LONDON (CBSDC)- A recent study found that those who participate in illegal file-sharing are not flying under the radar, but rather are closely monitored within hours of engaging in suspect activity.
The study, conducted at Birmingham University in the United Kingdom, used software created by computer scientists that emulated the file-sharing program BitTorrent and logged all interactions and connections made to it, the Korea IT Times reported.
Over the course of the three-year study, researchers reportedly saw monitoring firms tracking activity within three hours of a given download.
According to the tech website, those conducting the study were “surprised” at the diligent way in which such activity was monitored, and noted in their findings that there was no difference between frequent users and occasional downloaders.
“You don’t have to be a mass downloader. Someone who downloads a single movie will be logged as well,” research leader Dr. Tom Chothia was quoted as saying. “If the content was in the top 100 it was monitored within hours – someone will notice and it will be recorded.”
One distinction was allegedly made by monitoring firms, however – less popular content was not checked on nearly as frequently as more prominent or desirable items.
At least 10 different monitoring establishments reportedly logged downloaded content, the Korea IT Times learned.
The purpose of overseeing such activity was not immediately apparent to researchers, however.
“Many firms are simply sitting on the data,” Chothia noted. “Such monitoring is easy to do and the data is out there so they think they may as well collect it as it may be valuable in future.”