Educational CyberPlayGround ®

P2p File Sharing - PUBLIC EDUCATION School
- Public Access Systems

"There are many legitimate uses for P2P technology.

Among the entities that use BitTorrent are
NASA, Red Hat Fedora, NetBSD and ironically Time-Warner

Do not talk to the FBI without representation
Department of Justice, DOJ, Entrapment, FBI Manipulation, Form 302, Harvey Silverglate by Michael Krieger.


"Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent" Criminal defense attorney Harvey Silverglate explains how the body of federal law has grown to such an extent that the average white collar worker can commit several federal crimes a day and not know it. The author argues that the executive branch uses the law to gain greater control over upper-middle class and wealthy professionals.

The Pirate Bay, Torrentz, isoHunt, KAT and Extratorrent are the most popular torrent sites in terms of traffic, but there are plenty of others to choose from.


How to get into DevOps? The OSL and the Oregon State University School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science have a joint commitment to expand open source and devops curriculum to an increased number of students. DevOps BootCamp provides the OSL with a channel to reach out to students interested in DevOps and open source, regardless of their discipline

What we Actually Know about software Development and Why We Believe It's True


2013 U.S. Government Fears End of Megaupload Case
Megaupload based its request on “Rule 4” of criminal procedure, which requires the authorities to serve a company at an address in the United States. However, since Megaupload is a Hong Kong company, this was and is impossible. The defense argued that the court can only protect Megaupload's due process rights by dismissing the case. However, the Government disagreed and asked the court to deny Megaupload's motion. Among other things the Government claimed that federal rules shouldn't be interpreted so narrowly. Megaupload renewed its request and the defunct file-hosting company noted that the Government was trying to change the law in its favor. The lawyers cited a letter to the Advisory Committee on the Criminal Rules where the DoJ made suggestions that would directly influence the Megaupload case.

Don't Get Busted



BitTorrent Launches Private and Secure Dropbox Alternative 1/2013
BitTorrent Inc. has released a new application that allows users to securely sync folders to multiple devices using the BitTorrent protocol. The free application has no storage limits and can serve both as a public backup system and a shared drive. BitTorrent Sync is especially efficient for groups who need to share many large files over the Internet,.
BitTorrent is a very powerful distribution tool. There is simply no faster way than BitTorrent for those who share files with several devices at once. Just ask Twitter and Facebook, two major technology companies that rely on BitTorrent technology to distribute files across their networks.
For the public, however, there's never really been a good tool to securely backup and sync files over the Internet via BitTorrent. This may change, however, with the new Sync application just announced by BitTorrent Inc.
BitTorrent Sync has very similar functions to those offered by popular cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Skydrive, except for the fact that there's no cloud involved. The upside to this is that no third-party has access to one's files. Other advantages are that transfers generally go a lot faster with BitTorrent, and that there are no storage limits.
BitTorrent Inc. is inviting the public to try the application but the company emphasizes that the current release is pre-alpha development, meaning that there may be a few bugs here and there. “It fits into our overall goal of making a better Internet using P2P,” TorrentFreak was told in a comment on the release. The company looks forward to comments from the public on how to improve the product. “This is a great opportunity for participants to help us shape this developing product.”

MEGA "The Internet belongs to no man, or industry, or government!" he said, to applause. "No matter how many politicians you lobby, no matter how many SOPAs you put together in Congress, you will not succeed in efforts to take control of our Internet!"

