TorrentSpy Ordered to Do Just That

Dennis Faas's picture

Bit Torrents have arisen from the ashes of illegal file sharing protocols like Limewire and Kazaa. Although open source users maintain that the law makes Torrent downloads difficult to condemn, already the digital rights authorities are turning their focus to shutting down some of the web's most popular Torrent sites. First up may be TorrentSpy, which has recently been ordered to monitor and track those using its database.

The new arrangement is the result of a May court decision which is only now becoming public. A California federal judge has tasked TorrentSpy with keeping a log of its visitors' activities, essentially terminating the site.

According to CNET news, part of TorrentSpy's stated principles is to never, ever track users. That will likely mean an appeal, which TorrentSpy and its lawyers have until Monday to file. Indeed, the site's attorney has told the media, "TorrentSpy would turn off access to the U.S. before tracking its users." (Source:

The Motion Picture Association (MPAA) of America would be the recipient of such logs if TorrentSpy were to ever agree to monitoring its traffic. Second only to the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) in infamy, the MPAA would almost certainly be vigilant in its pursuit of illegal downloaders. (Source:

Rallying to TorrentSpy's side is the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a group organized specifically to defend the digital rights of the public. The EFF is concerned such tracking will lead to a new "big brother" approach to online activity, calling the decision a "troubling court order".

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