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Virgin Media To Trial Filesharing Monitoring In UK

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the deep-pocket-inspection dept.

The Internet 280

Shokaster writes "The Register reports that Virgin Media are to begin monitoring file sharing using a deep packet inspection system, CView, provided by Deltica, a BAE subsidiary. The trial will cover about 40% of customers, although those involved will not be informed. CView's deep packet inspection is the same technology that powered Phorm's advertising system. Initially Virgin Media's implementation will focus on music sharing and will inspect packets to determine whether the content is licensed or unlicensed, based on data provided by the record industry. Virgin Media emphasised that records will not be kept on individual customers and that data on the level of copyright infringement will be aggregated and anonymised."

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280 comments

Virgin media? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241066)

Deep packet inspection? All sounds like a porn operation to me.

Time to encrypt everything. (5, Insightful)

pushf popf (741049) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241202)

If they thought DPI was expensive, wait until they try real-time decryption

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (2)

phpster (1636789) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241252)

Vuze / Azerus already does this. Uses RC4 as the algorithm. But it should be enough to stop the virgin in it's tracks. Especially if they encode each download with a different key, like a random hash

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (2, Insightful)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241326)

And by "aggregated and anonymised", they mean they will send all the records to the record labels grouped by address. They won't even send the DSL subscribers name to the record label. Promise.

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241466)

Vuze / Azerus already does this. Uses RC4 as the algorithm. But it should be enough to stop the virgin in it's tracks.

Indeed, from the linked artcle:

Klein added that encryption of data would cause major problems for CView. "Encryption of the data packet would defeat us," he said. "We're not going to put the processing power into defeating it."

Most p2p software is able to encryption now days....use it.

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241700)

But unless client and server agree on a private key in advance, by offline means, a Man in the Middle can still proxy the key negotiation and access the plaintext.

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 4 years ago | (#30242060)

Two words: Diffie and Hellman.

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (3, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30242116)

Well yeah but reading up [wikipedia.org] it seems that A person in the middle may establish two distinct Diffie–Hellman key exchanges, one with Alice and the other with Bob, effectively masquerading as Alice to Bob, and vice versa, allowing the attacker to decrypt (and read or store) then re-encrypt the messages passed between them. A pre-arranged certificate could be used to exclude the man in the middle but then the client may proceed with the negotiation anyway (to get their stuff) and the cert can be comprimised if it is sent in the clear over the same link, ie, by apt-get or similar.

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30242154)

How about Diffie-Helman + Interlock? I thought that was supposed to be immune to MITM.

An All-or-nothing transform could also increase the amount of storage that Virgin would have to keep.

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30242928)

It can tell you that an eavesdropper is in the middle of the link, but this doesn't help you if you know your link is compromised by the company which operates it. In that case you can only look for alternatives or fall back to keys arranged over other channels.

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#30242196)

But unless client and server agree on a private key in advance, by offline means, a Man in the Middle can still proxy the key negotiation and access the plaintext.

I can't help but think that that might be just a little illegal unless it was done by law enforcement with a warrant, as would any form of decrypting an encrypted transmission.

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (5, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241274)

I've got a better idea. Have your legislators ensure they stay the hell out of your content. They aren't allowed to listen to your phone calls, wy the hhell should they be allowed to look at your data. Seriously ... if they suspect people of committing a crime, they should get a warrant.

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (5, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241334)

if they suspect people of committing a crime, they should get a warrant.

But that would involve due process and presumption innocence, and well, we can't have that now. What's next? Right to a fair trial?

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241482)

They aren't allowed to listen to your phone calls, wy the hhell should they be allowed to look at your data

Yeah, and look at how well governments followed that law http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSA_warrantless_surveillance_controversy [wikipedia.org]

Any human rights documents from any western country (UK, US, Canada, etc) are quickly becoming no more than toilet paper.

The only way we have to stop them is to make it physically impossible for them to trample our rights. Encryption is one way we can stop this abuse of power. Laws only get us so far when "national security" is on the line.

