One year ago, the RIAA and the MPAA organized a project with the largest internet service providers in the US to begin monitoring their customer’s internet activity. This monitoring was introduced as a joint coalition to combat piracy. A list of providers that are on board includes, but is not limited to, Time Warner, Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon and AT&T.
According to CNet’s Greg Sandoval, Cary Sherman of the RIAA has announced this week that deployments of the spying tools are nearly prepared and a tentative launch of July 12, 2012 has been set.
Reports indicate that there will be consequences for users who are caught pirating digital media. First offenses may include forced educational rehabilitation as well as throttled connection speeds. There have also been discussions stating that the top 200 websites will become inaccessible for users who are caught pirating.
However, the fact that ISPs are able to detect this activity indicates that they will be spying on their users.
Tips to protect your privacy
Using the internet, as well as using the internet to fileshare, is completely legal. Here are ways to protect your privacy when engaging in legal activities:
1. Use an anonymous VPN service. For us, not only is it obligatory to recommend a VPN, but in general, this is also the most widely accepted solution to privatize internet traffic. VPN services provide tunnels which are completely encrypted. Your ISP will not be able to monitor your connection. Additionally, every application will communicate through the VPN without any manual configuration. Bonus points for paying with anonymous crypto-currencies like Bitcoin, but for no log VPN services it is not necessary. UPDATE: Be sure to disable Google Web History and use Chrome in Incognito mode to gain even more privacy!
Pros: All applications are encrypted. Your ISP will not be able to spy on you.
Cons: Paid service.
2. Use an ssh based SOCKS5 proxy. You can run a local SOCKS5 proxy with the distributed ssh client in *nix and Mac OS X as well as PuTTY for Windows. In Windows, simply set the options for PuTTy. In Mac OS X and *nix, simply connect via SSH like:
ssh -D <port> (<user>@)<server>
3. Tor is an amazing tool for obtaining privacy and anonymity. For all your regular browsing needs, Tor is ideal, and best of all, it’s absolutely free. However, Tor is not recommended when using heavy peer to peer file sharing protocols.
Pros: Very anonymous and completely free.
Cons: Slow and unable to do heavy p2p.
Andrew is a long-time advocate of privacy and the conservation of the personal realm. He served as the brand manager for an internationally recognized best-selling product prior to co-founding Private Internet Access.