Paulo Coelho

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Internet Mysteries: How Much File Sharing Traffic Travels the Net?

Author: Paulo Coelho

I found this in Digg today – interesting for the debate of online free sharing:

By Ryan Singel

How much of the traffic on the internet is peer-to-peer file trading?

Everyone seems to agree it represents a lot of the traffic, but the truth is no one knows (with the possible exception of the ISPs and backbone providers in the middle, and they aren’t telling or sharing raw data).


Independent internet researchers, including KC Claffy of the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis, ran their own tests in 2003 and 2004 — following conflicting reports that file sharing was decreasing and increasing.


In Washington, D.C., Congress is once again considering legislating rules for ISPs, while the five-member Federal Trade Commission is publicly wringing its hands over whether to fine or censure Comcast for its BitTorrent blocking and whether to adopt stricter net-neutrality guidelines generally.


We would love to know if good measurements of P2P traffic are out there or if, indeed, the debate over net neutrality is taking place without the slightest bit of verifiable data.

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