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ISPs Fight Against Encrypted BitTorrent Downloads

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the stopping-the-flow dept.

588

oglsmm writes to mention an Ars Technica article about a new product intended to detect and throttle encrypted BitTorrent traffic. When torrents first saw common use ISPs would throttle the bandwidth available to them, in order to ensure connectivity for everyone. Some clients began encrypting their data to get around this, and the company Allot Communications is now claiming their NetEnforcer product will return the advantage to the ISPs. From the article: "Certainly, increasing BitTorrent traffic is a concern for ISPs. In early 2004, torrents accounted for 35 percent of all traffic on the Internet. By the end of that year, this figure had almost doubled, and some estimate that in certain markets, such as Asia, torrent traffic uses as much as 80 percent of all bandwidth. However, BitTorrent is an extremely important tool that has many uses other than what everyone assumes it is good for, namely movie piracy."

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lol, moustrap, mouse (5, Funny)

(fagging beta) (983460) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025021)

If you build a better mousetrap someone will fling a couger at you.

well, it only makes sense (5, Insightful)

bunions (970377) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025026)

You don't want your customers actually using the stuff they're paying you for, after all.

Re:well, it only makes sense (5, Insightful)

iPodUser (879598) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025105)

I agree. We pay up to $60 per month to have this great thing called broadband, and what do we get? Carriers wanting to restrict VOIP use, throttling Bittorrent traffic, refusing to guarantee any particular level of service, etc. A question for the service providers: Why do you think users sign up for the service? To check email? to browse a few websites? We could do that with cheap or free dial-up. These applications you are so quick to restrict are the reason that people signup in the first place! Instead of putting the effort and expense into creating hurdles for the users, spend the time and money on upgrading the infrastructure to support the increased demand.

Re:well, it only makes sense (4, Insightful)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025274)

Well, actually, yes.

In the eyes of the ISP, they're selling you a 3Mb pipe for burst traffic, so your email or web page loads really fast, not so that you can saturate your pipe 24/7. I'm not saying I agree with that, but that's what the ISP has priced things at. The average person uses nowhere near the bandwidth of his connection, and that allows them to charge cheaper rates by overselling.

To put this another way, if everyone saturated their pipe, they would have to charge upwards of 10x for your cable or DSL connection as they currently do.

Re:well, it only makes sense (4, Insightful)

secolactico (519805) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025107)

You don't want your customers actually using the stuff they're paying you for, after all.

Of course not! How else am I going to re-sell it to some other sap.

What we need is more truth in ads. Make sure your customers know that you are not guaranteeing a given bandwith unless they pay for a clear channel or some such.

Re:well, it only makes sense (1, Insightful)

NineNine (235196) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025144)

What we need is more truth in ads.

Not really. What we need are some good class-action lawsuits.

Re:well, it only makes sense (1)

jspectre (102549) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025175)

sign me up!

Re:well, it only makes sense (4, Informative)

arivanov (12034) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025246)

Exactly.

The price is formulated on the basis that you do not use it.

I agree with you - this is fraud and there is only one way to fix this.

The problem will go away immediately if ISPs turn off flat pricing and users start to pay for bandwidth used. Even better - if they start charging a differential/tiered pricing depending on the type of traffic. There is no rocket science here. The gear currently on the market is supposed to be able to do it (does it do it is a different matter).

The business models is well known and this is the way the Internet used to operate all the way up to the end of the 1990-es (especially in the slower peripheral parts). This was abandoned when the incumbent telcos entered the access market in the end of the 1990-es. They went after scale and port densities which resulted in bandwidth accounting features being abandoned across most of the equipment. Cisco broke all of its accounting by introducing CEF, other vendors were not any different.

Over the last 5-6 years most of the features crept back due to demand by business users so technologically the gear is in the same (or better) shape as before the telcos entered the market as far as accounting is concerned. In addition to that new gear from Ellacoya, P-cube and such can do things the old systems were not capable of.

All it will take to get this working now will be people who know how to formulate a viable product and tie this up all the way into billing, CRM and relevant backend systems. Unfortunately there are not that many people left capable of doing it in most ISPs so they prefer the BIG STICK(tm) or the "magic vendor silver bullet". It is easier. It does not require investment. It does not require thinking. It does not require competence. Sad, but true - this reflects the state of the industry.

