Illegal BitTorrent Users Are Monitored Within 3 Hours of Starting
Computer science researchers at the University of Birmingham have conducted a three year study of the level of monitoring being done by rights holders, government agencies and other groups of BitTorrent users illegally sharing copyrighted files. They discovered that for a torrent of a typical popular show, the user will be monitored within just three hours. Also, the use of IP blocklists to prevent these organizations from connecting to them don't work, since their IP addresses aren't on the lists. It's not clear at this point exactly how all this data will be used, since these organizations do this monitoring in a secretive manner.
However, the quality of the evidence is in doubt, since it's generally not good enough to stand up in court to convict a user. The research was carried by creating custom software that looked like a regular BitTorrent client such as uTorrent, but instead monitored the monitors. Sweet. There is more detailed information at the link below and the full study (concentration required) can be downloaded here (190K PDF).
The researchers' findings include:
- Massive monitoring of all of the most popular illegal downloads from the PirateBay has been taking place over the last 3 years.
- On average an illegal file sharer, using BitTorrent to download the most popular content, will be connected to and have there IP address logged within 3 hours of starting a download.
- Poor collection methods mean the evidence collected by monitors may not stand up in court.
Posted by | Tue, Sep 04, 2012 - 05:18 PM