If you don’t know what “Bittorent” is, then I’ll enlighten you what this system is and how it works. Basically, Bittorent is a peer-to-peer file transfer system where individuals can download files from a system of computers on the Internet. Instead of downloading all the data for a desired file from a single file server, you are downloading bits and pieces of that file from multiple computers on the Internet that have it on their individual hard drives. Any computer that has the Bittorent application running can potentially be a machine that “serves” bits of these files to others on the Internet (and it will definitely slow down your Internet connection). So when you are downloading files using Bittorent, your machine is also acting as a server for others to download files from.
The primary use of Bittorent, is to share copyrighted music, video, and software application files, and this is done illegally. So, you’re downloading music and movie files illegally, cracked software applications, etc.
Most people feel safe in using Bittorent, since they think they are anonymous on the Bittorent system. This is a wrong assumption. For example, whenever you visit a web site, the web server you are hitting knows exactly what IP address you are making your connection to the Internet from. Therefore, the web server knows who your Internet Service Provider is and basically can find out your home address through your provider if requested. Whether you make your Internet connection via cable modem, DSL, or modem dialup, a web server records your unique IP address and that can easily be traced back to you.
This works the same for the Bittorent system. An authority could add a feed to the Bittorent system and record all IP addresses that attempted to use that feed to download an illegal movie or video file. Everything is recorded and tracked, so there is absolutely no anonymity with using Bittorent. Some people think they can use add-on utilities such as “Peer Guardian” or other means of trying to protect themselves, but in reality those measures don’t work. In fact, it has been reported that some individuals that constantly download movie and music files have received letters from their ISPs with harsh warnings, and have been fined or taken to court. At the very least, their cable connection was terminated.
Remember, with the Internet anything can be tracked and recorded, and you are not anonymous. The safest bet is to stay away from tools like Bittorent and operate legally or less conspicuously. If you want to use Bittorent or have been using Bittorent for years without getting caught, then you are either very lucky or living dangerously (or both).