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Virgin Media to Monitor 40% of users in UK for "File-Sharing"

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posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 05:18 AM
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Virgin Media to Monitor 40% of users in UK for "File-Sharing"


www.readwriteweb.com

Virgin Media, one of the UK's leading providers of television / broadband / mobile / phone services, has announced plans to use deep packet inspection technology to track illegal file-sharing activity among around 40 percent of its UK users. Users whose activities are being monitored will not be informed of this fact.

The tech comes from Detica, a company better known for working with government data and intelligence agencies than media files and P2P networks. Their CView product is designed to help put an end to illegal filesharing, and with ISPs showing interest, it's unlikely that Virg
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 05:18 AM
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Now this is scary stuff. I know that there are two sides to this story ...

a) copyright file sharing/downloading is illegal (such as movies, music, software etc.)

and

b) this kind of action is a breach of privacy

Virgin are not even going to notify users that they are being watched. I thought that this kind of deception was illegal hence why speed cameras are not hidden?

The article mentions that "Although the tech only examines aggregate traffic data, and although a Virgin spokeperson states that records will not be maintained on individual users," but I would argue that they are simply collecting this data to then decide whether to penalise their users.

This will cause a large number of people to move onto other ISPs.

www.readwriteweb.com
(visit the link for the full news article)

edit: correct point a)

[edit on 27-11-2009 by george_gaz]



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 05:31 AM
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Originally posted by george_gaz
a) file sharing is illegal
[edit on 27-11-2009 by george_gaz]


No it's not (necessarily)


How would you get you photo's off you digital camera and upload them up to MyMugBook without sharing files between a)
your camera and your computer and b)
the MyMugBook site??? That is a file that has been shared...

Your on about P2P sharing, which is how I get legit linux releases... Who is going to check that the 1,000 MB I download for the latest Ubuntu version is not actually the latest My Pony adventures film?



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 05:34 AM
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reply to post by Now_Then
 


Good point


I have corrected the post to reflect what I meant.



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 05:39 AM
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That is easy to get around .

Phone call 1 : Hello, virgin customer services ? , I am calling to cancel my account .

Phone call 2 : Hello SKY , I would like to open an account please .



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 06:10 AM
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Originally posted by george_gaz
Now this is scary stuff. I know that there are two sides to this story ...

a) copyright file sharing/downloading is illegal (such as movies, music, software etc.)

and

b) this kind of action is a breach of privacy

Virgin are not even going to notify users that they are being watched. I thought that this kind of deception was illegal hence why speed cameras are not hidden?

The article mentions that "Although the tech only examines aggregate traffic data, and although a Virgin spokeperson states that records will not be maintained on individual users," but I would argue that they are simply collecting this data to then decide whether to penalise their users.

This will cause a large number of people to move onto other ISPs.

www.readwriteweb.com
(visit the link for the full news article)

edit: correct point a)

[edit on 27-11-2009 by george_gaz]


I wonder if you have taken the time to read Virgin Terms anc Condition's



About your Virgin TV, Virgin Broadband and Virgin Phone services

2 You must, at all times, make sure that the way you use the services does not break the law or the rights of any other person. You are not allowed to copy or record any of the services , or any television or radio programmes contained in the services , except for your own private, domestic and non-commercial use (and if this kind of copying for personal use becomes illegal in the future, you must stop doing it). By law, you are not allowed to show the services , or any programmes contained in the services , to the public where an admission fee is charged. We and/or Virgin Media Entertainment are also entitled to restrict your ability to record Pay-Per-View or programmes on demand without notice and to charge a fee for recording them.






i. We reserve the right to monitor and control data volume and/or types of traffic transmitted via the interactive services on your Virgin TV and/or Internet access . In the event that you exceed any usage allowance applicable to your Internet access or your use does not comply with the 'acceptable use policy' which you can read on the Virgin Media Ltd website , we reserve the right (at our sole discretion) to reduce, suspend or terminate your Internet access . During any time of reduction or suspension, you will remain liable for the payment of your original level of Internet access charge. We also reserve the right (at our sole discretion) to re-grade your Internet access to a different speed and/or usage allowance at the appropriate charge. If we make such changes we will notify you as soon as possible.



allyours.virginmedia.com...

See how simple it is for them to do as they please, its similar to applying for a bank loan.


Next time read the fine print...!
:-)

[edit on 27-11-2009 by tristar]



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 06:12 AM
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Originally posted by Drexl
That is easy to get around .

Phone call 1 : Hello, virgin customer services ? , I am calling to cancel my account .

Phone call 2 : Hello SKY , I would like to open an account please .



Yeah, but Virgin is faster and I already have the bloody cables installed. Virgin's minimum speed is 10Mb unlimited (although truncated), SKY's is 2Mb limited to 2Gb download. Christ, I'd blow that in a day!

Also:
V+HD with 10Mb broadband = £36/month
SKY+HD with channels I watch and 10Mb, limited (and slower than Virgin) broadband = £47/month. You also have to get a stupid dish put on the side of your house.

