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New Tech Throttles Encrypted Bit Torrent Traffic
The game of cat-and-mouse continues...
by Karl Bode 02:33PM Wednesday Aug 30 2006
Since we broke the story that Canadian cable provider Shaw was throttling Bit Torrent traffic, the tactic has spread to a number of providers, who use increasingly sophisticated gear. Customers are avoiding the blockades by using the new breed of encrypted Bit Torrent clients like Azureus.

Bit Torrent creator Bram Cohen, who's trying to strike deals with the entertainment industry to gain royalties from legit file distribution, isn't so keen on the idea. The only way he can stand to profit from major studio deals is if the ISPs aren't indiscriminately throttling his application, or the bandwidth it consumes.

Cohen's solution, implemented in the latest Bit Torrent client release, utilizes the "Cache Discovery Protocol” developed in cooperation with Cachelogic. The protocol makes it easy for ISPs to detect the most popular torrents, cache the data, and seed the torrent - assuming they want to.

It may still be easier and cheaper for them to simply keep throttling the application. In the latest chapter in the cat-and-mouse saga, Allot Communications says they're the first company to offer hardware that can detect and throttle encrypted Bit Torrent traffic.

Assuming it actually works, the ball may again be in the BT client developers' court.


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