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (1)

cellurl (906920) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241550)

they will always win, they have unlimited money.
You have to fight legally and technically, mainly legally. I too am guilty of thinking, "well I can beat that with this technology and that scheme, but I know in my heart it is temporary only". So, write a letter to someone/anyone and bitch, and I will do the same....

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241632)

Any human rights documents from any western country (UK, US, Canada, etc) are quickly becoming no more than toilet paper.

Isn't that an interesting coincidence that they all became this way at (relatively) the same time? You'd think that the ones who don't become this way would enjoy a degree of economic and social prosperity that would give them quite a competitive edge against the other nations.

When are you guys going to wake up and realize that sovereign nations hardly exist anymore? If you want to understand who really pulls the strings of our puppet politicians, look no further than the global bankers, the ones who run the Federal Reserve and similar institutions that every major Western country has. These guys are the ones who decided that basic civil rights are inconvenient obstacles, and they have caused all of the Western nations to march in lockstep with their intentions. Their immediate goal is to run the USA into the ground both financially and legally, because the sovereignty of the USA and its "superpower" status is an obstacle to them. Their next step will be to group Canada, the USA, and Mexico into an American Union with one currency, called the Amero, and the arrangement will be quite similar to the EU except far less voluntary.

You can say whatever you like about the problems caused by and shown by the USA. Right now, its sovereignty is about the only thing holding us back from a one-world government. The idea of a one-world government all by itself isn't that bad. The problem is that it's not being ushered in by popular demand or anything remotely resembling a democratic process. It's being ushered in by deception and manipulation.

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241756)

Encryption is one way we can stop this abuse of power.

Yeah, but you know that they'll end up throttling encrypted traffic down to 56k speeds.

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (4, Interesting)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30242570)

I fully agree. The rise of surveillance of telecommunications (of whatever method) in the West is getting a bit alarming. Ubiquitous encryption will become the standard I feel. We are moving towards a word where all new software, systems and protocols that get developed, will include encryption to a greater or lesser extent.

It started with the widespread logging and monitoring of all phone calls entering and leaving the US after 9/11 (this really irritates me as a non-American - that my calls TO America are getting logged and possibly intercepted). Since then though I feel that it is the UK that is becoming the worst offender. AU and NZ are still pretty much surveillance-free ... although that's mostly a product of them being isolated and not having suffered a direct attack, rather than them having stricter protections against this kind of thing. I'm sure if there were an attack or threat there, there would be impetus to implement similar systems to the US/UK.

So yeah, I would urge everyone to use encryption in their daily lives as much as they can. Of course, most of us have nothing to hide in this respect, but it's really the ~principle~ of the thing that is at stake here, rather than an actual need to encrypt. If we make it technically or financially unfeasible to monitor communications en masse, then Governments will be more reluctant to do it, and will return to concentrating on tapping into only particular, suspected communications, by way of a proper warrant. Like they ~should~ be doing.

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241374)

Wouldn't using encryption be "circumventing a copyright protection mechanism" .. oh, UK, sorry.

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241436)

Wouldn't using encryption be "circumventing a copyright protection mechanism" .. oh, UK, sorry.

      Wouldn't trying to crack my encryption be "circumventing a copyright protection mechanism"? After all you can't know what's in the packet until you "open" the packet.

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241620)

Only if the data is yours and copyrightable after they decrypt it since you aren't the copyright holder of the music in question and only the copyright holder is protected by the DMCA.

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (1)

rundgren (550942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241520)

"circumventing a copyright protection mechanism" is illegal in most of Europe as well... Thanks for the inspiration, Mr. Sam.

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241656)

> Wouldn't using encryption be "circumventing a copyright protection mechanism"

Not in the USA, but of course this is in Europe.

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (1)

cellurl (906920) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241518)

agreed,
so whats the plan?

