The site that's tracking and publishing your BitTorrent downloads

If you frequently download stuff via BitTorrent, you probably already know that it’s not exactly a model of privacy and anonymity. But if you were in any doubt about that fact, a new website may well hammer the message home.

YouHaveDownloaded is a Russian site that tracks users across the web, monitoring BitTorrent traffic to and from individual IP addresses. But if that’s not enough to give you the heebie-jeebies, get this - they’re also identifying and collecting data on all of the files that you’ve been downloading, and exposing the information publicly on their website.


Image via TorrentFreak

The site’s owners claim to already be tracking around 20 percent of all public BitTorrent traffic, and their database has swollen to include well over 51 million users, 100,000 torrents, and almost 2 million files totalling more than 97TB of data.

The database is growing, and it’s searchable too. When people visit their site, they’re immediately greeted with their download history, if the site has been able to harvest data from their IP address, but users can also search for files and other IP addresses to see who’s been downloading what.

The site’s developers say that they created it in part as a wake-up call. TorrentFreak spoke with Suren Ter, a co-founder of the site, who explained: “We just want to remind people that the internet is not a place to expect privacy. Nowadays, many people use it without understanding what information they leave behind. Even those who understand choose to ignore it quite often.”


If you've been downloading content like this on BitTorrent, seek help. 

Of course, if you use a proxy or a VPN, or you’re taking similar privacy-enhancing precautions, you should find that your torrent history is relatively shielded from prying eyes. (And if you use a dynamic IP, you may well end up seeing a list of stuff that someone else has downloaded.) But if you do find that your history is splayed across a web page for all to see, then take this as the slap in the face that you need to do more to protect yourself while engaging in BitTorrent action.

The team behind the site are keen to emphasise that their aims are not nefarious, and that they’re only aggregating information that’s already publicly available. But they do give users the option to remove their IP addresses from the database, stating that “we don’t have to accommodate requests for removal, but we are nice people”.

The developers also plan to develop a more secure and private file-sharing protocol. Suren Ter explains: "The general idea is similar to what Bitcoin does. The key is to have an anonymous and reliable identity for each peer, and a Bitcoin-like signature chain algorithm will help." Although they believe their idea is sound in theory, they're some way off being able to implement it in practice. Until then, make sure your system is properly shielded from prying eyes. 

Be sure to head on over to YouHaveDownloaded.com to see how many of those nasty, freaky vids that you torrented over the weekend have made it into their database.

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73 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

wtf it says I downloaded Hell on Wheels. Some sort of TV show. I have never heard of this.

This is because I am on dynamic IP. It changes everytime I reboot my router. so basically Bigpond (the ISP I am with) users are sharing IP address among others.

Dear readers of Neowin.net, it is a joke site. A Joke Site. A JOKE SITE!!!! (shaking an imaginary body) Don't wet your pants, you are not under any surveillance or about to face swift justice. Go back to your mum's basement and carry on with your wicked ways as you were.

Hi. We have no records on you.

Of course they don't. i don't use it and never will, and personally, I think anyone that does is so far behind the times, they need to take some computer classes or something!!

This site is stupid... I've torrented hundreds of things over the years and it says no record? LMAO what a lame attempt of a scare tactic that I bet the RIAA made up. I clone my MAC and other things so ohh well.

peerblock and problems solved or some vpn or could use tor or also can use tor + vpn + peerblock = bulletproof concept ...

To all the people saying they're in the clear, as they do not show up. You did read the article, right??
"The site's owners claim to already be tracking around 20 percent of all public BitTorrent traffic"
Chances are, you are not in those 20% then. Also, just because you downloaded some via torrent, doesn't mean you will be listed there....

Go on the page and click on the left link at the bottom of the page.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Don't take it seriously

The privacy policy, the contact us page it's all a joke. We came up with the idea of building a crawler like this and keeping the maintenance price under $300 a month. There was only one way to prove our theory worked, to implement it in practice. So we did. Now, we find ourselves with a big crawler. We knew what it did but we didn't know how to use it. So we decided to make a joke out of it. That's the beauty of jokes, you can make them out of anything.

