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.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Apple's Mac App Store hits 100 million download mark

Next Story

Windows Phone Marketplace reaches 45,000 apps

73 Comments

View more comments

private sites...no indexing done =)

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

"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.

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.

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.

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....

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

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.

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!!

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.

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.

Commenting is disabled on this article.