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Limewire: Is it Spyware?

written by: Radell Hunter•edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 6/27/2011

Downloading illegal music is common on the internet, but using a peer-to-peer program like Limewire to do it can have quick legal ramifications, since this program makes ISP tracing a snap.

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    Is Limewire Spyware?

    If you are big about downloading music and sharing it with others on the internet you might be tempted to use Limewire, a peer-to-peer file sharing program that is free. But while Limewire is free, using its services might cost you in the long run if you happen to share files with users that have imbedded malicious codes into their files or sent you illegally obtained music downloads.

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    Internet Service Provider Tracing

    Security threats, like spyware and malicious codes are just two of the concerns about using Limewire for music downloads. Another is the ability of a peer-to-peer file sharer being able to trace another file sharer’s internet service provider information (ISP). When such a trace takes place, the possibility of being threatened or sued by the other user can rise.

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    Not Created as Spyware

    But can Limewire be considered spyware just because its users have the potential to trace internet service providers? And what about the fact that security measures normally experienced when downloading files on protected computers is greatly reduced when using peer-to-peer programs like Limewire?

    Calling Limewire a form of spyware is probably too harsh, since the program was never meant to be abused by malicious internet users when created. However, refusing to see the potential for spyware opportunities that exist from using this program is a little naïve.


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    Not Spyware

    Limewire is not really spyware but it is not really safe either, unless you choose to only use Limewire for peer-to-peer sharing of legitimate and legal files with a known legitimate user. Sharing files only with individuals that you know do not engage in malicious coding or other spyware tactics is the only way to prevent Limewire from being a spyware hazard.

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    Precautions Required

    Limewire doesn’t have to pose a spyware threat if precautions are taken when using it. For example, if an individual desires to utilize Limewire capabilities they just need to be sure to scan all downloaded files prior to executing them. This can prevent malicious activity by other file shares and allow the Limewire legitimate user to continue to enjoy peer-to-peer file sharing.

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    Limewire and the Law

    In addition to the addressing the concerns about spyware, users need to consider the ramifications of attempting to download illegal music via Limewire, since legal law enforcement agencies are as able to trace internet service providers by those using Limewire as peer-to-peer file sharers can.