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Stealth: Peer-to-Peer Anonymization System Announced

MONTREAL, CANADA - A security expert working in stealth mode for the last three years announced today a breakthrough system for protecting web surfers against invasions of privacy. The system will use the same kind of decentralized peer-to-peer network popularized by Napster and Gnutella. Flyster will allow surfers participating in the network to anonymize each others' communications, letting each user decide how much of that information the surfer is willing to reveal. "The death of centralized anonymization services has left a huge void", said Flyster developer Louis-Eric Simard, "poorly filled by alternative technologies. This leaves surfers flagging in the wind, with no way to protect themselves against privacy intruders." Such intruders include ad agencies, tracking systems using web bugs, IP location services, and mail-bug developers.

"Since September 11, certain companies, using bugs and spyware, have systematically abused the goodwill of customers and citizens; abusing our rights -- including wholesale collection of information against our will or knowledge to build sellable customer profiles -- has nothing to do with national security. My corner store can't use that excuse to peep through my windows; why could it do otherwise when its web site is on the net ?"

Flyster lets individual users decide how much of their private lives, if any, will be divulgated to the web sites and people they visit and do business with.

"People have voiced the concern, around such technologies, that it would hamper the work of law enforcement", Simard continued. "This is not so as no system, whether peer-to-peer or centralized, can really escape traffic analysis attacks". Traffic analysis methodologies trace the progress of communications, from source to destination, by cross-referencing the initiation of connections with the reception of such connections, through any kind of network. Those kinds of attack let organizations with broad views of the network know which users connect with suspicious servers.

The software, currently in Alpha state, will be released at the end of July.

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Louis-Eric Simard