The Silk Road: back. Back. BACK!
Named after The Silk Road that was a 4,000 mile stretch of of trade routes that were central to cultural interaction through regions of the Asian continent connecting the West and East by linking traders and that, from China and India to the Mediterranean Sea during various periods of time
The Silk Road site, now named 'Silk Road Reloaded' like some classic line-up tour, is using an alternative network called the Invisible Internet Project (I2P) and you can only get at it via special secret software.
In order to access the new Silk Road, interested parties need to download I2P software. The website URL is silkroadreloaded.i2p, but standard internet browsers will realize that the site is inaccessible. Without the software, there’s no way in. Oh noes!
Do you know what I2P is? Well handily we've cut and pasted that info for you from their official site because we're nice like that.
"To anonymize the messages sent, each client application has their I2P ‘router’ build a few inbound and outbound ‘tunnels’ – a sequence of peers that pass messages in one direction (to and from the client, respectively). In turn, when a client wants to send a message to another client, the client passes that message out one of their outbound tunnels targeting one of the other client’s inbound tunnels, eventually reaching the destination. Every participant in the network chooses the length of these tunnels, and in doing so, makes a tradeoff between anonymity, latency, and throughput according to their own needs. The result is that the number of peers relaying each end to end message is the absolute minimum necessary to meet both the sender’s and the receiver’s threat model."
“The first time a client wants to contact another client, they make a query against the fully distributed ‘network database’ – a custom structured distributed hash table (DHT) based off the Kademlia algorithm. This is done to find the other client’s inbound tunnels efficiently, but subsequent messages between them usually includes that data so no further network database lookups are required.”
It all sounds a bit 'Thom-Yorke-will-probably-release-an-album-via-it-soon' doesn't it?
I2P claims to offer anonymous internet browsing, by utilising a distributed network database along with peer selection, as opposed to TOR’s centralized directory-based approach. While TOR has a much bigger database and significant funding, I2P claims their service is faster and optimised for hidden services.
So there you go. You can smell the warm pants of trouble around this already.