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Major ISPs Help Fund BitTorrent User Tracking Research 190

Posted by Soulskill
from the santa-and-comcast-both-know-if-you've-been-naughty dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I was scanning conference proceedings to come up with ideas for a reading group I run at my workplace, and I noticed an interesting paper from the new IEEE WIFS forensics conference. Researchers from the University of Colorado have published a technique for tracking BitTorrent users (PDF) by joining and actively probing torrent swarms using low-cost cloud computing services. They claim their methods allowed them to monitor the entire Pirate Bay torrent set for as little as $13/mo using EC2. But that's not even the interesting part. Their work appears to have been 'funded in part through gifts from PolyCipher' — a broadband ISP consortium. That's right; three major national ISPs funded this round of BitTorrent tracking research, not the MPAA/RIAA. Could this be evidence of ISP support for ACTA and a global three-strikes law?"
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Major ISPs Help Fund BitTorrent User Tracking Research

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  • by grahamsaa (1287732) on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:18PM (#31407390)
    ISPs could simply be looking for ways to find heavy bittorrent users, provide proof of the fact that they're using a lot of bandwidth to download copyrighted content, and to throttle them down or to block this traffic entirely.

    ISPs have a strong incentive to reduce heavy bittorrent traffic on their networks so they don't have to upgrade as often. If they can delay these upgrades under the guise of supporting intellectual property rights, it's a win win for them. I'm not saying I support this kind of thing, but it makes business sense.
    • Analyzing traffic without a warrant is a privacy violation. You can't allege users that they download/upload copyrighted content based on that they use a lot of bandwidth. Also, downloading copyrighted for private use is not necessarily illegal, when there is no uploading (unlike bittorrent).

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:27PM (#31407508)

        Analyzing traffic without a warrant is a privacy violation.

        Bullshit.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          No, he's right. Even if it isn't now, it damn well should be.

      • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:42PM (#31407676)

        From my point of view, I'd hold bets that 9 out of 10 "heavy users" on the internet are not swapping P2P files but are infected by trojans spewing spam.

        • by teh moges (875080) on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:56PM (#31407814) Homepage
          You would find that the majority of the 'good' botnets rely on many computers doing low-bandwidth operations, so that the owner of the computer doesn't notice. If the speed of the Internet gets too slow, the owner could send the computer in to get fixed, and the IT guy would find and remove the problem files. If the owner never notices, its less likely this could happen. There still exists viruses that do the 'high impact' thing, but they are less common now and don't last very long (for the previously mentioned reason).
          • You will notice, when you spend a bit of time digging through disasm'ed trojans, that "good" botnet zombies determine their host's capabilities and actually employ something like a QoS system to ensure they fly under the radar while at the same time using as much bandwidth as they can without interfering with their host's normal operation.

            It's pretty amazing how far we've gotten already.

        • I'll take that bet.

          One high def movie ~ 3 GB
          One million spam emails 1 GB

      • by ravenscar (1662985) on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:47PM (#31407726)
        Warrants are for the government. When you signed your contract with your ISP you likely authorized them to monitor your traffic to some extent (at least bandwidth usage and likely more). Does that violate your privacy? Maybe, but the issue is much more complicated than you make it seem.
      • by DarkOx (621550)

        I am not saying you should reaching into the content of you users but analyzing the traffic so you can understand how your network is used should be allowed and its a good thing for ISPs to do. All ISPs over subscribe. That is how they can profitably sell you the bandwidth at prices you can afford. If they did not do this we would all buy our connections directly from the tier 1 carriers.

        It makes perfect sense for them to want to understand what types of applications, again knowing you are using bittoren

      • "You can't allege users that they download/upload copyrighted content based on that they use a lot of bandwidth"
        No, but you can drop the users that actually use the bandwidth they pay for under the clause in the contract that says "ISP_name has full discression as to what constitutes "unacceptable behavior"". Most ISPs want to sell a shitload of "high speed" internet connections that aren't capable of sourcing even 1/10 of what's advertised when a moderate number of users are online.

        Look at comcast's lates
    • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:27PM (#31407512)

      ISPs have a strong incentive to reduce heavy bittorrent traffic on their networks so they don't have to upgrade as often. If they can delay these upgrades under the guise of supporting intellectual property rights, it's a win win for them. I'm not saying I support this kind of thing, but it makes business sense.

