Encrypted BT traffic increases 1,000%
Encrypted UK BitTorrent Traffic Increases by 1000%!
Will make proposed ISP content filtering meaningless.
In an interview with the BBC a few weeks ago, Lord Triesman, the parliamentary Under Secretary for Innovation, Universities and Skills, said intellectual property theft would no longer be tolerated in the UK. He then called on ISPs to take a "more activist role" in the problem of illegal file-sharing and said that ""If we can't get voluntary arrangements we will legislate."
Now it seems that new data obtained by The Register form a large UK ISP may actually mean that the proposed initiative will largely be ineffective for the number of BitTorrent users encrypting their traffic has increased dramatically.
In the last 12 months alone encrypted BitTorrent traffic has increased from 4 to 40%. Instead of encrypted torrents accounting for a mere 20Mbit/s of total network bandwidth they now comprise an astounding 200Mbit/s. Inversely, unencrypted torrents that once used 500Mbit/s of bandwidth now use only 350Mbit/s.
The development rightly has the British Phonographic Institute(BPI) already pulling their hair out and will certainly lead to claims that it can mask terrorist or child pornography related activities - their standard "in case of emergency" arguments.
Either way the news means that efforts to get ISPs to take a "more activist role" with illegal file-sharing will pretty much be pointless. Although deep packet inspection will allows you to identify encrypted file-sharing packets, you will be unable to actually look inside those packets for evidence of copyrighted material.
Neil Armstrong, products director at BT-owned ISP PlusNet, said: "It isn't possible for us to tell if a customer is downloading a copyright file or not unless we specifically 'snoop' every packet on the customer's line.
"We would obviously only do this where we have a proper request from the relevant legal authority to do so, and even then it is unlikely we would be able to see inside encrypted payloads," he said.
This development regarding increasing levels of encrypted BitTorrent traffic really drives home the point of how the music industry's fight against illegal P2P and file-sharing services is a losing battle and a total failure. They've spent hundreds of millions, if not several billions, of dollars defeating Napster, KaZaA, Grokster, Limewire, and Morpheus in successive order, but what did it really accomplish? All people did, the smart ones anyways, is migrate to more secure file-sharing programs like Usenet and BitTorrent. Even if they somehow succeed in cracking down on these two it will only mean that somebody will just invent an even more secure P2P protocol to succeed it.
In the meantime, 10 years later the music industry is still trying to figure out how to eliminate illegal file-sharing, even going so far as to propose banning prolific pirates from the internet itself. You think it would've figured it out by now that no matter how hard they try file-sharing is here to stay. It's a technology arms race that they'll never win.
This is why I tell everyone to turn on their encryption. :whistle:
Not to mention it helps to at least partially defeat some of those bastard ISPs that don't allow file sharing.
A recently published article by The Register claims that an increase in encrypted BitTorrent traffic is due to the fact that people want to hide or scramble the files they are sharing. Apparently some tech journalists, and in particular the anti-piracy organizations, have no clue what BitTorrent encryption actually does.
Encrypted BitTorrent traffic now accounts for 40% of all BitTorrent traffic in the UK according to the article. The Register claims that filesharers use encryption to scramble their data so they can protect themselves from being caught, and the comments from a music industry representative make it seem like people can indeed hide what they are sharing. Unfortunately, none of it is true
This is what Matt Phillips, of the record industry trade association the British Phonographic Institute told the Register: ?Our internet investigations team, internet service providers and the police are well aware of encryption technology: it?s been around for a long time and is commonplace in other areas of internet crime. It should come as no surprise that if people think they can hide illegal activity they will attempt to.?
So if it?s not hiding anything, why do people use BitTorrent encryption then?
I?ll try to explain it once more to the BPI, IFPI and RIAA and some tech journalists, just so they don?t embarrass themselves again in the future. BitTorrent encryption has nothing to do with hiding the data you?re sharing, it only hides the fact that you?re using BitTorrent to do so.
Encryption was designed to prevent ISPs from throttling BitTorrent traffic, which they started doing approximately 2 years ago. ISPs use so called traffic shaping devices to identify and slow down BitTorrent traffic because it takes up a lot of bandwidth (read: costs a lot of money). BitTorrent encryption, which is now supported by all the popular BitTorrent clients, hides the protocol header. As a result, these devices can?t detect that someone is using BitTorrent and you can download at full speed.
So, encryption does not hide the actual data people are sharing, everyone can still connect to a BitTorrent swarm, record your IP-address, and send you an infringement notice.
Now back to the claim that 40% of the BitTorrent traffic is encrypted in the UK. My first question would be, how do they know that it?s BitTorrent traffic if it?s encrypted? Apart from that I think 40% is a little too high, unless the ISP that reported the data is throttling BitTorrent traffic of course. We?ve been tracking the number of people who actually use encryption and it is currently slightly below 10%. It could be of course that these people are responsible for 40% of the traffic, but I seriously doubt that.
Bottom line is, anti-piracy organizations should take some time to read up on what filesharing actually is before they are going to accuse people of something, but I guess that?s wishful thinking.
Now back to the claim that 40% of the BitTorrent traffic is encrypted in the UK. My first question would be, how do they know that it?s BitTorrent traffic if it?s encrypted?
I work for an oil service company and we encrypt all our internet traffic.
if They REALLY want to stop you and look for copyrighted materiel, at least here with Cox (ISP in the West-US) they can only do it if you install their internet suite. so 1) why would you do that (and to all my fellow americans… stop pushing yes for the damn toolbars.) 2) encrypt your connection. 3) if you get a note from your ISP check your system and see if you accidentally hit yes to some toolbar/gadget/handy internet device/evil system slowing toolbar/suite :-)
Just a thought