It is rotten, it sucks and it hates its customers.

well, it only makes sense to get high karma. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16025280)

"You don't want your customers actually using the stuff they're paying you for, after all."*

Oh, good Lord. Here's a question for you. Do you ever think about anyone other than yourself? If yes, then please continue as before. If no, then why are you hogging the network to the point that it affects your neighbour?

*Oh and since you brought it up. Do you actually know what your paying for, or are you in true slashdot form *assuming*?

Many other uses (5, Funny)

Wind_Walker (83965) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025027)

However, BitTorrent is an extremely important tool that has many uses other than what everyone assumes it is good for, namely movie piracy.
I agree wholeheartedly. There's pornography, music piracy, video game piracy, and pornography.

Re:Many other uses (1, Funny)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025084)

I agree wholeheartedly. There's pornography, music piracy, video game piracy, and pornography.
Oh come on! Are you saying you don't use BitTorrent to download ISO images of Linux and home movies (not pornography you pervert) of their vacations and kids playing in the orchestra?

Re:Many other uses (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16025202)

Are you saying you don't use BitTorrent to download ISO images of Linux
Hell no. I'm a BSD user, you know.

Re:Many other uses (2, Funny)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025088)

You forgot pornography.

Re:Many other uses (-1, Redundant)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025119)

Oh, and pr0n, don't forget the pr0n!

(oh, and please mod this as "redundant", since we all know you have no fucking sense of humor)

Re:Many other uses (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025194)

Oh great. Another lame Slashdot critic with a humor deficiency. Just what we need. NOT.

Re:Many other uses (-1, Offtopic)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025279)

Who, little `ol me? Or the idiots with the mod points?

Re:Many other uses (0, Offtopic)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025287)

I just like posting annoying comments to see how fast they get modded down or up. But I'm not a troll. ;P

Re:Many other uses (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025198)

You forgot game updates from Blizzard, Linux ISOs, large OSS software.

Many uses other than Movie Piracy (4, Informative)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025033)

many uses other than what everyone assumes it is good for, namely movie piracy.

- Game Demos
- Software updates / upgrades
- Free / Legal Videos

Re:Many uses other than Movie Piracy (4, Informative)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025067)

WOW patches... god damn sucks that my ISP tries to hamstring torrent traffic. I get 10-15 kB/s on a 3 megabit cable modem when patching. I usually wait until someone hosts the patch, then download it via HTTP.

Re:Many uses other than Movie Piracy (1)

legoburner (702695) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025141)

I get 10-15 kB/s on a 3 megabit cable modem when patching.

Well maybe if you didnt have so many movie downloads going on you would have some bandwidth left ;)

Re:Many uses other than Movie Piracy (5, Interesting)

jimmypw (895344) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025316)

In response - I was able to contact my ISP and mentioned this problem. They then put me on a service that had no blocked or throttled ports but also made me agree to accept any civil proceedings brought against my IP address.

Re:Many uses other than Movie Piracy (1)

aweinert (969529) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025205)

Don't forget Linux distros... 750 - 4000 Megs a pop.

Espically for Linux (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025226)

I remember when Knoppix 5 came out. The official mirrors weren't carrying it yet, it was offloaded to other sites to try and get the feeding frenzy over with. So I downloaded it at the request of my boss and then left my computer to seed for the weekend. I served out 1.2TB in 48 hours. Would have been higher too, but I was capping my upstream. And I was only one of hundreds of seeders (though in fairness I was the top seeder).

I just don't see how else a not-for-profit group is going to get fast distribution of something that big for cheap. If you look at web hosting you find that bandwidth of that order is not at all cheap. However, BT let us all share the load a little.

I'm sure people do sue it for illegal purposes but I tell ya what, it has made getting free legal software so much easier. Gone are the days of waiting around on a slow ass FTP that seems like it's being run out of some guy's broom closet (which is probably where it is being run). I find on most Linux torrents I can get 30+mbits/sec no problem.

Connections (5, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025037)

"in order to ensure connectivity for everyone"

No, that's in order to continue selling people bandwidth they couldn't deliver, known to ISPs as "statistical oversubscription". Then when we want to get what we paid for, they take it away entirely. Unless you're watching the telco's own IPTV, which somehow has as much bandwidth as they need to sell it to you, for an additional charge.