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241666)

If they thought DPI was expensive, wait until they try real-time decryption

Encryption can get you into trouble [theregister.co.uk] in the UK/

How do they know? (5, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241072)

I have a friend who's an amateur musician and devices (his mobile phone) have started to deny him the ability to play his own music due to it being "unlicensed".

How the hell do these clowns expect to be able to figure out what's unauthorised copying?

Re:How do they know? (4, Interesting)

zonky (1153039) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241078)

What mobile phone make/model was this?

Re:How do they know? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241102)

why would they bother? all they have to do is make legal threats and demand payment or they will haul you into court which will be even more expensive for you.

people on here think they have somehow been winning this fight to control media, when they have been kidding themselfs. the fight hasn't even STARTED yet...

Re:How do they know? (3, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241110)

The more false-positives they measure, the more they can make the case for increasingly intrusive DPI which will inevitably include personally identifying users and meddling with their traffic if not disconnecting them.

It's nice to see the military industrial complex involved in the music industry's problem.

Re:How do they know? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241182)

Only the RIAA is allowed to distribute music there will be no other source or at least that is looking like their plan.

I suggest a boycott during the 3rd Quarter: April 1, 2010- June 30, 2010, and 4th Quarter: July 1, 2010 - September 30, 2010
Someone could set up a nice website, people could vote on a list of demands/consumer rights, and people could start an email/facebook campaign. A dent in the industries profits might get these people's attention.

I for one think the Public Domain needs to be given back the original copyright was 14 years with a one time extension.

Re:How do they know? (3, Informative)

twotailakitsune (1229480) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241322)

Boycotts do not work. I would think we would fingered that out after what Jefferson and Madison did in the start of the 1800's. "Free ships make free trade"

Re:How do they know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30242802)

And yet their revolution started on a boycott.

Re:How do they know? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241508)

Look, the RIAA and their equivalents in other countries do not see losses in profit as "hey, we better do something different", no they say "PIRACY!!!11!1111!1!1" and use that to fuel more crap laws to extend copyright. Boycotts do not work. Even if indie records outsell RIAA records, the big labels would simply buy the smaller labels.

Re:How do they know?Christmas sale, free shipping (-1, Offtopic)

coolforsale128 (1687832) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241294)

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Re:How do they know?Christmas sale, free shipping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30242008)

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Re:How do they know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241502)

Well duh, as the article summary says, they're going to ask the music industry ... therefore, obviously, EVERYTHING that looks like music is copyrighted in their opinion.

Re:How do they know? (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241836)

Don't worry. It'll all be throttled soon. I predict that anyone who wants to produce content will need a special business line.

To use VoIP, that'll be throttled, as will non-branded chat apps. Anything that will allow a telco-style grab for features. The most expensive will be the one which permits encryption for working from home... unless you're a big company who can afford a mutual kickback relationship with the telco.

The days of the free Internet are coming to an end. It'll be as dead as devoid of creative talent as radio and television soon. Because, well, we have to protect the artist.

Re:How do they know? (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30242174)

The days of the free Internet are coming to an end.

Perhaps it's time we invented something else. We're still here, aren't we?

How about some peer-to-peer mechanism that bypasses the ISP's altogether?

Ok, that's at least half said in jest. But this whole matter, relative to the sheer astounding amount of information that passes between people, puts me in mind of trying to dig the sea out of a sand castle. The rough note is that we have to stay ahead of the bastards who try to limit the means of communication, or put a tap on it for control and money. The cool note is my firm belief that we always will. Samizdat brought down one global empire, and something new, morally similar yet technically astute might bring down another - and I'm not talking about the US Government, here. I'm talking about a music cartel.

Packet Inspection (1)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 4 years ago | (#30242100)

Not only that, those packets they're "inspecting" could be for anything. If you back up your Mac (including your music collection) to MobileMe, does it flag your file transfers as unauthorized filesharing? What about if you access your files over a VPN? What if you email your favourite music to your Gmail account so you can listen to it from work or on vacation? What if you upload them to your phone to use as a ringtone?

Re:Packet Inspection (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30242542)

>>What about if you access your files over a VPN?

