Filed under: Announcements & Events, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services
After the U.S. Homeland Security seized over 70 domain names back in 2010, this is the second major action against file-sharing and cyberlocking services.
A TorrentFreak report informs that the Public Prosecutor of Rome has set the weapons on no less than 27 file-sharing services. Furthermore, the domain-seizing campaign (rapidly becoming known as “A monster from Rome”) is set to go beyond Italy’s own borders.
“The domains of sites linking to torrent files, in order to download illegal copies of music and movies, have been seized [blocked] this week as ordered by Preliminary investigation of the Judge of Rome, at the request of the public prosecutor, following an investigation of the Italian Cybercrime Police,” a statement obtained by TorrentFreak reads.
In response to these measures, Fulvio Sarzana, an Italian attorney specialized in copyright laws, said that:
“I think that operations like this one could jeopardize freedom of speech, and endanger legitimate web sites, being also a risk for the civil liberties. Copyright cannot be considered as a more essential right than freedom of expression, or a more important matter than a free and open internet.”
“The order of the seizure of the websites has been given at the request of a small Italian distributor for one single cartoon movie: it is clear that there is not any proportion between the seizure of entire sites (and domains) containing millions of legal files and the potential violation of the copyright of a single movie,” he concluded.
The following 27 domain names targeted by the prosecutor are blocked at a DNS level.
The Pirate Bay Switches To Greenland (.gl); Seizing Procedures For The New Domain Are About To Commence
Filed under: Announcements & Events, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services
In an effort to avoid having their domain name seized, The Pirate Bay moved to a new one belonging to Greenland (.gl). Soon after, Greenland’s company in charge with all .gl registrations took action against the torrent portal.
A Pirate Bay insider recently told TorrentFreak that the move comes in anticipation to the new domain name seizure campaign taking place in Sweden.
For regular users, this was not a dramatic change at all; the old page redirected them to the new one. Furthermore, The Pirate Bay has also decided to run its business from a different set of IP-addresses, just to make sure that they’re out of the danger zone.
The decision marked the second time in more than a year when TPB switched its domain name – the first being when thepiratebay.org became thepiratebay.se.
Unfortunately for the world’s leading torrent hub, Tele-Post – the company that oversees all .GL registrations – said in a statement that:
“Tele-Post has today decided to block access to two domains operated by file-sharing network The Pirate Bay.”
“We observed Tuesday that the domains [ThePirateBay.gl & PirateBay.gl] had been activated and therefore immediately contacted our lawyer,” the company continued.
What will be the next move is still to be seen, but what we know now is that The Pirate Bay is currently running on its old domain name (that is thepiratebay.se) until a new one will be found.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Entertainment Industry, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services
To avoid the disastrous effects of misdirected copyright enforcement (see the case of the United States), but still keep piracy at bay, the Russian government has announced that is ready to adopt a different approach.
Governments from around the world desperately tried to put an end to piracy, either by dragging thousands of alleged infringers into copyright lawsuits or by going after the source – file-sharing services. Unfortunately for them neither worked. As a matter of fact, their efforts only increased the popularity of file-sharing websites, and did little to nothing to stop them from spreading. Their lack of inspiration to find a suitable solution – such as creating more virtual places where legal content can be purchased, understanding that there’s a vital difference between “hardcore pirates” and the usual BitTorrent user, and, why not, come up with improved copyright laws that do not undermine our freedom of speech and human rights – eventually led to an increase in popularity of what we know as graduated response systems. Their declared purpose is to educate the regular internet user about copyright and copyright infringement; however, this method is not enough for rightsholders, who continue to target file-sharers by the hundreds of thousands.
Taking the stand at Read Legally – Russia’s initiative to quench the thirst for knowledge in a legal manner, Vladimir Grigoryev (head of the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media) said:
“We do not plan to hold Internet users liable for downloading as they do in the U.S., where owners of computers can end up in court.”
This doesn’t mean, however, that piracy will be welcomed with open arms by Russia. The Russian government is determined to impose stricter rules when it comes to websites that facilitate copyright infringement.
“Responsibility [for illegally downloading copyrighted content] will be placed on the owners of pirate websites,” Grigoryev said.
He continued by saying that Russian file-sharers will soon be the subjects of educational programs similar to those in the United States.
“[File-sharers] will enter an educational campaign,” he said.
Details about the campaign are scarce, at least for now, but the Russian government seems to be confident.
