×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

U of Wyoming Fingerprinting All P2P Traffic

CowboyNeal posted more than 11 years ago | from the warning-shots-fired-across-bow dept.

Privacy 533

mk2mk2 writes "News.com has an article on how they're preparing to shut down P2P sharing of copyrighted content: 'For months, the digital equivalent of a postal censor has been sorting through virtually all file-swapping traffic on the University of Wyoming's network, quietly noting every trade of an Eminem song or "Friends" episode.'" It's scary until one realizes that most P2P traffic isn't encrypted, like back when everyone still used telnet.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

533 comments

FINGER PRINTING! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5347971)

er. first post!

W000t (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5347983)

Well, I'm somewhat scared.

hMM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5347984)

I wonder if these violators will be prosecuted or fined, or even reported to the RIAA.

Eh? (3, Funny)

whig (6869) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347987)

Why does the fact that it's unencrypted make it non-scary?

Re:Eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348021)

If someone was decrypting stuff to fingerprint it, that would be scary. Since it's not encrypted, it's trivial to implement it, using the RIAA fingerprinting technology they so helpfully provided.

Re:Eh? (1, Redundant)

daeley (126313) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348023)

From the article:

Finally, innovations among peer-to-peer software developers themselves could limit the use of the monitoring tools. Most file-swapping communications today are unencrypted, or transmitted relatively openly over the Net. If monitoring and blocking tools were widely introduced, new software programs could easily develop ways to encrypt or scramble the data in transmission in order to make it unrecognizable by Audible Magic's tools or other databases.

"Clearly that's a problem," said Ikezoye, adding that his company still would have markets in this eventuality. "It's always a concern, particularly from private corporations, to have encrypted data flowing out of your network. We definitely see an opportunity in corporations."

Re:Eh? (5, Funny)

petwalrus (645792) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348028)

Sounds not like a case of too few double negatives causing non-clarity to the writer.

Re:Eh? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348139)

NOT!

Re:Eh? (1)

EvilSporkMan (648878) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348039)

Probably because encryption could be implemented, foiling the snoopware. The snoopers couldn't decompile P2P apps to extract the key or something because that'd be illegal. :)

Re:Eh? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348077)

You don't need to extract the key from the software, you fucknozzle. Read a fucking book about SSL, asshat.

Re:Eh? (1)

Creedo (548980) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348053)

It wouldn't. Knowing the search parameters and the returned file name(from the person's search) would probably be enough for troublemaking.

YO (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5347988)

yay!

encryption? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5347996)

what!?!?! telnet isn't encrypted!?!?!?!

Re:encryption? (0, Redundant)

joggle (594025) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348072)

I'm sure you're not being serious. But if you are, there is an encrypted way to open terminals using ssh. I commonly use terraterm pro with ssh enabled to login to work from home (of course this only works when your server is ssh enabled).

So how do they do it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5347997)

How do they fingerprint these files? Wouldn't it be quite easy to set up some sort of system to scramble the file before posting it on P2P and them descramble it to defeat the fingerprinting scheme?

Re:So how do they do it? (1)

joggle (594025) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348100)

People tried this towards the end of Napster (renaming the files to strange variants of the real name), but I think they were still able to track most of the copyrighted files.

Re:So how do they do it? (1)

Jade E. 2 (313290) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348145)

How do they fingerprint these files? Wouldn't it be quite easy to set up some sort of system to scramble the file before posting it on P2P and them descramble it to defeat the fingerprinting scheme?
Yes. Those scrambling systems are usually referred to as 'encryption'.

:)

There's always another way... (4, Insightful)

EvilSporkMan (648878) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347999)

What about FTPs? Direct file sending over IM clients? Usenet? IRC? Good luck, RIAA...

Re:There's always another way... (2, Insightful)

KDan (90353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348137)

That's fine until the RIAA gets so desperate that they get the laws lobbied in and come and break down your door and arrest you if they detect that you trade files. That would be enough of a deterrent for most people.

Daniel

Re:There's always another way... (4, Insightful)

aridhol (112307) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348154)

Not necessarily. What happens if, instead of listening to traffic on a single protocol, they just listen to all traffic, regardless of the headers? Which they, being in control of the routers, are perfectly capable of doing.

Remember, as long as it's on their network, they can do whatever they want with it. You may not like it, but that's the way it works.

privacy policy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348000)

too bad that the university's privacy policy is such bullshit that it allows the university to spy on the students. Fscking a$$holes.

oh my! (4, Funny)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348001)

Someone wasting bandwidth on a 'friends' episode is scary indeed!