Blocking competitive services to support ripoff monopoly business models is the reason telcos and other big ISPs hate Net Neutrality [eff.org] .

Not quite... (4, Insightful)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025113)

Well, to their defense, if they didn't oversell their prices would be quite higher.

Re:Not quite... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16025251)

Well, to their defense, if they didn't oversell their prices would be quite higher.

Obviously true, but would you actually accept that for any other commodity?

"Hey, this 'pint' of milk only has half a pint in it"

"Yeah, well you get the theoretical pint capacity but if you actually got the milk, our prices would be quite higher!"

Seems like a straightforwards case of fraud.

Re:Not quite... (4, Interesting)

interiot (50685) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025258)

Or they can just be nicer about their bandwidth caps... don't advertise "unlimited bandwidth", and if a customer gets near their monthly cap, then slow them down to 64kbps down or something like that. If a customer only uses BitTorrent twice a month, why does the ISP have to go to the trouble of trying to detect an encrypted connection and slowing it down?

Re:Not quite... (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025315)

I would much rather have the current situation than have a bandwidth cap or slower connection. Unfortunately, some people like to take advantage of the honor system and ruin it for everyone.

Re:Connections (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025121)

Here's a hint: If you buy a business package, you actually GET the bandwidth sold to you. Supposedly it's because businesses NEED their bandwidth to, you know, run their business. But my personal theory is that it's because businesses have experience with using lawyers so ISPs don't wanna f*** around with them.

Re:Connections (2, Informative)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025216)

"If you buy a business package, you actually GET the bandwidth sold to you. "

Not from Shaw Cable in Western Canada. I had their 'Business' package and still had unencrypted torrent traffic throttled, negating the speed increase. Although they denied throtteling it, my speed went from 80k/s max on *every* stream, to 500k/s one some streams (encrypted)

Re:Connections (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025265)

And just in case you're thinking of switching, you don't get it from Allstream or Telus either.

Re:Connections (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025223)

well, no, it's because you pay through the nose for the bidness connections. Someone else posted that if the ISPs didn't oversell then broadband would be a lot more expensive, which is certainly true, although how much "a lot" means is sort of up for debate.

Government Regulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16025136)

Blocking competitive services to support ripoff monopoly business models....

That's Government regulation gone bad. They have a monopoly because of our Government. Folks, consider this whenever you want the Legislature to stick their noses into Business. Business interests have the Lobbyists and Lawyers to make the law work for them - usually under the transparent guise of "protecting the Consumer."

Re:Government Regulation (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025314)

And the people create the government to protect us from abuse by big business, when we don't write government off to corporate manipulation.

Re:Connections (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025228)

I still think the way to fix this permanently is to separate the cabling from the service provider. Since the cabling technically belongs to those that paid for it - that'd be the people btw, check where those $ to lay the cables came from, that'd be tax money from people like you and me, all the way back to the original universal access fund tax. Also, check the huge tax bonanza the telco's received to provide broadband to US houses (that tax bonanza is basically tax $s given to the telco's, whether it was actually a hand-off of bags of money or not).

Oh, and while the cabling may be "monopoly" controlled, the services aren't, and this whole issue of net-neutrality should become moot.

Re:Connections (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025333)

It's much more likely to enforce "common carriage" rules on networks than to force them to sell off networks to competitors. The people are never going to get ownership returns on our investment in WAN infrastructure. The best, and minimum, we can expect is that the networks we paid to build will be run "the American Way": equal access to opportunity for everyone, without anticompetitive monopoly abuse by the "gatekeepers".

While they are largely at fault (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025278)

You also have to consider that consumers want things real cheap, often cheaper than is affordable. Big lines (like OC lines) cost a lot of money. So you need to have a good number of subscribers per line to make it work, if you are to charge those people a low amount. That means that bandwidth can be scarce.

One option people have is to just get better service. I personally went with Speakeasy. They don't block or throttle your connection in any way (they claim they don't, and I haven't detected any). You can host servers, whatever you like. However, it's more pricey than lower grade service. I drop about $130/month to get 6m/768k DSL with 8 static IPs. But, I've never had it fail to work at the highest speeds, and they are true to their word, I do a TON of upstream with those servers and I've never heard a peep out of them or seen my connection throttled at all.

