While BitTorrent traffic monitoring companies and systems are quite a few around, AT&T makes a premiere as the first ISP to obtain a patent under which it can do some file-sharing monitoring itself.
The new system could be used by AT&T to anticipate monitor network congestion before occurring but also to check out what content is very popular with pirates on file-sharing networks.
To remind you all – AT&T has adopted the Six Strikes anti-piracy system program under which an Internet customer who is suspected of downloading copyright protected receives six warnings before having his/her Internet connection suspended.
To better understand how AT&T’s system works we’ve posted here the chart below (courtesy of hothardware.com) – “It appears that the company will be maintaining RSS feeds of torrents that it could end up downloading and then search through. While names are going to play a huge role in what the system detects here as piracy, it’ll go one step further by digging into the file and making sure it’s actually what it says it is – and that it’s not simply a virus disguised as the latest Hollywood blockbuster.”
It would probably be a safe assumption that AT&T’s technology will appeal to copyright owners due to its possibilities and that they will ‘convince’ the ISP (if necessary) to employ it as a way to reduce online piracy.