Forget "Friends" (2, Funny)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348142)

For months, the digital equivalent of a postal censor has been sorting through virtually all file-swapping traffic on the University of Wyoming's network, quietly noting every trade of an Eminem song...

I'd been *wondering* when someone was going to finally do something about his lousy music! U of W's spearheading a regular cultural revolution! :-)

Re:oh my! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348168)

Its a joke, but shit like that actually costs MORE money than the stupid music.

People downloading good quality TV shows and movies are probably using orders of magnitude more bandwidth than people downloading many, many more songs.

Scary until? (3, Insightful)

Halo- (175936) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348004)

No, I would say scary after. If it were encrypted, if would be much harder to do.

I suppose you could claim "spoofed ip" ...

Re:Scary until? (2, Funny)

Mourgos (621534) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348069)

Well how long till everything becomes encrypted.? It's gonna take a few guys going to jail. Can't wait till they encrypt computer monitors. U're gonna have to use special decrypting goggles:P

Well, heres the new testbed for freenet. (2, Funny)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348007)

SO, i guess they have no problem with ME running a sniffer on all traffic on their network? I mean, since they feel its ok for them to do it, its ok for me to do it.

Re:Well, heres the new testbed for freenet. (2, Interesting)

cos(0) (455098) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348049)

Heh, nowadays everything (wired, at least) is microsegmented -- you won't be able to sniff anyone else's data. Now, insecurely encrypted wireless links which are cropping up in a lot of universities nowadays, is a whole another story.

Re:Well, heres the new testbed for freenet. (5, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348068)

There is one small point you are overlooking here. They (the University of Wyoming) own the network they are snooping...you don't. That is what makes the difference between it being okay for them to do it and not okay for you to do it.

Re:Well, heres the new testbed for freenet. (4, Insightful)

t0qer (230538) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348073)

SO, i guess they have no problem with ME running a sniffer on all traffic on their network? I mean, since they feel its ok for them to do it, its ok for me to do it.

Dude you are so off base you should be modded a funny. (Mods, please read parent before modding me)

The point is, it's THEIR network. It's not the student network, it's not the taxpayers network, it's not even the Alumni's network. It belongs to the University plain and simple. University is for research, not d/l pr0n or sharing eminem. Students are given access to the internet in their dorm rooms to assist them with their studies.

If I caught you running a sniffer on my network, I would yank that patch cord leading up to your room so fast it would make a "whooosh" sound like a whip cracking in the air.

Re:Well, heres the new testbed for freenet. (2, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348146)

So, i guess you have no problem with ME running around in your living room wearing my boxer shorts and nothing else? I mean, since you feel its ok for you to do it, its ok for me to do it.

wyoming? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348008)

wyoming has computerS?!?!

Re:wyoming? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348071)

US citizens are actually intelligent enough to use them?!

Quoth (0, Troll)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348019)

"I don't really want to be looking that closely at what people are doing, and you'd probably just as soon not have me looking either," said Brad Thomas, a network specialist at the University of Wyoming who is helping manage the Audible Magic project. "But it's getting to be the only way to control our bandwidth."

Oh, so it's about bandwidth now? Interesting. Yes, the RIAA, champion of bandwith-starved college kids everywhere.

Re:Quoth (1)

Caeldan (651402) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348052)

Where is the RIAA mentioned in that quote? It's just the network admin for the University saying that, and it's a pretty common thought in most universities these days. I know mine was using one of those packeteer type programs last year.

Re:Quoth (1)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348155)

It isn't. My point was that while the schools may find this a nice tool to curtail bandwidth uses, it's hardly incompatible with what the industry wants to do, which is to stop file swapping.

For the university it may be a technical issue, but in reality it's a legal one.

It's killing two birds with one stone, and one of them didn't need killing.

Re:Quoth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348058)

There are some of us who are opposed to what the RIAA is doing, but would also like to see the bandwidth being hogged by mp3+divx swapping at universities cut back a little. When research data is hard to transfer because of some dip's hoard of Britney Spears music, bandwidth becomes a problem.

Re:Quoth (4, Insightful)

IshanCaspian (625325) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348064)

If it's about bandwith, why don't they throttle the p2p ports like any self-respecting, upright university.

Re:Quoth (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348070)

If it's about bandwith, why don't they throttle the p2p ports like any self-respecting, upright university.

