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Schools to Avoid: University of Florida

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the vote-with-your-dollars dept.

Education 829

Iphtashu Fitz writes "The University of Florida has apparently come up with a technological approach to deal with P2P file sharing on their campus networks. According to this article on wired.com they have developed a program that scans the PCs of students in the UF dorm rooms. The program, dubbed 'Icarus' not only detects P2P applications but viruses, worms, and other trojans. If a P2P application is found then an e-mail is sent to the user, a message is popped up on their screen, and their internet connection is disconnected. First time offenders lose their connection for 30 minutes. The second offense results in a 5 day loss. The third strike results in an indefinite loss of connectivity. An editorial in The Independent Florida Alligator, the student newspaper, called the use of Icarus 'an invasive and annoying system that further deters students from living in dorms (see also another story).'"

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Anti-Intellectual Environment (4, Insightful)

TPIRman (142895) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126536)

From the article: If students are mistakenly identified as violating the school's policy, the burden is on them to justify what they are researching, invading their privacy in the process, [EFF attorney Jason] Schultz said.

In other words, innocent until proven guilty. What kind of intellectual environment is there at a university that intimidates students from conducting research? Now, you could argue that there are not many research projects that would be helped by P2P applications, but the school's definition of violations is so ethereal that the cautious, not-so-tech-savvy will be left afraid of his/her computer. Will downloading that PDF violate the bandwidth rules? Is this FTP server a file-sharing network? Your average students won't know for sure, and they won't test the limits for fear of losing their Internet privileges. These scare tactics will inevitably hinder valid academic pursuits.

Re:Anti-Intellectual Environment (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126561)

In other words, innocent until proven guilty
EXACTLY

Oh wait, the EXACT opposite.

Re:Anti-Intellectual Environment (0, Redundant)

josephgrossberg (67732) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126577)

In other words, innocent until proven guilty.

You mean it's "guilty until proven innocent" at UF.

Sounds like China (3, Interesting)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126634)

As I understand it, if you search for the names of political figures from a chinese internet connection, you'll be cut off for a short period.

Re:Anti-Intellectual Environment (0, Redundant)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126579)

>> In other words, innocent until proven guilty.

You mean guilty until proven innocent? The burden is on the STUDENT to justify what they are researching.

Re:Anti-Intellectual Environment (1)

TPIRman (142895) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126587)

Hahaha -- oops, yes, the exact opposite, guilty until proven innocent. Sorry about that. But the rest of my point remains

Re:Anti-Intellectual Environment (0, Redundant)

big-giant-head (148077) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126603)

"In other words, innocent until proven guilty"

I think you mean guilty until proven innocent. I'm really suprised, usually courts throw out these type of rules since they violate equal protection.

Re:Anti-Intellectual Environment (5, Insightful)

johnmearns (561064) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126621)

Being unable to access the internet at all would hinder them more though. Bandwidth is expensive, and in a dorm it can easily be sucked down into nothing by p2p apps. Which is better, forbid p2p in what might prevent one or two students from doing something academic with it, allow it under the guise of academic freedom but causing a slowdown to the extent that no one else can do homework, or increase housing costs to cover the bandwidth used? Practicality is the point, not trying to be mean.

Re:Anti-Intellectual Environment (5, Insightful)

andrew_0812 (592089) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126725)

Fine. Prohibit P2P. The university owns the bandwith, they can block it, scan it, whatever. But invading the student's PC's is an invasion of privacy. This isn't even like watching employees. In a company, the PC belongs to the company, not the employee. These are the student's personal computers. The school has absolutely no right to scan the systems. The student is therefore totally liable for anything illegal found on that PC. The university should limit its power to scanning internet traffic.

Re:Anti-Intellectual Environment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126632)

Yeah, because all those university students are firing up kazaa to find research material. And all those hours spent at teeniefiles.com are for, uh, human sexuality research classes! Yeah that's the ticket!

Re:Anti-Intellectual Environment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126706)

Two thoughts:


1. With any luck, this project, like it's namesake, will fly too close to the sun, have its wax wings melt and come crashing down into the Hellespont.


2. Change the name to Yucarus.

FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126540)

FP w00t

YOU FAIL IT. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126559)

Should've used open-source fp.

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Schools to no longer avoid! (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126543)

Last spring, the university received about 40 notices of copyright violations per month. At peak file-trading periods, 90 percent of the traffic on the housing network was peer-to-peer. In an average 24-hour period, 3,500 of the 7,500 students in the residence halls would use P2P services like Kazaa.

