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Notice from Provider

Posted by Anonymous User 
Anonymous User
Notice from Provider
April 06, 2010 10:17AM
I've been reading about Peer Block maybe not working. I've had high speed Internet for less than three months and my provider said TimeWarner called and they were shutting me off ...which they didn't...but next violation is ten to 14 days which I wouldn't like. I always use Peer block when I start my computer and I've read the disclaimers. This was a new release, and I removed the torrent almost as soon as it was done. Are newer movies much more likely to be investigated...and how can I protect myself better in the future?? Unless someone can give me some links or guidance I think my torrenting days are over.
Re: Notice from Provider
April 06, 2010 10:57AM
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Yep, as per that Does this mean my P2P downloading is completely safe now? FAQ, we do not condone downloading copyright-infringing material if doing so is illegal where you live.  Stopping torrenting altogether is probably the safest thing for you to do.

Anecdotal evidence has suggested that PeerBlock - in conjunction with the right combination of lists - can be at least somewhat effective in reducing the amount of "ISP Warning Letters".  We routinely hear from people who had been receiving multiple letters per week, then after running with PeerBlock claim that the rate of Warning Letters dropped to one or two a month, if any . . . and/or that they received a letter for something they downloaded during the "one time" they forgot to start PeerBlock first.  However as we've stated, even in the best of cases an IP Filter like PeerBlock is not likely to be 100% effective.

To answer your other question, my understanding is that you're correct - newer releases are much more likely to be monitored by anti-p2p folks than others. 

If there's any ISP competition in your area, you might want to look into switching to one which will better protect your privacy from groups like this who may be attempting to find out your identity, based on potentially spurious evidence.

        ---  Mark  ---




Lead developer of PeerBlock
Anonymous User
Re: Notice from Provider
April 06, 2010 12:14PM
Can "flaws" in peer block be discovered quicker? How did TW get on to my computer or find my torrent to get my isp? Is there anything stronger than peer block that is free to the public?
Re: Notice from Provider
April 06, 2010 01:41PM
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The thing you need to remember, is that all PeerBlock does is prevent your computer from "talking with" another computer, and vice versa.  This is fully dependent upon which blocklists you're using, and how well those blocklist authors (i.e. not PeerBlock) are able to hunt down "bad guy" IP addresses (however "bad guy" is defined).  For anti-p2p lists, my understanding is that they need to rely upon people who've received Warning Letters and then gone through their logs to see who was unblocked and connecting to them at the time, and then submitting that information to the list authors.  (Or IP addresses known to be seeding fake torrents, etc.)  Almost by definition that would require some amount of people to have received Warning Letters prior to those new IP addresses being added to a blocklist.

And you didn't mention which blocklists you were using.  Just the Default "P2P" (aka "Bluetack Level1") list?  How about Bluetack Level2?  Level3?  TBG Primary Threats?  It's a delicate balancing act, trying to choose lists that can provide a certain layer of protection without blocking too many "innocent bystander" PCs . . . and there is no "right" choice, each user probably has a different balance in mind.  Do you generally leave HTTP Allowed?  If so, that allows any TCP connections going in/out port 80/443 - it's possible that an anti-p2p machine was set up to only accept connections on those ports, and your torrent client wasn't set up to NOT send to them.

Furthermore, the whole concept of using blocklists for p2p protection requires that the anti-p2p folks are "playing nice", and are only issuing these warning letters upon proof that you've been torrenting.  For lawsuit purposes there is a fairly large burden of proof, in which they would (I believe) need to download some copyright-infringing material directly from your IP address - if they're attempting to connect to you from a blocked IP address, PeerBlock should prevent them from collecting this data.  On the other hand if all they need is some suspicion that your IP address was sharing a file, they can simply ask a torrent tracker who's announced themselves as participating in a particular torrent swarm (or discover you via DHT), then use that information to issue one of these warning letters.  And since some researchers at one point had tricked anti-p2p minions into issuing Warning Letters to an IP address belonging to a networked printer . . . there's no guarantee that they're "playing nice" here.

And yes - bugs in PeerBlock itself could also cause problems.  We don't claim to be bug-free, and are trying to fix these bugs as they turn up.  It's very difficult however, and you need to remember that the people working on this project are all volunteers working on it in their "spare time".  We're always looking for additional members to join our team though, so if you know (or are willing to learn) C/C++ and would like to help fix some bugs . . . let us know!  winking smiley

So, can a tool like PeerBlock help "protect" you if you're downloading copyright-infringing material?  Anecdotal evidence says yes.  Is it a foolproof layer of protection?  Hell no.  Are there some additional things you could do to tighten your defenses?  Quite probably - check out some more of the lists that are available; and many people seem to like using Private Trackers, and third-party anonymous Proxy services, and/or seedboxes, on top of that.  Will we ever tell you "do this and this, and you can break the law to your heart's content"?  Of course not.  Do we recommend running an IP Blocker like PeerBlock regardless of your torrent usage?  Absolutely, as it can protect you against many additional sorts of nasties too.

Hope that helps clear things up a bit more,

        ---  Mark  ---




Lead developer of PeerBlock
Anonymous User
Re: Notice from Provider
April 06, 2010 02:59PM
Thank you very much for your very intelligent and detailed explanation. I'm 52 years old and only had hi-speed internet for three months and I know very little about computer lingo or workings. I was using the older version PB, and I just downloaded the newest version of PB. I deleted utorrent for now and will have to decide if the hassle is worth it. My ISP has a policy that is very very strict. If I get caught again its a ten - fourteen day cut off.
My provider has only just installed a fiber optic line starting in Jan. in rural Indiana. I talked to the guy who's in charge of tech and he said since the service started they've notified 500 customers for DMCA out of about 5,000!!!! I don't know what Bluetack is. If you could explain private trackers to me or anony proxy servers I would appreciate. Thank you very much.
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