However, if you have a better idea, don't hesitate to contact us.

notta said,

Definitely a noob.


The only noob around here would be the morons who think that newsgroups are somehow inferior to torrents in terms of availability of downloads, speed, and privacy.

"We just want to remind people that the internet is not a place to expect privacy"
----------------------------------------

This is more of the stupid idiotic logic that people seem to have. You can compare this to a burglar robbing you, then telling you that he is just doing it to remind you how easy it is to take your money. Its just incredibly stupid logic.

And no, I don't use bit-torrent for many reasons.

private sites...no indexing done =)

no records found. Now interestingly enough, if i open it from work, there's about 15 torrents shown...

Apparently someone near me as been downloading some House... which is funny as I don't think I've seen a full episode of House in my life. Yay for Dynamic IPs!

The most disturbing part is the way they want to "allow" you to do a removal request by giving them your Facebook login info... Sounds like a clever way for them to make stupid people put a name to their IPs.

Awesome. Despite having downloaded a torrent via TPB - actually several this week - without any privacy considerations there's nothing on either of my connections.

"We have no records on you." That makes sense since I've probably changed ip's since the last time I've used it. They forgot to mention that.

ALSO, i have opened this article before and i saw other people posting that it was a joke site.

now the comments are nowhere to be found.. WHY?

Well, I'm screwed too. Oh, wait, I have dynamic IP. So it is changing a lot! :-)

Now I can see what some other guys have downloaded using the current IP adress.

And that's why private trackers exists.

Lol. Apparently I live in Conway and I've downloaded one song. I must have a VERY dynamic IP address, because that's definitely not mine.

Meph said,
Lol. Apparently I live in Conway and I've downloaded one song. I must have a VERY dynamic IP address, because that's definitely not mine.

Same here, its showing things i haven't downloaded lol

Peerblock is crap. You really think you are protected just because it says it is blocking millions of IP's?

If you don't want to get caught downloading, then don't download.

Goldfire86 said,

"Hi. We have no records on you." - Peerblock FTW?

noob. Peerblock only blocks people connecting to your IP, doesn't protect your ip from showing in the tracker, which is how they got this info.

The Dark Knight said,
Peerblock is crap. You really think you are protected just because it says it is blocking millions of IP's?

If you don't want to get caught downloading, then don't download.

I used to get cease and desist letters before using Peerblock. Seems to me that it's working quite fine.

SirEvan said,

noob. Peerblock only blocks people connecting to your IP, doesn't protect your ip from showing in the tracker, which is how they got this info.

Noob? Great insult there. Truly the work of a mastermind. Who says I'm always using public trackers? Besides, no information actually showed on this website to begin with.

Doesn't work at all, I input some IP's that I know HAVE downloaded insane amounts of data and they show up as "clear".

Either they're harvesting peoples information via their Facebook login or they're doing something nasty or then they're just fake.

MiukuMac said,
Doesn't work at all, I input some IP's that I know HAVE downloaded insane amounts of data and they show up as "clear".

Either they're harvesting peoples information via their Facebook login or they're doing something nasty or then they're just fake.

Unless the person is using absolutely no means of shielding themselves they will not show up. People using private trackers, VPN servers, proxy servers, shields etc will not be picked up by this website.

sanke1 said,
According to the website, I have downloaded plenty of warez. But I am on dynamic IP. So I don't care.

Yeah, a site like this can't be too useful give how fluid IPs are.

sanke1 said,
According to the website, I have downloaded plenty of warez. But I am on dynamic IP. So I don't care.

Your ISP has logs showing who was using a given IP at any time.

Ops. This is not good. But Lucky me. In my country nobody gives a damn about piracy that's why we don't have any music industry now Sad but true.

You have to log into Facebook to remove your IP. I think that's stupid. Way to associate someone with their IP address.

Ever wonder that if you go to the site and find out your not being tracked, you are now that you have visited the site once?

jimmyfal said,
Ever wonder that if you go to the site and find out your not being tracked, you are now that you have visited the site once?

That's the first thing I thought of too.

Redmak said,
"Hi. We have no records on you."

I do torrents, alot. I've been doing it for years too but the website says it has no records of me...