Virgin Media is to begin trials of CView, a DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) tool which will monitor P2P traffic over its broadband for any illicit activity.

Before we jump to conclusions that this is the new Phorm, it has to be noted that the technology isn't to identify copyright infringers, more to collate data about just how serious a problem the file-sharing of copyrighted material is over the Virgin Media broadband network.

Non-intrusive

"Understanding how consumer behaviour is changing will be an important requirement of Virgin Media's upcoming music offering and, should they become law, the Government's legislative proposals will also require measurement of the level of copyright infringement on ISPs' networks," said Jon James, Executive Director of Broadband at Virgin Media about the trial.

"Detica's CView technology potentially offers a non-intrusive solution which enhances our understanding of aggregate customer behaviour without identifying or storing individual customers' data."

Used by the government

Detica, the folks behind CView, are a subsidiary of BAE Systems. Its technology is currently used by the government for issues pertaining to Homeland security.

Other clients include Vodafone, 3 and BT.

Virgin Media has told the Register that 40 per cent of its network will be monitored by CView, but those that are involved "will not be warned".

Even though the technology will not be monitoring those who illegally file-share, it will be interesting to see just how much information piped through the Virgin Media broadband cables daily which is deemed to be 'illegal'.