Net access is just another area where you get what you pay for. Sure, I could offer people 100mbit net access for $20/month and just lay ethernet to their houses (we are assuming I had the permits here). However at that price, I couldn't guarantee 100mbits of upstream for each subscriber. Hell I'd be lucky to get 10mbits of upstream for all subscribers.

"Safe harbor" provision as well... (1)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025310)

If ISPs can selectively "throttle" Bit Torrent downloads what is to stop them from throttling child porn, hate sites, drug transactions, etc. Doesn't this fly in the face of the "safe harbor" legislative provision that ISPs are not responsible for the content on their networks? I think if someone were to point this out it might give the ISPs pause if their precious safe harbor provisions were in danger.

ATT is doing the same (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16025046)


with teh Telephone System, returning the advantage to the communication providers
by filtering the words Cocaine , Heroin, Ganja, LSD, Skunk, PCP, Speed, Crystal Meth
as they are used by people using the telephone system to conduct illegal conversations

filter my torrents and i will sue you for NOT filtering childporn
if you want to give up common carrier thats fine, but be aware YOU WILL be held to account for anything illegal i find on YOUR network

Re:ATT is doing the same (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025225)

Somewhere along the lines these guys are going to end up on the wrong side of 'common carrier' status and I hope the hammer falls so hard on them it makes the CEO's relatives get migranes....

Sadly, it'll take something like the ACLU, the EFF and an educated chunk of the public to pull that off...

Well, 2 out of 3 might be enough...and I'm sure we can all guess what that last 1 I'm leaving out is...

First (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16025049)

first

Re:First (3, Funny)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025201)

Not "first".

"Fist".

Up you ass.

About elbow deep.

(let's see, will this one be modded: Troll? Flamebait? Off-Topic? The suspense is KILLING ME!)

Steganography? (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025052)

Use steganography [wikipedia.org] . Basically you could send images with extra encrypted data tacked on the end; can the product detect that??? And if some unlucky admin type looks at the image, they get to see goatse in all his glory, but don't see the encrypted data hidden in the image.

Not a good idea (1)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025094)

That just adds to bandwidth issues!

Sleazy methods. (1)

tempest69 (572798) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025132)

Using Stenography would manage to work for a while at least, however the problem is that it is a real waste of resources. The other issue is that it's just sleazy. If you want unshaped traffic then buy it. Otherwise your just playing cat and mouse with admins that are trying to keep their bandwith up for the "surfers".

Storm

Re:Sleazy methods. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16025319)

lol and how do I buy unshaped traffic given my choices of... cable... dialup...

Question (1)

jbouzan (899333) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025058)

The story says that the system uses "deep packet inspection," but if the traffic is encrypted how can the data be read? That part seems to be missing from the article

Re:Question (4, Interesting)

Xemu (50595) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025112)

Easy. All traffic is slowed down by default. If the traffic is digitally signed by a Microsoft trusted computing device then it's allowed to travel faster through the pipes. All other traffic is slow pr0n.

But I thought SPAM was 80% of traffic? (5, Funny)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025066)

Spam + Torrent = %160, plus whatever "real" traffic the net has...

Wow, stunning efficiency, or bad statistics.

Re:But I thought SPAM was 80% of traffic? (5, Funny)

bunions (970377) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025075)

I think spam goes in either a different pipe or a truck, I'm not 100% sure of how it works though.

Re:But I thought SPAM was 80% of traffic? (0, Redundant)

joshetc (955226) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025120)

Its a truck, thats why they usually come by the dozen.

Re:But I thought SPAM was 80% of traffic? (1)

grazzy (56382) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025269)

It's another tube alltogheter.

Re:But I thought SPAM was 80% of traffic? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16025109)

No No, its not a pipe you see it a series of tubes...and if someone sends you an internet it might get stuck in a tube behind a different internet....

Or at least thats how I have heard it works, not positive.

Re:But I thought SPAM was 80% of traffic? (2, Insightful)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025125)

80% of email traffic. I hate newspaper reporters who drop crucial adjectives. Of course, email is the internet according to Ted Stevens. And since he's the commite head, he knows what he is talking about.