Unfortunately you are on their network, thus your computer becomes part of their network (on campus). If you don't like the policy (and you are warned when you sign up for the DHCP access) don't connect to the network. If you don't think that ISPs are scanning computers for viruses, trojans, etc, you're wrong. I worked for ATTBI and there were quite a few people (calling in to me alone) that were infected with some sort of trojan/virus and they had been automatically disabled.

P2P applications should be blocked at colleges. Colleges are not houses of endless bandwith... 40 copyright violations a month is a pain in the ass to deal w/ (especially in this day and age). 90% of the traffic was P2P? What about Quake pings (when I was in college that's what I was concerned with) what about downloads of legitimate software? Hah, nope, just get your P2P porn movies and the latest DiVX of The Matrix Trilogy...

School to Avoid??? I would have avoided it when 90% of the bandwith was being sucked up by people sharing MP3s and porn, now maybe the bandwith is reliable and useful for stuff other than loading Google.

As far as it is detering students from living in the dorms... I have heard nothing but problems with overcrowding in dorms (3 to a room instead of 2, people living in converted lounges, being housed in hotels/motels until space becomes available, etc). You think that Universities really care about not having people in the dorms?

This is not an invasion. This is reality. College editorials are always biased bullshit. Please move along.

Re:Schools to no longer avoid! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126609)

moderating this as a troll because you are a whining college student that can't get Kazaa to work?

Mod parent up!

Goooooo GATORS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126704)

3-2

WHOOT!

Re:Schools to no longer avoid! (1)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126624)

oh yeah, thats definitally a troll...

dont mod him down, tell him why he is wrong (he isnt by the way, its their network and they can do what they want to... including pulling the plug)

Re:Schools to no longer avoid! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126627)

I work at UF and know the one of the designers who worked on this. It's actually a really good system that has other purposes besides blocking P2P. It also scans the network for virus, etc and locks infected computers off the network to prevent the spread of whatever it is. The infected computer get pushed to a site saying what the problem is and how to fix it.

Quite a impressive piece of work that is going to to be under the GPL (as I understand it).

Disclaimer: I don't work on the project, just know someone who does.

Re:Schools to no longer avoid! (3, Interesting)

masoncooper (443243) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126644)

I think the reason to avoid UofF was because of its invasive approach to controlling the network. Their app takes advantage of loose shares. The university I attend has used packetshapers quite successfully to control P2P bandwidth and their new 'Vernier Login' system keeps infected systems from chewing up the remaining sliver of bandwidth.
While I personally got so sick of the new system that I switched over to cable, I understand their need. The way the Vernier system works is your machine is assigned an IP but the DNS server forwards every one of your requests to a login web page where the student had to log in with their NT accound. This way, if they knew of a system that was infected, they would know whose machine it was(and could lock them out if necessary). I got sick of it becase it timed out every 5 minutes if no traffic took place over port 80, that means that streaming audio, FTP, even IRC/IM would drop out if you didn't keep browsing. Heck, even reading long pages would time you out, forcing you to go back and log in again.
But anwyays, this IS an invasion, their concern is what their machines are putting ON the network, not what's stored on their personal machines.

Re:Schools to no longer avoid! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126665)

Mod parent up. He makes some great points.

He's only getting modded down because he disagrees with the Slashbot collective.

Re:Schools to no longer avoid! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126666)

Currently marked as a troll....what a load of shit. Even if you disagree with the poster (and I agree 100%) there's no reason this should be marked as a troll. Fuck people, get a little open-minded already..

Re:Schools to no longer avoid! (5, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126683)

This really is a matter of people being given an inch, then taking a mile, and wondering why they're being pushed back now.

If you play by the rules, campus Internet access is a beautiful thing. However, it's the P2P bandwidth hogs that ruin the party for everyone.

There's no need for P2P to download anything when you've got such a fast connection to Internet2 at your fingertips. Either your school or one nearby will have all the Linux ISOs and other free-to-download programs you'll ever need.

Scared? (3, Insightful)

giantsfan89 (536448) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126544)

Sounds like they might be a little scared of lawsuits. I'd think that colleges don't have that much budget for a legal team.

