from the centralized-decentralization dept.
Strike is a new BitTorrent search engine with a clean, no-ads interface and an "AI bot" presenting the results, which combines public torrent indexing with DHT scraping. As explained to TorrentFreak by the developer Andrew Sampson himself:
"DHT basically is a second P2P protocol aiming to replace trackers. It stores pairs of info hashes and updates the swarm if it receives announce messages. When it comes to DHT every [torrent] client is announcing themselves as being present. Because of this I'm able to scrape millions of torrents in a decentralized manner; not having to rely on trackers themselves," the dev told TF.
Unfortunately, the search engine has come under attack from multiple vectors, including a flood of DMCA notices and a DDoS attack. The situation went downhill from there, forcing the site to change hosting providers at least three times.
The developer says that the majority of complaints against his site were filed by anti-piracy company Entura International. Sampson says he tried to explain that his site carries no content and no torrents but simply extracts these from DHT upon user request but the company wasn't particularly interested.
In response to the DMCA issues, Sampson says he has now taken things a step further. During the past few days the dev took the decision to stop storing any data whatsoever on Strike's servers "except for search phrases for learning purposes."
This presents an intriguing situation. Aside from some disk caching, Sampson says that Strike now operates purely on demand. When a user types in a search the site pulls the results from its usual sources and presents them in the browser window. When that browser is closed the data effectively disappears, meaning that there is nothing for anti-piracy companies to take down because it's already gone.
I haven't used the site myself yet, but it sounds like a great project and I'd hate to see it disappear.