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Virgin Media To Install Anti Piracy Tool On Its Network

Virgin Media is geared up for trials of a new cutting edge illegal file sharing inspection technology that would help the network providers to gauge the extent up to which such an activity is prevalent on its networks.

The technology dubbed as “CView” has been developed by the technology consultancy company Detica and it is designed to help ISPs to monitor the level of illegal file sharing on their networks; however the technology does not help in tracking individual offenders.

Dan Klein, media accounts director at Detica, noted that CView employs ‘deep packet inspection’ technology, but evades any IP addresses in its outcomes, implying that it wouldn’t take out the data of individual offenders. Quoting the same, he said, “It's a network device mirroring the traffic, so in that sense it's deep packet inspection, but that's where it stops”.

“We believe we've found something which is proportionate to the problem of copyright infringement. We don't believe that finding the individual [offender] is proportionate”, Klein added.

A spokesperson for Virgin Media told ZDNet UK that the company wouldn’t ask for the users’ consent to kick off the trial of the technology, and that the data of the users would be kept anonymised.

Our Comments

Virgin Media could be playing with fire here and its plans could backfire if users start questioning the real motives behind the move by the company. BT has had a very rocky journey with Phorm which was a step beyond what VM plans to do.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.