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Regarding a forum rule on the legal bittorrent protocol.


woopdeshoop
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I would like to discuss some of the incorrect statements made regarding bittorrent.

 

https://forums.malwarebytes.org/index.php?showtopic=97700

 

>We will not assist users that are obviously using illegal software.

 

>f you're using Peer 2 Peer software such as uTorrent or similar you must either fully uninstall it or completely disable it from running while being assisted here.
>Failure to remove or disable such software will result in your topic being closed and no further assistance being provided.

 

The bittorrent protocol and bittorrent clients are 100% legal.  Bittorrent is often used to transfer completely legal files between people. A good example would be Linux installation CDs. Linux is free open source software and licensed under the GPL, something that specifically encourages copying and modifying as much as possible. With the problems a lot of people seem to be expressing here I think Linux might do them some good anyway.

 

The point is bittorrent and bittorrent clients are perfectly legal. Downloading unauthorized copies of copyrighted intellectual property is illegal, and there's many ways to do that, not just bittorrent. For example XDCC or direct download. Should you also ask forum users to uninstall their IRC client or web-browser because they might be using it to download unauthorized copies of copyrighted intellectual property?

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Hi, woopdeshoop:
 
Welcome. :)
 
Until the staff arrives with a formal response....
 
I think it may be a misunderstanding to assume that the 2 bullet points are necessarily the same.
 
It is absolutely true that we will not assist users with illegal or cracked or pirated software.
As a white-hat security company, MBAM could not condone such illegal activity.
So that is non-negotiable.

Users with such illegal software are given the opportunity to remove it from their system, after which assistance will be provided.
 
The reason that bit-torrent and other P2P file sharing programs must be uninstalled or disabled during disinfection is that such protocols are one of the most common forms of malware transmission.
Filesharing/downloading from unknown sources is one of the leading causes of transmission of malware.

Risks of File-Sharing Technology.

P2P File-Sharing Risks

So, it would be pointless to help a user to clean an infected computer, even as they are running software that might lead to immediate reinfection.
There is no assumption made that the user running P2P is doing so for illegal software distribution.

 

Hope this helps,

 

daledoc1

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It is not hard to verify the integrity of files tranferred over bittorrent. When you download a torrent from a big name company like Redhat, say a Fedora Linux iso, you can be assured that the torrent coming from them is clean. It also includes GPG signatures which you verify yourself.

 

https://fedoraproject.org/en/verify

 

Most of the information in those two links I have seen are what I call FUD. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt

 

Bittorrent has been implemented in many ways, here are some examples of how bittorrent has been implemented. Some notable names being Facebook and Blizzard using it.

 

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/8-legal-uses-for-bittorrent-youd-be-surprised/

 

Downloading malware happens regardless of protocol. It does not have to be P2P. In fact I believe downloading malware through HTTP from websites is far more common.

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I'm not implying anything like that. :)

 

I'm only saying that, as a forum volunteer and home user, any further discussion of the subject is above my pay-grade.

I'm neither authorized nor qualified to get into more specifics about such a topic - I presented the "common knowledge" of having volunteered here for a long time in order to try to clarify the wording of the policy for you.

But any further discussion needs to be left to those on the staff who have the expertise and authority to answer your questions about company policy.

 

Nothing more, nothing less. :)

 

Thanks for your patience and understanding,

 

daledoc1

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P2P software is more about Piracy than Malware but Malware can still be an issue.

 

I personally have examined many legitimate software installers declared to be cracked or pre-keygened whose legitimate installer was repackaged to include a new installer that installs the legitimate software and includes a trojan downloader or other malicious payload.

 

The problem with P2P software is it has the propensity to be used in software Piracy and ethical organizations take a stand against intellectual property theft.  Since bad behaviour has a higher propensity to cause one to get infected or reinfected, it is a natural conclusion to deny such vectors because we don't like to see our friends, neighbours and peers to be infected and we certainly don't want to see them get re-infected through a user's risky behaviour.  Especially if some volunteer has provided their free time and expertise to assist someone in removing malware. 