I Can Use A Banana to Rob a Bank: Why We Don't Ban Things Just Because They Can Be Misused
It is possible to use a banana to rob a bank. It is also possible to use a phone to defraud people of millions of dollars. But we do not make possession of a banana or the use of a phone illegal. We make bank robbery and fraud illegal. We do not outlaw bananas and phones because bananas and phones serve any number of socially useful services. It would be dumb to outlaw them just because someone could use them in a bad way.
That's why the test that the Supreme Court identified in the famous Betamax case is so useful. As long as a technology is capable of “substantial noninfringing uses” we welcome it. Because those substantial noninfringing uses are great to have, and we cannot stop innovation just because it can sometimes be abused.
It is worth mentioning that the situation between YouTube and is a bit more complicated than the one between the RIAA and The RIAA has specifically mentioned fears about infringement in its request to CNET. YouTube's letters apparently focus on the use of its API, which is governed by contract law. While YouTube is generally free to limit how people use its API, that power does not extend to preventing people from downloading videos by other means - means that is apparently using instead of the API. While YouTube can tell people how to use their API, their ability to dictate what I do with the videos that are streamed to my computer is much more limited. [2012 more]

The History of File-Sharing April 22, 2012
Last century filesharing was a fringe hobby, only for geeks who were lucky enough to own a computer that could dial into the World Wide Web. How different is that today, where filesharing has become daily routine for hundreds of millions of people worldwide. In just a few years swapping files has become mainstream.
How it all came about. Digital filesharing has come a long way since the early days of the floppy disk, starting with a 79.7 kB storage capacity in the early 1970s. Two decades ago 3.5″ disks were the most sought after medium to distribute files. At the time, their massive 1.4 MB file size was more than enough to distribute files. But things got really interesting when people started to swap files on the Internet.
In just 24 years, filesharing has evolved into an amazingly efficient process which has enhanced lives everywhere. It has brought great exposure to underexposed types of media and democratized distribution, making it possible for individuals to share files with the rest of the world at virtually no cost.
BBS: The Early Days (70s-90s)
The BBS, or Bulletin Board System, has been largely attributed with the beginning of contemporary digital filesharing. Beginning with the Hayes Smartmodem, Bulletin Board Systems became automatic enough that Sysops (or administrators) were able to own and operate these mediums from their own homes as both a hobby and, later, as a business. Typically, the BBS was almost like an intranet in which users would dial-in with their modems to read/send messages, access news, and most importantly for us, share files.
Shareware became incredibly popular through the distribution provided by Bulletin Board Systems. From Wolfenstein to Commander Keen, users were able to learn about a BBS by word of mouth and, in its pinnacle, through printed magazines focusing on BBS's. Many well-known software packages, including PKZIP, were made popular through the BBS. Many users today still use PKZIP's .zip algorithm when compressing and decompressing archives. There are still many traditional Bulletin Board Systems in operation today.

Study suggests U.S. box office not affected by BitTorrent
February 11, 2012
A study by researchers from Wellesley College and the University of Missouri, has found that U.S. box office sales are not affected by BitTorrent pirating. More importantly, the report revealed that movie studios hold the power to curb piracy by decreasing international box office release windows.
Online piracy may not be as bad as Hollywood would like you to believe.
"Reel Piracy: The Effect of Online Film Piracy on International Box Office Sales," conducted by Brett Danaher, from the Department of Economics at Wellesley College, and Joel Waldfogel from the Department of Economics at University of Missouri, suggests little, if any, loss of revenue on U.S. box office sales after the release of BitTorrent. More importantly, while piracy is exhibited to have a direct correlation to a loss of revenue in the international box offices, decreasing the release window would be sufficient enough to curtail losses.
Despite the mounting evidence and studies providing evidence to the needlessness of the movie studios' assault against file-sharing services, their attacks have been intensifying. At the end of the day, these results suggest that, while directing the blame at file-sharing services induces the fear of prosecution among other file-sharing competitors, much of the power to curb piracy remains in the hands of the studios. Researchers were unable to discern an irregular drop in returns of domestic box office sales, which could fault BitTorrent as the culprit.
The study underlines 4 key problems for movie studios:

  1. 35mm film print (a 110 year old technology) for distribution to movie theaters, both domestic and international, typically consumes 3.5 percent of a film's budget. In an effort to cut costs, it's common practice for distributors to reuse film from theater to theater, thereby exacerbating the time between releases.
  2. There is a shortage of international theaters.
  3. The complexity of organizing promotional appearances for the film's actors adds to the delay.
  4. Action and science fiction genres exhibit the highest supply of online pirated movies.

