Website Links House of Commons IP Addresses to BitTorrent Downloads

TorrentFreak reports on a Pirate Party of Canada finding that links BitTorrent downloads to IP addresses assigned to the House of Commons. Similar findings using the site have occurred in France and the United States. The findings raise questions about possible infringement and – given questions about the reliability of the data – using IP addresses in infringement claims or as the basis to issue warnings that can lead to loss of Internet services.  


  1. My letter to my MP
    Dear Member of Parliament,

    As a supporter of impeding legislation on changes to Canada’s copyright laws I would like you to explain how after the passing of Bill C-32 the RCMP or other enforcement body (including disciplinary actions normally employed within the public service) will deal with copyright violations that occur at the house of Commons.

    As you may know, some IP addresses that resolve to the Canadian house of Commons have been positively correlated with alleged copyright infringing activities including downloading music, movies and books (please see for a list of house of Commons IP addresses and file names that have been downloaded).

    After Bill C-32 becomes law, will the Government of Canada receive warnings from its ISP and after sufficient warnings will lose Internet services?

    Will the employees or members of Parliament responsible for this infringing activity be charged, fined and, perhaps, disciplined for their illicit acquisitions?

    I think it should be prudent that a policy to publicly identify house members who are associated, either directly or indirectly as a result of their staff’s actions, with infringing activity be proactively developed and shared with Canadians. We want to know that punishment for this type of lawless behaviour by members of Parliament or their staff will be equally applied. Canadians don’t expect our public servants to be held to a higher standard; however we expect that standard to be enforced regardless of how it might affect the government, opposition parties or their employees.

    I know with tools like the IP address tracking of bittorrent downloaders found at, Canadians will be vigilant to monitor and report any misdeeds whose source is the house of Commons IP addresses.


  2. “Birds do it. Bees do it. Even educated fleas do it…”
    Huh. One of the items was a book on fish biology. Interesting topic.

    I totally agree with Travis…

    “In order for the internet to be free of copyright infringement, we must give up our right to privacy. It’s not worth the trade-off.”

  3. So, Just Because It’s a Bit Torrent….
    Why is it automatically infringing?

    Public domain stuff is torrented.
    GPL stuff is torrented.
    Creative Commons stuff is torrented (CBC uses these torrents frequently)

    So if it’s a torrent, we’re automatically guilty of something?

    Secondly, why the hell is the torrent people who are SUPPOSED to be making things anonymous, logging IP addresses?

  4. Isn’t it obvious, Gregg?
    Gregg obviously didn’t look to see what files were downloaded by House of Commons staffers. None of it was public domain, GPL, creative commons, etc.

    Why are the torrent people logging? To make an obvious point, that’s why. What, you can’t see it?

    If pro-copyright organizations deny downloading anything via bittorrent, they’re saying point blank that the IP information is inaccurate. If it’s so inaccurate, then why are judges allowing it to be presented and accepted as if it were hard evidence? If organizations do not deny it, then their just as guilty as everyone else who download copyrighted material, in which case any and all laws applied to citizens should be equally applied to those in those organizations, such as the Canadian government. History shows it’s a dangerous thing to allow our representatives to believe they are above the people they’re supposed to be representing.

  5. Hi Loki
    Yeah, I did look to see and there’s a few… but seems to me there was something to “tip them off” to certain addresses to start the ball rolling. The IP range of parliament is pretty big (I fight forum spam and there’s a LOT of infected computers in our government that they LOVE to deny there’s anything wrong)


  6. @Gregg
    “I fight forum spam and there’s a LOT of infected computers in our government that they LOVE to deny there’s anything wrong”

    You hit it on the head right here. It just points to the fact that an IP address is simply not reliable by itself. It certainly should not be able to stand as the sole evidence in a court case or any other sort of litigation.

  7. …”something to tip them off”

    Not sure if you mean the collection of the data (IP address and torrent name), or the analysis of the data. Collection is simply joining a swarm and harvesting data from the torrent trackers and DHT. Yes, there will be false IP’s in this data, with the exact same error rate that is used in “evidence” for the court cases.
    For analysis, it is quite easy to find assigned IP ranges from the ARIN data. Follow the links in the article to get started.

    There is another factor that might make this quite difficult to track down. Many Canadian Government employee laptops are “locked down” so the only way they can route to anywhere is forced through a VPN. If the IP addresses detected by YouHaveDownloaded are egress points for these VPN connections, it might very well be impossible (depending on log levels) for the IT people to narrow it down to location, never mind a single “client”.


    for the final question/challenge dude bets $1337, Alex says “that’s an interesting number”.

    on the topic of numbers, peerblock…, when I run this program I do not see any changes in transfer speeds, maybe less seeds/peers however the speeds are not effected.,& the endgame I have very limited hours when peerblock is active. Nothing wrong with the program I just forget. also not knowing this software/not reading faq b4 I post is bad (sorry Mr. Geist).

    Anyway, will Peerblock keep users off this evil list or will IP’s still get logged thru DHT? Just a guess that this list will hit the open trackers grab the data/drop to db. Will they connect to the user for more details? I’m sure if I research they only want IP and call it a day,

    Peerblock blocks huge volumes of ip’s that are known .gov .edu etc, target media, law, city, utility,etc.

    False IP’s or the normal, open wireless cafe aside, how could one detect flooding, or feeding false date to the trackers?

    I am aware that target attacks are bad, just asking how they could filter the good/bad ip’s,

    One more note since it’s been 8 months since my last post… this is all the same old IP collection, only change is now its posted for the end user in a searchable db?

    Back in the bbs/c64/300baud modem days only the sysop knows what each member posts/uploads/downloads (user settings excluded). that said its amazing how many fingerprints everyone makes and he amount of ppl that have access to that information.

    uTorrent – maps, that info was general knowledge but you needed some skills to access it, now everything is 1 click away. finding stuff and access to it is not the skill anymore, now its just having the “light bulb/first thought/keyword” to get started.

    Those with the power to annoy have the power to destroy.
    it’s not a mood if she is always in it.
    define “normal”.

  9. Shawn Vulliez says:

    Here’s some more information!
    Here’s an exhaustive argument against intellectual property:

    Here’s a breakdown of why copyright is unenforceable without violating privacy:


  10. Room 350-N of Centre Block is also home to the Press Gallery. Members are responsible for their own computers ( Section/English Main Pages/handbook.htm)

    Not saying that the IPs are part of that allocation, however to say, without further information, that those IPs are used by MPs or their staff may not be correct; all that you can say is that they are assigned within the block allocated to the HoC.