You misspelled "uptight".

Re:Quoth (1)

fire-eyes (522894) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348123)

That is another good point. With SSL or some such, as I just posted about in another post, source AND destination port randomization would be another great thing. Maybe some random padding in the packet header too, and you're all set.

Re:Quoth (1)

The_K4 (627653) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348175)

Or more easily, quotas on bandwith per IP. If anyone person has a REAL reson for more bandwith, their IP can be un-capped.......if not, they only get to download a dozen songs today instead of a few hundred.
:)

Re:Quoth (1)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348176)

If it's about bandwith, why don't they throttle the p2p ports like any self-respecting, upright university.

If you read the article, you'll notice that they do.

I'd say that a better question is -- why the *hell* don't colleges have per-user quotas? Like, you can transfer at an uncapped rate for large_quantity_of_data/week, at which point you get capped to 2kbps. You can still do work, but P2P users will soon learn not to waste bandwidth, and to obtain files from machines on the *local* network as much as possible. That alleviates the cost issues and keeps everyone happy.

Re:Quoth (2, Informative)

chazzf (188092) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348093)

From the perspective of college system administrators everywhere, yes. I'm with network support at a small liberal arts college and let me tell you, our connection slowed to a crawl when the students discovered p2p. We don't have enough bandwidth to support that kind of thing, and with the RIAA and MPAA sending out cease-and-desist notices, we really don't have the legal wherewithal either...

Re:Quoth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348096)

It is indeed. The U of Washington here now limits all its students' connections because their OC192s were flooded by P2P traffic. Has nothing to do with the RIAA.

Think about it - how much bandwidth do you think you can take? Say 200 people are on cable, and want your copy of BlahBlahPorn. Once part of BlahBlahPorn is on another machine elsewhere, say, in the same network, assuming you're running 100 megabit, that's already 200 megabit through your school's external line. That's two machines. Consider that there are 10-20,000 kids in the dorms at a large school...

Privacy (4, Insightful)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348022)

Why's this under privacy? There's no reasonable expectation of privacy using someone else's network. Especially when the stated policy upon arrival almost certainly says "don't do this"

Re:Privacy (1)

aridhol (112307) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348131)

Use the same logic when we're talking about an ISP monitoring you, then see how the crowd reacts...

I, for one, agree with you. Whether it's your university or your ISP, you're using their network, you follow their rules, and they're allowed to enforce it however they want, including sniffing your traffic. Don't like it? Find a new provider or use encryption.

Commendable, but... (1)

robbyjo (315601) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348031)

Of course this is a good endeavor to stop piracy, but the question is: Even after they successfully identify each user, can they effectively shut down each of the machine? They can do it for their student, and probably *AA will jump in for the big-brotherism. But can they do it for the rest of the world? I think not.

So, if they do this again -- it's like Napster story once again. New, better P2P softwares will spring up and it's more resilient and equipped with military strength encryption and stuff, which will in turn annul their previous effort.

Take that, Australia! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348033)

Here in the up side of the world, when we want to shorten "university", we shorten it, dammit. We don't make a measly compromise. [slashdot.org]

OK, so... (1)

IshanCaspian (625325) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348034)

...we rot-13 encode everything. Big deal.

Re:OK, so... (1)

aSiTiC (519647) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348056)

Lol... then I use a Commodore64 to decode it. I would imagine that something a little more advanced must be used such as AES or RSA.

Re:OK, so... (1)

danheskett (178529) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348135)

Except that if you did that you'd be foiling copy-protection measures, which is a felony now.

Bummer. Swords cut both ways.

Re:OK, so... (1)

Noren (605012) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348134)

I rot-13 all my posts twice. You can't be too safe.

Re:OK, so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348153)

Oh yeah? I tripple rot-13 all of my posts, then I rot-13 it again for good measure!

a few arrests in the States... (3, Insightful)

aSiTiC (519647) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348035)

It will only take a few arrests of young college students in the States to pressure the release of secure sharing over P2P. That's probably one of the reasons the RIAA isn't targeting anyone in the States yet. They are testing the waters in Australia however, but they don't want the P2P networks to go secure until they have cataloged everything they can.

Re:a few arrests in the States... (1)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348066)

If the P2P programs were to encrypt their data, how would the remote end know how to decrypt it without the man-in-the-middle knowing that as well?

