Finding out if renter downloads illegal sites

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by SteveF, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. SteveF

    SteveF Serious Server Member

    Maybe someone can help me. How do I find out if my renter downloads illegal sites or not via my router The relationship is not the greatest between us and here in Canada all laws favor the renters. They are downloading large amount of data regularly and the Tenant and Labor Board, when I talked to them, said that since we did not have any stipulation about the particular usage of the Internet at the beginning of the rent, I am obligated to provide unlimited Internet access. At the beginning of the rental period we told them that illegal sites are not permitted but the rule is a rule only if it is enforceable. Practically they have unlimited access and I do not know what they are downloading. Any way of finding out what sites they are visiting and what possibly they are downloading?

    I want to avoid potential problem later if they downloaded illegal stuff and later it comes back and bites me because it went through my router's IP.

    Thanks for your help in advance.

  2. rs232

    rs232 Network Guru Member

    I think you could use web usage for your aim BUT mind you this might breach privacy rules which are more important than piracy (based on the country). I have tennants too as and have warned them over piracy and illigal sites. My approach consists in three steps:

    1) Be part of them not against them
    2) I indirectly suggested them to install peerblock to avoid problems any ways
    3) Occasionally remind them that they are fully responsible for what they watch/download/upload

    The above approach seems to be working so far. If it doesn't and you are seriously concerned consider giving the notice period and get somebody else in.

  3. gfunkdave

    gfunkdave LI Guru Member

    I can't fathom that Canadian law would permit someone to do illegal things simply because they're not forbidden in a lease. Does this mean that I could rent an apartment from you and set up a meth lab in it, as long as the lease doesn't stipulate "no meth labs"?
  4. RMerlin

    RMerlin Network Guru Member

    The problem here is if the Internet connection is billed to the name of the landlord, then HE is responsible for any illegal activities on the Internet connection - since technically it belongs to him, not to the renter.

    This is a totally separate issue from the fact that you have to specify if the Internet connection provides unlimited monthly traffic, or has a quota attached to it. Has nothing to do with whether the downloaded content is legal or not - illegal remains illegal no matter what.

    Doesn't Tomato have a feature that lets you see a list of visited websites, or was it just some specific variant that had it? Might not help with torrents, but could help at least in seeing if they visit The Pirate Bay on a daily basis or something.
  5. eahm

    eahm LI Guru Member

  6. SteveF

    SteveF Serious Server Member

    rs232, thanks for the advice. You are assuming reasonable people. One of my tenant is fine but the other one is very suspicious, has a mean streak and from the get go he seemed like had a chip on his shoulder. They are student and some of them think they are hotshots and they know everything. We just did not hit it right from the getgo. The spectrum is wide as far as human behavior is concerned. Since they are students, to evict this guy may take a bit of process here with the Landlord and Tenant Board. We are in Canada here and the majority of the laws favor the renters. They will be here only until mid-April, so it is not a big deal, we manage.

    Thanks for your post.

  7. SteveF

    SteveF Serious Server Member

    Actually, gfunkdave that is basically the case. The meth lab would be too far out so they could not defend it. But in this case the LTB (Landlord and Tenant Board) person I talked to said to me that if they download 20 GB of data each every day, I should get a bigger service because it was not spelled out at the beginning of the tenancy. Remember, my monthly download is capped right now at 80 GB. I also talked to my ISP and they were not very sure what is legal and what is illegal. Right now it is illegal to download keyed movies but not protected movies are OK to download and MP3 music is also OK to download. As I said, in Canada the law is very biased towards the renter. The meth lab is illegal but the downloading of movies and files....well, it is in the gray area in Canada. Everybody I talk to tells me that. I even talked to the College IT manager and he said it is basically illegal as far as certain categories are concerned but the law is not clear and they let the students download movies and MP3 files. I asked him how about hogging the bandwidth - a few guys could tie up the network. He said that they have such a fat pipe that hogging the bandwidth is not an issue.

    This is where we are here in Canada.

