Downloads torrents are tracked, study finds

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A survey conducted by the University of Birmingham in England, indicates that users who share and download files from BitTorrent torrent (program P2P file sharing) can be monitored. Specialist who led the research, Dr Tom Chothia, warned that any can be monitored. “You do not necessarily need to perform bulk downloads to be tracked. Anyone can download a movie,” he told British newspaper Daily Telegraph . “If the content is in the top 100, he will be monitored within hours, someone will notice and record it.” This type of conduct would be accomplished by copyright protection organizations, security companies and also research laboratories, but , the study found no evidence that the data collected are being used for some purpose. “This type of monitoring is easy to be done and the data are there, then they think they can collect them well, because they can be valuable information in the future,” said Chothia. Yet according to the survey, there are about 10 companies performing the monitoring of content.

For security expert at Sophos, Graham Cluley, the research will not make a significant difference on the issue of piracy. “I think people do download movies for years and most of the general public thinks this is acceptable. People think, even if it is technically illegal, it is they who will pay for what happened.” Cluley added that Copyright owners need to take a more proactive stance with regard to illegal downloads: “If, when making a download, people receive a warning on the screen, or an e-mail saying ‘we know that you just downloaded an episode of Desperate Housewives ‘or something, then they can make a start and this will prevent them from doing it again. ”

Tracked or not, it is good to be aware. Two users in the United States, Joel Tenenbaum andJammie Thomas-rasset , were sentenced to pay a fine high to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA stands for the Recording Industry Association of America) for downloading and sharing music through Kazaa P2P program.

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