Tribler Makes BitTorrent Impossible to Shut Down
The free Tribler is a fully decentralized BiTtorrent client that would allow you to search and download torrents from the peers themselves without the need of external central servers.
Researchers at Delft University of Technology continue to work on their decentralized BitTorrent network. The Tribler BitTorrent client has been in development for more than 5 years it doesn't rely on central servers and has delivered many innovative features.

Their Tribler client doesn't require torrent sites to find or download content, as it is based on pure peer-to-peer communication. "The only way to take it down is to take the Internet down,"

Tribler is designed to keep BitTorrent alive, even when all torrent search engines, indexes and trackers are pulled offline. The free Tribler is a fully decentralized BiTtorrent client that would allow you to search and Download Files, No Reliable Tracker Required and download torrents from the peers themselves without the need of external central servers.

Pirate Bay to abandon .torrent files for magnet links 2012
On Feb. 29 in will be taking what on the surface appears to be a mind-blowing move -- deleting all torrents hosted directly on the site, which are being actively shared by more than 10 individuals. Filesharing titan the Pirate Bay has promised to remove all .torrent files from its site. But it's not to placate rights-holders it's going to replace them with "magnet links" instead.
Back in 2009, the Pirate Bay shut down its tracker a server that helps people who want a file to find a person who has it. While a tracker doesn't actually host any files, operating one for the purposes of helping people share copyrighted content has generally been found to break the law in the countries where cases have gone to court. Trackers have largely been made redundant by magnet links which allow for TorIindex a "trackerless" torrent.

TorIindex is still in very early beta, but we aim to be the best search-engine to locate content using magnet URI:s.
All content is automatically indexed by our crawler. You may tell our crawler where to look by manually adding a torrent file URL or providing a torrent file to our indexing engine, and it will be added to our search index. We will soon add support to provide our crawler with RSS feeds URL:s that will be included in the crawling. Our indexing engine automatically determents what type the contents of a magnet URI is, there is no moderating or filtering of incoming results, everything is fully automatic to keep everything as simple as possible. Swarm peer statistics is primarily collected directly from the DHT cloud, to make sure that swarms that are widely available are displayed before smaller swarms in search results, but also if needed we collect peer statistics from the included trackers. As we only index magnet URI:s, we don't index from torrent files that have the private flag set because it's incompatible with the magnet URI:s.

Originally, BitTorrent users would download a .torrent file which, when opened in your BitTorrent software on your computer, calculates a "torrent hash" that identifies the files required. The software then sends that hash to a server, and connects to people who have the files that you want. They then download.
Magnet links differ by making the torrent hash calculation on the server, sending that data within the link itself. In the same way that opening a link to a Spotify track sends that data to Spotify, a magnet link sends the relevant data to your BitTorrent client, so that the download can begin.
The other function that a tracker provides is helping people find other people that are downloading the same files, so that they can share completed chunks of those files. That role has been superceded by technologies like DHT and Peer Exchange (PEX), which share information on who is downloading what over the network. Instead of asking a central server who has what file, you ask the people you're already downloading from, who ask the people they're downloading from, and so on. The downside is that it can take a little longer for downloads to "get going," but the network effect means that this information can generally be found very quickly, especially for popular files. The development of these technologies means that .torrent files are pretty redundant now. That has side benefits, too.
Side Effects: It shrinks the size of the Pirate Bay massively allowing copies of the site to be hosted with significantly less bandwidth, so that it's even harder to shut down. It's even feasible that you could carry a copy of the site on a USB stick. It's worth noting that .torrent files will never disappear entirely. One person needs to use a .torrent for each new file to inject crucial information about a download into the "swarm" of people downloading. For most practical purposes, though, and for most users, they'll soon become a thing of the past.

