I rent out my room to a lodger and would like to give him access to my wireless internet connection. I'm worried that he might download illegal material, and that I'll run into problems after he's gone. Is there any way to give him access while at same time preventing illegal activity?
I presume you're referring to file-sharing. After all, if you're concerned about your lodger engaging in other sorts of "illegal activity" then you shouldn't have him living in your house!
With regard to copyright infringement, your legal position should actually be quite strong: a recent court ruling found that the law doesn't hold broadband subscribers liable for uploads and downloads that they haven't explicitly authorized. This isn't a binding judgment, though, so for now it's understandable that you'd wish to err on the side of caution.
Unfortunately, there isn't much you can practically do to prevent your lodger from sharing copyright material, should he so wish. Normally, internet filtering would be a job for parental control software, but such tools run locally on the PC, and I doubt your lodger would take kindly to your installing a website blocker on his laptop.
Depending on what sort of router you have, it might have an option to block BitTorrent transfers. Such settings aren't foolproof: if someone is determined to share files, they can use encryption and tunneling to sneak their traffic through. But if your router has such an option then it would do no harm to enable it. Doing so would send a message that you don't endorse file-sharing, and if it prompted your lodger to use encryption then that would at least reduce the likelihood of him being caught.
If you really want to lock down your internet connection, you'll need more sophisticated hardware. If you have a spare PC, for example, you could install the free IPCop Linux firewall on it (www. ipcop.org) and use it in conjunction with the free L7 Filter that identifies and blocks peer-to-peer traffic (http:// l7- filter.sourceforge.n et). Clearly, though, this is a big, complex project.
Source of Information : PC Pro -April 2011
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