So that's it, this is the end of file-sharing then, right?
Orange City, CA (PRWEB) April 11, 2012
CNET news is reporting that starting this July all major US Internet service providers will start tracking and monitoring their user's bittorrent downloads as part of an agreement between the MPAA, RIAA and all the major ISPs. Last July, Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, Time Warner Cable and other service providers announced that they had agreed to adopt policies designed to discourage customers from illegally downloading music, movies and software. Since then, the ISPs have been very quiet about what these measures included. During a recent panel discussion before a gathering of U.S. publishers in February 2012, Cary Sherman, CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, said most of the participating ISPs are on track to begin implementing the program by July 1st. Quoted from RIAA.com, "Each ISP has to develop their infrastructure for automating the system," Sherman said. They need this "for establishing the database so they can keep track of repeat infringers, so they know that this is the first notice or the third notice. Every ISP has to do it differently depending on the architecture of its particular network. Some are nearing completion and others are a little further from completion." At that time, the accused customers will also be informed of the risks they incur if they don't stop pirating material. If the customer is flagged for illegal downloading again, the ISP can then ratchet up the pressure. Participating ISPs can choose from a list of penalties, or what the RIAA calls "mitigation measures," which include throttling down the customer's connection speed and suspending Web access until the subscriber agrees to stop pirating.
So that's it, this is the end of file-sharing then, right? Probably Not. There is an endless list of solutions that can help protect a users identity when browsing and downloading torrent files online. The most popular option for users today would be a proxy server or VPN from an anonymous Bittorrent privacy protection service such as TorGuard.net. A proxy server funnels internet traffic—in this case, just BitTorrent traffic — through another secure server, so that the anonymous BitTorrent IP address will be from a secure anonymous server that can't be traced back instead of the address that points to their home. That way, one can effectively bypass traffic through services like these so their ISP cannot see what is being downloaded. Access to a virtual private network (VPN) benefits a user by hiding their identity on both bittorrent and internet browsing/email. A VPN service can also prove very valuable when accessing personal or sensitive information at public wifi hotspots.
In closing, BitTorrent isn't the safe haven it once was and if people are going to use it to share and download files after July 1st, they must realize they are taking a very large risk. While TorGuard’s anonymous bittorrent protection service isn't free, at roughly $5/month, it isn't very expensive, and well worth it if the goal is to torrent anonymously. A law suit settlement, if it comes to that, will cost at least a couple thousand dollars, which equals a couple decades of TorGuard subscriptions, so keep that in mind.