BBC: ISPs Should Assume Heavy VPN Users are Pirates

In a submission to the Australian Government on the issue of online piracy, the BBC indicates that ISPs should be obliged to monitor their customers’ activities. Service providers should become suspicious that customers could be pirating if they use VPN-style services and consume a lot of bandwidth, the BBC says.

Because clearly, there’s never any legitimate reason to use a VPN /s

I have added another section to our supplementary response to include a response to the BBC. @Mozart will not be pleased with more work. :stuck_out_tongue:

If you’d like a specific example of noninfrining heavy usage, I work from home and regularly need to download hundreds of megabytes and sometimes gigabytes of Linux ISO images, package updates and whatnot, all via a VPN.

You are aware that the recent proposals for data retention specifically included upload and download bandwidth counters for each connection?

Tell me now that the data retention proposals have nothing to do with enforcing anachronistic business models.

Yeah, I’m aware of that. I vaguely recall saying something like “oh, brilliant, I’ll be flagged at least once a week just while doing my work” on IRC when I found out.

And now everybody is aware! The awareness shall kill us all! lol

It’s absurd just how orchestrated and conflated all of these ‘issues’ seem to be.

Suppose a VPN & high download rate does raise a red flag. What then? It doesn’t prove anything. For this to be useful to the copyright cartel it would have to be connected with a penalty scheme & reversed onus of proof (“demonstrate that you aren’t infringing…”). Shame on the BBC for pushing that, & double shame that they aren’t being upfront about it.

So (apologies for preaching to the converted here) in summary, a high capacity V.P.N. user might:

  • work for a telecommunications/bank carrier/paranoid boss; or
  • want to use IPV6 through an IPV4-only provider; or
  • actually value their privacy.

And anybody who believes a single one of the above reasons (or indeed any others I have not thought of) has declared themselves to be complete technological MUPPETs. Have I missed anything important here? In any case so sue me and let a confused old barrister who knows even less technology than the most junior Clerk of the Court decide the issue. Sad, so sad.

They ultimately want to have the power to suppress all unapproved political speech, Or at least have the infrastructure ready in place for when they will have need for such powers, whether secretly through false positive “accidents”, or explicitly. Not saying the monopoly holders don’t also demand it, but it is also in the interest of the state too.

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This seems familiar… Oh yeah, if you use encryption you have something to hide.

So, if you use a VPN at all, you likely always use it, so most VPN users will have a high download amount, as all their traffic will go through it. For example, Netflix through a VPN. If they think not using a VPN is less suspicious, that’s only because they’re inspecting your traffic. Otherwise, an open proxy would escape under the radar.

Hey no fair. When you are trying to appeal to the “think of the children!”* crowd, nobody accepts logic in the argument.

*“totc”: you can tell this is an old slogan. It clearly pre-dates the era of three-word fashionability.