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I have seen various sources saying this should not be done, and the argument is that the network cannot handle the load. Fine.

But what I want to ask about is the following: what if someone created a dedicated tor torrent client, that accepts non torrent traffic from the tor network too. The torrenters would get what they want: anonymous torrenting. And the rest of the tor users would get more nodes which participate in the network, increasing both capacity, and traffic to help obfuscate any one users activity.

Seems like a win/win, but I am no expert.

  • Tor is unlike I2P: being a relay and a client at the same time helps little with anonymity (and opens up to more possible attacks). – nobody Dec 23 '18 at 8:43
  • @nobody - I don't understand the relevance of I2P. Are you saying this idea might work with I2P, but not tor? Can you elaborate? – Chechy Levas Dec 23 '18 at 8:57
  • Tor has many designs that don't work well with bittorrent, most significantly long-lived circuits, which mean every bittorrent connection will hold a circuit open and overload the network; also render relay traffic easily distinguishable from client traffic. Let alone the fact that the Tor network only operates well when network churn is low (no bunches of relays going up and down frequently) and relays have good connectivity to each other. – nobody Dec 31 '18 at 6:23
  • You can take a closer look at Tribler. It is more like what you described. – nobody Jan 1 at 2:49
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This is a thing... but it's not called Tor. There are a few network protocols that do this stuff. What you describe is probably closest to the I2P network which has torrenting built into it.

You could make a torrent client that also doubled as a Tor Bridge, Relay, Exit node, but most users of it would be pissed to find their torrent-client made them a tor-exit-node with all the legal headaches that entails in most countries.

Point is Tor is a way to gain anonymity by proxying your traffic through volunteers running bridges and relays. The bridges and relays are NOT anonymous, and running one is big flashing light to your ISP.

Not that running a bridge or relay node is not a good thing, or something that could / should be done. It just is not anonymous and making it so requires a different skill set than running a torrent client.

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