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BitTorrent traffic closely watched by shady firms


About three hours after joining a file-sharing BitTorrent swarm you are likely to come up on the radar of copyright enforcement agencies, a new study reveals. Most of them are not reporting publicly that they engage in such monitoring.

­The higher a torrent file is on most popular list, the faster the monitors are responding, Researchers from Birmingham University reported at the SecureComm conference in Padua, Italy, this week.

They also found that independent blocklists, which torrent users manually create to ward off suspected monitor organizations, failed to include many of the peers the researchers identified as suspicious.

BitTorrent protocol allows users, called peers, to share files by chunking them into small bits and bringing peers together for direct exchange. A torrent server lists internet protocol (IP) addresses of peers wishing to upload or download the files. Users join a swarm of peers sharing the file by announcing their presence to the torrent server.

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