The RIAA's and MPAA's worst nightmare - Inside The Pirate Bay's Torrent Purge 2/14, 2012
The Pirate Bay has long been synonymous with one thing -- torrents. In essence it will be impossible for the RIAA or MPAA to put millions of Americans in prison or fine them. No more torrents will help more content to be shared, render "copyright watchdogs" more toothless.
Magnet links represent the supreme ultimatum to media organizations (many of which themselves engage in active for-profit piracy that steals hundreds of millions of dollars from independent artists annually): "Develop fair, reasonably priced, accessible content distribution and create content that users think is actually worth paying for, or you can and will be pirated."
But in reality this move is not as mind-blowing and drastic a departure from the site's operational model as some are thinking/hoping/fearing. The site will continue to host the content, where possible, via magnet links. All new content will be hosted via magnetic links.

The Pirate Bay can now be compressed to a 90 MB torrent-free site, for easy hosting. Under the new scheme scores of new users will be able to host free proxy servers for The Pirate Bay, helping it escape takedown attempts, local firewalls, or ISP restrictions. At the same time The Pirate Bay washes its hands of any of the actual process of file-sharing. It is simply hosting magnet links -- links to torrents which share the same unique hash value. In that regard, thousands, if not millions of users will be privately hosting the scores of torrents that make up The Pirate Bay users worldwide know and love.

P2P networks has become a "substantial issue for government [agencies] and for banks and for large corporate enterprises.Millions of documents, both governmental and private, containing sensitive and sometimes classified information, are floating about freely on file-sharing networks after being inadvertently exposed by individuals downloading peer-to-peer (P2P) software on systems that held the data. Also found the board minutes of one of the world's largest financial services organizations, the entire foreign exchange trading backbone of a financial company and a comprehensive launch plan -- complete with growth targets -- of yet another financial company that was diversifying into a new region.

May 2010 BitTorrent has decided to open source its new uTorrent protocol, which has now entered a public beta. The software is available at GitHub and the license can be viewed here. Reportedly this is the MIT License. BitTorrent has decided to open source its new uTorrent protocol, which has now entered a public beta. The new software supports streaming as files are downloading, by downloading portions of a file in order. The software also has features ISPs might like. It's more aware of congestion [1], and will automatically rein itself in. This dynamic throttling capability may make some downloads slower, but Ars Technica notes [2] uTorrent will also grab 100% of available bandwidth when that's available, so some might be faster.

Protecting Your Privacy

The fact that a German citizen can be arrested in New Zealand upon request from the US authorities signaled that regardless of local laws, people connected to file-sharing sites have become a global target. "It's turning into a witch hunt. It is worrying," said the admin.

Ter·ror·ist (Noun): Anyone Who Disagrees with the Government

How to Download Torrents anonymously

How to set up your own Raspberry Pi powered VPN

VPN - hide your IP before downloading



Hide Your IP Address FREE Anonymous Web Browsing Online Change My IP Address Proxy Encryption


How to Teach Webcraft and Programming to Free-Range Students

Greg Wilson of Software Carpentry and Beautiful Code fame, is teaching an online course called How to Teach Webcraft and Programming to Free-Range Students via P2PU: What do we know about how novices learn webcraft and programming, and how can we apply that knowledge to teaching free-range learners?
Greg is great lecturer and all about being data-driven. Learn about the data behind the demographics of programming and some recent grassroots outreach efforts to get more women into programming communities. Everyone is welcome to participate or follow along.

This group will explore how we, as mentors, can best help them. Topics will include:

* What does research tell us about how people learn?
* Why are the demographics of programming so unbalanced?
* What best practices in instructional design are relevant to
free-range learners?
* What skills do people need in order to bake their own web?
* How are grassroots groups trying to teach these things now?
* What's working and what isn't?

What We Actually Know About Software Development, and Why We Believe It's True

This page contains a Flash video. To view it requires that the Flash plugin is installed and Javascript enabled.