If they can tell what files I'm sending over an encrypted VPN link, then they have some impressive technology indeed.

But your point is valid - how do they know if the music I'm sending is an authorized transfer or not? What if I'm the person who owns the content?

Re:How do they know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30242132)

I believe their new policy regarding music as set by the UKRIA is...

"All music is considered unlicensed unless pre-arranged and approved by UKRIA solicitor in writing at least 4 weeks prior to attempted copying"

CAPTCHA: sucker

I say lets try to confuse them. (3, Funny)

bintech (37449) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241082)

Quick, everyone start sharing Barry Manilow songs.

Re:I say lets try to confuse them. (4, Funny)

Fex303 (557896) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241538)

Mr Manilow, this is an outstanding viral marketing campaign. I congratulate you on your forthcoming resurgence among the hard to reach tween/teen demographics.

encryption (1)

LividBlivet (898817) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241128)

obfuscated connection in 3..2...1

Six months from now (3, Insightful)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241152)

27th May 2010

Just 6 months after the announcement to monitor their network for illegal filesharers, Virgin Media has seen a dramatic decline in subscribers.
90% of their top tier customers (renting 20Mb/sec) have canceled their subscriptions
This figure is similar (82%) for their 10Mb/sec tier

Furthermore, the cost of the controversial detection methods (Deep Packet Inspection) has meant that the company has had to increase monthly subscription costs across all tiers by 10-20%
This has seen decline (albeit much smaller, at 47%) in their lowest tier of service

Re:Six months from now (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241164)

Only in your fantasies. Nothing will change. They'll keep the same subscriber level, and if there's any changes in level it will be due to deteriorating economic conditions.

Face it: the average schlub doesn't give a rat's ass about the security of their internet connection from the ISP itself. In their thoughts: "Why should I? I've got nothing to hide!"

Re:Six months from now (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241250)

I agree with the AC above me, and moreover: not only do people not care, but they don't generally even *know*. They don't understand the issues involved and have about as much understanding of their network connection as my cat has of internal combustion engines.

Plus, there's often not much choice. Where I live there's exactly ONE choice for broadband. Some of my friends have two, both fairly evil. What does one do when all the available choices suck?

Re:Six months from now (1)

flameproof (1460175) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241410)

True enough, but they still have to "grow" their business - ie, make new, future customers.

As an "unlicenced" musician with free stuff on the web which might be blocked, I don't plan on using Virgin now, do you? Would you recommend their service? How about just a little office smack-talk on behalf of how 'wonderful' Virgin Media is for sniffing your ass every time you decide to connect to their servers?

Yeah - that's the pro-active ticket.

Re:Six months from now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241606)

Agreed. I'm a Virgin Media customer and I won't be leaving because they're still the cheapest deal for me. I guess I'll be encrypting my torrents from now on.

Re:Six months from now (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241652)

Only in your fantasies. Nothing will change. They'll keep the same subscriber level, and if there's any changes in level it will be due to deteriorating economic conditions.

Face it: the average schlub doesn't give a rat's ass about the security of their internet connection from the ISP itself. In their thoughts: "Why should I? I've got nothing to hide!"

When are people going to learn that it's not about whether you have something to hide? It's about what they want to find and it always was.

Re:Six months from now (2, Insightful)

Lord_Jeremy (1612839) | more than 4 years ago | (#30242496)

Except the average schlub is probably illegally downloading movies or music. So when they find out that their internet company is going to stop them from doing it, they're going to react badly. Piracy is very quickly becoming a mainstream phenomenon. It's not only "cool" to pirate stuff, it's practical and often expected.

there BIG LACK of HD is killing off subscribers as (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241430)

there BIG LACK of HD is killing off subscribers as well and this maybe to topper as people will give faster internet for FULL INTERNET.

Re:Six months from now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241612)

Oh, you mean their biggest bandwidth hogs will be going to other ISPs? Newsflash: Virgin Media would be cracking open the champange and dancing in the streets if that happened. And the other ISPs would be falling all over themselves to implement the same DPI system.

