cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Does encrypting P2P break the acceptable use policy?

Community Veteran
Posts: 26,341
Thanks: 595
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Does encrypting P2P break the acceptable use policy?

Using encryption on P2P is one way users try to avoid the traffic shaping being applied. It's quite clear that some users are doing this specifically for performance reasons and not because the data needs to be encrypted.

The Acceptable Use Policy states:
Quote
6.1 General

6.1.1 The Broadband Internet access component of your account is based on a contended service. This policy contains guidelines on how you can use this Service. We manage our network using prioritisation techniques to ensure that during busy periods time sensitive applications such as VoIP, email, gaming and web browsing are given priority over bandwidth intensive, non-time-sensitive applications such as Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing. Traffic shaping is used to a greater or lesser extent on all our Broadband Services. The effects of this should be virtually un-noticeable to Business customers and should only result in a small percentage reduction in peak-time throughput for Premier customers. You can find more information on contention and how we manage our network here.

6.1.2 These guidelines are to give you a clear expectation as to what constitutes fair and reasonable account usage. You are bound by these guidelines we impose on you, as a user of the Service, in order that we can operate a reliable service for our customers.

6.1.3 If you do not abide by the limitations of this account, we will take action against you not limited to, but including, instant termination of your account without a refund.

It appears to me that encrypting P2P contravenes 6.1.3 in that anyone doing so is not abiding by the limitations of the account specified in 6.1.1 which clearly states that P2P will be shaped at peak times.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
93 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Does encrypting P2P break the acceptable use policy?

The T&C does not state how you use P2P or place any restrictions on how you use it (other than the traffic limits), or that you should not use encryption, so It's up to PN to detect it and as far as I am concerned, if they can't then it's their tough luck because you are just using one of the standard features of the latest versions of P2P apps.
madswitcher
Grafter
Posts: 235
Registered: 01-08-2007

Does encrypting P2P break the acceptable use policy?

One other aspect that occurs to me is the idea of tunnelling. A well-encrypted tunnel running over HTTP would not be detectable to plusnet or any other packet-based sniffer. But would involve serious software at each end and is probably more suited to point to point work.


Hmmmm perhaps a business oportunity here with some smart software and a server.

Mike
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,341
Thanks: 595
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Does encrypting P2P break the acceptable use policy?

Quote
The T&C does not state how you use P2P or place any restrictions on how you use it (other than the traffic limits), or that you should not use encryption, so It's up to PN to detect it and as far as I am concerned, if they can't then it's their tough luck because you are just using one of the standard features of the latest versions of P2P apps.

Is it PN's tough luck? If they spotted that a user who has high traffic and manually investigation shows that it's P2P (I guess they could look at the IP at the other end and see if its also P2P) surely they could invoke 6.1.3 and boot the user off - there's no need to detect it in the Ellacoyas and throttle it. Someone who's account previously had a lot of P2P and suddenly has a lot less, but is still doing the same total volume would be an obvious one to investigate.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
N/A

Does encrypting P2P break the acceptable use policy?

Bring it onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!

If they terminate my account for using encryption, then so be it.....at least I'll be able to move to another ISP without paying my release penalty!! :lol:
N/A

Does encrypting P2P break the acceptable use policy?

Firstly if they did that they would loose alot of their customers, even the lightest P2P users are probably using what is a standard preformance and of course privacy option of the software if you start doing that then I suppose you are also suggesting the SCP protocol (The encrypted version of FTP) also violates the rules and means that person should be banned, or maybe they just did not want whatever it was they were sending to be read by everyone left right and centre.

I for one personally prefer encypted transports over none encypted ones because there are people on the internet which do try to gain insights into various things about a person by tring to spy on internet data even I suspect some ISP's do this thus I do not implicitly trust the security of the public network simply because it is a public network and even things you think are OK can give people alot of info on a person.

In a world where privacy is being eroded slowly but surely people will take steps to protect that privacy, if given a choice do use the door locks on your door to protect your private home or leave them open? Same thing here if there is an option to protect their private data which is passing over an untrusted network its all about trying to protect whatever freedoms and privacy one has left.
N/A

Does encrypting P2P break the acceptable use policy?

