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[ NNSquad ] Re: News: Comcast to end P2P interference

Nick Weaver wrote:
Also, the lack of topological awareness does hurt BitTorrent, as well
as the lack of cacheability.  If the ISP is able to say that
a)  BitTorrent-type protocols can stay in my local loop and
b)  These flows are ones I CAN cache without being sued

BitTorrent type flows become far less objectionable.

There are a lots of issues in that short text. Topology is relatively easy - bittorrent clients are introduced to each other by a tracker and there is no reason why the tracker shouldn't make an effort to introduce neighbors based on shortest prefix or AS number. You can't do that for all connection because it would break the graph and lead to fractured subnets but a smart tracker will make a difference (although peer exchange between clients complicates this).

Discovering what is and is not "safe to cache" is a can of worms technically and legally. In theory, if everybody played nice, you could use the infohash and look up the stream to see if it's known to be not pirate. However this doesn't work in practice because firstly it's not the data that determines legitimacy it's the user and you can't tell if I have a license from looking at the connection. Secondly just looking at the infohash is subject to spoofing (wrap the real data inside a fake infohash header) assuming both clients know of the spoof they just strip the fake header and proceed. Then there is encryption to complicate things further. Legally once you start inspecting for contraband you run the risk of falling out of the DMCA safe harbor provisions and becoming liable for the stuff you miss