Your ISP is Going to Spy on You Starting July 12, 2012

Posted on Mar 16, 2012 by rasengan

Headless ManYour ISP is going to spy on you starting July 12, 2012.

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!

Difficult: Easy
Cost: Paid
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>
Afterwards, simply open your application and manually configure it to connect to the SOCKS5 proxy running on the above specified port on the localhost (or UPDATE: In FF, you will need to route DNS traffic through the ssh tunnel as well – enter “about:config” in the address bar and search for network.proxy.socks_remote_dns.  Set the value to true.


Difficulty: Medium
Cost: Paid (free if you already have a *nix shell)
Pros: Can be free if you already have a shell (like developers)
Cons: Manual configuration.  Does not protect all applications.



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.

Difficult: Easy
Cost: Free
Pros: Very anonymous and completely free.
Cons: Slow and unable to do heavy p2p.

One reader has suggested a few options:
4. I2P
Protect your privacy.


VPN Service

Comments are closed.


  1. Davidjones022

    I believe this a violation of the Fourth Amendment. The RIAA, MPAA and ISP’s should all be held accountable.     

    8 years ago
  2. Dragolord09

    I feel stupid for asking this, but what about downloading comic books and the like?  Would that stuff be counted as digital media?

    8 years ago
    1. ddkm


      7 years ago
  3. blotteracid

    What about peerblock, is that a good program to use in this situation?

    8 years ago
    1. Slothman757

      That question seems to just get ignored every time it’s asked on other websites, like it’s the stupidest question to ask or something. I really wouldn’t mind knowing myself.

      8 years ago
  4. Jeff Bekcer

    Right now I2P is not for people who just want to leech, it’s more of a group decentralized communities, however it has a LOT of promiseit’s what the users make it as far as content goes.

    VPN + Tor + FreeNet + I2P
    Use them all, not just one.

    8 years ago
  5. Rapsam2003

    I’m subscribing to a VPN service. Ugh…screw you, ISPs.

    8 years ago