Torrents strike back at ISPs

The people behind the Azureus torrent client don't think highly of ISPs throttling their file sharing, and have released a new plug-in for Azureus that aims to track the trackers.

Vuze/Azureus is the first torrent client to launch a counter-attack against Internet service providers that have been dropping and forging data packets sent by end-users. This volley in what might become the torrent wars of 2008 is a plug-in for the Azureus torrent client called the Network Status Monitor.

The Network Status Monitor plug-in for Azureus tracks dropped data packets--but for good, not evil. (Credit: CNET Networks)

Every 10 minutes, the plug-in detects the number of reset TCP connections from your computer. It shows the results to users and, if you've checked off the Share Results box, it sends the information to Vuze, which promises that although they might aggregate the data or disclose it publicly, no "data about any specific user will be disclosed."

To access the Network Status Monitor plug-in, which is still in beta, go to the Tools/Plugins/Installation Wizard and scroll down until you find the add-on. Check off the box on the right and follow the installation instructions. Once installed, users can view the plug-in's efforts by opening the Network Status Monitor window from Tools/Plugins/Network Status Monitor. Users can also install it manually.

Net neutrality has been a "fair play" rule for Internet service providers since the Internet was commercialized. When news came of Comcast, Time Warner, and other broadband ISPs dropping customer-sent packets like they had a communicable disease, downloaders were shocked and some were outraged. According to Vuze, the intent of the plug-in is to collect information about which ISPs are interfering with their customer's Internet traffic.