BitTorrent [the company] has recently released an interesting new sync tool [link]. It is a peer to peer tool that allows users to sync files over multiple machines over the internet.
This seemed a very interesting development until somebody found something interesting.
After digging around in some wireshark logs of my btsync setup I found
that btsync calls home to a server named: www.usyncapp.com.
I believe this is to gather statistics on which version is running where
on what platform and so on. Especially important during the testing
period I guess. Is the software still going to be doing this when it is
final? And what info are you saving for how long and what purposes?
Then somebody claiming to be from BitTorrent admitted this -
Hi, Christian here from BitTorrent.
"Sync was built for secure sharing. While we have general statistics
about the app, we don’t have any access to private information.
The client reports back anonymous usage statistics in the same way our
other clients do. Sync uses this call to check if there’s a new build
available. This call also contains some anonymous statistics that allow
us to understand how Sync performs, and how it’s being used; data
transferred directly, through relay, size of folders, and number of
This is the only information we collect, and we left it open
intentionally – so that people could see the data we’re collecting. That
way, it can be easily verified that we don’t have access to any private
information. Read more here: http://forum.bittorrent.com/topic/17002-btsync-calling-home/ [bittorrent.com] "
Some users are annoyed that BitTorrent did not admit this up front and warn that people should use this tool at their own risk. There has been muttering about spyware and rootkits.