BitTorrent Rebel Alliance Under Fire

The war between file-sharing networks and the MPAA / RIAA juggernaut took a decided turn towards the Empire with a raid that shut down the tracker Elite Torrents. Elite Torrents showed up on the radar for posting the final Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith before the theater release. With the amount of money that the various companies involved have spent on advertising, product tie-ins, and totally unnecessary promotions, the Empire cannot afford an attack upon their profit margins by rivals pre-empting their cash cow. This sets an interesting precedent (that should be obvious in hindsight) in that it seems the bigger the hype surrounding a release, the more likely an upload is to be noticed and the tracker attacked. Squeaky wheels and all that.

The BT tracker sites are fighting back, however, as new programs are developed to take advantage of decentralized trackers, making it harder for an upload to be traced to a particular site. Plugins such as SafePeer for Azureus make detection more difficult as well by banning certain IP addresses known to be operated by MPAA / RIAA affiliates.

For the truly paranoid (or maybe those better equipped to read the writing on the wall), there are always the hard-core programs like WASTE, an encrypted, P2P program that requires a 128-bit decryption key, nigh-unbreakable and certainly out of the cost-benefit ratio of even the most well-funded film studio. Unfortunately, this method is far less accessible due to the demands of needing another user�s key, as well as a listing of files that user is making available, and the bandwidth necessary for an efficient transfer. If you are the kind of person who has many friends or acquaintances interested in this method, it can be worthwhile. Just remember: Just because you�re not paranoid doesn�t mean they�re not after you�[Britt Godwin]