Are You Being Watched? If You’re In the UK, Maybe

Over across the pond, illegal file-sharing is getting an axe to the head from one of the UK’s leading providers, Virgin Media.  It announced plans last week to use deep packet inspection technology to track those who are downloading illegally. It will track about 40% of its network, although it will not inform those who are being monitored that it is being done. The company providing the technology for this says that it will only monitor filesharing activity, but not information on individual users.  Many of us might feel this is a fairly specious claim. Techdirt appraises the issue, and says that there is no such thing as an anonomyzed dataset.  And once they find the filesharers, then what? As ReadWriteWeb says, “Although the tech only examines aggregate traffic data, and although a Virgin spokeperson states that records will not be maintained on individual users, privacy concerns are right behind raining-on-our-parade concerns when one examines the question of monitoring user behavior. Isn’t warning, fining, censoring and/or restricting access for infringing users the next logical step?”


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