Google wants to be your Internet

Jeremy Chadwick nanog at
Sun Jan 21 01:28:25 UTC 2007

On Sat, Jan 20, 2007 at 05:55:49PM -0600, Gadi Evron wrote:
> Some examples may be:
> -. Working on establishing new standards and topologies to enable both
>    vendors and providers to adopt them.

Keep this point in mind while reading my below comment.

> For now, the P2P folks who are not in most cases eveel "Internet
> Pirates" are mostly allied, whether in name or in practice with
> illegal activities. The technology isn't illegal and can be quite good for
> all of us to save quite a bit of bandwidth rather than waste it (quite a
> bit of redudndancy there!).

A paper put together by the authors of a download-only "free riding"
BitTorrent client, called BitThief.  The paper is worth reading:  (client is here)

The part that saddens me the most about this project isn't the
complete disregard for the "give back what you take" moral (though
that part does sadden me personally) , but what this is going to
do to the protocol and the clients.

Chances are that other torrent client authors are going to see the
project as "major defiance" and start implementing things like
filtering what client can connect to who based on the client name/ID
string (ex. uTorrent, Azureus, MainLine), which as we all know, is
going to last maybe 3 weeks.

This in turn will solicit the BitThief authors implementing a feature
that allows the client to either spoof its client name or use randomly-
generated ones.  Rinse lather repeat, until everyone is fighting rather
than cooperating.

Will the BT protocol be reformed to address this?  50/50 chance.

> So, instead of fighting it and seeing it left in the hands of the
> "pirates" and the privacy folks trying to bypass the Firewall of [insert
> evil regime here], why not utilize it?

I think Adrian Chadd's mail addresses this indirectly: it's not
being utilised because of the bandwidth requirements.

ISPs probably don't have an interest in BT caching because of 1)
cost of ownership, 2) legal concerns (if an ISP cached a publicly
distributed copy of some pirated software, who's then responsible?),
and most of all, 3) it's easier to buy a content-sniffing device that
rate-limits, or just start hard-limiting users who use "too much
bandwidth" (a phrase ISPs use as justification for shutting off
customers' connections, but never provide numbers of just what's "too

The result of these items already been shown: BT encryption.  I
personally know of 3 individuals who have their client to use en-
cryption only (disabling non-encrypted connection support).  For
security?  Nope -- solely because their ISP uses a rate limiting

Bram Cohen's official statement is that using encryption to get
around this "is silly" because "not many ISPs are implementing
such devices" (maybe not *right now*, Bram, but in the next year
or two, they likely will):

ISPs will go with implementing the above device *before* implementing
something like a BT caching box.  Adrian probably knows this too,
and chances are it's probably because of the 3 above items I listed.

So my question is this: how exactly do we (as administrators of
systems or networks) get companies, managers, and even other
administrators, to think differently about solving this?

| Jeremy Chadwick                                 jdc at |
| Parodius Networking               |
| UNIX Systems Administrator                   Mountain View, CA, USA |
| Making life hard for others since 1977.               PGP: 4BD6C0CB |

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