BBC To Deploy Detection Vans To Snoop On Internet Users

product_bucket writes: The BBC has been given permission to use a new technology to detect users of the iPlayer who do not hold a TV license. Researchers at University College London have apparently developed a method to identify specially crafted “packets” of data over an encrypted Wi-Fi link without needing to break the underlying encryption itself. TV Licensing (the fee-collecting arm of the BBC) has said the practice is under regular scrutiny by independent regulators, but declined to elaborate on how the technique works. Dr Miguel Rio, a computer network expert who helped to oversee the doctoral thesis, said: “They actually don’t need to decrypt traffic, because they can already see the packets. They have control over the iPlayer, so they can ensure that it sends packets at a specific size, and match them up. They could also use directional antennae to ensure they are viewing the Wi-Fi operating within your property.” The BBC has been given such authority through the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.


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