Virgin Media is testing new technology that can automatically detect if customers are using their broadband connection to illegally download copyrighted files.
According to The Times, the internet service provider is currently trialling ‘deep packet inspection’, a system that categorises all the data passing through a connection. File sharing activity is more deeply scrutinised and supposedly checked against a database of music (and possibly films).
The technology is reportedly being provided to Virgin by a firm called Detica, which claims it can categorise different media within seconds.
A Virgin Media spokesman told The Times that for the moment the technology was not being used to identify filesharers, just to measure the amount of illegal downloading that goes on.
“The technology hasn’t been designed for that purpose. The IP information is discarded. It allows us to understand the exact nature of unlawful traffic on our network,” he said.