The legal crackdown and publicity blitz aimed at people who share music, videos and software online may be having an unintended consequence for the troubled record industry. The number of file-sharers disguising their BitTorrent activity with encryption is skyrocketing.
Figures from a large UK ISP obtained by The Register show that the portion of BitTorrent traffic encrypted by file-sharers has risen 10-fold in the last 12 months, from four to 40 per cent.
This time last year, unencrypted torrents accounted for about 500Mbit/s of bandwidth, while files that had been scrambled by uploaders swallowed just 20Mbit/s.
The latest data shows that bandwidth used by unencrypted torrents has fallen to 350Mbit/s. Sharing of masked music, video and software has meanwhile exploded to average more than 200Mbit/s.