Re:But I thought SPAM was 80% of traffic? (1)

ingo23 (848315) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025133)

Does BitTorrent work over SMTP?

Re:But I thought SPAM was 80% of traffic? (1)

Liquid5n0w (935053) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025134)

The spam percentage you are talking about is probably from email numbers, not pure bandwidth.

Bittorrent is shit and you too are shit Zonk (1)

lennyhell (869433) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025115)

Stop clogging my internet pipes. Stop dumping thing in it and stop being a crybaby pirate. Bubba will be pleased by your attitude when you'll land where you deserve: in jail. You filesharing commie motherfuckers.

Re:Bittorrent is shit and you too are shit Zonk (-1, Troll)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025242)

Aww, poor guy. Can't get your internets 'cos your tubes are clogged? Well, look. I'll tell you what. I have a baseball bat with razor blades glued on. If you'll just bend over, I can use it to clear your tube.

Seriously, dude. Stop smoking the crack, and next time you're faced with a decision to use either DSL or Cable, buy the one that doesn't give your neighbors the ability to waste all the bandwidth.

Re:Bittorrent is shit and you too are shit Zonk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16025348)

You are both stupid and immature. I can see why everybody dislikes you.

Why sell the bandwidth then? (4, Insightful)

Rearden82 (923468) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025124)

They shouldn't be allowed to advertise (and charge a premium for) 3-5+ mbps service if they're going to actively prevent their customers from using it.

If car manufacturers operated like ISPs, they would sell 300 horsepower cars with shoddy transmissions, then limit them to 150hp so they wouldn't have to deal with the warranty repairs.

Re:Why sell the bandwidth then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16025211)

You mean how they sell you a car that has a speedometer that goes to 180mph and can actually probably get pretty close to that but then govern it to something like 150mph?

Re:Why sell the bandwidth then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16025217)

You know very little about the automotive industry.

Re:Why sell the bandwidth then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16025224)

How do you think Dodge stays in business?

"war"? (2, Insightful)

NineNine (235196) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025126)

"However, those who feel this all amounts to an imminent war between the users and the ISPs over BitTorrent... "

A war? You gotta be crazy. If my ISP doesn't provide me what I'm paying for then I'm either dumping them or suing. It's that simple. There's not going to be an "war" over my ISP usage at my home or my business. I'm going to get what I pay for, or they can speak with my attorney (and yes, I do use my attorney for little stuff like this).

To the people who just have a home ISP and may not have much choice, I say: don't worry about it. Somebody will come in to provide the service eventually. Competition ensures that it'll happen. With wireless getting a little bit more useful every day, I think that we'll soon have some competition amongst ISP's again, soon.

Broadband (1, Insightful)

v1ncent (997828) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025129)

What happens when the States get 'real' broadband with fiber to the home. Torrent activity would more than double in my opinion.

Bittorrent will fight back. (2, Insightful)

Skynet (37427) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025130)

I suppose the only way they can really do this is by analyzing the high level protocol transactions and by keeping tabs on particular IPs and their behaviors. Pretty flimsy.

All of this could probably be pretty easily foiled by having Bittorrent mask what it's doing by sending noise once in a while to throw these tools off.

Re:Bittorrent will fight back. (1)

tradingfire (912178) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025204)

maybe spammers will begin using bitorrent. more noise than u'll ever need.

Re:Bittorrent will fight back. (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025257)

Or, by modifying it slightly to operate on a range of ports rather than a single one.

Re:Bittorrent will fight back. (3, Interesting)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025308)

All of this could probably be pretty easily foiled by having Bittorrent mask what it's doing by sending noise once in a while to throw these tools off.

This is actually a common feature in many cryptosystems which serves to prevent a successful cryptanalysis via "cribs" or short passages of known plaintext within the cipher text, especially at known location such as the start of the message (the Germans made this mistake with their Enigma traffic during WWII for example with standard message headers on their daily weather reports to the U-Boat flotillas). If the protocol were modified to introduce random segments of padding (i.e. junk) into the packets then cryptanalysis via cribbing would most probably be rendered impractical.

In the mean time... (1)

scenestar (828656) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025145)

A group of hackers are Coming up with a work around.