  8. SteveF

    SteveF Serious Server Member

    RMerlin, you are absolutely correct. Two issues are here on the table. The illegality and the exceeding my monthly quota because of their excess activities. See my post to gfunkdave above:

    As far as torrent goes, it is very difficult to fight it. It is felt that I am chasing him and he is always ahead of me. In the past I throttled him down and that helped, he has not been doing it since. But there are other ways of downloading 5-6 GB a day per student. I tell you, these two students are addicted to the Internet, more precisely the unproductive side of it. I maybe the first to admit that I may be addicted to the Internet as well but I try to create some meaningful results or learn something new. They are not going to learn productive stuff with file-sharing except how to create new schemes to do.....another one or two movie download or the download of a few dozen MP3 files.

    Thanks for your comment.

  9. koitsu

    koitsu Network Guru Member

    And thus the proper, best solution becomes evident: as a landlord, stop providing free Internet access to your renters. Instead, make them get service independently, thus each renter becoming responsible for their own activities. When lease renewals come up, provide them a copy of the lease that has the "free Internet" clauses completely removed. Once they sign, yank/shut off their port (if it's Ethernet) and refer them to the lease. If you're offering wireless, then surely you have some access restrictions set up already and I'd rather not get into the madness that is attempted management of who has access to your wireless network. (I believe the easiest way for you to control this at a wide level is through 802.1X; passphrases do not suffice, nor does MAC allow/deny filtering. If I remember right, 802.1X means you can give each resident a key and to reject their access you remove their key from the router. This is how a lot of enterprise environments work).

    My advice: stop trying to solve social problems with technology. It doesn't work. It never works. It's akin to parents demanding software or routers that filter what websites their children can access, rather than actually taking on the responsibility as a parent and being with their children when using the Internet. As a landlord you can't do that with your tenants, but you also have no indefinite responsibility to provide free Internet access to them. For what it's worth, I've rented [flats] all my life and I've never, ever looked at "free Internet access" as a perk to living somewhere. The last apartment complex I was in (was there for 7 years) did offer free Internet access, which they removed/disabled after about a year because they kept having people abusing it or doing questionable things with it. I remember when Apple (more specifically Steve Jobs), on their first-gen iPods, used to have some little label that said something to the effect of "piracy is a social problem, not a technological one; please use this device responsibly".

    And I sure as hell wouldn't want to live at a place where I know my landlord is "spying" on my Internet traffic. Step back for a moment and think about the implications of such (specifically, think about the effects of word-of-mouth -- "yeah, I used to live there, until I found out my landlord was spying on what sites I was visiting!" "Oh really? Wow, I won't be living there, that's for sure!" -- how are you going to pay the property mortgage if nobody rents there due to those actions?)
  10. SteveF

    SteveF Serious Server Member

    Koitsu, I agree with you 100%. The situation here is a bit different but I am not saying it because I disagree with you. These two renters are short term students and they need Internet for home works, blah blah blah. They can not get their own Internet because they have to commit for at least a year and after 4-8 months they most likely move on. I have no problem providing Internet but the rules have to be spelled out at the getgo airtight. This is what we missed doing. This is our first experience with renting and I chalk it up against our learning experience. They will be here until mid-April and then new one(s) may come in (unless we decide to take a breather). My concern is that if we handle this as longtime renters we will not have a renter at all. It is a certain advantage that we do not have a lease, although they signed a document listing our defined rules. The Internet was missing.

    Remember, I am not the one insisting on providing Internet. They are. This is a big headache for me because these folks are basically irresponsible. They do not want to pay for it but want to use the services without rules or with minimal rules. As you say, solving social problems with technology, when the underlying problem is that people want to get free handouts. Canada is ahead of the US but you guys are catching up..

    Thanks for your points, they are well taken.

