Monitoring firm can log the downloading of content by the illegal file-sharer on BitTorrent within three hour duration
The illegal use of file-sharing service BitTorrent to download the latest film or music release is likely to be monitored, according to a new study.
A study performed by the UK's Birmingham University reveals that the monitoring firm can log the downloading of popular content by the illegal file-sharer within three hour duration.
The report also revealed that a team of computer scientists have carried out the three-year research and have developed software which operated as a client of BitTorrent file-sharing and logged all the connections made to it.
University of Birmingham's School of Computer Science researcher Dr Tom Chothia said this work reveals the full scale of the monitoring of illegal file sharers.
"Almost everyone that shares popular films and music illegally will be connected to by a monitor and will have their IP address logged. What is done with this information in the long term only time will tell," Chothia said.
According to the study, a single download from a filesharing service would be logged within three hours, but administrations monitoring the activity would not be able to differentiate between mass downloaders and initial sharers.
"All the monitors observed during the study would connect to file sharers believed to be sharing illegal content and verify that they were running the BitTorrent software, however they would not actually collect any of the files being shared," Chothia said.
"Many firms are simply sitting on the data. 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.
"Therefore, it is questionable whether the monitors observed would actually have evidence of file sharing that would stand up in court."