      Totally agree with that. Bandwidth costs money, sure the cost might be dropping, but why would you (as an ISP) actually WANT your consumers to go using all that bandwidth that you are selling them? Wouldn't it make much more business sense to sell them a plan with 100Gb (Yes, in Australia, that's still considered a very high amount of traffic) and have them use 2Gb for their surfing and emails - oh, and find a nice way to kick off all those customers who actually use what they pay for - without looking like it's got anything to do with you, after all, if you sell high usage accounts, you can't kick off high users... erm... wait wat?

      • Not only that but lawsuits and discovery cost money. If the ISP can more easily cough up the evidence when asked by formalizing the procedures, it will probably limit their liability and reduce their compliance costs.
        • Then they open themselves up to becoming a party to the infringement instead of having policies in place that do not allow the recording of that information to which they can tell the courts "Sorry but we don't have that information an it would violate the contracts with all of our customers to obtain it".

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:47PM (#31407718)

      There is a simple solution to this: Sell only what you have. Or rather, market it correctly. When you sell people 8mbit synchronous, they will expect this to be available to them and they will maybe try to use it. Hoping that they just want to have a fat pipe but won't use it is like hoping that people who buy cars that go 200mph won't drive that fast.

      • by Locklin (1074657)

        Overselling works. It worked for the phone companies for decades. It makes things massively cheaper for the end user and wastes less resources. Of course, it only works well when the ratio of overselling is sufficient that things work under normal peak demand. ISPs are overselling to the point where they can't handle daily peak demand and that's where the problem comes from.

    • by mlts (1038732) * on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:56PM (#31407822)

      It could also be a last-ditch effort for ISPs to show they can police themselves before they get shackled by Draconian regulations. ISPs also hate high bandwidth usage (expanding networks cost money, so to the bean counters who failed ITIL class in MBA school, it is better to charge fees, throttle, and kick off users than it does to expand networks to handle new growth and new applications.)

      ISPs are not going to like ACTA so they want to avoid it as much as they can. Having to record not just packet headers, but every single packet a user has sent/received and store it for 7 years is going to make them have to spend large amounts of cash for disk farms. They also don't want to be the focal point for customer outrage when Big Brother-eqsue stories happen: For example, a divorce happens, the ISP gets a motion of discovery, and has to go data mine in the archives to come up with the exact web pages a husband was viewing in the past on a certain day.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Pence128 (1389345)

        ...every single packet a user has sent/received and store it for 7 years...

        Is that seriously in ACTA? I'm pretty sure that's almost impossible. If it is, find something on their local network and keep bouncing traffic off it.Comcast has 16M customers and a 250GB cap. That works out to about 1.5TB per second.

    • by BuhDuh (1102769) on Monday March 08, 2010 @08:36PM (#31408220)
      DISCLAIMER: I am part of the support team of an ISP
      Yes, we do hate those users who suck bandwidth via bittorrent to the detriment of the majority who simply want to read their email, keep up-to-date via a social networking site and do other non-intensive tasks. However if we were being completely cynical, the over usage charges we can collect (and which our users agreed to in our AUP when they signed up) are a nice earner. PLUS I agree, we don't have to invest so heavily and so often to upgrade our infrastructure. I don't necessarily agree with such a position, but I'm stuck with it. However, I read TFPDF and it bleats about illegal copyrighted downloads which it seems to imply is the only use for bittorrent, nowhere do I see (except after the download is complete) how this violation can be proven. I have lost count over the years of how many iso's of various Linux distros I have downloaded, how many times the kids have updated WoW.... This sanctimonious BS posturing in the guise of protecting copyright leaves me cold.
      • by timeOday (582209)

        DISCLAIMER: I am part of the support team of an ISP Yes, we do hate those users who suck bandwidth via bittorrent to the detriment of the majority who simply want to read their email, keep up-to-date via a social networking site and do other non-intensive tasks.

        This is a lost battle.

