a DDoS attack; the intent is to have systems remain stable – if not have an increase in speed and usability – as more users access a site or service. If it works as planned, then peer-to-peer file sharing could make for a powerful tool in the online space.”

Many people applied to participate in Project Maelstrom alpha testing. I applied because I consider it as one of the most important current developments in Internet technology, one that has a bit potential to revolutionize our Internet and make it better. I haven’t been invited to participate in the alpha test yet. Those lucky enough to participate are beginning to share some information in the Project Maelstrom section of the BitTorrent Forums.

Images from BitTorrent and Shutterstock.

Giulio Prisco is a freelance writer specialized in science, technology, business and future studies.