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Government Network used to download porn : Privacy is dead

Just how private are your searches…turns out they aren’t private at all.

The wonderful people at Torrentfreak did an amazing piece of investigative journalism today. Upset over the passing of CISPA, they decided to do an internet check on how active the House of Representatives were–on bit torrent. It turns out with a couple of IP addresses, and some elbow grease you can pretty much find out how active a certain IP range is on bit-torrent or even on searching porn!!

So using the same techniques that Torrentfreak used, and applying them to the Malaysian e-Government official service provider “Government Integrated Telecommunication Network  (GITN)“,  your friendly neighbourhood Tech Evangelist manage to find some pretty interesting results!

The GITN is owned by Telekom Malaysia and is dubbed the “official network provider for the e-Government” in Malaysia–so let’s see what the official network for the e-government was being used for?

First off, someone was using the GITN network to download torrents–not exactly surprising, but judging by the variety of torrents (everything from Dark Skies to Naruto to Discovery Channel documentaries) it looks like more than one person was doing the downloading.

Torrent Activity on the Government Network

Also equally interesting was that someone used the GITN network to download porn. I’m no expert, but I’m thinking Gangbanged.XXX isn’t really a discovery channel documentary.

Government servants downloading porn

Remember, GITN is supposed to be the “official network provider for the e-Government” and here we have somebody downloading porn. As a Malaysian, I’m appalled that government servants weren’t downloading Malaysian porn, but rather being influenced by ‘foreign agents’. Malaysia can produce as good a porn flick as any country, but let’s get back to the story.

I also managed to locate someone on the GITN looking for porn on a Google search, but the information was so specific, that it was possible to uniquely identify the person who made the search–so I decided against publishing that information here–although it’s still available online and ridiculously easy to search for. Scary!

Take note people, it’s quite easy to pick out which IP addresses are searching for what, and which IP addresses are downloading Gangbanged.XXX from bit-torrent, so be careful of what you do online.

What do we do?

Now I’m not advocating a witch hunt here, GITN may be a government provider, but like all providers, people use the internet at the office for a lot of reasons. Ultimately, in terms of true cost–a employee using the office bandwidth to download a torrent file is probably not costing anybody anything. In fact, torrent downloading is probably less damaging to the companies bottom line than printing your personal flight tickets, or even stealing some extra A4 paper for home.

So let he who is without sin cast the first stone–I’ve got a lot of sin on my hands so I’m not judging these employees.So if you want go on a witch-hunt go right ahead, but mark my words, somebody will find something equally (if not more) embarrassing about you—-and that’s where I’ll get to say “I Told you so!”

Plus, just because the download was from the GITN is no guarantee the download was by a government servant, and just who are Malaysians to judge? Just look at our most downloaded torrent for April 2013:

Most Downloaded Torrent in Malaysia

I’m not going to spoil it for you here, but you can check out the Wikipedia page for Hentai to find out what most Malaysians are downloading from the bit-torrent network.

*Correction: Thanks to Darkon, who corrected me in the comments stating that Hentai Ouji isn’t Hentai at all, but rather a regular Japanese Anime–guess I should have done my homework. Nice Job Darkon! 

Conclusion

The point of this post isn’t to put any blame on the government or it’s wonderful employees (who recently renewed my passport in under 2 hours), rather it’s to point out that although the internet is this giant thing–privacy inside the internet is fading away. Pretty soon everything you do on the internet will be recorded and stored–and possibly to be sold to the highest bidder. How would you like your Google searches from your college days to be published for your future employer to see??

Those privacy enhancing VPN providers starting to look a bit more interesting now–don’t they?

12 Comments

    • Proxy do help with google searches, though not much, and they don’t help with torrents at all.

      Ultimately, I think the only true solution is a VPN to hide your network, and use incognito mode to hide your identity. That may be a stretch too much work for 99% of the population, so until then just beware that someone IS watching.

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  4. Darkon

    Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko is a normal anime btw. and yes, those titles below hentai ouji is also anime too. It doesn’t hurt if you were trying to do some research before posting.

    • kar2on

      My Mistake….

      Thanks for the correction, I incorrectly assumed that because it started with Hentai–that it was Hentai, obviously I was wrong. Will correct this later today.

      Thanks.

      Regards,
      Keith

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  6. Anonymous

    I have said many times in other places and to people, a VPN doesnt give you anonymity rather it is a proxy that does and what you want is an encrypted tunnel to a proxy and not a VPN provider. Using a VPN provider is just like using another ISP through your existing ISP.

    A VPN is to connect things on the same network such as if you want to access your media or file server away from home or to access your work place network.

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