Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bradford Persistent Agent: Electric Boogaloo

I've been discussing this topic with a lot of people over the past week, and it's become something of a cash cow (for real I got 50 hits on my blog on August 6th!, which is a summer record).

Anyway, some of the issues and feelings that people have about this new program include:
  • What about Linux users? (as well as people running old operating systems)
  • How will this affect file sharing?
  • Infringement on privacy.
  • Possibly steal identity/financial information (I don't think this is likely, but I would want to know if it is possible).
  • Will this lead to SkyNet?
Personally I think this is the beginning stage of Skynet. I think that this new program raises a lot of interesting questions, and I'm sure there will be discussions about it in the Fall.


  1. I read up a little bit about it on their website.

    Pro: any lost laptop that appears on the network again can be tracked down and recovered

    Cons for us:
    1. they can easily detect and remove wireless access points
    2. They can observe our individual upload rates and detect when torrent and file-sharing is taking place. Despite the RIAA's cease on individual lawsuits, I'm sure SMCM will still be a pain in our ass about sharing and try to limit it as much as possible.
    3. They can regulate bandwidth. In other words, they can limit the amount of internets that one is able to use. Our campus bandwidth use has already been really high compared to our resources, so I foresee less internets for everybody.
    4. Big brother will be watching all the time

    I do not like

  2. That pro is hardly worth it. If someone steals your laptop, would they really be likely to go across campus and plug it into the internet and then proceed to use it?

    Here's a pro (that no one will care about):
    Emergency broadcast. This program can, I guess, be used to broadcast emergency messages, which the school is all into now apparently. I think it might be something to do with the MD gov't...

    The possibility of identity theft is small. I know the people in CTSS, and they're all good people from what I have seen. However, if one of them were not, they could most likely, quite easily obtain any information that they wish.

    If you have this program installed and, for example, you have a laptop, the school will know where you are as long as you are connected to the internet.
    How do you feel about the school knowing where you are at all times? They already know a good deal about where you have been via the OneCard system.

    I do not foresee the college limiting anyone's bandwidth who isn't using it irresponsibly. Just don't attract attention to yourself with your internet and you should be alright.

    As far as wireless is concerned, good luck getting it up and running in the first place. I think you'll have enough trouble getting your computer to work.
    Being on campus now, I can tell you that it is near impossible to get it to work and incredibly...shitty.

  3. Bradford Networks's privacy policy ( is, essentially: if you give us personal information, we will share it with others, who will spam you. That seems to apply to people who personally buy a Bradford product, but I don't like what it says about their regard for privacy.

  4. Anonymous I think you really misread their privacy policy. They don't require any sort of contact information, and will only use it to send you emails about other Bradford products. I can't imagine a company like this harvesting emails for spam anyway.

  5. Just FYI, as an IT network manager who runs Bradford Networks, you cannot limit bandwith usage with their products.