Time will tell whether the country’s entertainment industry, who had been sending complaints about VKontakte and AllofMP3 clones for years now, is going to be satisfied once these campaigns kick in or not.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Digital Media, Mobile Phones, P2P technology, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services
A survey by Enterprise Strategy Groups (ESG) shows that although 75% of today’s corporations use policies that forbid their employees to use online sharing tools, they still find a way to bypass these filters.
The survey, which was completed near the end of 2012, covered statements from 499 IT employees (most of which being obliged to comply with one form of blocking online file-sharing or another) from all over the United States.
“The thing is, IT had control of the data in the past. Now, it has only been three years since this (OFS) market has taken off and now data is everywhere,” Terri McClure, Senior Analyst at ESG, said on Tuesday.
ESG’s study showed that 77% out of those asked had to comply with a “formal” policy or have been “strongly discouraged” or even “prohibited” to use online file-sharing tools. Just 22% of them claimed to be free of such terms and conditions.
Furthermore, when asked whether end users at the workplace use non-IT approved OFS services or not, 36% answered positive, 28% said no, 34% claimed that they suspect end users are using these services, and 1% said that they have no idea.
McClure added that circumventing the blockades is not really out of the ordinary. Most employees use Wi-Fi hotspots or even a conference room network to get access to their favorite websites.
“I’m not going to say everyone has violators … but boy, this rogue use is pretty rampant,” McClure said.
“IT is really going to have to address this challenge,” McClure continued. “If one of your employees leaves the company and they have a personal OFS account, the data leaves with them. It’s the default solution. They don’t even think about it.”
She went on by saying that just a small percent of these end-users think of cleaning off corporate data from their mobile devices, online backup services or file-sharing websites.
Online file-sharing tools have gained quite the success in the past years, and Dropbox is amongst users’ favorites, McClure acknowledged.
ESG’s survey on the companies showed that a third of them had deployed a corporate file-sharing service, 22% said they’ve examined the possibility of deploying one within a year, 11% said they consider doing the same in the next two years, and 17% claimed to have no interest in it.
In 2012, ESG started testing 13 corporate file-sharing apps; a common ground was found, with seven end users and three admins saying that “this wasn’t as easy as Dropbox.”
The effectiveness and advanced features, however, proved to be of great value once the evaluators got used to the applications.
“They said, ‘I realize how much more productive I can be because it does so much more than Dropbox does,’ ” McClure said.
“So training is really important … because there’s so much more that can be done when it comes to workflow and security.”
Digging even deeper into the subject, companies that are using business-class OFS services were asked to pin-point which enterprise services are becoming obsolete because of the former. The preferred answer was enterprise file-sharing/general-purpose file servers, NAS servers, and VPNs.
“One of the biggest cost-savings opportunities you’re looking at when deploying a private or public file sharing service is the ability to get rid of your VPN,” ESG’s senior analyst said.
“This stuff will have a material impact on business. If you can remove friction on file sharing, you can speed collaboration.”
Filed under: Announcements & Events, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services, Legal P2P News & Issues
Prior to last year’s raid, the New Zealand government, in collaboration with US authorities, spied on Kim Dotcom to build a case that eventually led to Megaupload’s downfall. The German entrepreneur accused both sides of having him unconstitutionally spied on, and now documents to clarify that claim have been released.
The following scans are statements given by various parties involved in the Megaupload case. You can either see them on Scoop.co.nz or by clicking on the direct links below:
GCSB (Government Communications Security Bureau) Affidavits:
Kim Dotcom Affidavits:
Grant Wormald of OFCANZ (Organised and Finanical Crime Agency of NZ):
Affidavit of Wormald Part 1
Affidavit of Wormald Part 2
Affidavit of Wormald Part 3
Affidavit of Wormald Part 4
Affidavit of Wormald Part 5
Affidavit of Wormald Part 6
Affidavit of Wormald Part 7
Affidavit of Wormald final
While we’re confident that parts of these documents are going to be the catalyst of some heated debates, a statement by police officer Grant Wormald reveals that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been communicating with his constabulary starting with September 2011. The purpose was for the bureau to determine if police officers are ready to place Kim Dotcom, along with his “accomplices”, under arrest.
Furthermore, officer Wormald’s statement shows that the bureau took over the investigation soon after this encounter.
To secure the arrest’s legitimacy, GCSB was asked to play along. However, on the 21st February 2012 the GCSB acknowledged that Kim’s detainment may have been unlawful due to his and Van der Kolk’s residency status.
If this is proved beyond any doubt to be true, Kim could slip US’ desire to extradite him.