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Author Topic: New Internet Law and TrafficMate  (Read 6067 times)
Richard Warburton
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« on: September 04, 2011, 10:58:45 pm »

The latest version of TrafficMate has a new feature called "Resist illegal downloads".  It should actually read "Resist trackable illegal downloads" (next version).  In any case, ticking the box should help a lot towards preventing any nasty letters from your ISP.

It works like this.  Internet downloads for the most part are pretty much invisible to governments and large corporations, except when it comes to torrents (the most popular way to download pirate movies, music and software).  Anyone can connect to a torrent system and identify all the users who are sharing a particular file of interest. And any user downloading files on your internet will show you as the downloader.  To protect our customers, TrafficMate has the option to download a list of popular torrent websites and servers and block them.  It doesn't cover every website or system, just the ones most likely to be monitored by authorities.

We offer no guarantees, and the system is still being developed, but we encourage all users to upgrade to the latest TrafficMate and enable the "Resist" option.
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Richard Warburton
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2011, 04:01:54 am »

Just a couple of clarifications here.  TrafficMate can't block torrents outright.  However, it can make it far less likely that you will be targeted by your ISP for copyright infringement, by blocking the most traceable part of the torrent system - trackers.

In order to download using torrents you need a torrent file (unsafe) or magnet link (much safer) from a search engine on a torrent website.  Firstly, trafficmate blocks popular public torrent websites, so when Joe Average goes to his favourite torrent website, he gets a blocked page.  However, there are many torrent sites out there and we can't block them all; we are focussing on the most popular ones. 

So let's say a user finally finds an unblocked torrent site and downloads a torrent file or brings a torrent file from home.  In order for users to download using torrent client software, it needs to find other clients with the desired file(s).  The first way is to register itself as a sharer of the desired file, with a server called a tracker, whereby it can see other clients that have also registered.  TrafficMate attempts to block access to the most common public trackers, so that when authorities register with a tracker and download the list of clients, you won't be on it.

The other ways torrent client software finds other clients resembles terrorist cells without a centralised system.  This is much preferable, and far harder to trace.  So by blocking the former, the software is forced to use the latter, which is far safer for all concerned.

All in all, with TrafficMate, torrents can with some effort still be downloaded by customers (paying for every MB), but at a lower risk of being red flagged by ISPs.
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