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BitTorrent Opens Up Its Sync Alpha To the Public For Windows, Mac, and Linux 49

Posted by Soulskill
from the solutions-in-search-of-problems dept.
An anonymous reader writes "BitTorrent on Tuesday announced it has released its file synchronization tool Sync into open alpha. You can download the latest version now for Windows, Mac, and Linux over at labs.bittorrent.com. The company first announced its Sync software back in January, explaining at the time that it uses peer-to-peer technology to synchronize personal files across multiple computers and devices."
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BitTorrent Opens Up Its Sync Alpha To the Public For Windows, Mac, and Linux

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  • Re:Advantages? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sirber (891722) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @04:50PM (#43529517) Homepage
    look at it as a decentralized dropbox. rsync is a manual solution and doesn't work/easy well on windows and requires manual router configuration.
  • Re:Use encryption (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JobyOne (1578377) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @04:52PM (#43529541) Homepage Journal

    RTFA

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @05:37PM (#43530051)

    Exactly. I try not to be a zealot for FOSS, but this just seems like the sort of software that I would want to make damn sure the public can see the source on. You don't get to just say "It's encrypted!" and have me believe everything was done correctly.

  • by RanceJustice (2028040) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @06:56PM (#43530843)

    After reading over threads such as http://forum.bittorrent.com/topic/8816-will-syncapp-be-open-source/ [bittorrent.com] on their website, I am disappointed to find that SyncApp (as well as Surf, and Live, other BTLabs projects) is not currently open source, and apparently the most they're shooting for at the moment is some sort of API in the future. While I was initially intrigued by Sync's feature set, especially the "shared secret" encryption variations (master key, one way sync, one time sync and more.), as well as that they could be integrated within BitTorrent's existing (and open source) protocols such as DHT, using a BitTorrent tracker, PEX, stream encryption etc, when I read that the implementation was not planning to be free and open source, that is a major blow to its long-term viability as part of next-generation file-sharing protocols.

    Especially in a world of "Six Strikes", overzealous industry groups and corporate cronies, government censorship and more, it is absolutely imperative that the tools that those interested in privacy, activism, journalism etc...be free and open source. From being able to audit the code if you have the skills, to crafting decentralized and inter-operative networks across multiple platforms, operating systems and more etc... FOSS is necessary. I can nearly guarantee that if the original BitTorrent protocol had not been released free and open source (along with many of the most popular evolutions of said protocol, such as DHT/PEX/uTP, encryption, private trackers etc..) it would not have come to such prominence. I personally am no fan of the proprietary uTorrent client, but thankfully I can make use of Deluge, KTorrent, or Transmission and have access to the latest features on the BitTorrent network, able to interact with others so long as they were using open protocols. I'd love to see this extend to Sync, which I feel could be excellent not just for users syncing their data amongst multiple computing devices of their own, or sharing with friends, but creating another protective web when it comes to file-sharing, adding privacy protections - an intermediary step that doesn't have nearly the speed/hardware demands of say, operating BitTorrent exclusively through Tor.

    Sync, Torque/btapp.js (One has to install the proprietary, headless Torque client (or uTorrent) which has very little documentation on its features/privacy etc... why not have them simply integrate with an open API that any BT client with sufficient support can be called to utilize - thus, using all the safety features like my blocklist, encryption preferences etc... in my client of choice?), Live, Surf (Which I hope will be open and customizable, available on Firefox ASAP,) SoShare - all of these BitTorrent Labs productions sadly seam to be proprietary in nature (though, I must give them kudos for offering Linux versions of Sync for instance). Much like the acquisition of the proprietary uTorrent and the "Plus" version of the client being sold, BitTorrent's latest ventures seem to be steering away from the free and open source paradigm that made the protocol such a great advance in filesharing.

    When it comes to file sharing in today's legal and technical clime, proprietary and centralized just won't do. What Sync offers is novel and could create additional layers of security (consider an entire tracker using Sync technology where connecting to each torrent requires a unique "Shared secret", which is available exclusively on a totally different site, extrapolating another legal level of obfuscation, deny-ability, and privacy protection), the community cannot trust it offered as a proprietary service with a central point of failure (legally) and the inability to audit the code. Hopefully, this will change and that Sync and other elements will help to extend BitTorrent as the excellent, multifaceted, free and open tool for disseminating data... but for the time being, it is a curiosity that is in the hands of a company that seems to put profit and control above user privacy and technical freedom/openness

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