SSH is for Losers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348037)

Hey I still use telnet, and I could give two shits if anyone ever sniffed it.

This might be an appopriate time... (1, Offtopic)

3-State Bit (225583) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348042)

...to ask whether anyone has gotten FreeNet working over Mac OS X. I started the daemon, but localhost's port 8081 (or whatever it is) wouldn't respond.

Has anyone had luck interfacing with the program after starting it?

Won't work! (5, Interesting)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348043)

This new technology will last for about 1 day. That's how long it will be until Kazza, Gnutella, Limewire, et all will switch to an SSL encapsulated protocol. Suddenly all the "fingerprints" will be shot. Each and evey download of the exact same file will have a different, unidentifiable, "fingerprint".

Sounds to me like this company took a copy of Snort, set up a few rules for the "fingerprints" and sold it to the University of Wisconsin. What a waste of money!

Re:Won't work! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348143)

...besides, what are they going to block, copyrighted material? so they finally determine that the file is a song, that it is copyrighted, that it is being shared for use other than fair; congratulations, they block one song. do they think they can keep up?

That won't work either (5, Insightful)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348159)

All they need is software that emulates kazza or other P2P software and attempts to make connections to user's computers. Unless you do filesharing with people you trust, there is no way you can hide what kind of traffic is being sent. On the client side, the person not sharing files, I guess you could use encryption, but then you know what that will lead to in universities? A ban on high-bandwidth encrypted connections. As long as it's a problem I think the technology to detect P2P will keep up with the P2P software itself.

Besides, if I went to that university, I wouldn't want my research slowed down because some freshmen was trying to download Friends episodes.

Re:Won't work! (5, Insightful)

ColdForged (453024) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348170)

That's how long it will be until Kazza, Gnutella, Limewire, et all will switch to an SSL encapsulated protocol
I've said it before [slashdot.org] and I'll say it again, and I'll bold face it for good measure:

If administrators can't distinguish "good" traffic from "bad" traffic, they will have no choice but to simply remove any access at all to the Internet from the problem subnets, namely dorms.

So, encrypt the traffic. Make it so that nobody can tell what's inside the stream. That's dandy. But if P2P usage makes it such that researchers can't get the resources or bandwidth do actually do their work or are significantly impacted (the argument of whether researchers are doing anything more than reading Slashdot or Dilbert is for a separate post), even if the traffic isn't recognized as P2P per se, you can bet that this will be the next step.

Persistent yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348045)

You _could_ be running a persistent freenet node.

As if it's not bad enough (2, Funny)

automag_6 (540022) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348046)

that I'll be punished for stealing songs, if they release details, my freinds will never let me live down my collection of Ricky Martain MP3s!

The real crime... (0, Troll)

Sophrosyne (630428) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348054)

This is pretty rotten... who died and made some server admin at U of Wyoming God for $5.00/hour
How are these people qualified to filter out what is legal and fair use?... isn't that what the court system is for? Yes people, I know it may take a while for the courts to work, but if you have a problem with copyrights, and fair-use you have to stay within the law and respect it... not go out like a bunch of cowboys and do whatever you feel is right
There is a system set up in virtually all countries to deal with these types of things, and in the USA it is the court system whether some asshole at U of Wyoming likes it or not.

Details.. (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348062)

I RTFA and I'm curious how this works.

It seems to say it rebuilds the songs, and assigns a digital 'fingerprint', which I'm assuming is some sort of a hash based on the resulting wave file?

If this is the case, how much does a file have to be altered to make it undetectable?

And can it have a false positive in the form of a song that sounds similar, but is protected under fair use - ie; a parody?

What about commercial music releases that sample public domain material?

Student Union needs to organize a massive protest (1)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348079)

It seems to me that Student Unions pretty much bitch and protest nearly all administrative decisions at a university. I would really expect them to go all out in this case. If they had any brains at all there would be a huge student rally this weekend to protest this. I'm pretty sure the WHOLE school would show up. NO ONE likes to have their privacy invaded and worst yet, have RIAA and MPAA within striking distance!