        A few years ago, only bittorrent users were using video on the Internet. But now, my 4 and 6 year old kids seem to spend more time watching kids' shows on the Internet than they do on TV, my wife and I use netflix on demand

        • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@worfMOSCOW.net minus city> on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @01:09AM (#31410100)

          A few years ago, only bittorrent users were using video on the Internet. But now, my 4 and 6 year old kids seem to spend more time watching kids' shows on the Internet than they do on TV, my wife and I use netflix on demand, and my 11 year old watches dozens of youtube videos to learn card tricks and yo-yo tricks.

          Video isn't exotic anymore. If the majority of your customers are just checking facebook and email, start the countdown because it won't last.

          If you're talking about a cable ISP, downloads are effectively "free". Kids and parents watching Hulu all day doesn't concern them too much.

          However, the thing Bittorrent does that does impact a cable ISP is *uploads*. Compared to downstream bandwidth, upstream bandwidth is very limited. You already know if you set your upload too fast your connection gets useless for surfing, gaming and interactive applications. Well a few people doing that takes down an entire node as all the upstream bandwidth is consumed. And that takes out service for many people - web pages take forever to load, gaming is impossible as your ping starts averaging 100ms spiking to 500+, and forget about ssh.

          Our ISP has a limit of 60GB (Canada, and quit your comcast 250GB bitching). However, people have routinely doubled that - they don't care if it's mostly downloads. After all, there's tons of downstream bandwidth, and a few users gobbling up data doesn't really impact other's performance. If you start uploading a significant fraction of that, they take notice and send warning notices out. Heavy uploaders are the first targeted in any bandwidth measure.

    • Even a perfectly neutral ISP rightly should have a love hate relationship with bit torrent. Bit torrent can be a good thing if most of the peers are local connections. And they espeically should like peer groups that dont' exit or enter their network.

      And if an ISP were really savvy about the network topology they could strategically place their own seeds to create local peering groups. But they could not do that without having a way to track the torrent topology on their network.

      So maybe they are goo

    • by dgatwood (11270) on Monday March 08, 2010 @09:28PM (#31408704) Journal

      ISPs have a strong incentive to reduce heavy bittorrent traffic on their networks so they don't have to upgrade as often. If they can delay these upgrades under the guise of supporting intellectual property rights, it's a win win for them. I'm not saying I support this kind of thing, but it makes business sense.

      On the flip side, ISPs have a strong incentive to reduce heavy BitTorrent traffic that goes into or comes out of their networks far, far more than traffic within their network. If I were managing an ISP, I'd be analyzing BitTorrent traffic to find out how much of it is staying locally, and using that to decide whether it's worth looking for a way to extend the protocol to prefer nearby seeds by adding additional DHCP response fields, by doing something clever with mDNS, etc. Heck, if I were managing an ISP, I'd be contributing code to BitTorrent to allow ISPs to specify information about the IP ranges within our regional network and the cost of uploads/downloads through our various peer ISPs, thus allowing the P2P client to weight its traffic towards connecting to other P2P peers that are cheaper for the ISP if all other things are equal, and allowing the P2P client to more effectively use bandwidth by making sure that only one P2P client within the regional network pulls each chunk of a given file through the expensive upstream pipes, then seeds it to the other peers through the faster regional network. Performance should improve on the average *and* the cost to the ISPs would go down.

    • it's not a win win in the long term. If they cause all their customers to be sued into bankruptcy then all their paying customers won't have the money to be their customers.
    • by Jawn98685 (687784)

      ISPs have a strong incentive to reduce heavy bittorrent traffic on their networks...

      Actually, they have no such thing. What they should be doing is acting like the carriers that the are and looking at traffic, not at content. They should be all over finding ways to keep the traffic generated at the edge as close to the edge as possible. Torrent does this by design. What's inside the packets should be of no concern to the provider of the tubes, only that the tubes are used as efficiently as possible.

  • 90% of the traffic by a relatively small subset of the consumers. They hates it.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:48PM (#31407738)

      It also has a tendency to be full blast all the time. Part of what makes cheap lines cheap is that when you have a lot of people, you can share bandwidth and normal usage patterns are such that they don't interfere with each other. You can see this when you have a roommate in that your cable modem doesn't suddenly feel half the speed just because there's another person using it as well. You'll probably find that it is the same overall. Same deal with an office LAN. You all have 100mbps to your desktops and say gig to the server. Yet even with 100 people the server still seems to go full speed on your connection all the time.