Re:Scared? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126689)

It's a simple case of economics. I'm work in IT at a university in the northern US (20,000 students) and the guy is exactly right -- it is a pain in the ass for our very small networking staff to be dealing with DMCA takedown notices, virus incidents and other abuse complaints constantly. Other work (such as planning network upgrades) gets pushed off due to this crap. Get used to this approach because it's really the solution we're being driven to by the problem at hand.

E-mail? (4, Funny)

Exiler (589908) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126547)

Wow, what a wonderous world we live in where students can recieve e-mail when their internet connection is hosed *goes wide eyed*

Re:E-mail? (1)

frostbane (660953) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126611)

Well, they can cut outside connections, but the students can still have access to the network. If the message is sent to an account provided by the college then they shouldn't have any problem getting the email.

OFFTOPIC, BUT IMPORTANT INFO FOR CLARK SUPPORTERS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126549)

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Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

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Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Re:OFFTOPIC, BUT IMPORTANT INFO FOR CLARK SUPPORTE (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126600)

I modded you as offtopic instead of troll!

whee (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126552)

third post!

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126560)

"further deters students from living in dorms"

Even more than the moldy group showers or the 10x12ft 'rooms'?

spurrier (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126562)

place hasn't been the same since Steve Spurrier left.

Who named that sucker? (4, Funny)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126563)

From the Wired article:
"We needed something to stem the flow. We were spending too much time tracking people down," said Robert Bird, supervisor of network services for the UF department of housing.

So a guy named Bird creates (read: has some overworked grad student create) a program called Icarus to "bring down" file sharers. I guess he imagined his program being like the sun melting the wax on the mythical Icarus' wings [wikipedia.org] and sending him crashing back to earth. And Bird himself, of course, would be the sun-wary Daedelus [wikipedia.org] , who after trying out flight himself, hung up his wings as an offering to Apollo.

I guess he's now a flightless Bird. The old story about the ostrich sticking his head in the sand comes to mind.

Re:Who named that sucker? (1)

Theatetus (521747) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126675)

I guess he imagined his program being like the sun melting the wax

Ummm... then why not call it "Helios"?

Alternative OSs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126569)

MAC ?
Linux ?

Would I just not get internet unless I run Windows?

Re:Alternative OSs? (1)

Nykon (304003) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126649)

Either that or make sure at least one of your friends is still connected and have hook up a wireless access point to his connection :)

Re:Alternative OSs? (1)

BorgDrone (64343) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126657)

From the article:
Icarus then scans their computer, detects any worms, viruses or programs that act as a server, such as Kazaa.

Looks like it's a machine somewhere on campus and all it does is check for known open ports, nothing a simple firewall rule can't solve.

More draconian measures to come? (2, Interesting)

caluml (551744) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126573)

How long before Unis demand that all computers on one of their networks join one of their administered domains, with Domain Admins in the local Admins group, or with one of their public SSH key in /root/.ssh/authorized_keys2 for *nix boxes?
Logins tested every day at random times. Should a login fail, box comes off network.

Icarus (5, Funny)

mopslik (688435) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126574)

The program, dubbed 'Icarus'

What are the odds that this program is running on a Sun machine?

Re:Icarus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126616)

'Icarus'

No shit, and what idiot would name a program after a failure.

Switchable MAC address... (5, Interesting)

SnowDeath (157414) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126576)

So, what happens if a kid brings their netgear MR814 router with them and every time he gets cut off, he simply changes the Internet-side MAC address of the router through the handy-dandy html-based admin tool?

Re:Switchable MAC address... (2, Informative)

GearheadX (414240) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126680)

As a former resident of the UF dorms, I can answer this question. The last time someone hooked a router into a dorm room connection, they blew out the entire building's network connection for several days.

The Division of Housing does NOT look kindly upon someone who so much as mentions the word 'router' in their hearing.

Re:Switchable MAC address... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126681)

I didn't RTFA, but at the Uni I work at, we both turn off the port and block by MAC address. While changing the MAC gets around the latter, the former keeps them offline until they call in and find out why they got shut down (or until they move to another port - not as easy when you're leaving a trail of dead ports behind you).

Re:Switchable MAC address... (1)

Nykon (304003) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126707)

depends, some universites approach the security the opposite way. You do not have ANY access until your computer MAC address has been added. So all they have to do is remove your MAC and you can change it to your hearts content but unless its an allowed MAC you are not getting out. Of course in that case I guess you could just wait itll your friend is done using his and just spoof his MAC address.