Upgrade your Flash Player

Judge Slams RIAA, $675k Fine Ruled Unconstitutional
July 09, 2010 Another break happened today in the RIAA's case against Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum, as the $675k fine was reduced by 90%. The judge in the case criticised the RIAA and held that the jury's damages were unconstitutional. Even the reduced fine is described as “severe, even harsh” by the District Judge. Reducing the jury's $675,000 award, however, also sends another no less important message: The Due Process Clause does not merely protect large corporations, like BMW and State Farm, from grossly excessive punitive awards. It also protects ordinary people like Joel Tenenbaum.

ISPs Don't Have To Block The Pirate Bay, Court Rules
July 10, 2010 Two ISPs have won their court battle against an anti-piracy group which had demanded that they block subscriber access to The Pirate Bay. Yesterday a judge at the Antwerp Commercial Court rejected the blocking demands and labeled them “disproportionate”. The Belgian Anti-Piracy Federation has reacted angrily, accusing the ISPs of siding with The Pirate Bay.

Pirate Bay and MegaUpload Escape Domain Seizure by US
July 07, 2010
As part of an initiative to crack down on Internet piracy and counterfeiting, the US Government recently took action against sites making available movies and TV shows. Arrests did not feature in the action, but controversially the authorities seized site domain names instead. TorrentFreak has learned that both The Pirate Bay and MegaUpload domains were also on the target list.

Should ISPs (including the university in its role as an ISP for faculty, staff, and students) have the responsbility for proactively blocking illegal traffic? If so, how can they distinguish between, say, a stolen Time-Warner movie and the legitimate copy that's being redistributed via BitTorrent at Time-Warner's explicit request?
Do we give up one of the fundamental tenets of the Internet architeture, the notion that endpoints determine what traffic flows, rather than the center? In this regard, it is worth remembering that the three most radical Internet innovations -- the Web, Napster, and Skype -- came not from ISPs, "official" standards bodies (i.e., the IETF or the ITU), or major research labs or universities, but from the edges of the Net. (Yes, I know that CERN is a major research lab, but for physics!)" ~ Steve Bellovin

At PCPS we use both WinGuardian and Fortress to prevent students from installing or deleting software on our public access systems.

  1. First, I install Windows 95 Custom to insure that I pick the componants I desire. If you are purchasing Dell's Windows will come pre-installed. Go to the Control Panel Add/Remove Programs and check the installation componants, adding the ones you want and deleting the ones you don't.
  2. Second, I use TweakUI, to set up the desktop and other options the way I want.
  3. Third, I install all of the application software and set-up the defaults the way I want them.
  4. Fourth, I use PolEdit from the MicroSoft PowerToys to set various policies for my users.
  5. Fifth, I use regedit to make an export copy of the Current_User/Software and Local_Machine /Software keys. This creates two files with a *.reg name. When a student changes the software setting double-click on the two *.reg files and back to default.
    Please note that unless you disable Password caching every user & set the Password profile to every user uses the same profile, they will get a copy of the desktop, start menu & registry in their profile directory.
  6. Sixth, I install either WinGuardian or Fortress, (different departments wanted different protection schemes) and set the protection policies needed.
  7. Seventh, I use Ghost to copy the hard drive of the standard system to all of the others. I keep the one standard system for testing purposes and reuse Ghost whenever, a new machine comes in or I wish to upgrade or change an application.

Roy G. Schriftman, MS, MBA
Instructor Computer Science, Manager Computer Laboratory
[e] r.schrif at usip dot edu

Textbook Torrents, promises more than 5,000 textbooks for download in PDF format, complete with the original textbook layout and full-color illustrations. Users must simply set up a free account and download a free software program that uses a popular peer-to-peer system called BitTorrent.

MediaSentry, is the service that scours peer-to-peer networks for the Internet-protocol numbers of copyright infringers used by Steven Marks, general counsel for the Recording Industry Association of America who goes after college students.NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Is Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG 'investigator' MediaSentry operating illegally in your state?. The Massachusetts State police has already banned the company, and it's been accused of operating without a license in Oregon, Florida, Texas, and New York. Similar charges have now been leveled the organization in Michigan. Michigan's Department of Labor and Economic Growth, in response to a complaint, has confirmed that MediaSentry is not licensed in Michigan, and referred the complainant to the local prosecutor."