6.1.3 is very vague, as we don't really know what the limitations of the account(s) are. We don't know what traffic is being classed as say, P2P. Is using Steam, the Blizzard downloader(s), Sky's Broadband service, the BBC's iMP, or any of the other current and upcoming uses of P2P technology (including use by the big media companies) included? Outside of P2P, we don't know what other forms of traffic are shaped or managed that someone could technically fall foul of. I use SSH and VPN's, would running these on a non-standard port be classed as trying to avoid the traffic management? I doubt it, but as a customer we are left to trust PlusNet's judgements, as I doubt that in-depth info about what the classifications are will ever be made public, for a number of reasons (e.g. so people can't try to bypass them, because the mechanisms are the IP of Ellacoya Networks, because they are constantly changing).
Couger
Grafter
Posts: 181
Registered: 31-07-2007

Does encrypting P2P break the acceptable use policy?

hu hum

1. What's new in Azureus 2.4.0.0

1.1 Encrypted/Obfuscated Data Transfer
Support for encrypting the data between Azureus and other compatible clients is included. This both provides a level of protection of data and can help with ISPs that block or restrict peer-to-peer traffic

got 2 words

Tough shit

Its already happening, I always said plusnet and other ISP were wasting there ttime investing in this method as its clear, wheres theres a will theres a way around everything

Smiley
N/A

Does encrypting P2P break the acceptable use policy?

Yes, yes, Azuerus and other BitTorrent clients support encrypted data transfer between each other (with fallbacks for clients which don't support it), this isn't news and to be honest isn't a huge thing. It's not that difficult to identify encrypted P2P traffic and limit it. We're just entering the next progression in an ongoing 'arms race' between different parties with different aims.
It will likely be worth their while investing in the Ellacoyas as their purpose is not only for restricting P2P, but also, restricting everything other than http/pop/imap/etc. Also their rules and algorithms can be updated and are being constantly just as the applications can be, causing a somewhat daft battle, but not everyone will get involved. Importantly for the ISP, just as DRM and the associated laws have allowed companies, there is now the ability to put clauses in T&C's stating that bypassing the management has penalties.
This is a wide-reaching and complex area, no one side is right or wrong and no one side can be singularly classed as wasting their time. In many ways all sides are wasting their time and the only winners are the lawyers and companies like Ellacoya Networks Wink
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,341
Thanks: 595
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Does encrypting P2P break the acceptable use policy?

Quote
Tough Huh?

Unfortunately I don't think it's tough for Plusnet, but it''s going to be tough for all the other users. If too many people cheat on their P2P usage it will affect the speeds on things like HTTP. Which would give PN the perfect excuse for poor speeds - "it's not our network - it's the P2P cheats".
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,341
Thanks: 595
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Does encrypting P2P break the acceptable use policy?

Quote
Bring it onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!

If they terminate my account for using encryption, then so be it.....at least I'll be able to move to another ISP without paying my release penalty!! :lol:

There is an alternative to booting you off. They could say that because they can't identify which bits of your traffic are P2P they'll manage it all!
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
N/A

Does encrypting P2P break the acceptable use policy?

Which would be against their own rules of management and in breach of contract.

If I dont go over their allocated limits, I can avoid the management, which so far I have been able to handle since they implemented the new SUP or whatever the hell its called!!

So its awayyyyyyyyyyyyy we go on the BitTorrent stream....... :lol:
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,341
Thanks: 595
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Does encrypting P2P break the acceptable use policy?

Quote
Which would be against their own rules of management and in breach of contract.

How?
Quote
6.1.3 If you do not abide by the limitations of this account, we will take action against you not limited to, but including, instant termination of your account without a refund.

Fully restricting all activity would be covered by this clause. They could easily argue this was less penalty than booting you off.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
N/A

Does encrypting P2P break the acceptable use policy?

Thats a fair point.

However, by reducing the speed available to me for even normal web browsing, http downloads, email etc they would still be in breach. If my line is capable of 2Mb which it is, then p2p aside, I should quite rightly be permitted to put the full extent of that to use providing I do not exceed the allocated monthly traffic.

One can reasonable accept that the premise behind the "not limited to" relates to the management of ones account as per the SUP.

If I breach my allocated limit, I would expect to be managed, however, if I am inside the figures, then management should not be an option.

If I want to download a file faster than 20kb/sec, and there is a simple way in which to acheive that, then I will of course put it to use. It is up to +net to catch those who utilise this method.

If they are unable, then the network management devices they splurged out on are no more use than a simple hub or switch.....

Remember how easy Napster was shut down? Its going to be a LOT harder to stop BitTorrent and people need to wake up and smell the caffeine based product! :lol:
N/A

Does encrypting P2P break the acceptable use policy?

As a pointer for those in doubt of the usefulness (sp?) of encryption, have a look at the image link below for some proof of the speed increases which can be seen by using encryption on p2p.

http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/4972/encbtspeeds1uo.jpg

Note that the number of seeds on this particular torrent is very small and no doubt that better seeded torrents will see an exponential increase in speed by these simple measures.

NB. Filename removed for my own security .... Wink