Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Comcast Wins

UPDATED 11-3-2015

OK, before I get started, yes. Comcast is not actually behind this. They are not the ones sending out these notices or enforcing them. But they are still an evil anti-net neutrality corporation that needs to be destroyed. I am going to talk about this as if it is their fault, even if it actually isn't, and if you don't like that, tough.

So Comcast is sending out popups they inject into your browser, part of this 6-strikes thing you may have heard about. I guess they somehow measure the size of a file you have nabbed a link to from a torrent site, and if your file matches that size, they send you the warnings. Yes, sometimes you will receive notices about files you had nothing to do with. The system is not perfect.

They are getting your IP address from when you get the file. Too technical for me to properly explain. Something about incoming and outgoing. The end result is they get your IP and the notice is sent to the customer's primary account! Remember that, it is very important. If you are not logged into your primary account at Comcast/Xfinity you can not see the email notices.

Those notices warn you about the content you have, and the only way the popups disappear is after you have deleted the files. If its audio files in .flac, for example, you can convert them to .mp3 and delete the .flac. But if its a movie file that is harder to deal with. To appeal these notices will cost you $35.00.

Do not bother going to any Comcast satellite office. They do not provide technical support and will just give you an automated service number to call. The people on that line will give you another automated number to call. If you try chat with tech support online you will spend roughly 4-6 hours try to get help, as the people you talk to just stop talking to you. They will also try to get you to sign up for other services. I had to restart chat about a dozen times. I am not exaggerating.

After reading this you may start looking for a way to encrypt your IP address. So you can be anonymous. You can't use Tor, because they can get your IP on the outgoing. Sorry. You can't use i2p because it only allows you to download i2p torrents! The i2p site doesn't mention this for some reason, or I missed it.

I got i2p installed and running, got some torrents going, but nothing was downloading. I scratched my head, wondering what the hell was going on. Googled around - almost no information out there. Finally found an article on Reddit, and later a Yahoo answer, that explained this. Wasted 8 hours.

Your only option is to pay for a proxy or a VPN. You will want one with little or no record keeping. Anything you find that is free will be limited in speed or time. So your choice is to pay up to $50.00 a month for that, or just order the TV show you want from Amazon or YouTube. Hell it may even be cheaper just to get cable and a DVR box!

Comcast, CAS, MPAA, RIAA, they all win. For now. Until someone smarter than me figures out how to make a totally encrypted internet browser with a good torrent program built in that is free/open source and works with any torrent file out there. Until then you are downloading at your own risk.


OK, so I painted a pretty grim picture. But there is still one way to get the things you may want to get, and that is emule. I don't think they can track you with this, and you can search for files within the program, leaving no trace of your activities on the internet.

Share The Files is one of the largest communities:

You can get emule here, and there are mods as well:

Security updates here:

Emule is better than i2p as far as what is available. Be warned that this 0.60 version floating around from is not an official release, so stay away from it! Use the emule-project link I gave you above.

Share The Files is notorious for two things. 1. Most anime is subtitled, and any mention of English dubbed is either ignored or mocked. 2. Most of the time you will be lucky to get things in 720p. If you say anything about this, or complain about it, you will be banned. Also most requests are ignored.

Emule 0.50 should still be safe. However with the new measures Comcast/CAS or whoever is using, it is still download at your own risk. You are probably better off just quitting, at least for now.


I found another option, detailed in this video:


I have been using qBitTorrent for about a month now. I search for files within the program, using the old sites only as a reference, I do not click on any magnet or torrent links. I have received one CAS email since that time, and I have absolutely no clue how they were able to track that file, and why they are seemingly unable unable to track others. Everything is being done through software running on my computer. There is just something going on here I do not understand. In any case, be aware that while using an internal search for torrents, such as TorrentSearch or qBitTorrent is the safest option by far, it is still not free from prying eyes.

So I think I figured out what is going on... Under the guise of a releaser you trust, folks working for the CAS and whoever else is involved put up a file that is the genuine article, on the torrent networks. This file however has markers in it. So the CAS through Comcast can monitor your bandwidth, and when they see a marker, note it. My guess is there is one for the start of a file and the end of a file. Because if they were just monitoring bandwidth usage in general they would have no way to determine what single files you were downloading. So there has to be some sort of marker, embedded within the file, so they can monitor your bandwidth and figure out the exact size of that file, and then send you a CAS Copyright Violation Notice.

They are in the testing stages right now. They want a system that will work flawlessly and reliably. If this marker system works well enough, there will be more and more files released with these markers in them. Maybe they could even be put into the original broadcast of a show so that when it is recorded the markers are recorded right with it. They will either assume the name of a releaser you trust, so you download it, thinking you are safe, or they will create a new releaser group of their own, maybe establish it for a while, get a lot of people hooked, and when it is worth all the money they have to be putting into this, send in the authorities and lawsuits.

If they are using a marker system there is no way to protect yourself. It wouldn't matter if you hid your IP or never clicked on links at torrent sites. If it is in the original file, the releasers giving you the file may not even know it is there. But I think they are watching this, because the file in question for me has since vanished off the networks. The only way to deal with this is to create a program that quickly and easily finds these markers and removes them from a video file, without altering the original video and audio streams.

If I am right in my guess, we should be seeing such programs very shortly. Unless the releasers already have a program, or are developing one, and then using it themselves to clean files. This could be the case, because you see some releases with the word PROPER in it released after an earlier version of the exact same file.

The point is you can stop wasting money on your proxy, if your download bandwidth is being monitored, they have you by the balls, and there is nothing you can do about it. There is no way to protect your bandwidth, that I know of, from being monitored. If there was, that would be of greater value than a proxy. The CAS and those working for or with them know all about people rushing to hide their IPs. They have a play in place to protect their interests, you can trust me on this.


 I found another way you can protect yourself using an IP Filter:

This will only work with Tixati, and you will have to translate the steps if you are using anything other than Windows. The file path where you will copy the two files, in your Windows 7 instal directory, is:

How does this help you? Simple. Read this first:

As you have just learned, these companies aren't really bothering to watch the torrent sites. As I have explained in this post, there are ways around that. You can search in something like qBitTorrent then copy the magnet link across. Nothing to track there. So the only way to get you is to upload a file and watch who downloads it. They have a list they work from, they upload some part of the file, or maybe the whole thing, not sure which.

They find everyone downloading whatever they have shared, track back the info, clean it up, and send Comcast a message, resulting in an injected popup you have to click on. Then you have to go into your email and read their warning. Then you have to move or delete the file. Obviously sharing it will result in additional warnings.

To avoid all of this, use this automatically updating IP filter, and this will filter out the known unwanted IP addresses of those tracking people. Of course all these companies have to do is figure a way to generate new IP address on a regular basis that have to be found and blocked. But it will help block any known IPs from these companies still in use, protecting you.

If you are downloading torrent files, you are not safe!