Re:Switchable MAC address... (3, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126715)

You're still screwed. The lockdown can be placed at the switch port(s) that leads to your room. Can't spoof those without breaking into the locked closet... which hopefully the RA should be able to stop.

Re:Switchable MAC address... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126716)

Umm... they just switch off the entire port?

Re:Switchable MAC address... (1)

KillerHamster (645942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126726)

If they're like my university, they link your DHCP registration and your MAC address to your email username or student ID and limit how many you can register. We are allowed 2, unless you complain, which is why they let me have 5. (I now have a FreeBSD box set up as a NAT gateway, so it isn't really relevant anymore.)

Re:Switchable MAC address... (2, Informative)

edwdig (47888) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126727)

Common practice at colleges is you have to have your MAC address registered to get an IP address through DHCP.

You could try taking someone else's MAC address, but you'd probably get noticied fairly quickly, and be in a lot of trouble.

Firewall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126581)

And the more technical students will just configure their firewalls to block any ports that are associated with p2p apps...prevents sharing in a lot of cases, so the drawback is it creates a lot of leechers

Where's the beaf? (2, Insightful)

stevew (4845) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126584)

So the university has taken a pro-active to insure that they're hardware isn't used in the commission of a crime - and people don't like it.

Now I KNOW that not all P2P users are copying music - but MOST are.

Further, you probably sign a usage agreemnt when you connect up to the school's network saying that you won't due anything illegal. All the university is doing is holding you to that agreement.

I don't see a problem here

Re:Where's the beaf? (0)

BenSnyder (253224) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126713)

So the ends justify the means, is that it? You scare me.

Re:Where's the beaf? (1)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126722)

I agree, if I was running a large network like that I would block P2P. The bandwidth cost savings alone would be worth it.

But then again this might bread a whole new form of file sharing or promote older ones like Newsgroups... It is interesting that they are blocking IRC.

Easy to bypass (1)

ttyp0 (33384) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126585)

Our school offers VPN access and I'm sure most other Universities do also for off campus students. Simply keep your RESNET box connected to the VPN and voila.

Show your hate for SCO [anti-tshirts.com] . Get a cool t-shirt and donate to the Open Source Now Fund.

Firewall them! (4, Insightful)

EvilNight (11001) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126588)

Set up a firewall on some old P166, build your own subnet, and lock them out. It's not hard. Mandrake MNF or Astaro are great for this sort of thing. Run a VPN between you and your friends in the dorm. Heck there's lots of fun to be had there.

ipchains (1)

Egonis (155154) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126589)

Sooo... find out what host/ip 'Icarus' is on, and make an ipchains policy to ignore that address.

Problem solved!

Rogers (here in Ontario, Canada) did similar portscans, but I haven't been found out for over a year.

glorified port scanner? (1)

Pr0Hak (2504) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126590)

From what I have been able to gather, detection with ICARUS is done by regularly port scanning machines on the campus network. There doesn't seem to be any component of this sytem to allow users to share legitimate content (for example, I regularly use Bit Torrent to share live concerts performed by bands who allow and encourage concert taping and distrubution) --- This really bothers me!

The virus & worm scanner portion of this software is a really good idea, and something that a lot of campuses have implemented with students returning this fall and all the Blaster hoopla.

The Wired article lists this software as open source -- has anyone been able to find a pointer to the source? I searched around Google a bit, but didn't find anything.

Re:glorified port scanner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126636)

Your university doesn't have an obligation to provide you/bands with a distribution/promotion mechanism.

Re:glorified port scanner? (1)

Pr0Hak (2504) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126729)

You're right, they have no such obligation. If the university has a general "no servers" policy (IMHO bad, and unproductive to academic pursuits) , then that is something that a user would have to live with. My problem, however, is targeting P2P type programs exclusively. I wonder if ICARUS cuts off users that have HTTP or FTP ports open?

Old Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126668)

hehehe, reminds me of an old joke:

What is the difference between icarus and michael?

Icarus is a glorified port scanner, michael is a gloryhole port scanner!

What other options? (1)

wizarddc (105860) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126593)

I imagine like a lot of other big schools, there is a huge market for off campus housing. And by off campus, I mean on campus or just off campus, not far away, usually just houses rented out by the room to students. Does UF have this? If so, students can just give the school the finger and live somewhere else.