 

Thus a policy against P2P software and Piracy has been announced, by our host, and it is expected to be followed if the forum member seeks malware remediation.  We, the visitors of the forum, have to follow the rules of our host and that includes a strong statement against software piracy (aka; intellectual property theft) and P2P software.  Since there is no paid-for in advance contract to provide assistance in the removal of malware (or PUPs)  the forum has the right to set ground rules and a code of conduct detailed in a Terms of Use which we agreed to when an account was created for us to use by our host.  The Terms of Use for the forum is a contract and thus enforceable to the extent of the courtesy provided by our host in continuing to provide us, the visitor, with a forum account.  It has nothing to do with whether or not BitTorrent, or other P2P software is legal or not or if it has a quasi-legal status.

 

It is very simple.  If one expects to be assisted in the removal of malware and/or PUPs, do NOT have P2P software or pirated software on your PC.  If you want to pirate software or want to use P2P software, don't expect to get assistance.

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  • Root Admin

Just a bit of feedback.  If you re-read what is posted, no one has made any statement that P2P or the software commonly used to allow P2P sharing is illegal.  We've simply stated that you need to "either" uninstall such software "or" disable it while being assisted.  Nowhere in that statement does it say anything about the software or the use of it being illegal.

 

 

Where does this statement say it's illegal?

 

If you're using Peer 2 Peer software such as uTorrent or similar you must either fully uninstall it or completely disable it from running while being assisted here.

 

 

Now that said.... one can bury his/her head in the sand and pretend that it's being used for legal purposes but there simply isn't enough legal software to download with P2P to account for the sheer amount of Global P2P traffic, but yes certainly some of it is quite legal traffic.  We're not here to be the police of what a user is using or downloading - we simply ask that it be disabled while you're being assisted for a couple of reasons. 

 

Yes it is possible to get infected by P2P (not as common as some would lead you to believe but it does happen) so why leave the door open for the possibility.

Often scans or tools we're asking you to run may consume a lot of resource and P2P often also consumes a lot of resources which slows down the process even more.

Most P2P clients are constantly making minor file changes on the system and some of the scanners used will pick this up and cause the Helper more work having to read through the logs to ensure nothing unexpected is happening and thus wasting time on it that could be used better elsewhere for another user.

 

So, you're more than welcome to run all the P2P you want - just not while you're being assisted with malware scanning and removal here on our site.  If you really feel you have to keep it installed or running you're more than welcome to find another site that doesn't care if it's running.  

 

 

 

 

We will not assist users that are obviously using illegal software.

If any such evidence is found you will be given the benefit of the doubt and the opportunity to completely uninstall and delete any such data from your system.

During the scanning process if any further evidence shows up your topic will be closed and no further assistance will be provided.

If you're using Peer 2 Peer software such as uTorrent or similar you must either fully uninstall it or completely disable it from running while being assisted here.
Failure to remove or disable such software will result in your topic being closed and no further assistance being provided.

 

 

I hope this sheds a bit more light on the subject for you.

 

Thank you

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on a personal note ...

i use "bittorrent" type clients (et al) to download and upload archaeological research papers/pictures/data from/to a few individuals .

additionally , i also provide (read : share) several makes and versions of linux based operating systems via a torrent program called "deluge" .

(i too do not endorse nor condone the "sharing" of illegal files/data)

i can vouch for the heavy use of bandwidth/resources that can happen on/with a machine (full on or allocated amount) that can be used at any given time .

 

many users are not technically savvy when it comes to matters pertaining to computers (read : fine points) .

it is best to present the requirements in a simple and straight forward manner .

call it "lowest common denominator" ... but it does work .

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Is there a reason you're implying I would be banned for discussing this topic?

 

I did not do anything wrong or against the rules. I am not talking in a provocative or aggresive manner, I just wanted to discuss something. Sorry if it bothered you.

 

Having heard directly from people who lived through the Nazi's in the 1930's, I can only OMG, what is happening in America?  Unless someone is vulgar to the extreme, I suggest instead that moderators use the problems they see as teaching opportunities.

 

Of course, that implies the behavioral knowledge is there to teach.  Let us hope it is.

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