Coursera to Open Learning Centers Around the World in Partnership with State Department

From Businessweek:
Coursera Inc. will offer free online courses in more than 30 locations around the world, mostly in third-world countries, bringing instruction to students who lack computer access. 

Under an agreement with the State Department, courses will be available at some U.S. embassies, the Mountain View, California-based company said today. All but one of the sites are outside the U.S., including Baghdad; Port au Prince, Haiti; and Hanoi, Vietnam.
Students can take the courses, have reliable Internet access and learn from local course facilitators, Coursera said. Along with the State Department, the University of Trinidad and Tobago and Overcoming Faith Academy, an orphanage in Kenya, are among the groups hosting the space. Of the more than 5 million students who have signed up for the free courses, about 1.2 million are from emerging markets, said Yin Lu, who leads the company’s growth and international outreach efforts.

RIAA Complaint Demonstrates Their Incomprehension of Technologies They Oppose

Really, laugh out loud.  From Torrent Freak:
The RIAA alerted the U.S. Government to several notorious pirate websites this week, including The Pirate Bay. While the inclusion of the infamous torrent site doesn’t come as a surprise, the RIAA did raise a novel issue. The music labels point out that The Pirate Bay has embraced the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, which they believe makes it harder to seize and trace the site’s funds. While the former is certainly true, a quick look at TPB’s Bitcoin wallet easily reveals where the donation money is being spent.

An Interview With Al Sweigart, Author of Three Introductory Books on Python

Albert Sweigart is a software developer who lives in San Francisco.  To date he has published three introductory books on Python, all of which can be downloaded for free from his website Invent With Python.  Readers may recall the review of his most recent book, Hacking Secret Ciphers with Python, that I posted here last month, which was one of the most popular posts to date here at the aGupieWare blog.  Over the weekend, Al was kind enough to answer a few questions via email for an interview.  

Q: First, thanks for taking the time for this interview. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your programming background? 

A: I started programming in BASIC when I was in the 3rd grade, which I always hate to say because it makes people believe that you have to start programming at a young age to become proficient in it. All of my programs up until college were pretty much variations of the same program. I didn’t really teach myself all that much, and these days anyone could do in a few months what I did in those several years.

Q:  You've published three introductory books on Python, all of which are available on your website  The first two, "Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python", and its sequel, "Making Games with Python and Pygame," are geared toward kids, while the third, "Hacking Secret Ciphers with Python," seems to be intended more for an adult audience.  How have the three books been received? 

A: Altogether, the books seemed fairly well received. I was surprised that people liked my first book, which led me to continue writing. The Amazon reviews are almost exclusively 5 and 4 stars, and I get an occasional Thank You email from readers. “Hacking Secret Ciphers with Python” is probably a bit much for young kids, but I think teenagers and adults would be able to digest it.

Q: Do you see the cryptography book as a step in a different direction, or as an extension of the puzzles and games introduced in the earlier works? 

A: I saw it as a different direction. Video games are a great way to get people involved in programming, but I wanted something else as well. I noticed that there were a lot of code and cipher books that talked about the classical ciphers the book covers, but very few that explained how to break them and none about how to write programs to break them. I saw it as an opportunity to reach a broader audience. The book itself is also aimed at people with absolutely no prior programming or cryptography experience.

Q: What has drawn you to python?  What do you think are its strengths and weaknesses?   
A: Python is a very readable scripting language. Unlike Perl which has very obtuse use of punctuation characters for different language features, and unlike Java which has an overwhelming amount of boilerplate code, Python seems to be a very direct, “get it done” language. It also has a very gentle learning curve. I’ve written a blog article before about how Python isthe new BASIC.  I use Python for both my own software projects and for teaching programming. At this point, I’ve become so accustomed to Python and its idioms that I’m afraid I’ve become blind to its weaknesses, so I really couldn’t think of any.

Q: What are your favorite python modules?

A: Pygame is excellent for creating games and 2D graphical applications. I’ve written a couple modules that work on top of Pygame called Pygcurse and Pyganim, which add a curses-console for text games and sprite animation, respectively. Lately I’ve started using Requests and Beautiful Soup for downloading and parsing web pages for my Python script. (I’ve written a simple Reddit bot that automatically checks several different web comics and posts them to the r/comics section of the site.) I have some experience with wxPython for creating GUIs for traditional desktop apps, but I’ve heard good things about Qt bindings for Python as well.