  11. SteveF

    SteveF Serious Server Member

  12. RMerlin

    RMerlin Network Guru Member

  13. SteveF

    SteveF Serious Server Member

    I talked to Taksavvy. They use Bell wiring and both Teksavvy and Bell told me that the wiring is only good for 512 Kbps, Bell said they might unofficially give us 5 Mbps but they can not guarantee. Teksavvy do not even offered that. Bell said that we are too far from the CO. We are talking about telephone line, which is not even brought into my house from the junction box, so that is another hassle or hurdle. Apart from Bell satellite I do not have much choice here other than Cogeco.
  14. gfunkdave

    gfunkdave LI Guru Member

    You could also just set a QOS policy to force torrenting to a crawl. This is what the current Toastman versions do. Check my post somewhere where he replied with the command string to implement the updated QOS.
  15. SteveF

    SteveF Serious Server Member

    Yeah, I did this before. I placed his 'from IP' on the top of the QoS Classification and used the Crawl Class. This really slowed him down and he has not done any P2P since. If I recall it was suggested by Monk E. Boy.
  16. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek LI Guru Member

    I renamed my lowest priority QOS class to "freeloader" and gave it an allocation of 1% - in comparison, "crawl" gets a whopping 5%:). When appropriate, I allocate specific MAC address to the freeloader class. Fortunately, it's a very rare occurrence.

    My other recommendation would be to contact the writers of "The Big Bang Theory" and ask them for a copy of Sheldon's Room-mate Agreement :D
  17. SteveF

    SteveF Serious Server Member

    I assume the 1% is for outbound. Is it at the bottom of the classes? Can you show a sample please? Thanks in advance.
  18. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek LI Guru Member

    1% inbound and outbound. My main production router is running a stable release of Toastman which doesn't have the Tiomo/Porter enhancements to inbound QoS, and I can't readily upgrade without inconveniencing multiple paying customers.

    I tried inserting a screenshot here, but got a "message too long" error, so here's a quick cut & paste...

    Outbound Rates / Limits
    Max Bandwidth Limit 4327 kbit/s (Set to measured bandwidth less 15-30%)
    Service 5% 90% 216 - 3894 kbit/s
    premium 37% 70% 1,600 - 3029 kbit/s
    Media 7% 20% 302 - 865 kbit/s
    Remote 5% 10% 216 - 433 kbit/s
    WWW 25% 80% 1,081 - 3462 kbit/s
    Mail 5% 40% 216 - 1731 kbit/s
    Messenger 5% 10% 216 - 433 kbit/s
    FileXfer 5% 20% 216 - 865 kbit/s
    Crawl 5% 10% 216 - 433 kbit/s
    Freeloader 1% 1% 43 - 43 kbit/s
    Inbound Class Limits
    Max Available
    Bandwidth (this is NOT
    an overall limit!)
    33737 kbit/s (Set to measured bandwidth less 15-30%)
    Service 90% 30,363 kbit/s
    premium 70% 23,615 kbit/s
    Media 20% 6,747 kbit/s
    Remote 10% 3,373 kbit/s
    WWW 80% 26,989 kbit/s
    Mail 40% 13,494 kbit/s
    Messenger 10% 3,373 kbit/s
    FileXfer 20% 6,747 kbit/s
    Crawl 10% 3,373 kbit/s
    Freeloader 1% 337 kbit/s
  19. SteveF

    SteveF Serious Server Member

    mvsgeek, thanks for showing your Basic Settings. The Freeloader class is used with IP/MAC at the beginning so that client is always throttled down, or you have a large number of rules and use it at the end, kind of falling through to that level? My experience is that if you used the second method, then he may always find another port and set that port and have his P2P running through that port. The second method is not necessarily foolproof. The disadvantage of the first method is the he is always throttled down for any operation and that can be annoying to him. Any comment?
  20. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek LI Guru Member

    First method - Freeloader MAC address rule goes close to the top, right behind service and premium rules (premium applies only to a single MAC address for a very special customer;)). As for throttling him down being a disadvantage, I respectfully disagree - the whole purpose is to annoy him - when he gets sufficiently annoyed, perhaps he'll pay his bill:D
  21. SteveF

    SteveF Serious Server Member

    I get your point. However, he will be throttled down on all of his operation not just on P2P. This will include browsing, VoIP, Skype, normal file transfer, etc. In my case, as I have said earlier, I am obligated to provide Internet to the two students, so they can do their homework. In the process they may abuse the privileges. In any case, I did this once and he has not been doing P2P since. I removed the rule but I can put it back anytime I have to.


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