Firewall (0)

Psychotic_Wrath (693928) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126595)

Time to set up a nasty firewall to stop that crap from happening. The first thought that came into my mind when I read that was setup a linux firewall. I am willing to bet that zone alarm would also catch this program and would be able to block it

Bad why? (1)

stanmann (602645) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126596)

I know the party line says that File sharing is good, but if they have signed a user agreement which in exchange for "free" internet access, they can't use p2p.

I'm guessing that there are ways around it, but P2P is an inherently flawed way of opening your computer to someone else. Especially since in other news today, we find that the "pirate-friendly" P2P service(Earthstation [slashdot.org] allows deletion of any file on your computer.

Re:Bad why? (0)

ViolentGreen (704134) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126671)

I agree. If they are giving the students access to their network, they have the right (and responsibility) to control what is happening on their network.

Hmmm... (1)

The Fanta Menace (607612) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126599)

Bring on the inter-dorm wireless networks, then.

I'm so old - I'm telling a 'back in the day' story (1)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126601)

Back when I was in college, a friend of mine had roommate problems. So the usual things were done against the offending person: clothes out the window, salt water in the monitor, calls at all hours of the morning. You know, kid stuff.

But installing P2P on his computer would be even better. He would lose his Internet connection, and if he was really lucky, get sued by the RIAA!

If you're not going to allow it... (1)

ivanmarsh (634711) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126605)

Why try to detect it, just block the ports.

Leave it to a university to come up with such an ass backward policy.

Woah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126606)

Sister Jean stole the files!

It's not JUST P2P programs! (1)

r_glen (679664) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126610)

Icarus then scans their computer, detects any worms, viruses or programs that act as a server, such as Kazaa

Apparently, you could get busted for running ANY kind of server. Couldn't you just install a firewall and block local connections?

iptables (2, Informative)

Feyr (449684) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126612)

i'm not sure what they expect to do with this thing, but it wouldn't be that hard to fire up tcpdump and get a range of "management" ips. you then block those ips from connecting to your computer with iptables/ipchains/ipfwadm/windows firewall/your favorite bagel. that and it surely won't stop hardcore downloader from logging on IRC and downloading from there (surely everyone know only newbies use kazaa, the rest are still on irc)

they can try to block losers, but they won't get the truly geek. and i sure wouldn't accept any violation of MY privacy and limiting legitimate uses (private servers,game servers, research projects, name it)

and before i get blasted into oblivion, no i don't use kazaa et al, my music is all legitimately got from www.emusic.com, go check it out

Any files or just copyrighted ones? (1)

jgabby (158126) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126613)

So does this system differentiate between copyrighted files and public domain, or does it kick you off for sharing ANY files? Or does it just kick you off for running a certain list of p2p programs? What about Windows file and printer sharing? Do they control only what goes between the school and the outside world, or are they also concerned with traffic local to the university?

Detection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126619)

Does it simply portscan? If so, then what if I have every single port open, routed to /dev/null?

Or, more likely, what if an application just happen to choose port 1214 randomly. Will that be seen as a violation? Also, how far does p2p extend? Would a ftp server be in violation? IRC? What if I am using bittorrent for openoffice downloading? Or what if I enable others to use my computer [67.37.24.195] ?

Spoofing (1)

Nykon (304003) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126623)

I wonder if it only scans for the application or actually watches network traffic for p2p connecitons. I wonder how long it will take a CS student to just write a daemon to listen on the connection port and respond back with a "everything is fine here" type response so that they are free to use the computer as they should be.

Will products like ZoneAlarm block this? (1)

HealYourChurchWebSit (615198) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126626)



So I guess the first question that comes to my mind is, will a products such as ZoneAlarm [zonelabs.com] stop this? And if so ... will any penalties result from blocking?

silly Slashdot (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126628)

Avoid going to a school because it doesn't allow you to illegally get mp3s and DivX movies? If I haven't heard anything sillier, than this is it.

UF is a good school with many established majors and sciences. UF is smart to protect their university and risk getting lawsuits due to the arrogance of people.

Bring on the P2P banning in all schools! Naturally, this is Slashdot where its readers tend to bitch about everything, but we must remember that "geeks" aren't really people anyways. Just a bunch of ugly males who cannot fulfil basic human needs as showering, female interaction, and fresh air.

Re:silly Slashdot (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126714)

Yes, I think you should avoid going to a school with an innocent-until-proven-guilty policy of banning network access to anyone who happens to run a P2P client, be it for copyright violation or not.

