Princeton University

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Anonymous HD Video Streaming and Reputations

Johan Pouwelse, Delft University of Technology
Engineering Quadrangle B205
Monday, December 1, 2014 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm

Abstract:  Privacy is non-existent for 99% of all web traffic. We provide Tor-like privacy protection for the most demanding class of Internet traffic: HD-quality video streams. To date, no viable solution has ever been presented for privacy-enhanced streaming. The challenge is to scale to one billion users, the current usage level of Youtube.
Youtube tracks what you like, when you view it, where you watch it and what your friends are viewing. Scaling privacy-enhancing technology while retaining security has proving to be insurmountable. Many proposals exists, but no system has any significant usage (e.g. 1+ million users) or has even been fully implemented. We present the first functional fully self-organising darknet for HD-quality video streaming. The key building block is our BarterCast reputation system, indicating which users help others by relaying their encrypted traffic. Our darknet, called Tribler, evolved over a period of nine years, has a thriving user community, comes with proper unit tests, coding tutorials, and is designed to be fault-tolerant by not relying on any central server, tracker or website.
Biography:  Dr. ir. J.A. Pouwelse is an associate professor at Delft University of Technology, specialized in self-organizing systems and privacy-enhancing technology. His research group conducts experimental research in the field of self-organizing systems, reputation systems, crowdsourcing, onion routing and peer-to-peer technology. The methodology of the group is proving the validity of novel scientific ideas with thousands of real-world Internet users. Our Tribler software is installed by 1.6 million users, it serves as a living laboratory and testing ground for next-generation self-organizing systems. Previously Dr. Pouwelse delivered a statement for the FTC in Washington, was a visiting scientist at MIT, and spent several summers at Harvard to study mechanisms for cooperation.