It's funny how little people understand how the Internet works, even on Slashdot.

Re:Six months from now (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30243000)

What about people who have some problem such as laggy connections and, not being too technically minded, make the jump in their minds to deep packet inspection being the hidden cause? Maybe deep packet inspection isn't even really slowing things down or glitching connections or whatever, but doesn't it sound like it would to the average person? What happens when these people think the real issue can be summed up as "This company is lying through their teeth to me", and not some technical explanation? So Virgin's most dumb but honest customers will be going to other ISPs? (And talking accordingly?)
      And what about the people who decide they don't need high speed at all if they can't be a bandwidth hog? They aren't going to call support and say, "I'm a bandwidth hog and you probably are glad to get rid of me!", they're going to say something such as "My needs have decreased, and you want too much for the kind of service I need now." Virgin won't see their least valued customers leaving, they will see a mix of problem customers and others leaving.
      Maybe over six months they lose 20% of their base. Half of that could be high demand, make problems users, great! But maybe the other half is bedrock customer base, moms and pops, and they are talking about how the company is like Sirius Cybernetics.

Re:Six months from now (1)

Attaturk (695988) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241822)

Well here's one Virgin cable customer (£30/month) that'll definitely be cancelling next week and specifying the reason for cancelling as deep packet inspection. Hopefully I won't be the only one with the sense to send that message.

Re:Six months from now (2, Informative)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241936)

Try Be
www.bethere.co.uk

Excellent service

More details here: (4, Informative)

D-R0C (1358485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241154)

"Virgin Media executive director of broadband, Jon James, told ZDNet UK on Thursday that the trial will go live "within days". He added that the use of such traffic-monitoring technology was part of its distribution deal with media company Universal." http://news.zdnet.co.uk/security/0,1000000189,39906062,00.htm [zdnet.co.uk]

Re:More details here: (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241400)

So now I know what their engineers have been doing instead of upgrading the upstream infrastructure so that my 10Mbit connection can provide better than 500kbit with 33% packet loss. Trebles all round.

Re:More details here: (4, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30243042)

Excellent! I presume that Virgin Media have also built the infrastructure to comply with EU/UK privacy regulations?

Such as, e.g., a facility to allow *every* broadband customer to be informed of and if they so choose to view *all* the information being gathered about themselves, and allow *any* of this data to be edited for accuracy by the customer, and allow *all* of this data to be deleted from *all* their servers if the customer decides to end the contract with Virgin at any time, etc.

Moreover, I presume that Virgin Media have ensured that the nature of the data they do collect is technically necessary for the provision of their ISP service to each customer, and not simply a gratuitous and illegal collection of data that is requested for a completely independent purpose set out in a completely different contract with another entity, and to which the customer himself is not actually a party.

These are bad economic times, and it would be a pity if some idle British lawyer were to look a little too closely at this announcement...

Encrypted Anonymous File Sharing (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241194)

Which is worse: All data being free, including data you don't personally like? Or regimes of data control?

Will they track their own usenet server? (4, Interesting)

Winckle (870180) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241354)

Here's a bit of a dilemma, they crack down on filesharing, yet run a free usenet server for their customers with alt.binaries included with 5 days retention.

Will they issue a takedown to themselves?

Re:Will they track their own usenet server? (2)

Bandman (86149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241448)

Frankly, I find it amazing that Usenet is still on anyone's radar. Even the alt.binaries groups. It's been a long time since I've found an ISP that includes a free usenet server. The reliable ones are the ones that you have to pay for, and honestly, if you're going to pay to pirate things, you're probably doing it wrong.

Re:Will they track their own usenet server? (1)

Winckle (870180) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241484)

Actually usenet is probably the best way to go, and the rates for premium servers are incredibly cheap.

Re:Will they track their own usenet server? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241524)

Rule #1: You do not talk about usenet.