Or are you saying there is no legitimate use for P2P?

Don't give me the bullshit about how most users are pirates anyway. I already know that. What I want you to answer is: do you believe in the concept of "innocent until proven guilty," or do you not?

Automatically shutting off someone's net access because a certain port is open is tyrannical.

WiFi? (1)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126629)

One student who asked not to be named said he was upset that he can no longer play LAN games with friends on his floor. Last year, he would regularly joust with 15 others, but the school restricts using a computer as a server, so he's given up the activity.

Can't they set up a WiFi net of their own? Seems like that would permit gaming at least.

All large schools do this now [n/t] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126635)

Lameness filter encountered.

Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted.

I hope Icarus doesn't get too near my Sun (1)

tuffy (10202) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126639)

Sparcstation, that is.

moron threads to avoid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126640)

you'll never learn anything studying phonIE ?pr? ?firm? stock markup hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creator. get ready to see the light.

you are the professors. you might find IT useful, if you avoid/filter all misinformation provided buy the fauxking payper liesense georgewellian fuddite corepirate nazi southern baptist freemason ?pr? ?firm? stock markup FraUD execrable. they are putting the entire planet/population at risk in order to accumulate more/excessive mammon. they are the walking dead.

Back in my day... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126642)

We had to run out OWN network cables. And we were limited to 220k bandwith for Localtalk.

And we LIKED it! I'm getting to old for this shiat.

doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126643)

i run an openbsd firewall with pf and scrub built in.

i only allow port 22 in. they cant scan me because i dont know how to run p2p software on openbsd.

"..deters students from living in the dorms.." (1)

Ophidian P. Jones (466787) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126645)

They left out the part about "...to use the dorm network connection for illegal and improper uses."

Maybe this will actually ENCOURAGE responsible people to live in the dorms, now that they know network performance will actually be improved without P2P traffic wasting bandwidth

Good for them (5, Insightful)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126647)

Using the campus network from dorms is a privledge, not a right. UofF has not only the right but the responsibility to ensure that their network resources are protected, not only from without but from within as well.

If students want to file share (legit or otherwise), or game, or whatever, without restrictions, they can drop the cash for DSL or cable.

good news for geeks (1)

mvh (9295) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126648)

All the regulations they put in place and their little program just seem like good news for geeks. Sure, the average student's rights are being grossly violated but the not-so-average geek can find so many ways around this plus i'm sure his/her bandwidth is increased drastically. I'm not saying the administration isn't stupid, just that their stupidity should be used appropriately.

Great. Soon coming to an ISP near you! (2, Informative)

Billy_D_Goat (589293) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126650)

It is news like this which causes me to drink more Dew. More and more ISPs (whether they are colleges or corportations) are acting as Big Brother to their subscribers. There was a story a while ago which talked about ISPs acting as a firewall for the stupid. Well, now we have them looking out for our interests by tracking down virii, trojans, P2P. I guess one could see as vaguely similar to how cable companies control what is fed to their viewers. Great. Can't wait till Roadrunner picks up this feature.

Bulloks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126653)

This is a load of crap! aka. Not True. They can't scan your pc for software, it's not possible. They also can't send a message that will pop up on your screen (unless using windows' builtin messaging service (not ms messenger), and most educated computer users should have it off anyway). And if it emails them, and then disconnects them, how are they to check their email for it? This is full of holes and is made up by some whiney kid to make the University of Florida look bad cause they're cracking down on P2P in a different way. The people who allow this sort of stuff posted on Slashdot need to read this stuff atleast for believability, preferably also for truth.

Hah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126655)

Wait until their Icarus tries to get close to my Sun.

Yet another argument against computing monocultures.

An Inside Perspective (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126656)

I am currently a sophomore at the University of FL who works part time as part of the campus network ops group. This provides me an intimate knowledge of how Icarus works.

Icarus is a VB application which attempts to connect to the standard ports used by the various P2P apps. If it is able to connect to one of these ports, the IP is marked as suspect in the central DB.

Addresses marked as suspect are then sniffed, and all packets going to and from that IP are logged to a central server. The RIAA has already subponeaed most of this data for further analysis (and more lawsuits, I would expect).

Hope this helps
-sk

What do you mean "School to Avoid"????? (2, Interesting)

digrieze (519725) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126658)

Yeesh, this is one school that is ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING about the problem.