      Well the reason is because normal usage isn't sustained at maximum level. It is full of spikes. You download something and then once you have the data the usage stops. The net effect is that you can oversubscribe lines and people still get good service. Everyone gets to pay less and all is well. The larger the scale the more true this seems to be. The peaks in individual usage average out such that you can oversubscribe by a good amount and nobody has problems.

      However that breaks down if people start using things to the max all the time. The suck up a lot of bandwidth and leave little for everyone else, and it doesn't relent.

      Bittorrent is very bad for that. Part of it is because of the uploading, most torrent clients will just keep serving out what they've downloaded until they are stopped. Another part is the many BTers seem to be collectors. They'll download any and every thing they come across that they have any interest in and sort through it later. They always have multiple downloads going to get more stuff.

      As such it really screws over the way cheap connections work. So it isn't just that you are using so much, though that is part of it, it is that by using so much in a continuous fashion it degrades service for others.

      • by zmollusc (763634)

        I would argue that streaming is even worse as you have to download every time you watch. Cloud computing might just increase traffic too.

        • You don't upload the stream though ; consumer IP networks were designed for people to be consumer cows, sending out very small requests for data and downloading larger amounts (music, video, etc). This is why your bandwidth is asymmetric.

          The infrastructure wasn't designed for the routing overhead of BitTorrent either - each peer is connecting to many other peers. The main problem with a lot of setups is that this rapidly fills the routing tables and consumes the CPU capacity of the routers.

          They didn't antic

      • by HungryHobo (1314109) on Monday March 08, 2010 @08:44PM (#31408298)

        On a related note fat people are now banned from All You Can Eat restaurants.

        They have a tendency to eat all the time. Part of what makes cheap food cheap is that when you have a lot of people, you can share kitchens and normal eating patterns are such that they don't interfere with each other. You can see this when you have a roommate in that your microwave doesn't suddenly cook at half the speed just because there's another person using it as well sometimes. You'll probably find that it is the same overall. Same deal with an office kitchen. You all have 1000 watts to your coffee machine and say 3000 to the plug. Yet even with 10 people the coffee maker still seems to go full speed on your java all the time.

        Well the reason is because normal usage isn't sustained at maximum level. It is full of spikes. You eat something and then once you have the meal the usage stops. The net effect is that you can oversubscribe kitchens and people still get good service. Everyone gets to pay less and all is well. The larger the scale the more true this seems to be. The peaks in individual usage average out such that you can oversubscribe by a good amount and nobody has problems.

        However that breaks down if people start using things to the max all the time. The suck up a lot of gravy and leave little for everyone else, and it doesn't relent.

        Fatties are very bad for that. Part of it is because of the farting, most fat people will just keep serving out what they've eaten until they are stopped. Another part is the many fatties seem to be huge. They'll eat any and every thing they come across that they have any interest in and digest it later. They always have multiple plates going to get more stuff.

        As such it really screws over the way cheap restaurants work.
        So it isn't just that you are using so much, though that is part of it, it is that by using so much in a continuous fashion it degrades service for others.

        That was disturbingly easy to translate....

    • Nah, the number of spambots ain't that low.

    • 90% of the traffic by a relatively small subset of the consumers. They hates it.

      That very well may be. But are these users violating their TOS? Did they pay for "all you can eat"?

  • Not Necessarily (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MidnightBrewer (97195) on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:19PM (#31407396)

    It could be evidence of ISPs wanting to reduce unwanted BitTorrent traffic by taking a pro-active stance against piracy. BitTorrent eats up a lot of bandwidth and has been targeted for throttling for a while now. Why only throttle it if you can kill it outright?

    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      i could see the DSL companies funding this, but if people can't torrent why would they pay a hundred bucks a month for cable internet when you can get DSL for $25-$30.
      • Re:Not Necessarily (Score:4, Informative)

        by nobodylocalhost (1343981) on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:51PM (#31407764)

        You are assuming that there is actually competition and not localized virtual monopolies. The reality however is that cable and teleco have divied out service area plots and hardly ever expand into each others' "turf". Even in one of the richest county in United States - Fairfax, VA. Depends on where you live, you either get Cox, Verizon, or Comcast. Areas where you may choose between the three service providers practically don't exist. So what happens when you want to drop your ISP? Well, the alternative is 56k dialup.

