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Study: Majority Of File-Sharers Are Heavily Monitored
CBS Washington ^ | September 10, 2012 12:09 PM

Posted on 09/11/2012 9:00:47 AM PDT by null and void

LONDON (CBSDC)- A recent study found that those who participate in illegal file-sharing are not flying under the radar, but rather are closely monitored within hours of engaging in suspect activity.

The study, conducted at Birmingham University in the United Kingdom, used software created by computer scientists that emulated the file-sharing program BitTorrent and logged all interactions and connections made to it, the Korea IT Times reported.

Over the course of the three-year study, researchers reportedly saw monitoring firms tracking activity within three hours of a given download.

According to the tech website, those conducting the study were “surprised” at the diligent way in which such activity was monitored, and noted in their findings that there was no difference between frequent users and occasional downloaders.

“You don’t have to be a mass downloader. Someone who downloads a single movie will be logged as well,” research leader Dr. Tom Chothia was quoted as saying. “If the content was in the top 100 it was monitored within hours – someone will notice and it will be recorded.”

One distinction was allegedly made by monitoring firms, however – less popular content was not checked on nearly as frequently as more prominent or desirable items.

At least 10 different monitoring establishments reportedly logged downloaded content, the Korea IT Times learned.

The purpose of overseeing such activity was not immediately apparent to researchers, however.

“Many firms are simply sitting on the data,” Chothia noted. “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.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 09/11/2012 9:00:53 AM PDT by null and void
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To: null and void

Beware anyone who has future political ambitions.

You can bet if they so much as downloaded one illegal file, their opponent will pounce on it.


2 posted on 09/11/2012 9:02:24 AM PDT by dfwgator (I'm voting for Ryan and that other guy.)
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To: null and void

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I never know around here. Is being monitored worse than breaking the law or do the lawbreakers deserve it?


3 posted on 09/11/2012 9:02:59 AM PDT by thefactor (yes, as a matter of fact, i DID only read the excerpt)
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To: thefactor

So many questions, so few answers.


4 posted on 09/11/2012 9:04:24 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1331 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Obama, a queer and present danger)
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To: null and void

Horrifying invasion of privacy. I’m glad 90% of all my downloads are two decades old ;)


5 posted on 09/11/2012 9:07:06 AM PDT by Viennacon
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To: thefactor
"do the lawbreakers deserve it?"

How's that 0bamaCare Law working out for ya?

6 posted on 09/11/2012 9:07:49 AM PDT by Paladin2
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To: null and void
less popular content was not checked on nearly as frequently

"Roseanne Barr's Greatest Hits" is now available.

7 posted on 09/11/2012 9:08:13 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: thefactor
Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I never know around here.

Consider how much is being spent on this "monitoring" vs. how much it actually deters anybody, vs. how much the RIAA, MPAA, etc. are "losing", vs how much your freedom is worth.

THEN answer your own question.

8 posted on 09/11/2012 9:10:40 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: null and void

This is on the open internet, where no one takes any care for security.


9 posted on 09/11/2012 9:11:04 AM PDT by proxy_user
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To: null and void

This doesn’t bother me. People should know by now that very little they do on the Internet is private or secret. And when it comes to stealing other people’s property without paying for it, well good luck with that. I hope they get everything that’s coming to them.


10 posted on 09/11/2012 9:11:57 AM PDT by ElkGroveDan (My tagline is in the shop.)
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To: Viennacon
Horrifying invasion of privacy.

How is this any different than someone standing outside of a book store or music shop videotaping the comings and goings. If they happen to capture you with a book or CD tucked in your pants, that's your fault, not the people recording a very public setting.

If you want to share files in private with your friends or clients, then set up a private ftp site.

11 posted on 09/11/2012 9:17:26 AM PDT by ElkGroveDan (My tagline is in the shop.)
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To: null and void

12 posted on 09/11/2012 9:18:04 AM PDT by TSgt (The only reason I have one in the chamber at all times, is because it is impossible to have two in.)
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To: null and void
...who participate in illegal file-sharing

What is the definition of illegal file-sharing in this instance?