Q: Do you currently have any new python books in the works?

A: I’m writing a new Python-for-beginners book with NoStarch Press, which tentatively has the title “Automate with Python”. I’ve described it as “a programming book for people who don’t want to become software developers”. I noticed a lot of office workers, administrators, and academics do a lot of computer-based tasks that involve a lot of mindless, repetitive clicking or compiling of data. This book aims to teach them just enough programming so that they can automate these tasks. It covers basic Python, and then goes into several different modules for text parsing, web scraping, moving and renaming large amounts of files, updating spreadsheets, or sending automated emails and text message alerts. I’m hoping to have it available by summer of 2014.

Q: You accept bitcoin donations through your website.  Have you worked on, or are you currently working on, any Bitcoin related projects?  Can you speak to the intersection of Bitcoin and Python? 

A: I had only added it to the site after other people on the internet suggested it, but I’m glad I did. As with many people, bitcoin had been in my periphery for a while. But setting up the wallet for the donation link forced me to learn more about it. Although as of yet I haven’t worked on any bitcoin projects (if anything, the Tor Project will get my focus once I’ve finished the next book). But for all the negative publicity that bitcoin gets regarding its use to buy drugs and illegal things (all of which, by the way, can apply to cash) I’m really excited about it. It allows minors and people in third world countries to conduct commerce over the internet, and that is a Big Deal.

As to Bitcoin and Python, I think that having a new ability to receive and send money over the internet without middlemen (e.g. Visa) along with open source software like Python really lowers the barrier-to-entry for software development outside of America and traditional software-producing strongholds.

Q: Like your other works, the cryptography book can be read online or downloaded for free.  But if a reader purchases it, you donate all proceeds of the book to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Creative Commons and the Tor Project.  Why did you decide to donate the proceeds for the book on cryptography?

A: It was the suicide of Aaron Swartz, to whom the book is dedicated to, that made the decision for me. I hadn’t met Aaron, though I have friends who were friends of him. His passing was a tragedy, but also a wake-up call for myself. Looking at his life really made me start looking at mine and how I wanted to make contributions like he had. At the time I was, after two years of off-and-on writing, a couple months away from finishing “Hacking Secret Ciphers with Python”. The other books were selling well, and I had a day job that gave me a comfortable middle-class lifestyle. So I decided that I would turn the proceeds from the books over to help organizations that are doing some really wonderful and necessary things to protect the internet.

Q: What advice would you give to young and not so young beginning programmers?  

A: My main piece of advice is that you suck at coding and will continue to suck for the rest of your life. Once you’ve accepted that, you’ll be able to move on and write some interesting software. Don’t worry about the nagging feeling that you aren’t good enough or know enough, because that feeling will be permanent no matter what you do. And if it doesn’t, it’s because you’ve given up on forcing yourself to learn new things (which is the real danger.)

Also, you’re never too old or too bad at math to learn to code. Most programming doesn’t even require mathematical knowledge beyond arithmetic, and unless you’re in your sixties or seventies you aren’t even too old to become a professional software developer. Programming isn’t something that requires you to be a super genius to do. More than anything, having an interest and motivation to act on that interest is all you need to be set on the right path.

Q: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!

Are US Broadband Customers Bein Gouged?

From Ars Technica:
A new study confirms what you might have expected: US customers are getting hosed when it comes to broadband speeds and prices.  The annoying trend holds true in both wired and wireless service. In the Cost of Connectivity 2013 report being released today by the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute, researchers note that "in larger US cities, we continue to observe higher prices for slower speeds. … In the US for example, the best deal for a 150Mbps home broadband connection from cable and phone companies is $130/month, offered by Verizon FiOS in limited parts of New York City. By contrast, the international cities we surveyed offer comparable speeds for $77 or less per month, with most coming in at about $50/month. When it comes to mobile broadband, the cheapest price for around 2GB of data in the US ($30/month from T-Mobile) is twice as much as what users in London pay ($15/month from T-Mobile). It costs more to purchase 2GB of data in a US city than it does in any of the cities surveyed in Europe." The analysis compares costs across countries by using purchasing power parity exchange rates.

