Daily Archives: 2009-12-07

What does Detica detect?

There has been considerable interest in a recent announcement by Detica of “CView” which their press release claims is “a powerful tool to measure copyright infringement on the internet”. The press release continues by saying that it will provide “a measure of the total volume of unauthorised file sharing”.

Commentators have divided as to whether these claims are nonsense, or whether the system must be deeply intrusive. The main reason for this is that when peer-to-peer file sharing flows are encrypted, it is impossible for a passive observer to know what is being transferred.

I met with Detica last Friday, at their suggestion, to discuss what their system actually did (they’ve read some of my work on Phorm’s system, so meeting me was probably not entirely random). With their permission, I can now explain the basics of what they are actually doing. A more detailed account should appear at some later date.
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