In the mean time i wonder if Allot Communication's "traffic management device" can withstand DDoSing.

They sure as hell are going to piss alot of people off with their scumware.

Bit Torrent based persistant game world (0, Offtopic)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025148)

Kinda off topic, but I've been tossing around the idea of a BT based MMO. Uptime and seeding are used to determine property ownership. Higher up time on seeds would result in players owning buildings that they seed. Groups of players (or a single player with near 100% up time on the seed) could own land used to host other player's properties. No idea on what the point of the game would be, the danger is that the data is always going to be in the enemy's hands, so it would have to be socially based instead of competetively based.

Anyway, I just thought it could be a fun way to use existing technology for a legal purpose.

-Rick

Illegal? (3, Interesting)

BloodyIron (939359) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025163)

Isnt it illegal to read any part of encrypted data accross the internet? (with certain exceptions, ie: NSA actions/warrants, etc)

Re:Illegal? (4, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025199)

Isnt it illegal to read any part of encrypted data accross the internet?

Probably not, but they aren't "reading" data in any case. They're just looking at the encrypted streams and figuring out, based upon the way the traffic flows, the ports, etc. that it is bittorrent traffic. Of course engineers can just make bittorrent traffic mimic other, legitimate traffic more closely to make it impossible to distinguish between them.

Ever notice that whole lot of crap runs on port 80 these days? The reason is that ISPs and maintainers of firewalls have turned off the rest of the internet under the assumption that it will stop the traffic they don't like. Really it just squished everything into one place and made it harder to properly administer.

Re:Illegal? (1)

BloodyIron (939359) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025239)

Data plotting (i think thats the right term) would be a legal process, I can see that, but it doesnt seem too reliable, with a few exceptions. How many people use the suggested settings of using alternative ports? Quite a few of the clients also have "random port", while difficult to setup properly through NAT/Firewalls, still feasible with a public IP. Either way, it sounds like a violation of privacy acts/laws/rights as it could potentially gain access to parts of the file which determine if its a BT packet or not. Isnt that illegal?

Re:Illegal? (1)

netcrusher88 (743318) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025262)

Yes, but since filtering traffic by reading it would require not only several supercomputers but also a blatant disregard for said laws, it must be done by analyzing traffic flow. Anyone who's running an ISP and reading this, don't even waste your money. Trying to analyze traffic which does not neccessarily conform to any particular standard, and is encrypted at that, is a futile effort.

Um, mirror? (4, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025165)

Why don't ISPs that worry about their net usage outside their network just mirror shit?

Would it be really hard to throw together a 1TB file store with the latest patches, demos, ISOs and the like?

That way the customers can get stuff inside the network and the ISP doesn't have to worry about upstream net usage.

OMG it's like I'm smart and all.

Tom

here in aus, that's exactly what happens (1)

xmodem_and_rommon (884879) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025339)

Here in Australia, most ISPs do provide a fairly large mirror of stuff (although they don't put enough effort into keeping them up to date). You pay for a certain number of GB downloaded per month, and traffic to the ISP's servers is not counted towards this limit.

Why operate on this structure? Well, bandwidth outside the country is mostly controlled by the gang of four [wikipedia.org] . And the prices for it are nothing short of extorionate. $1/GB is considered good. Bandwidth to the ISP's own servers is virtually free, however, so they don't charge their customers for it.

Because of this, ISPs tend to encourage anything that uses their networks. If i'm downloading 100Gb/month then my ISP loves me for it, because i'm paying them upwards of $120/month for the privelage.

Fair Share! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16025167)

From TFA:

In the end, BitTorrent is no different from any other protocol that has allowed people to download files over the web. Some will try to take advantage of it and grab more bandwidth than their fair share.

(emphasis mine)

If I signed up for a 3Mb/s (down) line, isn't my share 3Mb/s? If they can't afford to be giving that out to everyone, they shouldn't be advertising that. They should advertise 512kb/s instead, and perhaps let people have more bandwidth when it's not all being used.

