FOLLOW UP TO LAST POST

So I e-mailed the guy that knew about the all the network traffic problems last night. He response was an eye-opener. I’m no network engineer, but what he told me was surprising. Apparently, St. John’s is on an unswitched network. Using any number of publicly and free software tools, you can monitor all the internet traffic on our network. He said it’s perfectly legal to do so since you’re not going in and rooting around inside anyone’s computer. You’re simply analyzing the data that’s coming over the network.

Well, I tried this right away. I went to download.com, typed in “network sniffer”, closed my eyes and picked the first program my finger pointed to. In about ten minutes I was able to see what everyone was doing on Internet in my residence. Some people were using MSN Messenger, others were using Outlook, and most everybody was surfing the net. Here’s the interesting thing, I was able to also see what sites they were visiting.

To my dismay, at first everyone was visiting really innocent and productive sites, eg. Yahoo mail, Hotmail, NY Post online, TSN, UBC departmental sites, UBC student services, etc. Where was the porn? Where were the racy sites? I began to get bummed out. I couldn’t be the only pervert in St. John’s! I suddenly became very conscious of what sites I had visited recently.

Undeterred, I continued to monitor our network. About 15 min. later, everyone was still doing completely productive surfing. Then, it happened, two IPs on the network began listing porno sites as activity. Yes! I am not alone! Ha ha ha…

The lucky thing is that you can’t match the IP to exact room numbers. I’m not sure who has that list, I don’t think it’s public. Nonetheless, it’s a bit weird knowing anyone can see what other people are doing over the network.

Ok, I gotta go read some stuff. Take care.

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