The 0.9.49 release began the migration to the new, faster ECIES-X25519 encryption for routers. It took many years of work on the specifications and protocols for new encryption, and this release, new installs and a very small percentage of existing installs (randomly selected at restart) began using the new encryption. This is the first time that the default encryption type has ever been changed, so the full migration would take place over several releases in order to minimize any issues.
Full release notes: https://geti2p.net/en/blog/post/2021/02/17/0.9.49-Release
0.9.50 enabled DNS over HTTPS for reseeding to protect users from passive DNS snooping. Additionally, work was done to protect the network from possible malicious and buggy routers, and numerous fixes and improvements for IPv6 addresses, including new UPnP support were completed.
Full release notes: https://geti2p.net/en/blog/post/2021/05/17/0.9.50-Release
In recognition of almost 20 years of work to provide anonymity and security, the team decided to go straight from 0.9.50 to 1.5.0. The 1.5.0 release finished support for new build messages (proposal 157), and finished implementation of smaller tunnel build messages to reduce bandwidth. The transition of the network’s routers to X25519 encryption continued.
Full release notes: https://geti2p.net/en/blog/post/2021/08/23/1.5.0-Release
The rollout of two major protocol updates reached completed in 1.6.1. Almost all routers will be rekeyed by the end of the year. Also, short tunnel build messages were enabled for a significant bandwidth reduction. Progress on the design of the new UDP transport SSU2 began, and is expected to start implementation early next year.
Full release notes: https://geti2p.net/en/blog/post/2021/11/29/1.6.0-Release
Easier Installs: JPackage
With upwards of 30 steps required to install both the I2P software and Java, the process for new user onboarding has not been historically easy. Unfamiliar and unintuitive, it was a process that has created issues for usability for many years.
However, in recent Java versions, a new option emerged that had the potential to solve this issue for the Java software. The tool is called “Jpackage” and would allow for the creation of a Jpackage powered I2P Router.
We removed dozens of steps from the installation process by switching from an external JVM to a Jpackage, built standard packages for target operating systems, and signed them in a way the operating system would recognize to keep the user secure. Since then, the jpackage routers have reached a new milestone, they have recieved their first incremental updates. These updates will replace the JDK 16 jpackage with an updated JDK 17 jpackage and provide fixes for some small bugs which we caught after the release.
Improving I2P Adoption and Onboarding using Jpackage, I2P-Zero: https://geti2p.net/en/blog/post/2021/09/15/i2p-jpackages JPackages Get their First Update: https://geti2p.net/en/blog/post/2021/11/2/i2p-jpackage-1.5.1
Bitcoin Core added Support for I2P
Bitcoin-over-I2P nodes can now fully interact with the rest of the Bitcoin nodes, using the help of nodes that operate within both I2P and the clearnet.
Read the full blog post: https://geti2p.net/en/blog/post/2021/09/18/i2p-bitcoin
I2P Usability Lab
This year, the I2P Usability Lab was created. The focus will be on user research, product development and tooling to support adoption. Additionally, better focus on localization efforts, protocol bridge building within the privacy community and sustainability considerations will be part of the ongoing effort to bring I2P to more people.
New User Onboarding Research
In 2020 the I2P UX team worked with Simply Secure on a usability sprint to assess user interaction with the I2P website. Many changes were applied, however, feedback has indicated that there are still issues with some aspects of new user onboarding.
We have expanded our team thanks to the BASICS project (Building Analytical and Support Infrastructure for Critical Security tools), and not only revisiting the new user onboarding, but we are also expanding the scope to include onboarding for developers and researchers. The goal will be to present an improved information architecture.
This year we focused on the massive overhaul of the new user onboarding for the download and browser configuration workflow and language. New wireframes for the I2P website have been created, and new information architecture put in place. This has been done in order to better support new users, maintainers, application developers, I2P core contributors, and researchers. This work will continue into 2022 as documentation is refined and the site changes are implemented.
Read the full UX review here: https://i2p.medium.com/i2p-ux-research-d2567aefd275
Forum on internet Freedom in Africa 2021
Working with our partners in Africa, the Invisible Internet Project was invited to participate in both a panel discussion, as well as work with a group of journalists to explore what privacy and security mean to them. The goal for the outcome from this opportunity was to understand what establishes trust, the concept of privacy and what it means, and egin to evaluate I2P and its tooling through this lens.
We saw that adoption results from efficiency, ease of use, and empowerment. All of these things result in a person not just wanting to use a privacy option, but to feel like they are actually taking control of their privacy. This is one of the most important aspects we have encountered during the past year when talking with new users: the emotional aspect of interacting with technology. Telling a person that something can technically provide a solution is one part of adoption. Providing a person with something that they can use with confidence is the other. Meeting people where they are and asking about who they are ensures that we are creating for real needs and for the most people possible.
Read the entire blog post here: https://i2p.medium.com/i2p-usability-lab-b2098bf27d4d
Thank you to everyone who contributes to building the Invisible Internet!
This post originally appeared on Sadie's blog. https://i2p.medium.com/4b926a488919 Copied with permission.