AT&T has developed new technology to detect and block file-sharing software, as well as track which customers are using it.
According to a patent awarded to AT&T on Nov. 19, the company intends to monitor the online behavior of its customers, evaluate usage patterns and assign them “scores” which places users into varying “risk classes.” Once a user’s activity is categorized, the company can respond in a number of ways, including blocking the transfer entirely.
The company contends that, as network technology has expanded, and online access has become a fixture in most households and businesses, the opportunities for “unscrupulous users and/or activities” has equally increased.
“Many users may fall victim to exploits and/or malicious schemes of undesirable elements on the Internet, such as, for example, hackers," the patent explained. "In some instances, hackers may be capable of surreptitiously hijacking a user’s personal computer and using it for fraudulent purposes.”
Protecting a customer’s personal information isn’t AT&T's only motivation behind the system, however. According to the patent, AT&T might implement this system to protect customers from hackers, whom they claim are hijacking their customer’s systems for the purpose of downloading copyrighted material, such as music or films. Specifically, the company claims, “a user’s personal computer may be used by a hacker to engage in Internet piracy of copyright protected materials." Internet piracy is responsible for significant bandwidth usage, as well, AT&T said.
“Thus far, copyright protection measures that have been deployed by, for example, the entertainment industry, have failed to curtail increases in Internet piracy.”
Actions taken by AT&T in response to file-sharing may vary, from terminating a customer's data transmission, suspending their account, or reporting their traffic to an "interested party," such as the copyright owner. The company said it may also report the user's activity to law enforcement, or choose to store a record of the traffic for later review.
This isn’t the first anti-piracy monitoring system developed by AT&T. In July, the company received a patent for “real-time content detection in ISP transmissions,” which could also be used to report customers sharing copyrighted materials to law enforcement.
Many corporations hold patents on technologies that are never used, so it's unclear if this "anti-piracy" monitoring system will ever be employed by AT&T.
TOSA, or Trolleybus Optimisation Systeme Alimentation, is a new electric bus charging system that takes only 15 seconds to power up. It is now being tested in Geneva, Switzerland.
The system currently in place has the vehicles constantly connected to overhead trolley cables or, alternatively, running entire routes on a single charge. The new system allow buses to charge at every third or fourth stop using a device installed at the stop that engages with the roof using a laser guidance system. Once connected, the mechanism delivers a 15-second-long, 400-kilowatt boost to the bus batteries as passengers are getting on and off.
The project is a collaboration between Geneva's public transport company (TGP), the Office for the Promotion of Industries and Technologies (OPI) and the Geneva power utilities SIG and ABB. The trial will begin with a route from Geneva International Airport to the Palexpo exhibition system. If it succeeds, Geneva will be the world's first city to use this concept and one step further towards a greener transport system.
The Pirate Bay has switched to a new domain name again in the matter of days – from thepiratebay.ac to thepiratebay.pe, and has revealed that the new system they are developing will make the domain name system completely ‘irrelevant’ thereby closing the loophole of domain takedowns forever.
Just a couple of days back The Pirate Bay (thepiratebay.sx) went down with hundreds of thousands of its users not able to access the torrent search site giving rise to speculations and rumours that the site may have gone down completely. However, within a few hours The Pirate Bay was accessible again, but through a ‘.AC’ domain name.
It is believed that the registry of Sint Maarten, which handles the .SX domain names and falls under the jurisdiction of Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN, may have been forced to seize thepiratebay.sx domain. The ‘.AC’ domain (Ascension Island) is under direct control of the UK and it is just a matter of days before that domain is also seized considering how strong the anti-piracy groups are in the country.
Understanding the impending danger on thepiratebay.ac, The Pirate Bay has now moved to .pe domain and has also revealed that this is just a temporary switch. The team is working on a BitTorrent-powered browser that will enable users to store and share files with other users without requiring a central hosting thereby eliminating the need for a domain name completely.
“They should wait for our new PirateBrowser, then domains will be irrelevant,” an insider told TorrentFreak.
“Once that is available then all links and sites will be accessible through a perfectly legal piece of browser software and the rest of it will be P2P, with no central point to attack via the legal system.”