Illegal file transfer using BitTorrent protocol

By devynp at 4:54 pm on February 12, 2009 | 1 Comment

BitTorrent has been popularly used for transferring files illegally because it reduces a vast amount of networking bandwidth that would have been required. The way it works is that users can connect to each other directly to send and receive files. The tracker generally does not have any information about the contents of file being transferred because the users directly connect one-to-one. There’s no one server that serve all users. Also, the uploading and downloading process happen at the same time, allowing it to use the bandwidth efficiently.

Because of the speed and no cost transfer, BitTorrent protocol has been used by people to transfer files, such as movies, music, and softwares illegally.

It is hard to prevent the development of such smart protocol. People have all sort of things in mind to develop. The creator of BitTorrent apparently has a creative mind to create such protocol that use bandwidth efficiently, and allow people to share files with one another, rather than downloading from a central server.

Illegal file sharing can negatively affect a lot of people. The entertainment industry will be at lost because people wouldn’t go out to the store to buy a CD. The consumers will download those files almost instantly and for free, without caring about the consequences of their illegal download. As a result entertainment industries are losing profits, and soon, they would collapse. In the long run, the companies will lose incentive to create/improve new products and, in the worst case, the consumers may not be able to enjoy such entertainment anymore.

To prevent the illegal file sharing issues, the government can enforce copyright laws stringently. The consequences of illegal downloads may be enforced through campaigns. A more recent technique is found, that is to sniff illegal file transfers . This tool can detect such transfers and keeps a record of the transfer as an evidence. The nice thing is that the tool works silently; it will not slow down the network traffic.

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    Comment by jap24

    February 13, 2009 @ 5:47 pm

    How would a illegal file sniffer work? I doubt it could accurately figure out whether or not packets are illegal on an individual basis, since each packet carries only a small number of bits in the payload. Even if there was a program that intercepted packets and pieced together the files being transferred, how would it determine whether or not a given transfer was illegal? Also, a system that pieced together files like that would need an incredible amount of memory at its disposal to work on a large scale. And if all of that could actually work with a reasonable amount of resources, it seems to me like it could be bypassed simply by encrypting or transforming the data before sending it.

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