legal torrents

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Grassgreen, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. Grassgreen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    #1
    Connected to a university wifi, it´s incredible fast! We´ve been told our ip or whatever is unique, and the admin can "see" whatever we are doing. What does this mean? There are several hundred connected to this wifi 24/7. Also, torrents can be legal right? It´s the content that can be illegal. How can they see the difference?
     
  2. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Anthropocene
    #2
    Your ISP has the ability to know every website you visit and connection you make. You ask them to show you macrumors.com, they request it and pass the information along to you.

    Torrenting the latest Ubuntu release won't get you in trouble, although that university Internet use policy you read and agreed to might forbid the use of torrent protocol in general.
     
  3. nightcap965 macrumors 6502a

    nightcap965

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    Location:
    Cape Cod
    #3
    I just retired from a major university. Yes, they have high speed Internet. They also have high-speed firewalls and traffic-shapers which mediate your connection to the outside world. In addition, intellectual property owners like music producers and film studios have a small army of law firms that track the fact that at this particular time, this particular IP address download this particular movie which is the intellectual property of this particular studio, and they demand it be dealt with at once.

    The record of every site you go to is logged and available to IT security.
     
  4. Grassgreen thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 2, 2013
    #4
    these were the answers I was looking for(not to be sounding to much like Obi-Wan) Thank you for your replies.
     
  5. arggg14 macrumors 6502a

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  6. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

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    Apr 19, 2014
    #6
    Torrents are legal, period. It's just a method of downloading content. It may not be legal to download certain content, but it doesn't matter how you're downloading it.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #7
    It may be legal in the eyes of the law, but that doesn't mean an organization has to permit them, i.e., they can set terms of use, and prohibit the use of them.

    To be honest, the use of torrents is mostly to pirate stuff. Lets call a spade a spade and while there are valid uses for torrents they pale in comparison to pirating music and software.
     
  8. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #8
    Eight Legal Uses For Bit Torrent- Can't remember which game, but a recent download utilitzed torrent. I'll also acknowledge they are used to distribute pirated content.
     
  9. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #9
    Humble Bundle uses them as an option to download stuff you get from them too.

    It's the seeding that is the problem I would think. Legal or not, you shouldn't be distributing content to hundreds to thousands of people. It's a waste of their resources, especially if everyone is doing it. I get 2GB uploaded within a hour according to Transmission.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #10
    At one point Vmware was using it to download a Vm appliance, this was a couple of years ago, so I don't know if they still use it. I opted not to get the appliance (it was a specific Linux build), as I didn't want to deal with the seeding and uploading.

    I think in this day and age, the use of torrents is mostly used for piracy and valid uses are probably diminishing
     
  11. Melrose, Dec 30, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015

    Melrose Suspended

    Melrose

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #11
    Using bittorrent technology is legal; what you download via that technology may not be.

    Your IP address isn't necessarily unique, and ISPs randomly assign IP addresses or else they'd run out of them - but they have heavy logging and databasing to know which IP is assigned to which subscriber at what time, and that can be easily cross-referenced with the webpages requested. Sysadmins can see live traffic and also scan back through the logs, and they give this information over to law enforcement whenever it's requested.

    Furthermore, using Tor may hypothetically get around that - but don't count your chickens: Your ISP knows when you use a Tor client and this often can put some type of flag on your account. Plus, unless you use Tor on a computer you've never used for anything other than Tor and you've only used it at a public access point it can be tracked; Tor traffic is anonymous when it's being transferred, but the endpoints can be recorded and that's how Tor users can be found out.

    Even then, gardon-variety websites can track tons and tons of stuff that makes you unique - https://panopticlick.eff.org is a cool way to see just how unique and trackable your system is - even down to how many and what fonts you have installed all contribute to making your footprint unique - and if your computer footprint is unique, then it is trackable. In fact, the unique factor could simply be low enough (e.g. less than 100% unique) and they'd have a pretty good idea it was you based on browsing behavior patterns.

    But that's all academic because your Alma Mater may just restrict access to certain thing, or even block sites by keywords, and they're within their right to do it.

    Just because it's the US government or Google invading your privacy doesn't mean it's not 1984 all over again in 2015. In fact Google probably knows more about you than your mother does. Or the NSA.

    I seed a little bit. If I'm paying for my internet, I expect to be able to use it - for uploading, downloading, sideloading, backloading, whatevers. I'll stop the seed once the download is done though, and if I like the music I torrent I'll go buy it. There's no way I'm paying the price-gouging executives when I haven't heard the song all the way through... they pay pennies on the dollar to the artists anyway - and then whine about how they're being victimized. Yeah, right.
     
  12. Tech198 macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #12
    I think u were meaning your "admin" can see... Yes, the ISP can see, but i'd be more worried about the admin in your workplace..

    VPN would solve this, unless he has the nerve to block ports... Some may do

    U can use torrents for legal stuff and usually u do for sharing.... but Hollywood look at where the money is and its what its mostly used for, piracy.
     
  13. Grassgreen thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 2, 2013
  14. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #14
    Way to go for what?

    If your university does not allow you to download illegal torrents, and that's what you're trying to do, then yes, a VPN will help hide it. If your university doesn't have a blanket ban on torrents and you're downloading legal ones, then why do you need to hide what you're doing? If your university doesn't allow torrents of any kind, a VPN will hide the fact you're downloading torrents, but they're still going to see a ton of traffic to and from your IP address and be suspicious.
     
  15. Grassgreen thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    #15
    @yg17 I thought that if you don´t use the vpn then they can see everything your doing. It´s not about what content your downloading but that you´d like have privacy
     
  16. Melrose, Jan 2, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016

    Melrose Suspended

    Melrose

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #16
    A VPN only hides the data - it's like a pipeline: they can see it, but they can't see what's inside of it; but it does't hide the bandwidth. They can still tell you're doing something. e.g., they know there's a pipeline about yea big but they can't tell whether it's carrying brand-name Fiji™ water, molten adamantium, or raw sewage (for example). BUT they can measure the volume and speed, and therefore they know how much of X is being piped through it.

    Edited for clarity.
     
  17. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

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    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    OP, This is the best answer. Yes it will hide what you are doing, but they will still see an increase in bandwidth. If you take the piss no doubt you will hear from them. Keep it under the radar and don't give them a headache and you should be fine.
     
  18. Grassgreen thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    #18
    I wanna say I appreciate you guys taking the time to explain this to me, and all the answers you have given
     

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