Re:Fair Share! (1)

Chaffar (670874) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025197)

If I signed up for a 3Mb/s (down) line, isn't my share 3Mb/s?
Actually, no. You signed up for a service that promises speeds of "up to 3 Mbps", and even if you get 56 Kbps quality connections most of the time, you still can't sue because most ISPs have this clause that states that they're not liable if you're not happy with the connection speeds you're getting.
3Mbps is just the cap of your connection speed, not what they promise to offer.

Re:Fair Share! (1)

tradingfire (912178) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025232)

you're making me cry.

Stunned...but not (3, Interesting)

svunt (916464) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025173)

This is funny...last month, I downloaded one linux distro via torrent, it was a dvd iso, can't remember the file size, let's say 4.5GB for argument. The other squillion terabytes I grabbed all came from my ISP's own news server, about a zillion hours of not-so-legal content, all provided at full speed by the guys who'd like to throttle my legal torrent traffic? If ISPs were that concerned about traffic, they'd close some of the zombie hosts on their own networks sending out billions of spam emails a day.

I have plenty of legit BT uses. (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025180)

1. Linux ISOs
2. Maiet's "Gunz" which INSTALLS or UPDATES as it downloads data via Bittorrent
3. Bittorrent is used to transfer many of the game demos found on legitimate sites
4. I use it personally to share things I make and OWN.

In short, the ISPs are about to shoot themselves in the foot, again. Except this time, I think if I sue, I'm going to ask them in court "Whatever happened to that infrastructure upgrade that was supposed to come from 200 billion of our tax dollars?"

Has to be done (5, Informative)

realmolo (574068) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025182)

Look, I use Bittorrent and it's great. But I also run an ISP.

The thing is, bandwidth isn't cheap. People bitch that ISPs "oversubscribe", and that we can't really deliver our advertised bandwidth to everyone all of the time. This is true, but how do you think we manage to sell people 5Mb connections for $40/month? Do you know how much 5Mb of bandwidth costs and ISP? It's a lot more than $40. In the market I'm in, we pay THOUSANDS of dollars for that much bandwidth.

The real problem is that bandwidth is too expensive in this country, thanks to the likes of AT&T and MCI and all the other big players. They've got tons of unused fiber lying around, and it costs them next-to-nothing to use it, but it still costs the end-user (in this case, the ISP) a hell of a lot of cash.

 

Re:Has to be done (4, Insightful)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025264)

The thing is, bandwidth isn't cheap. People bitch that ISPs "oversubscribe", and that we can't really deliver our advertised bandwidth to everyone all of the time. This is true, but how do you think we manage to sell people 5Mb connections for $40/month? Do you know how much 5Mb of bandwidth costs and ISP? It's a lot more than $40. In the market I'm in, we pay THOUSANDS of dollars for that much bandwidth."


No, it doesn't "have to be done". You could just advertise what you can actually deliver, and anything a customer happens to get above that is gravy. Right now, you "manage to sell" people 5Mb connections for $40 a month in the same way that the guy at the corner "manages to sell" Rolex watches for ten dollars a shot.

Re:Has to be done - No It Doesn't (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025313)

The real problem is that bandwidth is too expensive in this country

What about all that dark fiber that was laid before the dot.com bust? Can they be required to either light it, or sell it? There's all kinds of bandwidth waiting to be turned on when needed. But too many players would rather keep the Internet limited -- and expensive. Seems to me they're subject to government regulation. Would this qualify as gouging?

Re:Has to be done (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16025322)

People bitch that ISPs "oversubscribe", and that we can't really deliver our advertised bandwidth to everyone all of the time. This is true, but how do you think we manage to sell people 5Mb connections for $40/month?

You don't. Like you just said, you lie about how much bandwidth you have available. You don't thikn people will be interested in paying for what you can really provide them with for $40, so you pretend you can provide more than you can afford to. You're a conman. A fraudster. A common crook. HTH.

Re:Has to be done (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025331)

This is true, but how do you think we manage to sell people 5Mb connections for $40/month?

Then don't advertise something that it's not. Say it's a 5mbit burstable connection and 1mbit sustained. Or say right there on your advertisement, "We are like every other ISP and oversell our bandwidth and then cry later when people use it." I'd have more respect for your whining.

Yes, you will lose customers but they will be in the 10% bracket that you don't want anyway. Let those people use real ISPs and let your lame ISP cater to the Mom and Pop's that check e-mail, CNN, and look at porn while the wife is out at her book club once a week.

