• BitTorrent Monitoring of File-Sharers! New study now out!

    In light of new research carried out by a UK research team it is believed that people using BitTorrent to download music or films is likely to be monitored.

    The research team from the University of Birmingham claims that within 3 hours of a user downloading a media file it will be logged by a monitoring firm. When the team was asked about the level of monitoring they all unanimously expressed their “surprise”. The information monitored could be used by copyright holders to bring to an end the high levels of illegal download. The team of computer scientists carried out the research over a three year period by developing software which impersonated a BitTorrent file-sharing client and then logged all the connections made to it.

    BitTorrent works by users downloading pieces of a file from different users which eventually will leave them with the complete file. When they looked deeper into their research they also found that monitoring did not differ from hardcore downloaders to relatively new users.

    “You don’t have to be a mass downloader. Someone who simply downloads a single movie will be logged as well” – Dr Tom Chothia who led the research. "If the content was in the top 100 it was monitored within hours," he said. "Someone will notice and it will be recorded." The study also showed that less popular content was also monitored, less frequently though meaning monitoring was heavily focused on the most popular downloads.

    Advertising Agent

    It was found that around 10 different firms were monitoring content. From these only a few were actually copyright-enforcement companies, security firms or other research teams. The six biggest monitoring firms however were much harder to trace and used third party hosting to run the searches.

    The reason behind firms wanting such large amounts of data was unclear explained Dr Chothia. "Many firms are simply sitting on the data. Such monitoring is easy to do and the data is out there so they think they may as well collect it as it may be valuable in future," he said.

    It has been alleged that some firms are using the information to sell onto copyright holders for marketing purposes. "The data shows what content is popular and where," said Dr Chothia. The study also showed that the “blocklists” used by some users to prevent monitoring may be of no use at all.

    "Many of the monitors we found weren't on the blocklists so these measures to bypass the monitors aren't really working," said Dr Chothia.

    Usable Evidence

    There have been cases of some copyright owners using monitoring firms to obtain IP addresses across Europe and the US. They would then use the IP address to issue a court order to the internet service provider for the physical address. Once the address is obtained they would then write to the address owner warning them of court action or even asking for compensation.

    That being said, Dr Chothia believes that any such evidence will hold no weight in open court. "All the monitors observed during the study would connect to file-sharers and verify that they were running the BitTorrent software, but they would not actually collect any of the files being shared," he said.

    "It is questionable whether the monitors observed would actually have evidence of file-sharing that would stand up in court," he added.

    Source: http://torrentus.to/blog/bittorrent-...y-now-out.html
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. delimare's Avatar
      delimare -
      The above shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Everything we do online has been monitored and logged for ages.

      VPN's, proxies, seedboxes, newsgroups. Never file share without them.

      I've been sharing for over a decade now, always using one of the above at all times. Countless terabytes transferred and not even a peep from my ISP or anyone else for that matter, ever. I even do regular internet surfing and gaming with my VPN on. It's just habit now.
    1. TheFoX's Avatar
      TheFoX -
      Apparently, the big studios have created an application that can monitor traffic and catch illegal content using a sniffing algorithm. Not only can it detect this content, but it can also trace the destination and the source, pinpointing the exact IP of both parties. It can also bypass VPN and other technologies such as proxies to determine who is the final recipient.

      In fact, this software is so good, it can, using logs held by ISPs, find out the physical person and their address of the source and the destination.

      In fact, this software is so good, it can determine whether you are left or right handed, and whether you have had your daily shit.

      In fact, this software is so good, it can even tell if you are going to win the Lottery this weekend.

      This software is so good, you can almost smell the bullshit, can't you.