Eclipse And Re-Emergence Of Anonymous P2P Storage Network Overlay Services

Marios Isaakidis and George Danezis

As soon as anonymous peer-to-peer (P2P) storage networks came to be in the early 2000s, developers found themselves with a new playground for creating privacy enhancing tools.  In many ways di erent to the now dominant client-server architecture, a whole generation of distributed overlay services emerged, offering a viable option for asynchronous messaging and bulletin boards. Tor onion services have rekindled interest in anonymous network overlay services and are spawning a new bunch of promising applications.  Arguably, a significant subset of them has chosen Tor without properly evaluating the properties of alternative anonymity systems. In an effort  to  guide  the  Privacy  Enhancing  Technologies developer community towards the best design decisions, we are revisiting the key features of anonymous P2P storage networks; we showcase overlay applications currently in use; and finally share our experience with CENO, a distributed censorship circumvention service on top of Freenet.