I agree with the principle that if everyone left Virgin, they would soon change their policy, but really, who needs the hassle?

P2P file sharing may be illegal, but it's also the only way I can get some of the TV shows I watch from the states that aren't shown over here.



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 06:25 AM
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Sky is 20 Mb and unlimited . Least for £10 it is . Probably get something along the lines of 2mb if you pay nowt and it's part of some free add on package.



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 06:27 AM
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Originally posted by nik1halo

P2P file sharing may be illegal, but it's also the only way I can get some of the TV shows I watch from the states that aren't shown over here.


So what will your course of action be if you fall into the 40% who are monitored and then (but really it is "when") in the future they decide to penalise those users?



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 06:38 AM
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Originally posted by george_gaz

Originally posted by nik1halo

P2P file sharing may be illegal, but it's also the only way I can get some of the TV shows I watch from the states that aren't shown over here.


So what will your course of action be if you fall into the 40% who are monitored and then (but really it is "when") in the future they decide to penalise those users?


I suppose that's something to consider in the future. There are already ways around DPI (Proxy's, encription software etc), which disguise your IP address and I'm sure that now this is becoming more prevalant, some bright spark somwhere will come up with better ways.

It's like putting encription on DVDs. They improve the encription, so someone writes a better decription module. Personally, I'm no networking expert. I majored in data management and media analysis, but there are some very clever people out there, who will always be one step ahead of the game.



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 06:42 AM
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Originally posted by Drexl
Sky is 20 Mb and unlimited . Least for £10 it is . Probably get something along the lines of 2mb if you pay nowt and it's part of some free add on package.


Yes, I know this is available, but the point I was trying to make was that if I wanted the same service I get at the moment through Virgin, I would pay more for an inferior service.



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 11:31 AM
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Branson and friends at Virgin must have worked out that they can profit in some way from shopping illegal file sharers..otherwise they would not have taken this action.
Like revenue from speed cameras,file sharers are the latest easy target to extract money from IMO.

I wonder what the sucessor to the "torrent" will be?
Something that masks your net identity,and hides itself from ISP checking I bet.

They tried DRM,which failed,now they are trying busting file sharers,which will probably fail when someone invents a program which is "hidden" on the net.

It simply amazes me that its not pedophiles doing unspeakable things to children that will lead to net regulation-Its teenagers downloading the latest episode of Hanna Montana.

Privacy laws are being torn up,the whole net spied on...not to stop sex abuse,but to stop torrent users,proving once again that the corporations rule this planet.



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 11:41 AM
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reply to post by Silcone Synapse
 



Branson has nothing to do with Virgin Media (they have to pay him to appear), think of the "Virgin" bit as being a leased trademark.

I find the 40% interesting considering illegal downloaders are supposed to account for a mere 10% of the general population, circa 6 million in total across all ISPs. Unless Virgin are saying that they have a higher proportion of illegal downloaders (which makes some sense). I wonder what this means for their own usenet provision, if that goes, so does my VM subscription. May as well go to Sky and get a Giganews sub.



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 12:11 PM
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*edit*

double post.

[edit on 27-11-2009 by Skyco]



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 12:11 PM
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Although Virgin Media seem to be one of the first ISPs to start tracking illegal file sharing, and switching to another ISP at the moment may be an option, don't be surprised when most, if not all ISPs introduce a similar method.

I've worked in the ISP game for over seven years, and ultimately this was always going to happen, i've found it's only in the last year or two that things really seem to be getting pushed hard concerning "illegal file sharing", and actions like these were to be expected.

Personally i'm not a fan of any of the methods they implement, i think people in the music industry, movies and so on earn enough as it, if someone that earns pennies wants to download a few songs or movies then fair play.

Bad times ahead for file sharers.



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 12:15 PM
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Some internet providers seem to think that people are so addicted to the net that they will put up with whatever controls and conditions they put out.
I guess they didn't learn the lesson of the demise of newspapers or TV which is also struggling because of their arrogance and belief that people will just "cop it".
If they take the fun out of the net, I guess I'll just return to the old days of getting on the net free at my local library once a week. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay good money to then be told what I can and can't do on the net.



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 12:19 PM
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reply to post by Skyco
 


They are not the first. British Telecom has used DPI for years, namely Ellicoya systems. They are also one of the worst ISPs for file sharing ever. Virgin seem to have gone the whole hog and jumped right into bed with the defense industry though (Detica->BAE).



[edit on 27-11-2009 by quackers]



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 07:48 AM
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Guys and gals ...

This just got a whole lot worse ...

ISPs sign with the government.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 07:53 AM
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Why not do the job properly, they should be monitoring 100%.
No point going in half hearted. Others will follow soon i hope they dont adopt the slack work ethics of Bransons mob.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 07:55 AM
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reply to post by pazcat
 


Hey,

The 40% is just a random group I think. If they did 100% for this kind of testing scenario (a scenario to judge just how much of this is going on) then it would consume too many resources.

Now that everything appears signed and sealed we now just wait for them to deliver the blow ...



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