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#1 Posted by DrSpaceman (172 posts) -

"A new study from Birmingham University in the U.K., found that people will likely be monitored within hours of downloading popular torrents by at least one of ten or more major monitoring firms.

The team, led by security research Tom Chothia, ran software that acted like a BitTorrent client for three years and recorded all of the connections made to it. At SecureComm conference in Padua, Italy this week, the team announced that they found huge monitoring operations tracking downloaders that have been up and running for at least the entirety of their research. According to the team’s presentation, monitors were only regularly detected in Top 100 torrents, while monitoring of more obscure material was more spotty.

“Almost everyone that shares popular films and music illegally will be connected to by a monitor and will have their IP address logged,” Chothia told Paul Marks at New Scientist

What’s really mysterious is who all of the firms are. Chothia’s crew found around 10 different monitoring entities, of which a few were identifiable as security companies, copyright firms, or other torrent researchers. But six entities could not be identified because they were masked through third party hosting. Now, despite firms focusing mostly on just the top few searches out there at any given time, that’s still a massive amount of user data to collect and store. Why?

I’d imagine that security firms and copyright agencies are both researching how BitTorrent networks work and how prevalent they are, which would both be useful from a legal standpoint to either take out hosts like the Pirate Bay or change the way copyright lawsuits can be brought, as prosecuting hundreds of thousands or millions of users individually is rather unrealistic. But even so, why would hidden entities be collecting such massive troves of data, just to sit on them?"

#2 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

Dear Beatles:

I owe you $150 for your stereo box set.

Sincerely, PrivateIronTFU

#3 Edited by TyCobb (1961 posts) -

Yep. Always best to use someone else's internet for that. Especially in apartment buildings where you can pick up 10 different networks that have 0 security.

Or you could always just use usenet with an SSL connection. Mmmm encrypted packets. Yum.

#4 Posted by Galiant (2193 posts) -

I pay for all my media except sometimes for TV-shows and movies because there isn't a good enough service for those in my region yet. I still go to the movies, buy the occasional blu ray or collection...

I'm going to continue like this until they provide a service that I can pay for, even if I'm being monitored.

By the way, got a link to your source? I'm interested in reading more about this.

#5 Posted by JasonR86 (9653 posts) -

Good. I have no problem with this. If people want to use torrents they need to be aware of the consequences.

#6 Posted by A_Dog (744 posts) -

I'm not sure if I'm reading the BBC's story wrong, but it seems to suggest it's only people using BitTorrent, not every file sharing program who are being monitored.

So, I guess it's a gap in that software?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19474829

#7 Posted by Dagbiker (6957 posts) -

Private trackers

#8 Posted by CL60 (16906 posts) -
@JasonR86

Good. I have no problem with this. If people want to use torrents they need to be aware of the consequences.

Implying that torrent automatically = downloading things illegally.
#9 Posted by yoshisaur (2700 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

Good. I have no problem with this. If people want to use torrents they need to be aware of the consequences.

Pretty much this. I torrent every now and then (I mean..no I don't) and understand my consequences. It's what makes us adults, no?

#10 Posted by DrSpaceman (172 posts) -
#11 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

What about non-Hollywood movies and music that never made a top 100 chart?

If one were to use The Pirate Bay's service which relies on magnet links, not trackers, could one still log a given connection to that torrent?

#12 Posted by JasonR86 (9653 posts) -

@CL60 said:

@JasonR86

Good. I have no problem with this. If people want to use torrents they need to be aware of the consequences.

Implying that torrent automatically = downloading things illegally.

You're right, I am. But it seems pretty rare that they are used for much else. Maybe I'm wrong.

#13 Posted by TyCobb (1961 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

Good. I have no problem with this. If people want to use torrents they need to be aware of the consequences.

Except torrents aren't illegal.... the stuff you are downloading may be, but there is nothing inherently wrong with torrents.

The problem I have with it is that they are monitoring your connection and doing a deep packet inspection. They are reading everything coming through the wire and could be seeing user's emails, passwords, instant messages, etc. With that there is also issues of all torrents being picked up meaning that just downloading a flavor of Linux through the official site may trigger you to be monitored even though everything you did was 100% legal.

#14 Posted by wordfalling (193 posts) -

Use PeerBlock and see just how many companies are watching your internet activity.

#15 Posted by JasonR86 (9653 posts) -

@TyCobb said:

@JasonR86 said:

Good. I have no problem with this. If people want to use torrents they need to be aware of the consequences.

Except torrents aren't illegal.... the stuff you are downloading may be, but there is nothing inherently wrong with torrents.

The problem I have with it is that they are monitoring your connection and doing a deep packet inspection. They are reading everything coming through the wire and could be seeing user's emails, passwords, instant messages, etc. With that there is also issues of all torrents being picked up meaning that just downloading a flavor of Linux through the official site may trigger you to be monitored even though everything you did was 100% legal.

I was under the assumption that torrents are rarely used for downloading content legally. That doesn't mean that there aren't torrents used for legal purposes but that the chances are much higher that the content is illegal.

