Do ISPs know what we are downloading?

Discussion in 'ISP Forums' started by YamiPrem, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. YamiPrem

    YamiPrem Founding Member Founding Member

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    Hi,

    If someone goes over the download limit, and the ISP bumps up the package to a premium one, of course charging extra, do they know what the person had been downloading?

    I ask because no normal user would need to download more than 40GB per month, unless something illegal was going on, right?
    (Note, I know most have legit reasons.)

    If ISPs can see what the user has been downloading then by law, are the ISPs required to disclose the data of the user?
     
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  3. satishstephens

    satishstephens Founding Member Founding Member

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    Yes they do. Here in India there is a law that governs the monitoring of ISPs. They track down the source and ref URL and from there the providers can easily trace what all you have downloaded over the last 75 days. I have an option of asking for a form during payment which lists all the downloads that I have performed during the last billed month.
     
  4. GeorgeB

    GeorgeB Staff Member Community Manager

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  5. YamiPrem

    YamiPrem Founding Member Founding Member

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    Oh, okay.

    That's an interesting article too. Thanks.


    Proxies seems to be a problem though.
     
  6. crossunitedfate

    crossunitedfate Founding Member Founding Member

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    I sure as hell believe they do. Even if they tell us "we don't have your data", I'm sure they'd be lieing. They more than likely keep a record of what you do and when you do it somehow.
     
  7. phr0ze

    phr0ze Founding Member Founding Member

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    Its their network. They can see anything/everything unless you take precautions. The question is do they have the capacity, desire, etc. Most of the time I would say they are just keeping stripped logs to allow basic backtracking. And they probably keep the logs for 90 days (industry standard) unless laws direct them otherwise.
     
  8. mevsthor

    mevsthor Founding Member Founding Member

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    They probably don't monitor every little thing but they do pay some attention. I've had a friend recieve a letter from his ISP telling him to stop torrenting.
     
  9. rossonomous

    rossonomous Founding Member Founding Member

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    As mentioned, they can log and track what you are downloading and if necessary investigate it further. I don't know anyone that has suffered from any bad situations or consequences for downloading stuff like music/films/wares etc.
     
  10. OhioTom76

    OhioTom76 Founding Member Founding Member

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    The short answer, of course they do -that's the very nature of their service. They deliver the files to you that are requested from your computer, whether it's browsing a web page or downloading a file or watching something on Youtube. To what extent that they keep a trailing record of all of your activity, they are likely required to by law for a variety of reasons, but in addition to that, it's been shown that the NSA and other organizations are intercepting all internet activity and keeping their own logs as well. So it's not just a situation where the government has to get a warrant to get some specific info from the ISPs any more. They already have a lot of the information themselves.

    For people who are opting out of their traditional Cable TV packages, and just relying on their internet connections to watch TV shows, it's very easy to go over the 250gb cap many ISPs are imposing these days. Watching 2-3 shows per day can easily add up to 1gb per day x 30 days in a month - 300GB+. That's before you factor in your regular web browsing, listening to music on Spotify, backing up your hard drive online, etc...
     
    Big Dan likes this.
  11. TheSmallBones

    TheSmallBones Founding Member Founding Member

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    I know that the big ones in Canada can only monitor what you are downloading if they are suspicious and get a warrant. Besides that, they only know how much you are downloading. I know that companies such as Shaw work with police enforcement sometimes, but I don't know how far they go with that.
     
  12. Gadget

    Gadget Founding Member Founding Member

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    It's my understanding that they could, but they don't. If the authorities came to your ISP and stated that they need to monitor your connection for some reason I believe that the ISP would be able to assist them, however I don't think they have any real reason to do so otherwise. Remember that the ISP wants you as a customer, and as long as what you're doing doesn't get them in trouble somehow and they aren't notified of any usage of the service that violates the TOS, there is little reason for them to go looking for trouble. Why spend time, money and resources trying to punish or kick out your paying customers from using their service?