My Niece went to college this fall and her "100mb/s" connection in her dorm room was running slower than the 56k elcheapo modem we installed so she'd have fax/voiceline answering machine capability.

I checked her system (worked fine) then put my packet sniffer in the wall socket and it just about fried! The university support puppy tracked it down to some students shairing movie files.

I'm emailing this story to them.

Firewalls? (1)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126664)

Wouldn't a good firewall prevent this sort of program?

Maybe I'm missing something here but it seems to me it would be easy to defeat.

Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126682)

Fark didn't create the Florida for no reason.

Icarus (1, Troll)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126684)

When students first register on the network, they are required to read about peer-to-peer networks and certify that they will not share copyright files.

Yup. That's the only thing P2P is good for: downloading copyrighted files. Certainly no one like me would use it to share GPLed software.

Somehow I'm sure Icarus cares not about that distinction.

"When we turned the program on, our bandwidth usage dropped by 85 percent," said Norbert Dunkel, director of housing and residence education for the university.

Good job. You wouldn't want anyone to use all that bandwidth now would you. Better just have people checking their email, after all, if you are using more than average, you must be up to something bad.

A quote in hindsight... (1)

101percent (589072) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126685)

"One-hundred billion goes to the War Department this year out of three-hundred billion budget (1974). Police agencies have become so vast- National Security Agency alone is the largest police bureaucracy in America yet it's activities are almost unknown to all of us - that there is no turning back from computerized police state control of America." -Allen Ginsberg. 1974.

Tech people will agree with the title of story (1)

gorjusborg (603799) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126688)

I could be wrong, but if the University of Florida decides to keep this policy, it will be devoid of anyone tech saavy (who cares about being abused).

I personally do not trade MP3's, but I would find it highly ignorant of a University to assume that file trading programs can only be used for trading copyrighted material.

I equate this type of action with a Christian university banning students from using the network if they had web browsers, since they could be viewing pr0n!

Pretty ridiculous if you ask me.

Re:Tech people will agree with the title of story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126723)

i dont trade mp3's either. i leech.
i know binary too. it has 1's and 0's but no 2's or 3's or 4's or 5's or 6's or 7's or 8's or 9's.

Baylor's policys (1)

phreak03 (621876) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126692)

Baylor university blocks kazaa (we tried changeing ports, most open proxies are banned)
Winmx pulls 1k (we suspect some sort of capping)
bittorrent is irrelgular
gnutella is flat out blocked
gnutella2 works sorta
edonkey still works (but we firewalled)
and my 2nd nic card is blocked for 4 months running NAT to hook up my xbox (despite the policies never mentioning NAT)

I've been threatend with "I will personaly come up and rip your arm off if you do that again" allready on the issue of NAT

Colleges everwhere are getting draconian
we are running a W.A.S.T.E cluster at the moment in my dorm (even the RA's are on it) and have about 1/2 a terabyte, and various people are finding ways to connect (dialup, so they can VPN home and such)

still with filters and invisible rulesets that get you banned for 2 weeks for trying to do something as silly as update a webpage with front page, IT contractors like RESNET have way too much power.

Where's the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126694)

When students first register on the network, they are required to read about peer-to-peer networks and certify that they will not share copyright files.

Honestly, where's the problem with this? The university faces a real problem of bandwidth hogging and possible lawsuits, and have to react somehow. The students are told, up front, that they're not allowed to do it. Then, instead of being immediately booted from campus, they get a very short suspension of connectivity and an email requesting that they stop. Sorry, but this just isn't a story.

Shift in mentality (1)

jludwig (691215) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126728)

Well, the RIAA knows it's hopeless to go after individuals, so I'm sure this policy had something to do with a few phone calls to those in charge of computing services at heavily wired schools. If you are the RIAA, why not threaten to sue the ISPs/colleges? Much more cost effective than going after users. It has worked/is working elsewhere: Tobacco companies are wrong for manufacturing cigarettes, McDonald's is responsible for making people fat, gun companies will very soon be responsible for the manner in which their product is used, it's only logical (in that wacky American way!) that ISPs and colleges will be responsible for user actions... The implication here is that people are too stupid to know any better I guess.

Deus Ex? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126731)

Icarus? I guess someone has been playing Deus Ex too much! (ok it's probably me)

# no scan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126736)

# no scan
-A INPUT -s {scanner IP here} -j DROP
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