Some people assume that if you use a file-sharing BitTorrent-like program, then you must intend to pirate something. That\u2019s hardly true, as one of the first instructional steps when taking an online penetration testing class is to download uTorrent to handle some \u201clarge\u201d programs you will need for ethical hacking classes. It\u2019s not required, as you can otherwise download security tools, just suggested. \u00a0But no matter what you what want a BitTorrent client for, you \u2013 via your IP \u2013 are not anonymous when using it without taking additional steps such as using a VPN or proxy.Tribler, created by Delft University of Technology researchers about a decade ago, is now conducting a public test of its BitTorrent client aimed at providing anonymity. To accomplish anonymous downloading, Tribler has incorporated Tor-like onion routing. \u201cWe now support a subset of the TOR onion routing protocol,\u201d Tribler explained. \u201cOur custom onion network is enhanced to allow everyone to function as a relay. Even people behind a restrictive NAT box can join and help others protect their privacy.\u201dTribler leader Dr. Johan Pouwelse told Torrent Freak\u2019s Ernesto, \u201cThe Tribler anonymity feature aims to make strong encryption and authentication the Internet default.\u201dBitTorrent users have no privacy protection. In explaining how Tribler works, the team noted in step two, \u201cBy using one proxy layer, all downloads now go through other computers. All direct contact with the Bittorrent swarm is gone. The proxy layer is simply a set of computers that relay messages between you and the Bittorrent swarm. However, you need to fully trust all these selected proxies, they can see exactly what you download. The proxies encrypt the data, only you can read it.\u201dTribler added three layers of proxies to enhance privacy as explained in step three. \u201cThree layers of protection make it difficult to trace you. Proxies no longer need to be fully trusted. A single bad proxy can not see exactly what is going on. The first proxy layer encrypts the data for you and each next proxy adds another layer of encryption. You are the only one who can decrypt these three layers correctly. Tribler uses three proxy layers to make sure bad proxies that are spying on people can do little damage.\u201dSeveral \u201cdarknet streaming\u201d functionality goals were previously listed in Pouwelse\u2019s comments on GitHub, which include eventually making the seeder anonymous as well. \u00a0Seeders are currently unprotected, but in future \u201cfixes\u201d to Tribler:Uploading is just as anonymous as downloading with hidden seeding. We will add proxy layers for the seeder, similar to steps 2 and 3 above. The beauty of hidden seeding is that it can encrypt the content already in such a manner that only the downloader can read it (end-to-end encryption). This creates a darknet that is quite safe. Tribler Almost 2.5 years ago, Tribler\u2019s lead researcher told Torrent Freak, \u201cThe only way to take it down is to take the Internet down.\u201d As Ernesto put it, \u201cEven if all torrent sites were shut down today, Tribler users would still be able to find and add new content.\u201d Add enhanced privacy to the point of anonymity to that mix and surely it\u2019s something worth supporting by participating in the Tribler test?Trbiler is not using the Tor network; using BitTorrent services over Tor can be done \u2013 even when using Popcorn Time \u2013 but it is generally not a good idea (pdf). Some people suggest trying it over I2P, but in July it was a vulnerability in I2P that allowed Exodus Intelligence to de-anonymize Tails users.There\u2019s no guarantees, of course, and that goes for staying \u201canonymous\u201d with Tor as well, such as was pointed out in \u201cUsers Get Routed: Traffic Correlation on Tor by Realistic Adversaries\u201d (pdf). But if you like the idea of darknet streaming and anonymity, then it would be great if you help Tribler test the anonymous download feature.\u00a0The disclaimer warns, \u201cDo not put yourself in danger. Our anonymous download feature is not yet finished. This version of Tribler automatically downloads a single 50MByte test file anonymously. We are sharing the design and code so that the community can test and evaluate it. This helps us make sure that it\u2019s as secure as it needs to be before people start relying on it.\u201dThere\u2019s more about Tribler anonymity specifications for developers on GitHub and real-time relay bandwidth stats for the curious.