    • Re:Not Necessarily (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:39PM (#31407648)

      Yeah. They don't want a three-strikes law, because when you're "out" they can't overcharge you for bandwidth. What they do want is to stop you from using available bandwidth, without pissing off anyone commercial (e.g. blocking Hulu traffic would save massive bandwidth, but Hulu would get their ass in court. Going after bittorrenters, and especially "bad" bittorrent from a copyright perspective, means only pissing off customers (which is apparently many ISPs' #1 priority) and ensuring a lot of them can't fight back without risking their own asses from the MAFIAA after info on their torrenting habits is aired in open court.

      Really, if you start from an adversarial relationship with your own customers, it makes perfect sense.

      • Going after bittorrenters, and especially "bad" bittorrent from a copyright perspective, means only pissing off customers (which is apparently many ISPs' #1 priority)

        From the standpoint of the ISP, there are "good" and "bad" customers. The "bad" customers are the ones who saturate their connections and use most or all of their available bandwidth most or all of the time. If a customer is a cost center rather than a profit center, an incentive is create to "encourage" that customer to take their "business" elsewhere (preferably to a competitor). Compare this to the classic rent control scenario where landlords are incentivized to "encourage" (aka harass) a money losing t

    • There is a very easy way to reduce excess traffic, charge users by the GB. Both uploads and downloads. But that way they don't get to advertise "unlimited" connection.

      By shutting down high usage users they are breaching their contract with the user, over selling their service and using false advertisements all at the same time.

      Where are the honest ISP when you need them?

      • by cdrguru (88047)

        Most users have no idea what they are using on a GB basis. They would likely underestimate by orders of magnitude, run up excess charges, complain and likely drop their service.

        Moving from an unlimited flat-rate plan to any sort of metered usage plan would likely be devastating to any cable ISP in the US. With DSL providers offering absurdly priced plans (like $14.95 a month), moving to a metered plan would only work in most markets if the DSL providers did as well. Since they face utterly different mark

  • Bittorrent makes users demand more bandwidth, which is good for ISPs I guess, someone has to pay for the network improvements.
    So ISPs should solve equal or fair speed distribution among users (so that bittorrent users don't block others), rather than hunt the clients that use the service to its full extent.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LordLucless (582312)
      I imagine you're not in the US.

      I'm from Australia, and our ISPs love bittorrent, for the reason you describe - it drives people towards their higher data, more expensive, plans. In the US, however, their ISPs generally only sell unlimited plans. They are therefore financially motivated to try and stop people from actually using their services. They get the most money from people who subscribe, but don't use much bandwidth. People who use a lot of bandwidth actually cost them money.

      Their behaviour is a r
    • by copponex (13876) on Monday March 08, 2010 @08:07PM (#31407936) Homepage

      The internet is quickly turning everything we consume into data. Cable companies want to fragment what being on the internet means, and then charge you extra for wanting to use port 25 or have the "privilege" of using bittorrent. They want you to pay for cable TV even if you can get everything off of hulu or directly from nbc.com.

      If they can use technology to kick off high bandwidth users or force them to pay more without having to expand infrastructure, that's a hell of a lot better than expanding infrastructure. More short term profit. Higher stock price.

    • Due to Net Neutrality, ISPs are not able to implement priority routing. Thus, the only other option left is force hard bandwidth limits. This however does not sit well in a market place where most ISPs claim they offer unlimited internet access. Please note upgrading does not make business sense. Just because you obtain some arbitrary amount of bandwidth does not mean the heavy users will not soak these up as well. All it takes is word of mouth and the number heavy users grow from few and far between to a g

      • Due to Net Neutrality, ISPs are not able to implement priority routing.

        Baloney. For one thing, in the USA there is no requirement for net neutrality, that was stripped away in FCC vs Brand X. [wikipedia.org]

        For another thing, the concept of Net Neutrality does not care about protocols only end-points. So priority routing based on the protocol (i.e. bittorrent vs voip) is A-OK. But priority based on the end-point (i.e. ESPN vs Google) is where the problem starts.

