Overview of Problem: ISPs around the country have implemented a Copyright Alert System (CAS) to alert users when the ISP has received reports that movies or TV programs were pirated via P2P networks. Many recipients of these alerts are parents that want to have a downloadable tool to prevent or warn of access to pirate websites. However no centralized list of pirate sites exists.
The students will determine how to create, host, and distribute a centralized pirate site list. They will also determine how to create a scoring system since this is not a binary problem – there are many degrees of how much infringing content may be on a site. End users of the list should be able to use this scoring to make their own decisions on what to do, just like a spam or malware list. Once a list is created, it can be used by browser toolbars, email filters, security software, and more. This list shall be hosted on a website developed by students and on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure. The list should be designed so that it can be regularly updated and that distribution to users of the list is automatic and occurs via standard interfaces/APIs.
The students will then take the list and develop a web browser toolbar in at least one browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc.). This toolbar will also be hosted and available for download, and preferably will be open source. It should present a menu to end users for how to configure its application, with the defaults determined by the students. There must also be a mechanism to capture user feedback, especially if they want to “vote” to indicate a site flagged as mostly infringing (pirate) should not be categorized as such.
Information on Prior Work / Other Information: Students should study how anti-spam and anti-malware tools work. For example, a centralized and open malware list is maintained by stopbadware.org and a spam list is maintained by Spamhaus. Similar list construction, formatting, and distribution techniques are likely.
Resources Needed to Complete Work: Work with Comcast to determine how to design & create a centralized piracy list and build relevant APIs, work with them to create a domain to host the site and distribute the list using Amazon Web Services (AWS), and develop reporting / analytics on the site. In addition, create a working and downloadable prototype web browser toolbar that uses this list and has an end user configuration interface for adjusting how to use the list (block site, warning only, turn off, etc.). Maximum budget for AWS hosting and other development costs of $25,000.