Firefox Add-on Helps Users Watch the Watchers

From Lightbeam:
Using interactive visualizations, Lightbeam enables you to see the first and third party sites you interact with on the Web. As you browse, Lightbeam reveals the full depth of the Web today, including parts that are not transparent to the average user. Using three distinct interactive graphic representations — Graph, Clock and List — Lightbeam enables you to examine individual third parties over time and space, identify where they connect to your online activity and provides ways for you to engage with this unique view of the Web.

NSA Website Bumped Offline By Alleged DDoS Attack

What goes around comes around.  From NBC:
The official website of the National Security Agency,, is offline and has been for several hours. Not only that, but the rumor being jubilantly spread around the net is that it is a deliberate denial-of-service attack.  Downtime-tracking service reports that the site has been unavailable since about 2 p.m. ET.

Large government webpages don't tend to go down for hours for no reason, but it has not been confirmed yet whether this is an attack or simply a technical problem.

Chrome Auto-Complete May Be Undermining Your Data Security

From Yoast:
Today at Pubcon Matt Cutts of Google once again promoted the use of autocomplete-type, a new property for web forms that works in Chrome (and possibly other browsers, I haven’t checked). Google first introduced it back in January 2012 in this post. I wanted to do this quick post to tell you to turn off autocomplete in your browser.

This test URL will show you why quicker than I can explain it in words. Please try it and come back. If you’re using autocomplete to, for instance, sign up for an email newsletter, you might have just provided that website with your full address and/or (even worse) your credit card details too.

Court Rules that Constitutional Protections Do Not Apply to "Hackers"

Are you keeping up with today's newspeak?  From Digitalbond:
The US District Court for the State of Idaho ruled that an ICS product developer’s computer could be seized without him being notified or even heard from in court primarily because he states on his web site “we like hacking things and don’t want to stop”. . . .

Apple to Offer iWork Suite for Free on New Macs

From CNET:
Apple showed off revamped versions of its iLife and iWork apps Tuesday at its event in San Francisco. Both suites of apps, which include Garageband, iPhoto and Pages, are now free with any Mac computer or iOS device purchase.  Apple is calling this the biggest update to iWork ever, though some of the changes are subtle. The most notable change, is a brand-new sharing feature that marries iWork on your Mac or iOS devices with the iWork for iCloud beta, Apple's office apps for the Web. You can now start a document or project on one device and pick up where you left off on another. Files that you share via iCloud can be opened by up to 20 people at once and edited in real-time. You can also edit documents from the web, through the iCloud website, which challenge's Google's cloud-based and web-based Google Drive, which offers word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation apps. iWork for iCloud is still in beta and works on Safari, Chrome, and Internet Explorer.

Senate Makes Another Push for Internet Censorship

From Mother Jones:
This summer, when Edward Snowden dropped his bombshell about PRISM, the NSA's vast Internet spying program, the House had recently passed a bill called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). Widely criticized by privacy advocates, CISPA aimed to beef up US cybersecurity by giving tech companies the legal freedom to share even more cyber information with the US government—including the content of Americans' emails, with personal information intact. CISPA supporters, among them big US companies such as Verizon and Comcast, spent 140 times more money on lobbying for the bill than its opponents, according to the Sunlight Foundation. But after Snowden's leaks, public panic over how and why the government uses personal information effectively killed the bill. Now that the dust has settled a bit, NSA director Keith Alexander is publicly asking for the legislation to be re-introduced, and two senators confirmed that they are drafting a new Senate version.
"I am working with Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) on bipartisan legislation to facilitate the sharing of cyber related information among companies and with the government and to provide protection from liability," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) told Mother Jones in a statement.
With both Democrat and Republican support, we can safely presume this legislation will be doubly bad.  

Filling the Vacuum After the Silk Road Bust

From Atlantisblog:
It’s almost two weeks since I reported on the race to create Silk Road 2.0 and it seems the mass migration is well underway with existing sites busting at the seams to accommodate the huge increase in traffic with some sites witnessing a 600% increase in listings in two weeks alone and with several more in the final stages of testing it looks like it won’t be long before silk roads legacy of 12,000 drug listings are divided out among its suitors. So who will be the big winners and losers in the battle for the spoils? Well it would seem Sheep Marketplace with its slick interface and easy to navigate listings has seen the biggest explosion in growth while the well established heir to the throne Black Market Reloaded has almost doubled it number of drug listings despite having to temporally close the site on several occasions due to huge influx of traffic and a security breach on another occasion.