  • Do it your self (Score:4, Interesting)

    by KevMar (471257) on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:22PM (#31407446) Homepage Journal

    All they want are honest numbers. We know we cannot trust MPAA/RIAA for those.

    I'm not saying we can trust the numbers or have any idea how ISP's will use the results. But they will be more informed when they decided to support or fight ACTA.

    • As more people and organizations do vast amounts of computing on cheap clouds, eventually clouds are going to stop being almost free. Sure, the servers are being used in a very efficient way, but more and more servers are going to have to be purchased.
  • by renger (1607815) * on Monday March 08, 2010 @07:22PM (#31407452)
    As cable company researchers, their goal is to maximize profits for the cable industry. This includes: reducing (and delaying) the need to invest in new cable-modem equipment, reducing the size of the Internet transit circuits that they must purchase from real IP backbone providers, reducing the quantity of TV channels they must give-up to make room for DOCSIS (cable modem) channels, reducing any competition for video services from (non-cable-company) Internet-video sources, and so on. Cable company executives care about MPAA/RIAA only so far as it affects the size of their bonus checks. It is always about the money.

    Let's hope the fiber-based operators kick their sorry coax ass. (And let us be vigilant that the fiber operators don't become similarly arrogant and unresponsive once they assume the throne of dominant last-mile provider.)
    • Hmm... you do not see some sort of interest mixing when cable providers give you internet and TV, providers that sometimes also hold the rights to certain shows?

    • Let's hope the fiber-based operators kick their sorry coax ass.

      Right now, I fail to see the difference between a fiber and coax operator other than quality of service. Both are interested in traffic management.

  • Really? An interested party funding research that could that affects their business model? This seems to be a non-story, unless this is the first time these financial ties have been revealed between bit torrent researchers and ISPs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      This seems to be a non-story, unless this is the first time these financial ties have been revealed between bit torrent researchers and ISPs.

      This is not so much about calling the researchers' methods and findings into question as the ISPs motivation for funding the research. As far as I can tell, the research seems to be sound and pretty neat. The question is WHY are ISPs interested in FUNDING this sort of research?

      One possibility that the submitter didn't consider is the fact that many researchers list their funding sources on all published papers, regardless of whether the funding was given to fund that specific project. So it could be that

      • by cosm (1072588)
        The question is WHY are ISPs interested in FUNDING this sort of research?

        It seems fairly obvious. Easier to bow down to the media overlords than fight their army of lawyers and actually protect the subscribers. Maybe I am assuming to much, but it just seems logical and much more straight forward than the speculative rhetoric the article uses.
  • Close to home (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I remember reading about some of this papers references last year. I found it interesting as at the time I was working for a company that had been data mining, advertising and "other" activities over P2P networks for several years. Working there made me feel kinda sleazy, but it was a paycheck when I needed it, at least until the investors got spooked and stopped writing pay checks...

  • Pirates fund ISPs. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    If a pirate stops being a pirate then they stop needing the (expensive) super fast broadband and will happily settle for a budget connection. ISP's thinking a bit too much in the short term here?

    • by cdrguru (88047)

      The real issue isn't how much the customer is providing in revenue, but how \much they are costing. Could be that the budget plan has more profit in it than the fatter plan when it is actually being used.

      Obviously, an unused fat plan is the most revenue with the fewest costs, as long as the customer never calls tech support.

      But an underutilized budget plan may be more profitable than a maxed-out fat plan.

  • for as little as $13/mo

    My eyes somehow jumped to that part first. At first, looks kinda like an ad, doesn't it?

    Monitor Pirate Bay torrents TODAY, for only $13/month!

    • for as little as $13/mo

      My eyes somehow jumped to that part first. At first, looks kinda like an ad, doesn't it?

      Monitor Pirate Bay torrents TODAY, for only $13/month!

      Unfortunately for them, the Pirate Bay's got a better ad. IPREDator for 5 Euros a month. [ipredator.se]

    • by game kid (805301)

      I misread that as "Monitor Pirate Bay torrents of TODAY [wikipedia.org]" and wondered who could've incurred the wrath of Comcast. Or Al Roker.

      (Do not piss off Roker. He can control the weather and make you cry [go.com].)