#16 Posted by DrSpaceman (172 posts) -

I'm like a lot of people, kinda say "whats the big deal, i'm not doing anything wrong" but it is creepy what the gov is up to. N.S.A whistle blower here:

They are watching!

#17 Posted by thedj93 (1237 posts) -

bummer

#18 Posted by CaLe (3945 posts) -

I care this much.

#19 Posted by Animasta (14667 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

@CL60 said:

@JasonR86

Good. I have no problem with this. If people want to use torrents they need to be aware of the consequences.

Implying that torrent automatically = downloading things illegally.

You're right, I am. But it seems pretty rare that they are used for much else. Maybe I'm wrong.

I don't torrent illegally because last time I did I got a warning, but you can torrent plenty of things that aren't illegal.

#20 Posted by pyromagnestir (4287 posts) -

Well I lost a decent chunk of my legally purchased music in a hard drive failure and I ain't buying all that shit again, that's for damn sure. And there was no way in hell I was about to wait for the final season of Lost to come out on DVD just because I went on vacation and missed an episode they chose not to replay.
So get off my Internet lawn, I guess is what I'm sayin.

#21 Posted by Incapability (204 posts) -

Popular being the operative word.

Did you download that new Hollywood comedy that everybody's talking about? Did the entire comments section scream "DON'T DOWNLOAD THIS ONE IT'S BEING MONITORED"? Did you fail to heed their warnings?

Then you got exactly what you bargained for.

#22 Posted by Animasta (14667 posts) -

@Incapability said:

Popular being the operative word.

Did you download that new Hollywood comedy that everybody's talking about? Did the entire comments section scream "DON'T DOWNLOAD THIS ONE IT'S BEING MONITORED"? Did you fail to heed their warnings?

Then you got exactly what you bargained for.

dude I got in trouble for downloading a GBA games torrent that I accidentally left a harry potter game in.

in 2010.

it was fucked up

#23 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Well they don't show Breaking Bad where I'm from...

#24 Posted by RazielCuts (2943 posts) -

Little do you guys know

Online
#25 Posted by MideonNViscera (2257 posts) -

Thank God everything I download is back-ups to things I have legally obtained through other means!

On a more serious note, for everything I have ever pirated it would be some bullshit like the girlfriend's kid stealing Hunger Games that would surely fuck me over.

#26 Posted by Jrinswand (1703 posts) -

@CaLe: I don't know what that means but it seems impressive.

#27 Posted by liquidmatt (230 posts) -

@Galiant said:

I pay for all my media except sometimes for TV-shows and movies because there isn't a good enough service for those in my region yet. I still go to the movies, buy the occasional blu ray or collection...

I'm going to continue like this until they provide a service that I can pay for, even if I'm being monitored.

By the way, got a link to your source? I'm interested in reading more about this.

This is exactly the issue. I spend all of my free money on the entertainment business, and would happily pay upwards of £20 (Being in the UK) for a streaming service that gave me what I wanted. If I download anything, I buy it as soon as it's released, and I pay for a TV license even though I don't watch TV. The problem isn't that people don't want to pay for things, it's that no service exists that understands modern media consumption thanks to shitty greedy licenses and a lack of a realistic approach to what people want.

#28 Posted by Grillbar (1812 posts) -

Dear AMC dont worry ill import Season 5 of Breaking bad when its released the problem is that season 1 aint even on tv or dvd where i live. and the only way to watch it is though iligal ways sorry.

on the other hand i have bought season 1-4 and would not have done this if i had not used that iligal way

#29 Edited by CptBedlam (4449 posts) -

And I don't want to watch a crappy dubbed version of Breaking Bad that is one year behind.

Btw... people still use torrents? I thought that shit was over.

#30 Posted by CaLe (3945 posts) -

@Jrinswand said:

@CaLe: I don't know what that means but it seems impressive.

It's 6 years worth of .torrent files in 1 folder. If this isn't living on the edge then I don't know what is.

#31 Posted by Fallen189 (4978 posts) -

Fearmongering

#32 Posted by Nentisys (888 posts) -

If you aren't a total idiot, there is very little chance of ever getting "caught" via torrents.

#33 Posted by Galiant (2193 posts) -
#34 Posted by TobbRobb (4590 posts) -

@CaLe: That is seriously just .torrent files!? Wtf man. I haven't cleaned that folder out in a few months and it's just ~400mb

#35 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4692 posts) -

Well maybe if AMC gave season 5 to Netflix quicker then I wouldn't have to download it all! They only just got season 4 for christs sake!

Online
#36 Posted by CaLe (3945 posts) -

@TobbRobb said:

@CaLe: That is seriously just .torrent files!? Wtf man. I haven't cleaned that folder out in a few months and it's just ~400mb

Yeah, just .torrent files. They range from 1 KB ~ 1,724 KB being the largest.

#37 Posted by laserbolts (5317 posts) -

I haven't downloaded files illegally since Napster. Is torrent the new Napster or something?

#38 Posted by Philantrophy (354 posts) -

Isn't there a difference with can be monitored and will be monitored. I am guessing here, but you can't link an ip-adress to a person without a court order.

