Downloading Files Illegally? This Site is Keeping Track
A site has been quietly keeping track of illegal file sharing, or piracy, by tracking IP addresses that use the BitTorrent network and connecting those IP addresses to the names of the files that have been downloaded. The resulting database of potential copyright violation is public, so any illegal file sharing you may have done can now be tracked back to your IP address, according to security researcher Brian Krebs.
The site is called youhavedownloaded.com. If you follow the link, the site will analyze your IP address and show any files you have downloaded. If there are no records related to your IP Address, you can see what other IP addresses have downloaded and some of the more popular files, as well as comments from other site visitors.
Russian native Suren Ter-Saakov started the site as a proof of concept. Your IP address is essentially a locator for you on the web; in really rough terms it is like your postal address. The site does not take into account dynamic IP Addresses, a common technique which makes your address change over time, or Network Address Translation (NAT), a common technique that allows multiple people to use one address. This means that some of the results attributed to your IP address may not have been downloaded by you, which has angered some visitors to the site:
Pretty f***ng irresponsible, no consideration for what harm you may cause to people checking their family's torrents.
Despite the limitations the site does make it painfully obvious how easy it is to track an IP address and related download behavior. Ter-Saakov says the site requires less than $300 per month to run and only tracks about 20% of illegal activity. You can assume the RIAA and MPAA are both spending quite a bit more to identify and track illegal downloaders.