DHT-based download scanners vs Torrent Checker


Dear community!
Starting from Release 7.3.0 Tribler includes a new module called “Torrent checker”. This component is constantly running in background checking statuses of torrents known to your Tribler instance. Then, it shares the knowledge with Triblers of other users. This subsystem uses BitTorrent DHT for the queries.

Then, there are some websites that provide a service of “listing the stuff you downloaded”. Due to the nature of Bittorrent network, they can’t really tap into your traffic exchange with other peers. Instead, these services use information about queries into the DHT network. However, this information is wildly inaccurate for at least three reasons:

  1. Very often a lot of people share the same IPv4 address simultaneously (e.g. sitting behind the same NAT installed by the ISP).
  2. Even more often, IPv4 address is assigned dynamically, meaning that someone used it before you. Typically, IPv4 addresses are re-assigned nightly during e.g., the automated restart of the modem session.
  3. Checking the status of a torrent does not pre-suppose downloading it.

This means that from a legal standpoint it is almost impossible to put some particular person under suspicion on the basis of their DHT checks. However, just in case you want to be extra safe, you can disable the Torrent Checker by putting enabled = False into your triblerd.conf file under the [torrent_checking] section:
[torrent_checking] enabled = False
Unfortunately, our current Channels GUI was not supposed to work without the Torrent Checker component. If you disable the Torrent Checker as indicated above, you will experience GUI errors when trying to check the health of a torrent in the GUI. However, other GUI functions like anonymous downloading should still work fine.

We’re sorry for the inconvenience. In future versions, we will add the setting in the GUI to disable the Torrent Checker or at least make the calls anonymous.
Stay tuned!


7.3.0 seems to have a bug
IKnowWhatYouDownload.com show "annonymous" downloads
Supposedly anonymous Tribler activity being shown on IP address spying websites (9/19/19)

Thx for clarification!