Warner Bros. UK offers internship to spy on BitTorrent users

Warner Bros. UK is offering an internship to “IT literate” students that requires them to spy on fellow file-sharers. The intern will have to maintain accounts on private BitTorrent sites, as well as procure new accounts, in order to supply Warner Bros. UK with information on how that whole “world” works. Not a bad idea from Warner’s perspective.

The internship, which lasts one year, has students running around the various dark alleyways of the Internet: private BitTorrent sites, IRC, you name it. How one kid is going to keep an eye on all of that is beyond me, but you get the feeling that Warner Bros. just wants as much low level intel as it can get.

This is a paid internship, with the student taking home around $26,000 for his troubles. You also have to be studying an IT-related field; you can’t be a art history major and apply. That does’t make sense to me at all: if you’re Warner Bros. UK, why would you want to limit your potential talent pool only to IT guys? Who’s to say the kid who’s studying Chinese history doesn’t know his way around the Internet and computers?

Here’s the full job description:

During the 12 month internship, duties will include: monitoring local Internet forums and IRC for pirated WB and NBCU content and in order to gather information on pirate sites, pirate groups and other pirate activities; finding new and maintaining existing accounts on private sites; scanning for links to hosted pirated WB and NBCU content and using tools to issue takedown requests; maintaining and developing bots for Internet link scanning system (training provided); preparing sending of infringement notices and logging feedback; performing trap purchases of pirated product and logging results; inputting pirate hard goods data and other intelligence into the forensics database; selecting local keywords and submitting local filenames for monitoring and countermeasure campaigns and periodically producing research documents on piracy related technological developments. Various training will be provided.

I’ve seen worse ideas from these companies—at least Warner is trying to connect with the youth on some level rather than wishing they would all just magically disappear. Get inside their heads, so to speak.