  • There is a very real possibility that ISP's will be required to enforce copyright laws in the same way that convenience stores are required to enforce age limits for alcohol and tobacco. ISP's might also lose the "safe harbor" provisions and become "accessories" to the actions of their users.

    If either of these possibilities becomes law the ISP's will be required to shut down IP infringing traffic. So it could be evidence that ISP's are looking for a way to comply with such laws should they be passed.
    • by mykos (1627575)
      I wonder how many billions of tax dollars a year are currently wasted on what substances people ingest, or (possibly coming up) fighting against people seeing and hearing information they aren't entitled to see and hear?
  • "Could this be evidence of ISP support for ACTA and a global three-strikes law?"

    For some reason, I just got an image in my head. It's a mat with different conclusions on it that you can jump to.

    More likely this would be more useful for them to justify jacking up the rates for those who use such a "bandwidth intensive" application. Besides, I assumed the **AA was already doing this, compiling vast amounts of evidence. Once they get their first "win" in a p2p trial, they'll upend the dumptruck and start
  • http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9920665-7.html [cnet.com]
    "So far, investigators have recorded more than 642,000 "unique serial numbers" that can be traced to the United States and another 650,000
    of them that cannot be traced to a particular country, with the number of unique serial numbers rising steadily
    each month since "widespread capturing" of the details began in October 2005.
    So they bought up computers, join the networks and map them out :)
    What have the discovered?
    The shock of people using the pipes the
  • lol (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Monday March 08, 2010 @08:07PM (#31407948)
    Being someone that works for a major ISP in the department in which we receive and act on copyright complaints, I can tell you... we hate it. Think of it this way, when the DMCA was passed we suddenly had to create an entire department that produced no profits. In fact, it sometimes forces us to disconnect customers and LOSE money. I know that managent rutinely goes to our legal department to find out if they can just stop enforcing DMCA all together. Now, throttling the bandwidth of torrent users? Yea... they're all over that. What ISPs want are little old ladies paying $100/month for 10MB service and only using it to check their mail once a day.
    • Being someone that works for a major ISP in the department in which we receive and act on copyright complaints, I can tell you... we hate it.

      The summary missed that one, but the commenters hit upon the real motivation almost immediately. The cable ISPs (not sure if the telcos care quite as much) care about bitorrent to the extent that "heavy users" cost more money to accommodate than they generate in monthly subscription fees; obviously the cable ISP would be better off financially if they could boot the "high cost/low value" customer and use the recovered bandwidth to sell a few more subscriptions to "good" customers (i.e. the ones who almost n

    • Being someone that works for a major ISP in the department in which we receive and act on copyright complaints, I can tell you... we hate it.

      I have absolutely no sympathy whatsoever. I hope every day that they're forced to run the dept that the CFO has a little cry to himself.

      Trolling aside, the only solution to file sharing on the internet is to start local-network seeding for torrents etc. Yes, that means the ISP buying terrabytes of storage and hosting files to be downloaded.

      Talk amongst yourselves, bribe, extort, blackmail, sue, every other underhanded trick to get authorisation to implement it, and see your problems drop to nothing. Other

  • Fact is, bandwidth ain't free.
    ISPs need to implement hard bandwidth caps (say, 100GB per month or whatever number makes sense depending on the plan you are on). If you exceed the usage caps, you have to pay extra (and/or your connection is dropped to slow speeds for the rest of the billing cycle)

    Hard bandwidth caps combined with an easy to use usage meter to tell exactly how much you have left solve the problem. If someone wants to use their whole 100GB in the first few days sucking down globs of content fr

  • I honestly don't care if it's the ISPs deciding what is and isn't permissible communication, or if it's the government, or the copyright protection organizations.
    An entity with broad control of what people can and can't communicate is more frightening to me than losing the .00000001% of people who make their millions from their personal art.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mjwx (966435)

      An entity with broad control of what people can and can't communicate is more frightening to me than losing the .00000001% of people who make their millions from somebody else's art.

      There, fixed that for you.

  • Proof positive that money can buy scientific results?
  • Those encryption protocols for us heavy torrent users.

    I'd like to seed out a 6 gig file of nothing but text that repeats the phrase "MY ISP SUCKS ASS", see if they get a kick out of that.

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