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Friday, September 02, 2005

Penn starts tracking its students

Penn is now tracking students by their computer. Basically, every
network card has a unique ID called a MAC address. When they connect
you in to the network, they send you to
, where you type in your PennKey and password and it links this to your
MAC address. In other words, for a network card to access Penn's
network, it has to be associated with a single person's name. According
to the ITA I talked to, the official reason is to find out whose
computer is infected with a virus to more easily get them fixed, but the
real reason is to be able to respond to RIAA lawsuits. This would seem
to make sense to me, as the RIAA can't have been happy with the dropping
of the recent Penn filesharing cases, and this would seem to solve the
problem of the past few lawsuits--that the IP couldn't be traced to an
individual computer.
Not that I care, given my lack of illicit activity, but this would seem
to be bad news for most students.


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