Copyright groups define ALL file sharing systems as being illegal, because they have the "potential" to be used to distribute copyrighted material.

So, even if you are sharing legal files (say, an independent band records their 100% original song which they put in the public domain), you are an illegal file sharer.

13 posted on 09/11/2012 9:24:14 AM PDT by Brookhaven (The Democratic Party has become the Beclowning Party)
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To: Brookhaven

“Do you really think we want those laws observed?” Said Dr. Ferris. We want them broken. You better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against - then you’ll know this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now, that’s the system Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Chapter 3, Page 404


14 posted on 09/11/2012 9:28:10 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1331 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Obama, a queer and present danger)
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To: Izzy Dunne

They are holding on to an outdated model, and it isn’t just music.

At one time, you could watch the most recent episode of any TV show on Hulu the day after it aired (and all the previous shows for the current season). These shows include advertising, so it’s a revenue stream.

Then a little over a year ago, the cable companies decided this was hurting their business (due to the increase in cable-cutters) and pressured broadcasters to limit access via Hulu.

Was the result fewer cable-cutters and more people signing up for cable? No, cable-cutting continues to increase. The result was and explosion of sites offering pirated copies of programs to watch online, commercial free (which means zero revenue for the producers).

30 years from now people will look back at the entire cable/satellite TV model the same way we look back at the broadcast/3-major-TV-network era—as an unworkable dinosaur.

And, the companies that survive will be the ones that move to the new model the quickest. For example, people called Glenn Beck stupid for abandoning cable TV for alternative media. Beck now earn more money that almost anyone else in the entertainment industry (news or otherwise). Instead of looking stupid, he’s looking like (financially at least) a genius.


15 posted on 09/11/2012 9:38:56 AM PDT by Brookhaven (The Democratic Party has become the Beclowning Party)
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To: Izzy Dunne
I am soooo tired of hearing about my 'freedoms' when it comes to issues like this. My freedom to do what, exactly? Illegally download materials I'm not entitled to? My freedom to steal the creative product of actors and musicians?

Here's the thing: You don't break the laws, you're not monitored. By your logic, I shouldn't be recorded when I walk into a 7-11, even if I plan on stealing some Twinkies.

16 posted on 09/11/2012 9:40:55 AM PDT by thefactor (yes, as a matter of fact, i DID only read the excerpt)
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To: null and void

There are two ways to defend against this monitoring of torrents that come immediately to mind.

Create a system of plausible deniability by miss-labeling the files. Set up a catalog site that cross references the phony names to the actual names. Users would visit the catalog site using TOR and find out which file to download to get what they want. i.e a file that contains a new blockbuster film screener could be labeled as a public domain film of a different name. This clouds the legal case since there is no way to discern actual intent. Losing even a single case because of the resulting deniability would pretty much end the litigation for anyone using this scheme.

Or.. Every torrent user could run an encrypted server that links to all other torrent servers. This creates an enforcement nightmare where you can discern the ip of everyone using the system but cannot determine what file the individual is collecting encrypted parts for, or indeed whether the server is simply relaying data for others and collecting no parts. Enforcers could join the group as a server but that would give them nothing but ip data...it would not tell them who is downloading what. As a system of this sort becomes large it gets positively indecipherable, a sort of Enigma Cipher Machine of file sharing. Speed would certainly suffer compared to a simple torrent system but who would care if it takes twice as long so long as they are safe.

Running TOR as a server to help shield yourself from traffic analysis or the possibility of compromised first or last links (a recommended activity for max security)is closely related to this encrypted torrent server idea. Any small bit of circumstantial evidence gathered against a user of such a system would be so convoluted and obscure that it simply could not be explained clearly to a jury unless they were all mathematicians.

