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1 March, 2006

Spying swamped

I don't like p2p.  I've never used BitTorrent or similar, and don't download music.
That said, BBC Newsnight have identified an unexpected benefit (though they suggest it's a disadvantage):

If torrent traffic is 30% and more of the internet, and it's going encrypted at a rate of knots, then where does that leave the spooks, spies and other law enforcement professionals who sit around monitoring the internet all day?
Sure, the RC4 encryption in question isn't so very powerful, but the sheer quantity of it we're envisaging will make decrypting it all an impossibility.
At the moment, there's little enough encrypted data flying around that using encryption for villainous purposes would just attract attention to yourself. But in the swamp of encryption that's in prospect, that will no longer be the case.

Hence, BitTorrent impedes monitoring of public internet traffic (by which I mean private communications and personal data) by government 'security' agencies. They won't be able to routinely check everything, though if they have reason to focus on something in particular, they're at no greater disadvantage than now.

Sounds excellent to me.

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