Re:Will they track their own usenet server? (1)

nulldaemon (926551) | more than 4 years ago | (#30242592)

Frankly, I find it amazing that Usenet is still on anyone's radar. Even the alt.binaries groups. It's been a long time since I've found an ISP that includes a free usenet server. The reliable ones are the ones that you have to pay for, and honestly, if you're going to pay to pirate things, you're probably doing it wrong.

Here in Australia most of the major ISPs provide a free Usenet account. My current ISP has a link straight to Giganews with 300+ days retention. TBH I'm surprised people still use torrents when Usenet is so much faster, easier and safer.

Re:Will they track their own usenet server? (4, Informative)

Bull_UK (944763) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241900)

Please dont mention use*** the last thing I want is for them to realise they still have it.

Re:Will they track their own usenet server? (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30242956)

Here's a bit of a dilemma, they crack down on filesharing, yet run a free usenet server for their customers with alt.binaries included with 5 days retention.

Will they issue a takedown to themselves?

Due to the repeated issuance of takedown notices (by our own company but we're not telling you that) we regret that we have been forced to remove free access to alt.binaries. If you wish to use that service please subscribe to our new service - PayPerViewBinaries - for just 12.99 per month (well until we increase it to 30.95 next month but we won't tell you that either).

Within days? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241372)

I'm pretty sure that it has already started. Today, my torrents were so slow that I was considering checking to see if other people were having problems too.. I visit /. and lo and behold, I see this story. Could be a coincidence, but compared to more usual speeds? Hmm, makes me wonder.

Re:Within days? (1)

some_guy_88 (1306769) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241662)

Ring them up and complain. Tell them you'll switch ISP.

No one believes the promise of anonymity (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241380)

I guess I'll fill in some space down here because slashdot will not likely let me post a subject-only comment, but seriously, what more needs to be said? I can't believe they are even saying that with a straight face. Governments barely have anyone or anything to answer two when they lie to people. Businesses like Virgin media most certainly do not. The only thing that their bullshit proves is that they are aware of what the public response will be and that they are afraid of it at some level.

Re:No one believes the promise of anonymity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30242070)

Definatly my first thought.

Yeah, you're anonymously aggregating data about filesharing, just for the heck of it, eh?

Good pressure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241416)

Good. This will put the pressure on filesharers that's long been needed to finally encourage everyone to switch to encrypted protocols. :D

Could this cause legal problems for them? (4, Insightful)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241458)

Ok. They're monitoring their customers for illegal file sharing, even going so far as to identify whether or not the copied material has been licensed by the copyright holders. Does this not make them guilty of contributory infringement? They are providing the networks which allow users to infringe copyright. They know that infringement is taking place via their deep packets inspection, down to the level of individual acts of infringement. Then they are destroying data which can identify infringers, but they continue to provide them with networks service. How is this legal?

Re:Could this cause legal problems for them? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241678)

> How is this legal?

In the USA they would be protected by the "safe harbor" provisions of the DMCA. In the UK, however...

Re:Could this cause legal problems for them? (3, Insightful)

d36 (1442889) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241694)

because they have enough money to buy the government?

Re:Could this cause legal problems for them? (1)

master811 (874700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30242064)

Unlikely considering they have £4bn+ of debt.

Re:Could this cause legal problems for them? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30242610)

Right, and from a politicians point of view that's the same thing as rolling in a pile of money ;)

Re:Could this cause legal problems for them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30242818)

Easy, Governments work with negative numbers. Hence minus 4 or 5 (-4/5) million/billion are good numbers.

Encrypt (4, Insightful)

some_guy_88 (1306769) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241472)

Everything.

Re:Encrypt (3, Funny)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241838)

Everything.

Ok
cewqqwavkbqfycpligfbnoppilrsbmfDshcaswlpgjxyeuwhkz2gejdtx6wzhutcofalcwTl

Re:Encrypt (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30242088)

KS##FGSkl#KL@%$^2452kjfsDk;12012iflkjds235235asd0-di23j=-=-2ls,.s`1#%fdkl

This won't work (1, Insightful)

sammydee (930754) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241622)

This won't work, most modern bittorrent clients use encryption by default now anyway. Shame they don't just save the money and spend it on upgrading their infrastructure instead...