Jimmy Lovine will no longer be employed by Universal Music. He will run LimeWire, the P2P service based on the Gnutella protocol. All the music you can eat for about $10.00 a month. About Gnutella, P2P GNU, Bit Torrent, Darknet and Waste an encrypted p2p application meant chiefly for secure communication.


1. Educational CyberPlayGround: TRENDS IN COMPUTING F**k Big Media: Rolling Your Own
of a program into the network of P2P clients, and they handle the work themselves. More than this, because of the P2P technology used by the BBC

2. Educational CyberPlayGround: Free Music Downloads, MP3's, Music Piracy, Peer to
Revenue decline due to P2P. P2P - Much of the 'piracy' that ... tracks. More important, P2P networks enable sharing of content

3. Educational CyberPlayGround: Digital Rights Management and FREE MUSIC DOWNLOADS
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing restrictions After all ... network, but not P2P? How about P2P applications reconfigured to share songs ... can recognize P2P transmissions by their unique

4. Educational CyberPlayGround: Copyleft and the Creative Commons License

5. Educational CyberPlayGround: NetHappenings NewsLetter
writes about using p2p networks, specifically bittorrent, to create ... the power of P2P distribution to create a global ... network of P2P clients, and the p2p network peers distribute

6. Educational CyberPlayGround: INTERNET II News Articles
powered, peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing technology for academia has ... peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, many college students have ... Direct Connect, a P2P system designed to exploit Internet2's

7. Educational CyberPlayGround: Security - TOOLS
procedure to tighten up P2P What they will find out about you when you use p2p and are tracked. - See What You Share ... the World YaCy a p2p-based distributed Web Search Engine

8. Educational CyberPlayGround: Internet ll - P2P - California Colleges Building Own

9. Educational CyberPlayGround: Free Music Downloads, MUSIC SITES ONLINE, Burn CD's
Video Game Music Archive Music Commercials Listening Online P2P BITTORRENT, KaZaA , Grokster , Morpheus , Emusic which works with Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms, allows users

10. Educational CyberPlayGround: Music Deals, Music Contract Law, Copyright Law, Free ...


Tor traffic disguised as Skype video calls to fool repressive governments By Dan Goodin Apr 3, 2012
Computer scientists have released a tool that disguises communications sent through the Tor anonymity service as Skype video calls, a cloak that's intended to prevent repressive governments from blocking the anonymous traffic.
SkypeMorph, as the application is called, is designed to remedy a fundamental limitation of Tor: While the communications are cryptographically secured, unique characteristics of their individual data packets make them easy to identify as they travel over the networks. In the past, for example, the cryptographic key exchange was different in Tor transactions and the certificates used were typically valid for only a matter of hours, compared with as long as a year or two for certificates used by most Web servers. These fingerprints made it possible for government censors in Iran, China, and elsewhere to block data traveling over Tor while leaving the rest of the country's communications intact.
Tor developers have remedied those shortcomings, but other unique signatures still exist. The idea behind SkypeMorph is to camouflage Tor communications so they blend in as traffic that government censors are reluctant to restrict.
"The goal is to make the traffic look like some other protocol that they are not willing to block," Ian Goldberg, a professor at the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, told Ars. "They could just shut off the Internet, of course, like Egypt did for a few days a year or so ago, but that, of course, would be extremely unpopular to their own people that are wondering why can't see pictures of cute cats."
The release of SkypeMorph comes a few months after a separate research team in Sweden uncovered changes the Chinese government made to its "Great Firewall" censorship infrastructure to make it harder for citizens to use Tor. Although their research paper (PDF) was only recently published, the findings have been public for a few months, said Goldberg, who sits on the Tor Project's board of directors. As censors in China and elsewhere devise increasingly sophisticated measures of detecting and blocking the anonymity service, it falls on Tor volunteers to find new ways to thwart them.