The only way to defeat a well designed, encrypted distributed torrent system would be to outlaw file-sharing itself or outlaw encryption... both unlikely unless we end up in a police state.

Copyright will eventually become meaningless in a world where encryption and a global data network exist. The world has changed and there is no going back. The regrettable thing is that many creative people will simply refuse to create content in a world where they cannot control it.


17 posted on 09/11/2012 9:47:30 AM PDT by Bobalu (It is not obama we are fighting, it is the media.)
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To: thefactor
I am soooo tired of hearing about my 'freedoms' when it comes to issues like this. My freedom to do what, exactly? Illegally download materials I'm not entitled to? My freedom to steal the creative product of actors and musicians?

You are making bad assumptions here. There are legitimate programs distributed this way: I believe BeOS, OpenVMS, and some Linux distros all have official bit-torrents. Then there's [media] releases by independent groups, as mentioned on up-thread, who are literally giving their stuff away. Finally, there's the unfortunate instance where you have a program [possibly outdated] whose master media has become corrupted: should you have to go and buy another copy [assuming you can find one] even if you have all the original disks/packaging/etc?

You are starting with an invalid assumption: that file-sharing is theft. That is as stupid as assuming that the gun's purpose is murder.

18 posted on 09/11/2012 9:50:18 AM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Brookhaven

If I had a real internet connection I would dump the dish network in a heartbeat. I use my cellphone for internet now


19 posted on 09/11/2012 10:08:19 AM PDT by Lurkina.n.Learnin (Ignorance is bliss- I'm stoked)
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To: OneWingedShark
If that's the case, then I understand. The impression I got, however, was that they concentrated on illegally downloaded files.

When you drive on roads, you're recorded. When you go into stores, you're recorded. It's a question of convenience. You don't want to be watched or recorded? Fine. Don't drive, don't use sites that record your movements. It's not a civil right to be anonymous on the internet.

20 posted on 09/11/2012 10:09:08 AM PDT by thefactor (yes, as a matter of fact, i DID only read the excerpt)
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To: null and void

Two points:

1. Not all content on file sharing sites is copyrighted by someone else. For example, I share content created by me, what right does anyone have to monitor the activities of those who I encourage to access it? This is the same slippery slope we get on when we say it’s OK to put cameras in public places on the theory that some of those who are monitored might commit a crime.

2. The genie can’t be put back in the bottle. Once a bootleg copy is out there, it’s out there. Whether it is distributed via sneakerware between friends or via file share sites. Might it not be smarter to tax or license than try to ban and prohibit? Today these sites collect fees from users and may disappear at any time without notice or refunds. Maybe both sides would be better served with a regulated approach that would exempt personally created content and impose some kind of service standards on the rest.


21 posted on 09/11/2012 10:11:55 AM PDT by bigbob
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To: thefactor

If you have ever exceeded the speed limit, please go down and turn yourself in.


22 posted on 09/11/2012 10:24:46 AM PDT by Paladin2
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To: thefactor
When you drive on roads, you're recorded.

I disagree with the traffic cameras. In short: it deprives the accused of the classic, traditional, and Constitutionally guaranteed right to confront one's accusers [6th Amd].
Being a computer programmer, I am *very* distrustful of both speed-cameras and light-cameras: the companies themselves get portions of the revenue generated thereby providing incentive for false positives.

When you go into stores, you're recorded.

This is fundamentally different from traffic- & speed-cameras: there is no "automatic accusation" that is generated in these systems.

It's a question of convenience. You don't want to be watched or recorded? Fine. Don't drive, don't use sites that record your movements. It's not a civil right to be anonymous on the internet.

I suppose you shouldn't use banks either. The issue is not recording (though that *could* become an issue) but instead the assumption of guilt that 2/3rds of your examples posit.

23 posted on 09/11/2012 10:35:04 AM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: null and void

There is a company here in Pittsburgh called Tiversa.
This is what they do. For a fee they will use very sophisticated software to determine where your info is and who is sharing it.