Re:This won't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241806)

They'll start throttling all encrypted traffic.

Re:This won't work (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30242134)

That will be a thrill to their business customers. I'm in Canada, and if Telus or Shaw started throttling encrypted traffic, we'd be well and truly screwed. DSL and cable uplink speeds suck enough already, but holy fuck, that would be bad.

Re:This won't work (1)

Imrik (148191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30243018)

It wouldn't be that difficult to only throttle encrypted traffic for residential customers, having a side effect of giving further incentive for businesses to get a business account.

misnomer (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241642)

Judging by their behaviour they should probably rebrand themselves Whore Media.

Well I am leaving. (1)

vosester (1163269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241650)

That's all, no long post about rights,ethics and shitty ISP's. Terminating my line tomorrow, I am done with this stupid company.

Awesome ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30241720)

I, for one, welcome our copyright-infringement-detecting overlords.

Suck it, pirates.

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics (1)

turtleshadow (180842) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241730)

The project is solely designed to bolster the corporate/industry agenda. Their lack of intent to immediately prosecute show their intent is to datamine to build up their overall case.

Even if it was found that 95% of the traffic was legitimate they would hold up the 5% as proof of the devastating loss to their profits and will ask for more severe legislation and fiscal relief in tough economic times.

Until governments and real people understand the recording industry's practice of not paying the artists in a "normal" arrangement this will continue endlessly.
Really would any engineer just hired at YoyoDyne agree to a 5-10 year exclusive contract, the company immediately deduct all profits off his work to pay off his "advance," be willing to pay for all the publicists, agents, middlemen, nepotism in the exec's office, sycophants of their entourage, etc... Have their evaluation based on popularity polls given by radio/tv/internet which sometimes are skewed with payola.

What is the biggest of the 3 big "sinks" of copyrighted data in the internets - Pirated Binaries, p0rn, or music and associated videos?
We only hear 2 out of three industries most of the time never all three united before the Govenment.

I feel for Prince (whatever his name is now) as he is both artist and producer personally defending his copyrights but most of it is by nameless lawyers on behalf of their clients.
I'd take a few big names to give up a few hours to film some adverts just saying - when you DL my album I thank you, When you pay for that DL I will eventually get paid by the record company so I can pay all the people in the band and that support us in making music (soundstudio, roadies, catering, babysitting, mistress (ahem)...) I encourage you to pay for it and tell your friends to please pay for it else I can not produce more because Im a indentured to the music industry.

For the music industry I meh at their pathetic grasp for money, for the p0rn producers and "artists" I laugh because they can not even do the same thing and are being "driven out of business" will all their copyrighted stuff being the flotsam in the internets.

What sort of overhead would be need to encrypt BT? (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241922)

For torrents, encrypting them to block this sort of thing would appear to be straightforward. Just include the encryption key in the *.torrent file itself. Make it a nice long randomly generated key using lots of bits with whatever freely available encryption algorithm is thought to be the most secure.

What sort of CPU overhead is needed for this kind of encryption processing, though? Would it add up to anything significant on modern 1 GHZ+ multicore CPUs at the current data rates?

Re:Not much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30242144)

Most bittorrent clients nowadays support encryption though they allow unencrypted legacy connections by default. All anyone using such a client needs to do change two settings, one to force encryption for outgoing connections and the other to only accept encrypted incoming connections. As for overhead, nothing noticable even on this fairly old Athlon box underclocked to 800MHz via SpeedStep/PowerNOW.