Re:Student Union needs to organize a massive prote (1)

ChemicalSpider (651461) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348187)

While its true that most Student Unions bitch and protest nearly all administrative decisions, I would argue that the administrations rarely listen. It makes sense, though, because if you listened to someone who complained about everything you would never get anything productive done. In fact, the students themselves rarely listen to the Student Unions - only when there is a very serious infraction of their rights. So why don't the students have a huge weekend rally? Because I doubt that many University students care all that much. They all have classes, tests, and homework they have to get done. They might utilize p2p networks, but its not their life and if it gets sniffed they probably won't care a whole lot. There's no incentive for your random, average, run-of-the-mill college student to care about what gets sniffed on the network or not. All they care is that they have internet access to do research for their papers and reports - oh and chat as well.

gnutella (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348082)

most clients on the gnutella compress their traffic (at least recent versions) so it would not be that easy to listen and check for the swapped content right ?

Re:gnutella (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348106)

gnutella network that is...

U (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348083)

... and people were complaining that Australians were abbreviating University to Uni [slashdot.org]

Its that goddamned freedom and liberty again .... (3, Insightful)

bizitch (546406) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348085)

What sucks about giving freedom and liberty to people (or even college students!) - is not knowing ahead of time what they might actually do with it.

You know - like invent a decentralized p2p network and trade music files with it ...

Telnet (5, Funny)

DJ FirBee (611681) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348089)

Yeah, I remember telnet.

It's been like .... hours since I have used telnet.

Those were the days.

Is it scarry ? (3, Informative)

barwil (647219) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348091)

I don't think so. Everybody who is using the Net should be aware that he/she can be watched. P2P networks do not encrypt data because the idea behind it is to share. If you want to find out who is sharing files you don't have to monitor the traffic. You can just join the party :) It means that no encryption would help. If you share your copyrighted material you can be watched by the RIAA and their friends. I don't personally think it's dangerous for the p2p users (there are too many of them out there) but it's good to know barwil

How many bits before you own something ... (3, Interesting)

taniwha (70410) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348094)

Presumeably they are searching for strings of bits that are the same as some copyrighted work once it has been mp3 encoded some particular way .... what happens if my object happens to contain the same string of bits at some random location in it?

It's pretty obvious you can't copyright a length 1 bit string, so how many bits do you need before you own it and I don't? 10? 100? 10,000? I know you can't trademark a number, can you coprright one?

Re:How many bits before you own something ... (1)

EvilSporkMan (648878) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348162)

Well, under your theory, any work can be treated as number, albeit a huge one. I'd have to say that numbers have to be copyrightable for copyright to exist as we know it. Maybe the number, as interpreted by X type of software? Pretty soon we'll be sued for counting too high...

Wyoming....Leading the way???? hahahahahaha (4, Interesting)

reezle (239894) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348095)

Well, I'm sure this will appear in the large ISP's if it's proven to work on the small-scale...

Perhaps with this 'fingerprinting' technology the big boys can just charge us the ($.50/$1/whatever) a song they want from us anyways? Instant delivery system for them that they didn't even have to build!

This whole deal about copyrighted material somehow reminds me of the war-on-drugs... Making criminals of all the users didn't work there... Trying to stop the supplies at the street level didn't work either. The only thing that will work is legalizing the controlled substance... then taxing the hell out of it... hehee

"Isn't" encrypted, or is? (4, Interesting)

Featureless (599963) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348101)

This claim is interesting in a variety of ways.

If the notion of privacy in our communications is going to be utterly discarded, I rather wish the school had elected to eavesdrop on every phone call made on campus to help catch thieves, domestic abusers and other violent criminals, etc.

There are plenty of people who say what goes on the internet shouldn't be private; that there's no expectation of privacy there. I guess we'll get into this issue a bit on this topic. Just please don't forget to have a little imagination. This is all new. We're making the rules as we go along. Sometimes I think if the phone had been invented last year there wouldn't be an expectation of privacy on phone calls either.

Remember this is a "private" institution doing this, i.e. not a law enforcement agency. Remember that just because they can write a fancy terms of service that authorizes them to do whatever they want with the network, it doesn't make their actions legitimate, let alone moral.

Finally, most interestingly, remember that Fasttrack (i.e. Kazaa, etc) is encrypted over the wire (see this link [levillage.org] ). There's nothing saying that the whole thing won't be reverse-engineered and cracked sooner or later, but to my knowledge, that hasn't happened yet... of course, that could just be last I checked.

Isn't this illegal? (2)

jforr (15487) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348103)

Can someone explain to me why this isn't illegal? Theres a law from the 1930's that prohibits telephone operators from listening to people's conversations. A few years back it was ruled that ISP's are in the same category as the telephone operators as far as the law is conccerned, and thus can't spy on what their users are doing. Yes I know its a university, but I think they can qualify as an ISP as well.

