The old cliché "You're not paranoid if they really are out to get you" turns out to apply quite nicely to the world of P2P file-sharing. A trio of intrepid researchers from the University of California-Riverside decided to see just how often a P2P user might be tracked by content owners. Their startling conclusion: "naive" users will exchange data with such "fake users" 100 percent of the time.
Anirban Banerjee, Michalis Faloutsos, and Laxmi Bhuyan collected more than 100GB of TCP header information from P2P networks back in early 2006 using a specially-doctored client. The goal of the research was a simple one: to determine "how likely is it that a user will run into such a 'fake user' and thus run the risk of a lawsuit?" The results are outlined in a recent paper (PDF), "P2P: Is Big Brother Watching You?"
P2P, Torren, BitTorrent, File Sharing, Security