Lightning powered distributed virtual private network with Bitcoin and Lightning integration.
The ubiquitous use of encryption on the internet took some time to happen, there was a time when the US government defined them as munitions and claimed export restrictions, and famously the PGP project broke this via the First Amendment, by literally printing the source code on paper and then posting it, it became recognised that code, and encryption, are protected speech.
With ubiquitous 128 bit AES encryption now in use by default, the content of messages is secure. However, the volume and endpoints of signals are still useful intelligence data, enabling state level actors to attack internet users and violate their privacy and threaten their safety.
Protecting against this high level attack the main network currently doing this work is the Tor network. However, this system has many flaws, and in recent times its centralised node registry has come under sustained attack by DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks.
One of the big problems that I saw with this network is its weak network effect. There is no incentive for anyone to run nodes on the network, and worse, the most common use case is tunneling back out of the network to anonymize location, is largely abused and led to a lot of automated block systems arising on many internet services to prevent this abuse.
The use case that Indranet is first targeted at is protecting location origin data for Bitcoin transactions and Lightning Network channels. The increasing value of the currency makes it potentially profitable for the harvesting of geolocation data associated with targets in order to physically attack them and take their bitcoins. There has been more than a few such incidents already, and this is likely to trend upwards and make the Tor network an ongoing target to stop these transactions from working and/or unmask their locations and enable further escalation.
Lightning, in particular, currently half of the network capacity is routed through nodes running on Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services, forming a very large soft point for governments to harm the routing capacity of the network, impeding adoption, and potentially making a way for users to be robbed by state sized actors like the CIA, FSB, MI6 and similar organisations with zero accountability.
Thus, Indranet’s main task is in fact creating a network of hidden services that are used by Bitcoin and Lightning node operators to perform transactions that will not be detectable or locatable by even large scale actors.
Thus, it is essential that routers on Indranet get paid for their work, in order to maintain their connection and equipment costs.
For this, Indranet uses a modified Lightning Network transaction scheme where users reserve session slots with routers via chaumian minting, which are then sent in onion layered packets to initiate sessions and in this payment, providing the node with the ability to claim the reservation payments that were made to acquire the vouchers.
In this way, nodes are unable to correlate between payments through LN and the spending of their vouchers, allowing routers to be paid, and thus incentive to increase routing capacity through the ability to then pay for the infrastructure running the network.
Indranet will use a programmable, client side onion construction scheme that will be designed to be configurable and programmable such that the uniform three hop pattern can be extended to include parallel multipath and dancing paths and make tradeoffs for latency, reliability and obfuscation for other purposes. In addition, it forms a universal routing layer that enables users to get around the currently complex and sometimes impossible restrictions on inbound traffic caused by IPv4 and Network Address Translation.