This morning the Silk Road subreddit graced me with a list containing links to many new TOR marketplace sites and since many of these are still untested and unproven I decided now might be a good time to assess the state of the union and check  each of them out for myself.

The rest of this post goes into quite a bit of detail on each market so if you are looking for a tl;dr It’s my opinion the new Silk Road [2.0] site is going to be the one to watch and for second place it’s a total free for all.  Below are the most promising sites I’ve seen, I could have listed more but if you cant get what your looking for on one of these I don’t think it exists.

Microsoft Releases Remote Desktop App for Android and iOS

From The Next Web:
In addition to the release of Windows 8.1, Microsoft today launched Microsoft Remote Desktop for Android and iOS, bringing the Windows desktop to phones and tablets. You can download the free app now directly from Google Play and Apple’s App Store.
As its name implies, the app lets you can connect to a remote PC while on the go. This is mainly aimed at business users looking to get their work done from wherever they are, but you can use the Remote Desktop client for your own purposes . . .

NSA Spying Revelations Boost Strong Crypto

Of course, there is no such thing as unbreakable encryption, but what do you expect from the corporate media?  From Fortune:
As revelations about the depth and breadth of the NSA's digital eavesdropping program continue to come to light, Ohio-based Battelle Memorial Institute is rolling out a new kind of network encryption designed to be virtually un-hackable -- not only now, but in the future. The non-profit research and development contractor has installed the first quantum key distribution (QKD) protected network in the U.S. linking its headquarters in Columbus to those in its manufacturing facilities in Dublin, Ohio, some 20 miles away.

Brazil Planning Encrypted Email Service

Following on the hells of German, from BBC:
Brazil has confirmed plans to create a secure email service, following revelations of cyber-surveillance techniques used by the US and UK.
President Dilma Rousseff posted a series of tweets over the weekend, saying the move was required to "prevent possible espionage".  She added the country's Federal Data Processing Service (Serpro) would be charged with developing the system.
One expert said the tech involved was well established but had limitations.
"There's a good precedent for this with the German provider," said Prof Ross Anderson, head of the security research group at the University of Cambridge's computer laboratory.
"They just need to tell a company to keep the servers in Brazil, encrypt all the traffic inside or outside the country, and only give access to Brazilian police and intelligence services.
"Bang, finished, it's trivial. It's a well understood and well solved problem."
He said that the Brazilian system could be designed to interact with Gmx and equivalent encrypted services, in which case the NSA (US National Security Agency) and GCHQ (UK Government Communications Headquarters) would effectively be shut out unless the countries where the relevant servers were based decided to co-operate.

Germany Plans National Communications Network Hub

From The Local:
Telekom now wants to go a step further by using domestic only connections to protect the private data of German users in the wake of the NSA spying scandal. Whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed a massive electronic surveillance programme by the US and British security agencies.

Email data is currently exchanged between users worldwide via international network hubs, where the data is processed and then sent on to its destination.

But this system has come into disrepute since information leaked by Snowden showed the US and UK governments had used the hubs to spy on millions of private emails.

Deutsche Telekom's plan would change the system so that emails between German users are no longer transferred via the international hubs, but stay in networks within German borders.

Chrome Cache Security Vulnerability

Make sure to dump that cache.  From USA Today:
A major security flaw in Google's popular Chrome browser was exposed on Thursday by data management firm Identity Finder.  The flaw comes into play anytime you type personal information into webforms at trusted websites or directly into the Chrome browser address bar.

Researchers found that Chrome's caching mechanism routinely stores names, e-mail addresses, street addresses, phone numbers, bank account numbers, social security numbers and credit card numbers directly onto your hard drive in plain text -- without your knowledge or consent.  The function of a browser cache is to store files from websites, mainly to speed display of web pages on your next visit.  It's trivial for anyone with physical access to your computer to view and copy all of this sensitive personal data.