    Your ISP will notify and warn you if they have been asked to do so by a company who asks them to based on evidence of copyright infringement etc. This is different than being monitored by the authorities, but the most likely scenario in which a customer would be 'caught' and 'warned'. There are legal reasons for this, but a simple way to look at it is if the ISP is told that you are 'stealing' content and does nothing about it, they become the issue and not the customer.
     
  13. 1Awana1

    1Awana1 Founding Member Founding Member

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    Personally, I think there are too many people who download to monitor every single person. A lot of those people are legally downloading even. So to wade through all of that would take time and money. I am pretty sure that the more economical and time saving way to go about things is to target the site itself, or the program. That way they can take down the source instead of the people. I do not even think they have enough time and money to do that fully. The result is them making examples of those they do come down upon. It is not the most fair system in the world, but it is what we have to work with at the moment.
     
  14. lstryhrn

    lstryhrn Founding Member Founding Member

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    Well I don't want to say theydon't because they have all the power to do so. The question is will they do it? Only way they will snoop on you if they expect something or they get contacted by a company about you download torrents. Te best thing is to get a VPN service. They are failry cheap , around 7 bucks a month. There are some out there that dont keep logs.
     
  15. rash085

    rash085 Founding Member Founding Member

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    It actually depends. If there is a third party who will contact them to complain for the illegal activities made by your IP address that is the only time that you will be investigated. But if there is none, they don't care, since you pay for any excess bandwidth, it will be there gain not just yours. Just be careful though, don't do any illegal activities online, the consequences will be more heavy than the rewards.
     
  16. OhioTom76

    OhioTom76 Founding Member Founding Member

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    AT&T does. There was a lawsuit filed on behalf of the EFF about this back in 2006. They have a series of "Black Rooms" all across the country that intercept and keep record of all internet activity that goes through their services. I don't know how long they retain stuff for, but if I recall some people suggested they keep a trailing several months of everything per user. Considering how the cost of hard drives are dropping and storage space, this is probably increasing year over year. You can read more about one of these on the Wikipedia page about it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A
     
  17. Astdua

    Astdua Founding Member Founding Member

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    Yes, ISPs can, and do monitor what you are doing online, but most of the time, they don't care or bother with it, because you can't go around messing with all of your customers(everybody pirates for example) for downloading a couple of illegal .mp3s. But when a company or other copyright owner detects you somehow, and you get in deep trouble online, the ISP's are obliged by law to provide them with all necessary details, and basically screw you over and ruin your life with lawsuits. Be smart about what you do online is all I can advise.
     
  18. sidd230

    sidd230 Founding Member Founding Member

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    Yes they very much know and the government does too. The ISPs may choose to throttle your downloads. This is done by T&W and Comcast. Especially Netflix bandwidth.
     
  19. lovemwaf

    lovemwaf Founding Member Founding Member

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    I think that the only thing that is a big issue is that it would be a whole lot of hard work for the service providers to monitor you personally and track you individually. So it is not a big deal for me and i think that they do not have time to come to you and stop you from any of the illegal downloads.
     
  20. OhioTom76

    OhioTom76 Founding Member Founding Member

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    The thing is, they can't really sue you for downloading copyrighted materials. They have no proof exactly who was in front of the computer doing that. They just have some evidence that there was downloads going to a certain IP address. Anyone could have been on that IP address. You could have had guests over for example, who were hopping on your internet connection while they were there. Either that, or perhaps a neighbor hopped on your WiFi because you failed to secure it, and did the same.
     
  21. Templar_Sandman

    Templar_Sandman New Member

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    I'm pretty sure they do but I think in most places it's still largely a grey area as to what who can do about it, it like Copyright Law VS Privacy Laws when it comes to illegal downloads, usually the ones that get targeted are the providers of copyright infringed or "pirated" content. I mean, just imagine if ISP's handed over every IP of every person who may have downloaded or looked at something fishy at some point, they'd be almost out of customers and the authorities wont have the manpower nor capacity to process all those people.
     
    Big Dan likes this.

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