Re:Isn't this illegal? (1)

TheKodiak (79167) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348152)

Universities constantly fight very hard /not/ to be classified as ISPs, for reasons like this one.

Good - Will Spur Dev of Encrypted P2p (1)

fire-eyes (522894) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348107)

This is a great thing, it will spur the development of encrypted p2p networks.

giFT comes to mind for me for being the easiest to impliment this in, as it uses HTTP for all of its comms. Wrap it up in SSL, BAAAM, now it uses HTTPS.

KDX (4, Informative)

Large Green Mallard (31462) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348113)

KDX is a new file sharing program... it isn't P2P, more of a server analogy like Hotline.

One of it's advantages is that all the traffic is strongly wencrypted. Homepage is at http://www.haxial.com/main.html

Disadvantage being that the people responsible for it wouldn't know a user-interface if it bit them in the ass. It is customisable, but it doesn't match the host OS's GUI.

Over here in Blacksburg... (4, Interesting)

Kirby-meister (574952) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348121)

...everything you do is logged (as normal), but the logs are never checked for any p2p distribution of copyrighted materials.

Instead, there is an upload bandwith limit. Upload more than a CD's worth of data and you get put on the equivalent of a DSL line that you share with all the other big sharers. Manage to beat all your friends still and you get put on the equivalent of a 56k with the high distributors. Note that your download speed isn't affected, just uploading speed.

I think it's a much fairer system than being monitored...

impossibility (3, Informative)

antiprime (121253) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348144)

If monitoring and blocking tools were widely introduced, new software programs could easily develop ways to encrypt or scramble the data in transmission in order to make it unrecognizable by Audible Magic's tools or other databases.

Encryption is just the tip of the iceberg. I can easily compress and encrypt any file, then slap on a header that claims it's a benign .jpg of astronomical images, or pass it through a filter that makes it look like bad poetry, or make it a self-inflating-decrypting executable. You simply cannot write a program that will automatically filter all content, without simply denying all communication.

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348161)

..ISPs monitor you. Hahaha!

No wait..this is in America, right? It couldn't happen here, could it?

This is fingerprinting (1)

doomy (7461) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348164)

Excuse me, even if the file was encrypted, the fingerprint for the same file shared all over would be the same and thus they would know when your sharing the latest Joe Millionar or Daredevil blah blah (who would do such a thing?! OMG).

Point is that fingerprinting probably just runs a md5sum on the file being sent or TCP fingerptints the transmitting bytes, this could not be defated by just encrypting the file !

Maybe something like bittorrent should enable small random bytes to be sent with the file when a file is being transmitted (which would defeat fingerprinting).

Won't compression defeat this? (4, Interesting)

droopus (33472) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348173)

So, ok these guys have essentially done what FastTrackMovies [fasttrackmovies.com] has done and hashed each file. Hunky dory. So, people implement this and think "no one can trade my files, cause we know what they look like (and have the hash), so we can block it."

Now, Joe Pirate simply .zips or .tars the music or movie.

Exactly how would they then block the .zipped asset from being traded? I know it won't compress the MP3, but it will change the fingerprint.

Methinks WinZip is the Sharpie for this expensive DRM.

Just an idea... (2, Insightful)

Adeptus_Luminati (634274) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348174)

Why don't those silly P2P programmers get smart and start making their software work off port 80. That oughta stall them sys admins for a few more months.

Even if it was encrypted.. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348179)

While the future of p2p is encryption, if clients exist that can unencrypt, then they can create their own client to track the files content..

Else it would be pretty worthless...

This is just silly. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348181)

Theyre looking to block copyrighted audio content. Sure, that's fine. But you can't "fingerprint" something as complicated as a DVD or somebody's home-ripped pr0n movies because each ripper/encoder works a little differently.

Youre going to wind up filtering everything but *porn*. I can't really see that being what they intended to do.

Better solutions! (5, Interesting)

duncf (628065) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348186)

"But it's getting to be the only way to control our bandwidth."

In one 24-hour period, for example, the most popular file traded using the Gnutella network was an MP3 by rap artist "Big Tymers," which passed the network monitor 188 times.

The students should really set up their own, internal P2P network. This would put less tax on the University's external bandwidth, downloads would be quicker, and, assuming it's restricted to local users, the RIAA couldn't really prove any wrongdoing. (Although their FUD generally scares universities enough.)

Universities are generally big enough to support a network on their own. They should.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...