p2p and Forums

Discussion in 'Bloody Computers' started by Gombear, Dec 22, 2008.

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  1. Can someone explain the difference between a p2p site and a Forum site?
    Also what is Torrent or Bit Torrent? I understand that it is something to do with file sharing.

    I have heard that it is possible to obtain a persons ISP and from them, your IP address. Can that only be done from a p2p or Torrent site or is it possible to get that info from a Forum site.

    The reason I ask is because there were some disturbing items on the BBC News website recently (see links). They concern a UK law firm that was targeting illegal downloading and had somehow managed to threaten some innocent people. I think this is a worrying development.


  2. I can see your IP address here, only IF I choose to do so and only because I am the MOD for this particular forum.

    P2P, or Peer to Peer, is a method of sharing files and in itself IS NOT ILLEGAL! In fact, quite a few game updates etc are now available this way.

    What IS illegal, is breaking copyright laws by sharing files that each user should pay the licensee to use, normally by purchasing in a shop or on the internet and then legally downloading the software from that shop.

    Your ISP cannot tell what you are downloading, only that you are downloading vast amounts of data at the same time as uploading vast amounts of data. Only one thing does that, Torrent.

    Torrent, or BitTorrent (same thing) is a type of P2P networking.
    With Torrent, you use a program like uTorrent, BitTorrent, Azureus etc etc (google torrent, theres loads of them!) to connect to PC's all over the world to download/upload files. To get it to work, you need to download a marker file (small file) which tells the torrent program what to look for and who to connect to. The more people that you are connected to , the faster you will get the file. Certain free torrent websites like Piratebay or Seedpeer allow you to search for whatever it is you want and start the process BUT these free sites are the ones being watched, and constantly have to physically move about to stop from being raided, due to the content held on the server PCs.

    Like I said, torrent (P2P) is in itself quite legal, downloading copyrighted material is illegal :)

    Its one of those "use at your own risk" type things.
    Usenet downloads are taking over from Torrent, as they are much faster and pretty much untraceable :)

    Hope this helps.
  3. I have heard of ISP's (particularly BT, Tiscali and Virgin Media) cracking down on their customers using torrents and P2P software to download illegal software and video media. Generally they have been sending out warning letters threatening to cut them off if they continue to download.

    Basically a torrent is where somebody uploads a file and then someone downloads this file from their computer, then the next person downloads it from those 2 peoples computers etc etc (at least that is how i understood it.)

    I guess the big lesson from this is to secure your wifi! If you don't you not only risk having illegal stuff being downloaded from your service but are also putting yourself at risk if you use internet banking etc.
  4. A forum site is a site like RumRation, a forum for people to talk and suchlike, there's nothing wrong with them inherently and there are millions of them out there. There are of course forums which people use solely for the sharing of copyright material and that's where the illegality comes in, most forums will record the IP addresses (kinda like an internet postcode, which can change every time you log on to the internet) of members as it can sometimes help with banning troublesome users.
    An IP address on it's own is pretty useless to the average joe, and as such people 'knowing' it (and every website you look at, every email you send, etc WILL have your IP on record somewhere) is not a bad thing, in fact, without an IP address you using the internet would be pretty much impossible.

    P2P is Peer to Peer, you could be a peer, and any other person on the internet is also a potential 'peer'. Most file sharing programs these days will act as a kind of matching service for people with things they want to share, you type into MusicDownloaderProgram-X the name of a song, we'll say 'sticky fingers' as an example, and the program will then transfer the files from people who have them and are also running the program. No file ever actually touches the website of this program, so the files go from peer to peer.

    Bittorrent is a very clever peer to peer application, which allows millions of people to share files with each other, 99.9999% of it's use is the illegal sharing of copyright material. However it does have limited legal uses.
    P2P sites generally are the homepages for bittorrent trackers which are where people will search for the files they want. The most successful is The Pirate Bay (www.thepiratebay.org), visiting this site, and downloading the tracking data they provide is completely legal, as is them providing it. You step over the line into illegality when you use that tracking data to download or share copyright material (albums, films, TV, software, etc etc etc).

    As for innocent people being accused, the weight of evidence required to take something like copyright infringement to court is staggering, and is pretty much impossible to garner enough evidence against someone who's done nothing wrong (as it simply won't be there). Anyone receiving such a letter (assuming they're innocent) should send back a sternly worded Foxtrot Oscar letter back.
    The people who should worry about being prosecuted are those who share large amounts of data on a very regular basis (if you don't know how much 'large' is in data terms, chances are you're not in this category), against these people it's very easy for law firms to get the evidence required in order to take things to court.

    As for the average guy who uses the internet like anyone else and doesn't steal music/films/etc, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it, without evidence you can't be touched.
  5. Thanks Guys.

    I am grateful for your input; much appreciated
  6. Whilst I'm generally in agreement with the comments the issues reinforce the arguments for having an adequately protected computer; firewall, anti-virus/ trojan etc. Some payloads can be used to use the infected machines IP address to obfuscate another IP address.
  7. Ah Usenet, insert sepia tinting and background music :)

    Troll pits, proper discussions (and arguments) etc. It's all just turned a bit ''nice'' on the web and Usenet discussions are down to a hard core few.

    Funny how things come around, 5 years ago some were lamenting the death of Usenet, now it's experiencing a resurgence. Still, the nature of Usenet has changed, it's now much less about discussion and debate and much more about binaries.

    Cut my teeth on bulletin boards and usenet :)
  8. I am a bit technically challenged where IT is concerned.

    If, for example, someone uploaded an mpeg clip from “Warship†on this forum an I downloaded it, apart from the Moderator could a third party see the ISP or IP address?

    It seems from the BBC articles that there is a German company, connected to the law firm, with software that “harvests†this kind of info.
  9. If it is on a forum or other public site and therefore in the public domain with no copyright marking then you have nothing to fear by downloading it :)
  10. Thanks Lamri.
    Devil take it! I think I'll just google Julie Andrews and damn the consequences!.

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