Re:Has to be done (2, Informative)

AnotherBlackHat (265897) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025344)


Do you know how much 5Mb of bandwidth costs and ISP? It's a lot more than $40. In the market I'm in, we pay THOUSANDS of dollars for that much bandwidth.


I suggest you shop around then, 'cause I can buy 100Mbps of transit for just under $3000 a month.

Look at the complaints here on Slashdot.
Most of them are complaining about ISPs lying about the service they sell.
If you can't accommodate bit torrent that's OK, just sell an honest service plan that doesn't appeal to people using bit torrent, but does appeal to people who just surf.
For example, 5Mbps for 100 hours a month (burst), plus 128Kbps continuous.

-- Should you believe authority without question?

Description is a troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16025192)

However, BitTorrent is an extremely important tool that has many uses other than what everyone assumes it is good for, namely movie piracy.

"Everyone"? How can I mod a descripton of an article as stupid-FUD-troll?

Oh... wait.. this is Slashdot... I don't need to be here

What new ATT SBC does (3, Interesting)

shawn443 (882648) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025209)

I have noticed that once the upload stats get to about 10 gig or so my dynamic ip expires about every 2 hours. Before I started using btdownloadcurses my ip would change about once every two weeks. Remote access in terms of my dynamic ip address was rarely a problem. Granted this is only an observation, yet I still assume categories of customers are made by upload stats. This caused me to script ipshow. ATT, go screw yourself and your "sticky ips", I am not running ebay here, I just want access to my computers.

Re:What new ATT SBC does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16025266)

Have you tried a free dynamic DNS service like no-ip.org? They provide a daemon that will update their DNS servers with your new ip each time it changes. I find it usefull for the ocassional ssh

When are you going to learn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16025218)

You need to encrypt all of your traffic. Opportunistic encryption
and Better Than Nothing Security need to be widespread.

Until you do, ISPs will throttle your bittorrent, VOIP, etc.

Two Choices (5, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025252)

1: Shift to new encryption method.

2: Sue them under the DMCA for reverse-engineering and breaking the technological protection method used to protect your content.

Use either, or both, as appropriate.

darknet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16025253)

2 Cents. (1)

DoctorDyna (828525) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025261)

Why do I get the feeling that ISP's spend way too much time finding ways to curb speeds and restrict usage, just so they can keep claiming speed ratings to sign more people up?

You want an easier time with bandwidth? Stop selling and promising your customers a perticular speed with your service. Drop it down a notch, then maybe you'll have enough to go around, rather than claim something and then spend the next 2 years trying to figure out how you can throttle my torrent traffic so that granny across the street can still download family reuinion e-mail at 5 mbit.

Cocksuckers.

My isp... (1)

aweinert (969529) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025267)

My isp doesn't seem to care how you're using your bandwidth... it just restricts it to 728 MBs... total up and down. It isn't to bad since they throttle it back to about what my DSL at home is (around 700 Mbps). The first day I used 3 GB. Of course, this is because they were the lowest bidder at my apartment complex.

Advanced Techniques need Apply (1)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025301)

Seriously, if they aren't using some relatively advanced techniques to detect the transferrs (like pattern matching, hueristics, etc.) then all they have to do is alter their encryption schemes and there go those caps.

Simple solution (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025305)

Instate a law that says "In any advertisement of their service, ISPs can quote a maximum bandwidth no greater than the lowest mean data rate permitted by any throttling technique or other restriction imposed on the communications of the consumer, both for upstream or downstream."

This way an ISP couldn't advertise a 5Mbsp down / 1Mbps up service if they restricted your torrents to 2Mbps down (on average) through throttling.

Not a concern (0, Offtopic)

bberens (965711) | more than 8 years ago | (#16025317)

Cisco stock was something like $150 in the late nineties to early 2ks during the dot boom. Guess what? All of those Cisco contracts are for 7 years. All of that old hardware is about to be replaced with more modern equipment. Cisco, and other hardware companies in that space, are about to see another boon. Buy some stock, CSCO is already at $22 up from a dismal $14 a few months ago. When this transition takes place our government will give all the telcos more truckloads of money and then some higher quality bandwidth will trickle down to us. You read it here first folks!
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