Re:What sort of overhead would be need to encrypt (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30242236)

openssl speed aes-128-cbc aes-256-cbc

type 16 bytes 64 bytes 256 bytes 1024 bytes 8192 bytes
aes-128 cbc 93137.34k 124663.87k 140590.61k 144921.90k 145808.33k
aes-256 cbc 60556.97k 91740.58k 103621.96k 107994.02k 108521.49k

Those benchmarks are on a 3 year old CPU (single core only). Hence encryption is not a limiting factor for end users - instead, network bandwidth is the limiting factor. I'd argue that encryption isn't a limiting factor for mass data surveillance either. In public anonymous networks without any sort of trust between users, encryption is not overly beneficial.

Some reasoning why:

1) You can rotate your taps between your customers so that they may only be monitored twice a year for a day at a time. You're still going to catch MANY people this way. And for the stated purpose of this system they're installing, they're apparently only after statistics (I doubt anyone is stupid enough to believe this though). For statistical (and scare tactic) purposes, taking small samples from different customers at different times is just as effective as maintaining a 24/7 tap on everyone's connection.

2) The eavesdropper can bulk purchase cheap dedicated ASIC chips that are optimised for decryption of encrypted file sharing traffic. End users have to put up with CPUs that are designed for other purposes and thus they have to spend more per encrypted byte than the eavesdroppers do per decrypted byte.

3) Imagine an eavesdropper that plants 1000's of fake monitoring peers onto the network. These peers would be indistinguishable to you from other legitimate anonymous peers on the other side of the world. These fake monitoring peers would behave exactly like any other legitimate peer would, except that they make a record of who is downloading files.

No matter what technical solution you use (such as encryption), at the end of the day you're still communicating and sharing with random anonymous people on the internet. You haven't established any sort of trust with them. Without trust, that other party in your communication could just as likely be a fake monitoring peer.

Implied (2, Insightful)

Shadyman (939863) | more than 4 years ago | (#30241994)

"Virgin Media emphasised that records will not be kept on individual customers and that data on the level of copyright infringement will be aggregated and anonymised."

For Now. Later? Who knows.

That'll violate their immunity (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30242092)

The inability to inspect cargo is the principle behind common carrier status. If they can inspect their traffic for copyright infringement then they can police their traffic for everything else.

Remember, everything the... (1)

soporific16 (1166495) | more than 4 years ago | (#30242094)

Nazis did in Germany was legal. DO NOT BUY INTO THE LEGALITY ARGUMENT. If for some reason hell freezes over and Big Music proposes legal limits to the profits they can make out of the changing face of music distribution, then and only then would they begin to have an argument for their 'laws'. I'm not holding my breath.

the uk is a primitive culture (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30242126)

filled with fags and barbarians.

I see a larger motive: (1)

prograde (1425683) | more than 4 years ago | (#30242166)

The cynic in me thinks it will go this way: They make this announcement today. For the next few months, they do absolutely nothing. Then, they fabricate a bunch of data, and announce that they've determined that 99% of all P2P traffic is protected by copyright. Authorities cowtow, and those "three-strikes" laws get put in place (and enforced) everywhere.

It doesn't matter that the data was faked...they expressly stated that it would all be anonymised and not linked to any specific customer...so how can anyone prove it's been faked?

In Other News... (5, Insightful)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 4 years ago | (#30242438)

All public and private communications of all executives of companies in the UK valued at 500 million or more will be monitored for illegal, unethical, and undesired behaviour.

"If we had only known what certain Wall Street bankers had been up to the world could have avoided financial losses in the trillions. In a world of high speed communication and free flowing capital, the expectations of privacy have to be balanced against the interests of all stakeholders." said noted expert florescent_beige.

Is any form of trivial encryption sufficient? (1)

atmurray (983797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30242918)

The way I see it, the problem with encryption is that it's generally computationally expensive and there are bandwidth overheads in performing strong worthwhile encryption. BUT, with the DMCA and other localised laws forbidding cracking of encryption, is strong encryption needed? Is it worth just encrypting things using a trivial dictionary or some such computationally trivial and zero bandwidth overhead system? That way if someone wants to look at the data, they'll need a warrant or else they'd be breaking the law. Is my thinking here valid?
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