Privacy View

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The Privacy View was introduced in Vuze 5.6.1.3 to gather together the various settings that control the privacy aspects of a download.

Introduction

The Privacy View can be selected via the sub-tabs section in the Library view:

Privacy View.png

If you are interested in controlling the networks that a download uses then make sure you read and understand the 'changing network selection' section below - one particular consequence of this is that you will want to either set the enabled networks in the 'torrent options dialog', when adding the download, or ensure that you add the torrent in a 'stopped' state (there is a 'privacy' button in the options dialog to simplify this). If you add a download in a running state and then adjust network settings then you will encounter the privacy issues associated with the change of settings.

If you are not consistently seeing the 'torrent options dialog' when adding a download then check the setting under

Tools->Options->Files: when opening a torrent, show options dialog

Privacy Level

The 'privacy level' slider allows you to change the networks enabled for a download in a straight forward fashion - the actual networks can be explicitly enabled/disabled by the checkboxes to the right of the slider if desired. Below the slider some information is shown regarding how the privacy level affects which trackers are active (both direct http(s)/udp trackers as well as decentralized tracking), how webseeds are affected and also, when the download is running, which networks connected peers belong to.

  • Public Only
All download activities will occur over the public internet
  • Public/Anonymous Mixing
If you have installed I2P and are downloading/seeding torrents via the public internet then running them as a mix between public and I2P is a great way to help out other users that have a censored public internet. The 'Public/I2P mix' destination will be used for connections.
While they may be unable to connect to the torrent publicly there is the opportunity for them to connect anonymously and successfully download.
By using Peer Sets is it also possible to configure things so that, for example, downloading occurs from both the public and I2P but uploading only occurs via I2P.
  • Anonymous Only
All download activities will occur over I2P and/or Tor - the 'I2P Only' destination will be used for connections.
  • Invalid
This denotes the state where no networks are enabled

Networks

Public Internet

This is the IPv4/IPv6 internet you know and love and use everyday for updating you Facebook status and watching cat videos. Privacy conscious users may well use a VPN or Proxy service to provide a level of privacy - these are centralized services run by organisations who may log your actions and also likely charge you for the pleasure.

I2P

I2P is an anonymous overlay network that is P2P friendly.

  • I2P destinations/addresses
I2P uses anonymous destinations to identify peers. Within Vuze you actually have multiple separate destinations to separate and decouple activity. In particular there are two addresses used for torrent download. One is used for torrents that have both the public and I2P networks enabled. The other is used for downloads that are purely I2P.
By default Vuze will change your I2P destinations on a weekly basis (when Vuze starts) - you can change the frequency of this, or force an explicit change, via the I2P settings.

Tor

Tor is not P2P friendly and as such should only be used for non-bulk transfer operations such as Trackers and to provide an alternative/indirect method for accessing the internet to circumvent censorship.

I2P Peer Lookup

The ability to explicitly search for decentralized I2P peers is useful when you add a public download and want to check to see if it can be downloaded anonymously as well.

Note that if the peer lookup fails to find any I2P peers this does not in general mean that it will be impossible to download via I2P as there may be peers with the download in a queued state that will start seeding to you once you appear in the swarm. You can always run the download anonymously for a while (say 30 minutes) and see how things work out. If no peers appear then you can consider switching to public downloading.

Note that the default bandwidth available for I2P peers is low, you will need to increase this if you want to achieve reasonable anonymous download rates.

Changing Network Selection

It is important to understand the implications of changing a download's network selection between one of the public selections and an anonymous one - doing so can allow an observer to correlate your public and anonymous activity and therefore de-anonymize you. This is particularly evident for incomplete downloads as your current download completion state can be an effective fingerprint.

Consider the bitfield of an example download at a point in time, viewable on the General tab:

Privacy BitField.png

Say you are downloading via the public internet and your IP address is 1.2.3.4 - other connected peers will see your bitfield against IP address 1.2.3.4. Now you switch to anonymous downloading (disconnecting all publicly connected peers) - if you happen to anonymously connect to one of the peers you were previously connected to they will see pretty much the same bitfield (with the addition of any subsequent downloaded pieces) against your anonymous address (e.g. hjtixkqcqppqplpihh4eztp7gitxo5yyibkngkvfq35eh4ug4zxa.b32.i2p). The peer can now be fairly confident that the two addresses represent the same peer (assuming that the swarm has the usual relatively random distribution of peer completion states).

Likewise, if you are downloading purely anonymously and switch to a mixed state, this will switch you from using your purely anonymous I2P address to using your separate 'mixed network' I2P address along with your public address, thus allowing correlation between all three addresses.

To mitigate against this you need to carefully consider making such changes to downloads that have started downloading (prior to actually starting the download changes can be safely made as no information has leaked to the swarm). If the download is incomplete then the safest thing would be to completely remove the download from Vuze (and delete any existing downloaded files), re-add it with the new network selection and start over. If the download is complete, and the swarm is active and has a lot of other seeds, then you may decide that switching networks presents an acceptable risk.

Other Settings

Peer Sources

You can control the ways that peers are located and how connections are established by using the Peer Sources selection. For example, to disable 'peer exchange' as a means of finding peers uncheck the 'supplied by another peer' option.

IP Filter

If you have setup an overall IP filter to filter peers connections based on IP address, this can be enabled/disabled on a per-download basis.

VPN/Proxies

For convenience the globally detected VPN and Proxy status is shown - this is not currently a download specific view.