They are Watching you on BitTorrent

Via the BBC:  BitTorrent study finds most file-sharers are monitored

Anyone using file-sharing service BitTorrent to download the latest film or music release without paying is likely to be monitored, UK-based researchers suggest.

A Birmingham University study indicates that an illegal file-sharer downloading popular content would be logged by a monitoring firm within three hours.

However, fret not, oh pirates of the ether:

But Dr Chothia doubts evidence gathered in this manner would stand up in court.

"All the monitors observed during the study would connect to file-sharers and verify that they were running the BitTorrent software, but they would not actually collect any of the files being shared," he said.

"It is questionable whether the monitors observed would actually have evidence of file-sharing that would stand up in court," he added.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Brett says:

    BitTorrent is such a 2005 way of getting illegal content. Why bother with annoying, possibly virus-laden torrents when there are a million illegal streaming video and music sites out there where you can just download/play things directly? It’s not like it’s better for dial-up connections, either, since downloading a major torrent through a 56K connection is a recipe for hours of no internet use due to the torrent eating up the bandwidth.

  2. Lib Cap says:

    One word: BTGuard.

    VPN’ed IP address, secure data.

    They can’t see you, or your downloads.

  3. All of the things here have been empirically proven since about 2009.