File sharing not blocked at CSUN

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Illegal file sharing of copyrighted material by students on the campus network is not blocked by CSUN, according to an Information Technology Resources official.

“I don’t think (ITR) has the manpower to find one or two people,” said Al Arboleda, ITR information security officer, regarding students who use the campus network to download files illegally.

Arboleda said file sharing takes a large amount of bandwidth, which causes the CSUN network to run more slowly when someone is downloading.

By restricting the bandwidth of the network, ITR attempts to discourage students who are illegally downloading through the campus network.

“(CSUN) does not monitor or block certain sites,” said Sean Goggin, a student and manager in Residential Computing Resources at the dorms.

Goggin is also a technician for the RCR and oversees other technicians in performing maintenance for Student Housing’s administrative and student computers.

Some of the maintenance duties performed by technicians include virus scans, installation of hardware and software, and maintenance requests from student residents.

According to Arboleda, CSUN does not block certain sites because there is no way to determine whether a student is downloading legally or illegally on the Internet.

When ITR monitors the network, they do not look at what a student is doing on the network, but rather monitor how much network space a student uses, he also said. Arboleda said ITR decreases the size of bandwidth when file sharing is detected on the campus network.

Once the computer is located on the network, an investigation into whether downloads were legally attained will occur, Arboleda said. If students downloaded illegally, their access into the CSUN network would be suspended, he said.

“I’m not going to spend $15 on a Lil Jon CD, if I only like one song,” said Adam Bell, an accounting major.

Bell said he keeps his downloads to a minimum of ten songs a month. He said he has never downloaded on campus or through the campus network.

“It would be too dangerous,” he said. “I don’t want to get kicked out of school for downloading some crappy music.”

Corey Benschop, music major, said he burns CDs from friends more often then he downloads music. But when he downloads he uses a program called Ares, a free peer-to-peer download program.

“As a musician, it’s contradictory for me to download music,” Benschop said. “But if I go to a show or something, I’ll buy a CD at the (merchandise) table.”

Benschop, who is a member of a band named Stereo Therapy, said he is aware of the affect free peer-to-peer networks will have on the success of his band.

“It’s going to be hard to be successful now because of the Internet,” he said. “But what can you do?”

According to Arboleda, between 10 and 12 students will be caught downloading illegally through peer-to-peer, file-sharing programs each semester.

Rhoda Nazanin, junior history major, uses a free version of LimeWire, a peer-to-peer program that allows its users access to download copyrighted material for free, but offers the option to pay for added access.

“I just can’t afford (CDs) as a broke college kid,” she said.

Nazanin, who plays the piano and guitar, said musicians should be aware of the downloading issue, and expects people would find ways to download music for free.

Mary-Alexandra can be reached at city@csun.edu.