I read an interesting article over at the TorrentFreak blog about how so-called private torrent sites were being infiltrated by piracy investigators.
It confirmed that piracy investigators have been gaining access to private torrent sites by either joining them when they were still open for registration or being invited from someone in the inside. It was always pretty obvious to me that private could not really mean private if the site owners did not know each of their users personally.
This system was bound to fail right from the beginning and the article on TorrentFreak only confirms this.
Peter Anaman, a senior internet investigator for legal firm Covington and Burling has admitted that his organisation has infiltrated unnamed private BitTorrent tracker sites and shares their method of gaining access; Anaman added, “Once you’re in, you never take action. You just listen?
I think the last quote is probably the only clue that private site owners could get to identify the moles in the system.Why would they keep users in the system who never share files? Who seem to click on many files but never download them or stop downloads shortly after starting them?
The piracy investigators can adopt new tactics of course which leads to the conclusion that private trackers have and will never be safe. Don't rely on them as your only source of security. If you want security stop using p2p networks.. What's your stance in the matter?
Update: With private trackers opening registration ever now and then to the public, it is safe to say that the majority are tracked by companies specialized in tracking these kinds of things. The data gathered this way can be used in a variety of ways, from the computation of statistics to the take down of the tracker.
While it is unclear if and how the data is admissible in court, it is fair to say that it provides companies with information on how private torrent sites operate.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.