They blew the whistle a couple of years ago on some fool at DOD who had Limewire on his laptop which the Iranians exploited to steal design docs of the Marine One helicopter.


24 posted on 09/11/2012 10:43:57 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Paladin2
Not even close to comparable. Speeding is a traffic violation, not a crime. Such violations must be observed by a LEO. (Red light cameras and such can only fine the registered owner since they cannot verify who is driving at the time of the infraction.)

What you are dealing with here is actual theft. You aren't stealing someone's intellectual property when you break the speed limit. But as one poster said, some are downloading free, open-source files which is perfectly legal. That doesn't mean, however, that the site you are using shouldn't be able to catalog your actions.

25 posted on 09/11/2012 10:51:02 AM PDT by thefactor (yes, as a matter of fact, i DID only read the excerpt)
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To: thefactor
By not turning yourself in you are stealing revenue from the gov't.

It's only a matter of degree, not kind.

26 posted on 09/11/2012 10:53:24 AM PDT by Paladin2
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To: ShadowAce

ping


27 posted on 09/11/2012 11:01:34 AM PDT by GOPJ (Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading - T. Jefferson)
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To: Paladin2

You’re not understanding the basic premise. Speeding laws cannot be enforced unless the infraction is witnessed. Turning myself in would do nothing since no penalty could legally be enacted.


28 posted on 09/11/2012 11:02:54 AM PDT by thefactor (yes, as a matter of fact, i DID only read the excerpt)
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To: thefactor
You should just send the money in as you are guilty as h3|_|_ of breaking the law.

Just 'cause you don't get caught doesn't make it right. You are the sanctimonious one who doesn't get it.

29 posted on 09/11/2012 11:11:53 AM PDT by Paladin2
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To: thefactor
I should have said "privacy" rather than "freedom", as that is closer to what I meant.

You don't break the laws, you're not monitored.

Oh that's real handy. They only monitor the ones who break the law, do they?

And just how is it that they know which ones to monitor?

By your logic,

Don't put words in my mouth. I mentioned a few things that you should consider, since you said you were unable to make up your own mind.

30 posted on 09/11/2012 11:15:40 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: null and void

I was recently informed of a Copyright violation by my ISP.
Since I don’t download, I investigated and found one more IP address served up by my wireless router than I have equipment for. I also found that WEP security (the default used by the installers) sucks. I have since increased security to WPA2 with a long pass phrase.
Now.
Anyone know how to track down and identify a wifi thief?


31 posted on 09/11/2012 11:27:25 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (The First Amendment is a large caliber weapon. USE IT !!!)
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To: Brookhaven
The result was and explosion of sites offering pirated copies of programs to watch online, commercial free...

Care to share some examples?

32 posted on 09/11/2012 12:09:25 PM PDT by Ancesthntr (Bibi to Odumbo: Its not going to happen.)
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To: Ancesthntr

An example is a site called project free TV.

I don’t access it because of (1) pop-ups, ads, and attempts to install stuff on your computer (imho too much of a chance of getting something) and (2) I don’t access illegal video. My child (in college) says it is pretty heavily used by college students.

Note that THIS IS a site that traffics in pirated video. I’m not recommending it, just throwing it out as an example.


33 posted on 09/11/2012 12:33:49 PM PDT by Brookhaven (The Democratic Party has become the Beclowning Party)
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To: Brookhaven

Thanks for the response, I was just curious. I’m not planning to access it either - my days of stealing from anonymous others via electronic means are behind me...being a parent and trying to set an example is an illuminating experience. I can wait to see a movie or TV series later on some legit site, or pay for it on PPV or Red Box.

Those viruses (virii?) are just Karma, repaying those that seek to steal.


34 posted on 09/12/2012 8:14:01 AM PDT by Ancesthntr (Bibi to Odumbo: Its not going to happen.)
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