by Mike Masnick
Mon, Nov 26th 2007 9:52am
Just as the MPAA is strongly pushing for a new law that would require universities to take proactive measures to prevent unauthorized file sharing from happening on university networks, the group is also apparently pushing certain universities to install some MPAA-sponsored software to monitor network usage. However, after examining this "toolkit" some are noticing that it appears a lot more like a "rootkit" than a "toolkit." Depending on how a university's network is configured, it could actually reveal a lot of private info to the outside world. The software also phones home to the MPAA, despite promising not to report back any information. There are a few other oddities as well. While it could password protect some of the exposed content, it never prompts the user to do so -- and, at the same time, it disables logging who accesses the pages revealing all the info. While it could all be a coincidence, effectively the MPAA has made it so that it (and others) can spy on university network usage without being tracked in many cases. People in the article note the similarity to the Sony rootkit situation, where software designed to "protect" actually opened up huge security vulnerabilities.
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