ICANN Concerned Massive Government Surveillance Erodes Trust and Confidence in Internet

A statement issued by ICANN:
The leaders of organizations responsible for coordination of the Internet technical infrastructure globally have met in Montevideo, Uruguay, to consider current issues affecting the future of the Internet.
The Internet and World Wide Web have brought major benefits in social and economic development worldwide. Both have been built and governed in the public interest through unique mechanisms for global multistakeholder Internet cooperation, which have been intrinsic to their success. The leaders discussed the clear need to continually strengthen and evolve these mechanisms, in truly substantial ways, to be able to address emerging issues faced by stakeholders in the Internet.
In this sense:
  • They reinforced the importance of globally coherent Internet operations, and warned against Internet fragmentation at a national level. They expressed strong concern over the undermining of the trust and confidence of Internet users globally due to recent revelations of pervasive monitoring and surveillance.
  • They identified the need for ongoing effort to address Internet Governance challenges, and agreed to catalyze community-wide efforts towards the evolution of global multistakeholder Internet cooperation.
  • They called for accelerating the globalization of ICANN and IANA functions, towards an environment in which all stakeholders, including all governments, participate on an equal footing.
  • They also called for the transition to IPv6 to remain a top priority globally. In particular Internet content providers must serve content with both IPv4 and IPv6 services, in order to be fully reachable on the global Internet. 

You Are Being Fingerprinted and Tracked

From Kuleuven:
A new study by KU Leuven-iMinds researchers has uncovered that 145 of the Internet’s 10,000 top websites track users without their knowledge or consent. The websites use hidden scripts to extract a device fingerprint from users’ browsers. Device fingerprinting circumvents legal restrictions imposed on the use of cookies and ignores the Do Not Track HTTP header. The findings suggest that secret tracking is more widespread than previously thought.

UK Launches Attack Against Torrent Sites

From Torrent Freak:
The newly founded Intellectual Property Crime Unit of the City of London Police has scored its first victories. Several domain names of major torrent sites have been suspended by their registrars following an urgent request from the unit. SumoTorrent and MisterTorrent lost control over their domains and ExtraTorrent had its .com domain suspended. Not all registrars are caving in that easily though, as easyDNS is refusing to comply and sees the requests as abuse of power.
In the City of London, by the way, corporations are allowed to vote.  

Networking: 5 Wifi Securty Myths and the Crypto-Solution

PC World takes on some apparently popular wifi network security myths.  Excerpt:
Wi-Fi has evolved over the years, and so have the techniques for securing your wireless network. An Internet search could unearth information that’s outdated and no longer secure or relevant, or that’s simply a myth.

We’ll separate the signal from the noise and show you the most current and effective means of securing your Wi-Fi network . . . 

It concludes with a call for encryption:

Now that we’ve dispensed with five Wi-Fi security myths, let’s discuss the best way to secure your wireless network: encryption. Encrypting—essentially scrambling—the data traveling over your network is powerful way to prevent eavesdroppers from accessing data in a meaningful form. Though they might succeed in intercepting and capturing a copy of the data transmission, they won’t be able to read the information, capture your login passwords, or hijack your accounts unless they have the encryption key . . . 

NSA Defends Its Attacks Against Anonymous Networks

The Director of National Intelligence defends the NSA's attacks against anonymous networks.  From Allthingsd:
The National Security Agency may have attempted to penetrate and compromise a widely used network designed to protect the anonymity of its users, but it was only because terrorists and criminals use it, too.

That’s the explanation from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper about the recently disclosed attacks by the NSA and its companion agency in the U.K. against The Onion Router, or Tor, a network that uses a constantly changing list of specially configured servers to relay and anonymize the Internet traffic of its users.

In a statement posted to the DNI’s blog, Clapper acknowledged NSA’s “interest in tools used to facilitate anonymous online communication.” However, media coverage of the work fails to point out that “the Intelligence Community’s interest in online anonymity services and other online communication and networking tools is based on the undeniable fact that these are the tools our adversaries use to communicate and coordinate attacks against the United States and our allies.”
Perhaps that may sound reasonable, until you realize that by "our adversaries" the NSA basically means EVERYONE, including all US citizens.  Recall this piece from the Guardian:
Since 2011, the total spending on Sigint enabling has topped $800m. The program "actively engages US and foreign IT industries to covertly influence and/or overtly leverage their commercial products' designs", the document states. None of the companies involved in such partnerships are named; these details are guarded by still higher levels of classification.
Among other things, the program is designed to "insert vulnerabilities into commercial encryption systems". These would be known to the NSA, but to no one else, including ordinary customers, who are tellingly referred to in the document as "adversaries".
The NSA is the man in the middle . . .

Stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership's Attack on Open Internet

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
President Obama was scheduled to meet with the leaders of the other eleven countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Bali, supposedly to plan the “end-game” for this massive trade deal. However, he has made a sudden decision to cancel his trip, claiming that this was a casualty of the government shutdown. Obama's announcement adds to the impression that goal of completing TPP at APEC has become unobtainable and reveal how precariously the negotiations are going.
There are reports that the remaining TPP country leaders who will be attending the APEC meeting will still be convening “with the aim of hammering out a framework.” As we've also previously mentioned, smaller issue-specific intersessional meetings have also grown more frequent and gone even further underground. So while the news of his trip getting cancelled is indeed welcome news, the TPP still could be signed even as its contents remain hidden from the public.
We only know what kind of copyright enforcement provisions are in this agreement due to leaks, but what we do know for sure is that this agreement is driven by corporate interests who want to enact their own digital policy standards through an undemocratic, backdoor process. We need to spread the word about the TPP far and wide . . . 

Silk Road Shutdown an Opportunity for Black Market Internet Entrepreneurs

Nature abhors a vacuum.  With the shutdown of Silk Road, we are likely to see some copy cats spring up across the web.  From the Guardian:
Although it was certainly the most high profile, Silk Road was not the first illegal marketplace hidden within the dark web or on the open internet.
"Silk Road will almost certainly be replaced by a copycat-like site, as has been the case in carder markets where people trade fraudulent credit card information. Those kinds of places have been shut down in the past and very, very quickly replaced by others," said Rik Ferguson, vice-president of security research at Trend Micro, talking to the Guardian.
Sites similar to Silk Road already exist within the Tor network. Two stores called Atlantis and Sheep Marketplace offer illegal drugs, equipment and services akin to Silk Road.
However, some sites go further – Bitcoin-powered shop called Black Market Road, for instance, also sells illegal weapons, something Silk Road withdrew after high profile shootings in the US.

Adobe Hacked: Data on 3 Million Customers Compromised

From Adobe:
Cyber attacks are one of the unfortunate realities of doing business today. Given the profile and widespread use of many of our products, Adobe has attracted increasing attention from cyber attackers. Very recently, Adobe’s security team discovered sophisticated attacks on our network, involving the illegal access of customer information as well as source code for numerous Adobe products. We believe these attacks may be related.
Our investigation currently indicates that the attackers accessed Adobe customer IDs and encrypted passwords on our systems. We also believe the attackers removed from our systems certain information relating to 2.9 million Adobe customers, including customer names, encrypted credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates, and other information relating to customer orders. At this time, we do not believe the attackers removed decrypted credit or debit card numbers from our systems. We deeply regret that this incident occurred. We’re working diligently internally, as well as with external partners and law enforcement, to address the incident . . . 

FBI Seizes Silk Road, Arrests Operator

From The Orlando Sentinel:
U.S. law enforcement authorities have shut down "Silk Road," an anonymous Internet marketplace for illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine and criminal activities such as murder for hire, and arrested its alleged owner.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Wednesday it arrested Silk Road owner, Ross William Ulbricht, 29, known online as "Dread Pirate Roberts," in San Francisco on Tuesday, according to court filings.

Ulbricht, who holds an advanced degree in chemical engineering, appeared in federal court on Wednesday and a bail hearing was set for Friday.

BitTorrent: Secure Chat App on the Way?

From CNET:
The aftermath of the NSA spying revelations has people and companies scrambling for ways to create more secure communications, which has led BitTorrent to build a instant-message chat client that follows the torrenting principle of decentralized data transfer.
The first release of BitTorrent Chat is a private alpha, meaning you have to go to the BitTorrent Chat sign-up page to get an invite, which will take you to a download.  The client uses the concept of decentralized technology that's at the heart of torrents to run instant messages between people . . .