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From Ars Technica: In other words, if Company X is selling music… - Whizistic's Lair — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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[Jan. 19th, 2006|01:33 pm]
From Ars Technica:
In other words, if Company X is selling music from the xTunes Music Store—the theory goes—why shouldn't the carriers get a cut from Company X? Cut the carrier in for a piece of the pie, and they'll ensure a smooooth flight for Company X's packets from point A to point B. Cut them out, and Company X may find that it's packets have been diverted through Toledo—unless that's where they were heading, in which case they'll be shipped through Poughkeepsie. Sure, they'll get where they're headed... eventually.

We (in the IT department at a high school) used to do this all the time. You see, this was before the time of COPA and mandatory filtering to get federal dollars, so the school district went with the "You can get anything online; we don't block anything; but we do monitor everything, and if we catch you, there will be hell to pay" policy since we didn't have the budget or staff to implement anything, and Legal felt that by attempting to block access, we would be liable for anything that managed to get though. Hence, no blocking.

Now, this was in the time of a program referred to as "napster." You may have heard of it. This "napster" thing was eating away all of our bandwidth, but we didn't really have anyone above us with the testicular fortitude to allow us to block it. So, an inventive solution was designed & implemented.

An access list for the napster ip address ranges redirected that traffic to a 33.6kbps modem bank. Each separate ip connection resulted in a modem dialing out (mmm... dial on demand routing). After 8 connections, all modems in the bank were used, and an ICMP host unreachable message was sent back to any other napster clients trying to get online. For those who actually managed to get online, the time involved in getting modem sync and negotiating a public ip was longer than the default tcp/ip timeout time in the napster client, so they never got to search for copyrighted material. Problem solved.

It's amazing that we didn't consider it technically "blocking." Sure, latency inducing. Sure, limited resources. But the client sorta blocked itself :)

Later, once certain presidents signed certain laws which affected the schools and libraries division of the universal service fund, we blocked stuff, first with surf control, then later on with websense. Not that it stopped anyone, but that's a story for another day.

[User Picture]From: babyofthegroup
2006-01-19 02:54 pm (UTC)
At school, the IT department blocked p2p traffic starting about midway through junior year (early '03?) and greatly restricted computer-to-computer filesharing via network neighborhood, etc.

None of that mattered when DC++ made it to campus. What the tech-savvy students did was set up a no-ip.org hub that was only reachable by school-specific IP addresses. As far as I know, the IT department still hasn't figured out that students are using it, because it doesn't cause a draw on bandwidth (well, getting the hub info does, but the actual file transfers were all intranet). At least, I don't think it does. But you're the tech guy here.
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[User Picture]From: whizistic
2006-01-19 04:08 pm (UTC)
Heh. This was back in about 2000. We've always had... umm... "plausible deniability" regarding internal sources of good music copyrighted material. Basically, since we re-imaged every machine every year (our primary mode of patching), and audited the server explicitly for people with tonnes of crap, and further didn't allow external devices (mac authentication, technically) to access the network, there shouldn't be much of a problem. Of course, I don't know about the stuff that manged to get by. Of course, there are lots of ways around security stuff; I came up with many. The only question was did other people come up with them? Dunno.

I did know about a "secret" shoutcast server at, located in a certain teacher's closet. Great music selection, though. Considered using it for the music-on-hold system, but figured that'd tip my hand that I knew about it. :)
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From: alpinejunkie
2006-01-19 03:58 pm (UTC)
That's so evil.....

I love it!
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[User Picture]From: jgp
2006-01-19 04:17 pm (UTC)
I vaguely recall the use of a certain "Napster" program occuring a lot in a call center in a certain company that I might or might not work for, because word got around about a certain SOCKS proxy that was open and allowed that sort of access. Other people, of course, not me - I left mine up and running at home on my DSL line. =)

Some of these morons thought it was really cool that they could send transfers at like 3000kbps - and they couldn't figure out why Napster kept making their systems supernodes...
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[User Picture]From: lawrencebacchus
2006-01-19 04:42 pm (UTC)
So, if you can create a creative workaround like that, squeezing blood from a turnip should be no problem for you?
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[User Picture]From: jasnyder
2006-01-19 06:17 pm (UTC)
Soooo...you have time to think this up during the middle of your work shift, but you can't pick up the phone and call me - FOOL! Your baby's hungry and living in filth cause we don't get one dime out of you. You think that just because you've decided you're gay it means that you don't have to acknowledge that your child exists. Contact your baby mama and act right - POSER!

Or as Erik would say - FUCK THE DUMB SHIT!
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