Outstanding detective work from the gang over at Torrentfreak, who have discovered that there is online pirating going on in the U.S. House of Representatives. The same House of Representatives that is currently getting ready to pass SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act. I’ll explain the details of this delicious pile of irony after the jump.
There is this website called You Have Downloaded, which uses a couple of little technical tricks to determine if a particular IP address has used torrent software to download files. For the less technically-inclined, all you need to know about an “IP address” is that it is a unique string of numbers which identifies every computer or device attached to the internet, including the one you’re on right now (go here to know the number!). As I’ve explained before, IP addresses help content owners (giant media companies) identify who is downloading their stuff so they can be sued. You Have Downloaded does the same thing, but just for “fun”.
So Torrentfreak did some digging in the You Have Downloaded archived database, and boy did they hit paydirt. Because IP addresses can be traced to the House of Representatives, those addresses could be easily searched. And what did Torrentfreak find? Self-help books, quality television shows from pay cable, and porn. All being downloaded illegally from the government body trying to stop illegal downloading. There are no words.
Of course, there is really no way to know exactly who at the House is downloading this stuff. It may be just some low-level staffer, or it may be Lamar Smith (R-TX) who introduced SOPA to the House, or any of his twelve co-sponsors. It may be some janitor using the computers late at night. But if the government and the giant media companies are going to assume that the IP address assigned to my house was used to illegally download stuff by me, I am going to assume the IP addresses assigned to their House were used to illegally download stuff by House Speaker John Boehner. It’s only fair.
Best. Christmas gift. Ever.