virgin_thomas_090303DeftsExpertWitnessReport[1] - Capitol...

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Capitol v. Thomas Expert witness report by Dr. Yongdae Kim, Ph.D. March 3, 2009 1 Overview This report addresses the overall problem of identifying computers remotely through the Inter- net, the nature and extent of material errors in the expert witness report and testimony of plaintiff expert witness Dr. Jacobson, the nature and extent of inconsistencies in the evidence provided by MediaSentry, and of alternate explanations for evidence presented by the plaintiff. All these issues will be addressed in my testimony. 2 Alternative explanations for evidence presented at the trial 2.1 Summary The FastTrack network, and the KaZaA software in particular, presents a large unknown to the academic community. There have been very few studies of the network, the behavior of its users, and the security of the underlying protocols. Moreover, the availability of “custom” (altered) KaZaA clients such as KaZaA Lite [2] suggests that it is possible to design a custom FastTrack client that could affect the functionality of the network in unpredictable ways. Combined with the lack of rigor and opacity of MediaSentry’s methods, the ability to track the activity of an individual computer participating in the network is uncertain. There are many alternative explanations that conflict with MediaSentry’s claim of a particular computer being involved in copyright infringe- ment, including Internet misconfiguration and/or instability, malicious activity of other Internet users or providers, malicious activity by software installed on the defendant’s computer, or poten- tial faults in MediaSentry’s information-gathering software and a lack of error checking controls. 2.2 Existing knowledge about the KaZaA network In terms of measurement, peer-to-peer (P2P) technology is relatively new, and not a great deal of information exists about the specific behavior of any given network. Even less is known about KaZaA than other networks since the software and protocols are entirely proprietary. More recent protocols have also cooled any academic interest in the FastTrack network. With the exception of 1
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a few studies [16, 17] consulted for this report, not much information exists about the FastTrack network, the behavior of its users, or the KaZaA Media Desktop software. Therefore, making scientifically-based statements about the behavior of a particular user of the FastTrack network is difficult to impossible. MediaSentry claims to have much experience in identifying individual committing copyright infringement. However, they insist that their methods are proprietary and thus cannot be subject to scrutiny by an impartial third party. No academic studies exist of their internal investigative techniques, methods, software, data collection practices, or even employee training in retaining collected data in a way that would allow for it to be used as evidence at a trial. While this re- port will address specific methodology questions at a later time, it suffices to say for the moment
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2009 for the course 0501 CrimJust taught by Professor Honeynet during the Spring '09 term at RIT.

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virgin_thomas_090303DeftsExpertWitnessReport[1] - Capitol...

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