Earlier this year, the IT department (called CATs) at my university decided it was time to crack down. They forced folks with Windows (and maybe Mac) laptops to install a program to monitor thier access to the wireless network.
I’m guessing that having the normal IT level of spying control wasn’t enough. Those of us smart enough to use tools like HTTPSEverywhere or TOR or even a half-decent torrent client can encrypt our data. But any program living on your machine could get at it before it was encrypted.
Why were such measures necessary? The rationale was those bad and crazy bittorrent folks. Ooooh. Ahh. Wave the “pirate flag” and get everyone to install your crapware on their computers.
This policy went into effect in August. It’s now the end of October, plenty of time for the pipes of the Intarwebs to be cleaned of those nasty pirates using up all the bandwidth.
At least, until today.
Recently, the university has been experiencing significant slow downs in the speed of our Internet connection. After further investigation, it seems that increased use of social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace, and also video streaming websites such as YouTube have contributed to this problem.
Solutions to improve the situation are currently being discussed.
Oh. Now it’s YouTube. (And presumably Netflix.) And those eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil Social Networking sites with the MyBook and the FaceSpace with the pictures of the kegging and the drinking.
I mean, really? Facebook is putting a bandwidth strain on them? Sure, the Flash interface for Backyard Monsters spikes my CPU, but not my bandwidth. I just don’t get how these sites are crippling an entire university network.
This is assuming that it really is crippling an entire university network. A much more plausible theory is that the CATs team is cleaning up “undesirable” sites. Good luck with that, yo. The students have heard of 3g networks, even if you haven’t.
But let’s presume that CATs isn’t engaged in some kind of craptastic (and inefficient) cleansing of the ‘net to preserve the innocence of our new students. Let’s presume that it’s a real problem.
Maybe the vaunted IT folks at Wright State could have bothered to use arcane intarweb incantations, such as Google “bandwidth limiting QOS router”. Which would, of course, solve the damn problem without restricting anyone’s web browsing.