#39 Posted by George_Hukas (1317 posts) -

For anyone interested..

I was named in the West Coast Productions, Inc. case in a group of 6000 because someone in my house downloaded Tokyo Cougar Creampies. I had received a 50 page packet subpoena after my ISP (Comcast) gave up the main account holder's information. I spoke with my entertainment lawyer immediately and he assured me I had nothing to worry about. People were grouped in one big lawsuit and those who weren't were receiving letters that threatened to sue or settle for $3000. They dropped the suit late last year but probably cleaned up pretty well in out-of-court sacre-tactic settlements.

TLDR; I'm a person not an IP address.

#40 Posted by jozzy (2042 posts) -

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

Well they don't show Breaking Bad where I'm from...

You can't buy it online either, like on itunes? I bought season 4 of Breaking Bad on itunes because it wasn't on netflix yet. Same with season 5. I understand your reasoning, but it still is faulty in my opinion, a company not supplying or selling something in your region doesn't automatically means you are can just use illegal means to acquire it.

#41 Posted by _Zombie_ (1462 posts) -

Shocker.

#42 Posted by Akyho (1594 posts) -

I was sent a legal document in 2009 that said "We know you pirated Two worlds for the pc on *********** and if you dont pay our client Top Cow £600 we will take you to court."

We thought it was a scam...as we never downloaded it. I baught it on 360 and found it shit.Why download it?

So we took it to a lawyer. They asked if we used Torrents and we said yes, asked if we downloaded his, we said now and that we had legally bought a copy on the xbox 360 before the date mentioned.

They sent a letter of Denial and nothing came of it. Other cases for other people were that apparently they wanted us to not answer, then issue a court date in an inaccessible court room in the UK and charge us legally £600 by not showing up to defend ourselves by default admitting our guilt.

The monitoring is very inaccurate. Here is a documentary about it. There was even an old Couple accused of downloading gay porn.

Here is a bunch of videos about it.

There was even a Data Leak.

#43 Posted by Loafsmooch (348 posts) -

Interesting to see how different countries look at torrents.. Here in sweden most people I know use torrents for stuff like movies, hbo series, games, music. Nobody gives a damn about it being illegal, it's just the way it is here. There's no consequences, so why pay for something when you can use that hard-earned money to get drunk on the weekends? If someone were to openly say they are hiring movies or paying for a service like netflix they'd probably get laughed at by most.

#44 Posted by Jimbo (9799 posts) -

Like we aren't all being monitored anyway.

#45 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

It's like you see someone beat the shit out of someone else, and say "I see you". The most probable response would be "And the fuck you gonna do about it?" You can try and close a torrent giant like Pirate Bay, hell you might even succeed. But then another pops up, perhaps more sophisticated and difficult to bring down. Regardless, so long as the internet exists, piracy will continue to co-exist in one form or another, for better or worse.

#46 Posted by Soap (3575 posts) -

I'll stop torrenting when companies start treating copyrighted material the same all over the world.

If an episode of my favourite show drops in america and they expect me to wait six months to watch it here because of some stupid deal they have with a T.V station, hey guess what? Fuck you I'm going to download it and watch it (without advert breaks as well mind you!)

#47 Posted by TyCobb (1961 posts) -
#48 Posted by believer258 (11776 posts) -

@laserbolts said:

I haven't downloaded files illegally since Napster. Is torrent the new Napster or something?

You could say that, yeah. Only, it's a particularly easy way to get any form of media, and the size of the torrent doesn't really matter as long as you've got enough space for it.

No, they won't ever be able to get rid of it because it's too ingrained in modern society. Lessen it? Yeah, they could do that, but try making every poor high school or college student with an internet connection stop downloading music and movies, games if they have a capable PC and/or a modified console.

People with real jobs tend to use torrents a lot less because they can afford stuff, but when the budget's limited and it's so easily there for free, it's hard not to go running to piracy for a bit of entertainment.

#49 Posted by Everyones_A_Critic (6295 posts) -

I had my local ISP warn me twice about torrenting movies, so when we switched to Comcast, I gave up torrenting movies and TV shows and stuck solely to music. Not that that's any better morally, but I've never gotten a warning or been caught for it so whatever. Plus, I'm constantly looking for new shit to listen to and can't afford to buy one fuckin CD a week when the shit is right there for free. I understand I'm helping to ruin the music industry, but I also pay out the ass to awful corporations like Livenation and TIcketmaster weekly whenever my favorite artists come out on tour. Obviously I can't see everyone that comes around, and it doesn't excuse my actions, but if I actually had to pay for music I wouldn't be the concert junky that I am today and I wouldn't have nearly as wide a taste. I'd be buying the latest top 40 CD once a week for $20 with my check. And fuck that. If I get a warning for what I do then I'll stop, but I'm a leech whenever I torrent (yeah, yeah, yeah, blow me) so getting me to stop would literally do nothing in the long run.

#50 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

I like the idea of a world where this just started happening only weeks ago. 
Sadly, here in real-world-for-reals land it's been happening for many years