Georgia college to students: Use P2P for any reason and we'll report you to the police


(cc-licensed photo by RocketRacoon)

Valdosta State University in Georgia recently installed network software that administrators say can personally identify students who use P2P software of any kind and for any purpose. Any students using P2P software will, according to reports, be disciplined by the school and reported to the police. Snip from Torrentfreak's report:

In July, the US put into effect a new requirement for colleges and universities to stop illicit file-sharing on their networks. This legislation puts defiant schools at risk of losing federal funding if they don't do enough to stop illicit file-sharers on their campus.

Schools across the country responded appropriately to the new rules and some have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to install anti-file-sharing systems on their network. This week, Valdosta State University (VSU) upgraded theirs. According to the university it can now identify students who use P2P software, and those who are caught will be reported to the police.

"Once individuals are identified, VSU hands responsibility over to police. Users can face felony punishments, including a possible prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000 per offense," reports the student newspaper.

Unfortunately for students, the system as described cannot distinguish between lawful and unlawful use of P2P software. Boot up a BitTorrent client to download a public domain film or a large data archive for research? You may not be violating copyright law, but you'll still be reported to the cops.

More in the university's newspaper. Apparently, the tightened screws are in response to more widespread use of Ares Galaxy, which does a somewhat better job of evading existing school network controls designed to sniff out P2P use.