Anyone who uses a site like BitTorrent assumes that their activity will be monitored within a few short hours of using the site, but what most downloaders do not realize is that even the first-time users are being watched.
BitTorrent, a major player in the online file-sharing game, is not as safe as some users would like to think. Rather than the general assumption that it takes a lot of activity to get yourself on the “watch list”, users are finding out fast that they are monitored within just a few hours of accessing the site.
Just How Fast is “Within Hours”?
According to a recent study, forty percent of monitoring occurred within three hours of the initial connection to the BitTorrent client. Slower monitoring software took 33 hours, but what experts have determined is that it is all based on what torrents are being accessed. Torrents that are listed in the Top 100, or most popular files, are monitored quickly in comparison to low-priority files.
What is Being Monitored?
Companies who outsource the policing of sites like BitTorrent do so for copyright enforcement. These outsourced companies are hard to find, especially since they access third-party hosting firms. These companies do not advertise what information they are monitoring and how it is used either. Therefore, it is uncertain if they are monitoring specific, identifiable information or if they are just monitoring what is downloaded and when.
Some users are concerned that this monitoring is not for the movie and music industries, but instead it is used for extortion from consumers. There are companies who will look for users engaging in copyright-infringement in order to extort money from them for their actions. This is especially true with content that is embarrassing or information that could potentially ruin a user’s reputation if word got out.
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