Staying on the down-low on P2P

All the cool kids are in to peer-to-peer filesharing these days. Estimates suggest anywhere from 30% to 90% of all internet traffic (depending on which source you believe) is P2P filesharing traffic, so this is clearly something that a lot of folks online are using. Naturally, the companies responsible for distributing physical media resources for distributing this information (here I’m thinkg of companies like the RIAA and MPAA since they are the most visibly affected) want to stop this online trading, and have taken steps to disrupt the data-streams.

Recently, University of California, Riverside researchers studied filesharing traffic, looking to see how much those sharing files are watched. Condensing that report to a highlights summary, PhysOrg has this brief article about the results of the filesharing observation work.

“We found that a naïve user has no chance of staying anonymous,” said Banerjee. “One hundred percent of the time, unprotected file-sharing was tracked by people there to look for copyright infringement.”

However, the research showed that “blocklist” software such as (PeerGuardian, Bluetack, and Trusty Files) are fairly effective at reducing the risks of being observed down to about 1 percent.

Read the linked PhysOrg story for a little more information, or download the full PDF paper, titled P2P: Is Big Brother Watching You? to see what the researchers found. This should help you understand how to protect yourself and minimize your exposure to the industry watchers who are looking for downloaders.

While I don’t propose folks start stealing songs, movies, TV shows, and so on from the content producers, I agree with one of the researchers who points out that this technology is not going away, and these industries would have a much better future if they worked to leverage the technology and offer reasonably priced options to users rather than trying to just shut down P2P.

[tags]P2P, Peer to peer, Filesharing, Is big brother watching you, Big Brother, MPAA, RIAA[/tags]