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Many countries, including mine, allow torrent traffic and have no constraints about downloading torrent data and violating copyrights.

I know that if I traveled out my country 'to Europe for example' I may get caught because of my cracked softwares that installed on my laptop.

So, aside from copyrights problems, what damage can came if I used torrent. I know that I may get infected with viruses and malwares. But what esle?

P.S: for ethical users, I have no other way to get my movies and series due to '403' on everything, including subscriptions and online ordering .

Edit:

I asked the question because I'm a network administrator, and after all I need a proper answer to my clients why I'm stopping torrent. thanks.

  • If, like you've already listed, can't get in trouble with your government, and you are aware of the possibility of malware and viruses, what else is there to worry about? Maybe if you cross a border with a HDD full of pirated material you might be in hot water, but even then, the chances of that are slim to none. Your biggest issue would be malware, viruses, and the odd cease and desist email, if your ISP is in the business of forwarding those requests to the client. – INV3NT3D Sep 20 '16 at 13:16
  • The problems caused by "using torrents" to download your software isn't a result of using the peer-to-peer bittorrent technology itself. The problems caused are because you literally downloaded software from a known criminal and then ran it on your machine. – Ben Sep 20 '16 at 13:21
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    Please consider explaining why voting down, after all I need a proper answer to my clients why I'm stopping torrent as a network admin. thanks. – Emadeddin Sep 20 '16 at 13:35
  • I didn't downvote and would have said why if I had. However, you've just revealed some very important additional information that puts a different light on your question. Your Q sounds like you are asking from a personal perspective and lots of ITSEC folk aren't so happy answering Q related to breaking copyright, etc. I suggest rewording to make it clear you are looking for business reasons to block (or otherwise) torrents on an organisational network. – Julian Knight Sep 20 '16 at 13:44
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Don't quote me no this, but I don't think there's any jurisdiction where using torrent is illegal. There are many jurisdictions where downloading copyrighted files are illegal, and while torrents are often used to distribute copyrighted files, there are many perfectly legal files shared through torrents. For example, many major Linux distros distributes their installer images as torrent, some public government data are distributed through torrents. Listen to your users and check if any of them may have legitimate uses for torrents.

From organization/company perspective though, there are a number of reasons why you might want you limit torrents if it's not necessary for day to day operations of most people. Remember that since you are the network administrator, you set the policy that you want to enforce, based on the needs of the organization and the culture that you/the leaders want to develop in the company.

Some companies want to develop an open culture, where most employees have minimal restriction/monitoring on what they do on their workstation as long as it doesn't disturb the daily operation of the company. Many such companies might have acceptable personal internet use policy. You should work with the leaders of the company to develop this policy, and define what kind of personal use is acceptable (e.g. accessing personal email, downloading files for personal use, using printers for personal use). Alternatively, if the leaders want to develop an informal culture, they may want to leave such policies unwritten and leave them to be i-know-it-when-i-see-it until it actually becomes a problem (e.g. excessive internet usage, unwarranted slow downs, receiving copyright notice). Within this culture, even if your country doesn't necessarily enforce copyright laws strictly or even if there's no such laws, I would still highly recommend developing a policy for respecting copyrighted materials anyway as a matter of good business practice. You may also want to develop a policy where users must agree to subject personal files on company equipment for virus scans or other searches when demanded, these policies may or may not sufficiently mitigate the risks of allowing personal internet usages.

Other companies have a need to develop a more restricted approach, where users have to be able to justify every network protocols they use before they are allowed to use it. Within this culture, you need to listen to your users and make sure that the network restrictions doesn't hinder them from doing their daily tasks. If there are network protocols that the users need to use that you just don't want to/can't support, then develop an alternative plan with them or shift the responsibility of that task to someone else. When you want to develop this culture, you want to white list the network protocols that are permitted for each users and possibly even whitelist the network destinations.

Remember, good security policies should be an enabler, not a hindrance to one's work. Good security policies and controls allow people to do things that otherwise would have been too risky to do. Listen to your users and the direction that the leaders want to set for their company. Based on that, figure out what network protocols they use, develop a policy around that, write them down in company manuals, and then enforce that policy. Don't try to enforce unwritten policies, as you will just alienate everyone; having the cooperation of those that are subjected to the policy are crucial to the practical viability of a policy.

  • Well said bro. that's what I needed ... away from 'do and don't' answers!' – Emadeddin Sep 21 '16 at 8:51
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If you need reasons as a LAN Admin to block torrents from your LAN, here's a few and ways to go about it (partially lifted from @Rory Alsop and @Polynomial 's answers here):

1. Exposing LAN to Malware/Exposing LAN in General:

This is an obvious one, and one that you're aware of. If you allow users to torrent files there is no way to ensure that they are using "legal" sources, thereby putting your LAN at risk. Also, if you can torrent, you've got some open ports ripe for poking. Blacklist all the "big" trackers and websites. Disallow the usage of BitTorrent clients. Lock down user access. Etc...

2. Bandwidth Concerns:

If Malware isn't enough to justify the restriction of BitTorrent on your LAN, then you could try from the angle of bandwidth concerns. P2P file sharing takes up a lot of network resources, thereby slowing down the network that is necessary for day-to-day operation (I'd assume). Limit users bandwidth if possible, or investigate those who are taking in a large amount of traffic.

3. This is YOUR Gorram LAN:

If the first two concerns aren't enough justification for everyone to stop torrenting, gently remind them that YOU are the Network Administrator, and your knowledge and expertise are the reasons you are in the position that you are in. Your knowledge and expertise has led you to the decision that BitTorrent compromises the network, regardless of their sentiments. Implement a policy that disallows BitTorrent usage, and enforce these policies with no leniency.


If this is a working environment then there shouldn't be any use for "shady" torrents. If there are files that need to be shared and your clients claim that BitTorrent is the only method, then put those LAN Admin skills to work and get some file shares going!

As far as reasons for not using torrents without a VPN... Well the VPN would only mask your IP address, and since your local governing body doesn't take action against illegal use of the BitTorrent network, then you have no concerns outside of the ones already listed.

I hope this addresses your question, please let me know if I'm on the mark or anywhere near it. Your question, as I understand it, may need some modification. Possibly a title like "Justification for disallowing torrents on a company LAN" or something of the sort. Just a suggestion :)

  • I'll edit the title, and as for your answer, I can't say to my boss that this my network and I'll block you from torrent because I am the admin. Thanks. – Emadeddin Sep 20 '16 at 18:58
  • No problem. If the other two concerns aren't enough to justify the barring of torrent usage then I don't think there is much else you can do... outside of letting the consequences of this practice take hold of your network/clients. But hopefully I will be enlightened by other answers as well. Also, you should be able to pass your recommendations on to your boss as the admin. If he decides not to follow them you should not be held responsible for the consequences, although you will have to deal with them. – INV3NT3D Sep 20 '16 at 19:04
  • I agree, the main corporate issue is that you are allowing sharing of your bandwidth with other people. That's bandwidth your organisation paid for. – Julian Knight Sep 20 '16 at 19:48
  • I've tried that, the answer I received was: "Okay, limit the bandwidth but don't close it !" – Emadeddin Sep 20 '16 at 20:16
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    Gorram? That's nostalgic. – Mindwin Sep 20 '16 at 20:28

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