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This is How We Catch You Downloading

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the line-and-worm dept.

Your Rights Online 308

marto writes "All over Europe thousands of people are being threatened with court action for allegedly sharing games like Dream Pinball 3D on P2P networks. Now, documents obtained by TorrentFreak show details of the anti-piracy company's techniques for identifying alleged file-sharers on the internet and the gathering of claimed 'forensic quality' evidence for use in court cases."

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Pirates! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740787)

Harrr!

They can (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740799)

Kiss my shiney metal ass.

Good thing you can't mask your IP address (5, Insightful)

beavis88 (25983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740827)

Or these guys would be SOL.

Oh, wait...

How? (1)

icedcool (446975) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741149)

Please explain.

Re:How? (5, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741193)

Simple :
ifconfig eth0 127.0.0.1

Now they'll never find me ! Hahahaha !

Eh, wait...

Re:How? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18741305)

ifconfig eth0 127.0.0.1

Now they'll never find me ! Hahahaha !


That's what you say! I can see your ssh port open, and I'm already in! Count down to "rm -rf /": five, four, three, two...

Re:How? (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741645)

That's what you say! I can see your ssh port open, and I'm already in! Count down to "rm -rf /": five, four, three, two...

Damn... That command asks for the administratior password. Anybody know the root password?

Re:How? (3, Informative)

numbski (515011) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741687)

Just type sudo first, then use the one you used to get in via ssh. Odds are pretty good that it has admin rights. :)

Re:How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18741385)

Please Google.

Good thing you can't block them (4, Informative)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741391)

Oh wait... [sourceforge.net]

Automated lawsuits (5, Interesting)

ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740841)

They seem to be very sure that an ISP keeps accurate IP address records. Why do I feel that this will result in a semi-technical employee of the ISP pulling up who the IP Address is currently leased to? I feel sorry for all of the people with a wireless network using a SSID of "Linksys". Expect a letter tommorrow.

Does anyone else feel that it doesn't matter to the RIAA/MPAA if their lawsuits are accurate or not? If you send intimidating letters to people, some of them will settle even if they are innocent. You can then claim X number of settlements and declare victory.

This is a great scam for someone who wants to commit fraud on a national scale. Send people letters claiming that they breached copyright law and demand a settlement. Offer an opportunity for settlement for $2000. If they get a lawyer, drop any claim. If they ignore it, write it off. If it costs you a dollar per letter and 0.1% of people accept your "offer", a million letters will net you a million dollars. Maybe this is the new business model for big media.

Re:Automated lawsuits (4, Interesting)

mgv (198488) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740879)

This is a great scam for someone who wants to commit fraud on a national scale. Send people letters claiming that they breached copyright law and demand a settlement. Offer an opportunity for settlement for $2000. If they get a lawyer, drop any claim. If they ignore it, write it off. If it costs you a dollar per letter and 0.1% of people accept your "offer", a million letters will net you a million dollars. Maybe this is the new business model for big media.

I'm not sure what the law says in Australia, although vexatious claim comes to mind. In the USA, people seem to use the term racketeering, although I don't know enough about US law to know if this is correct.

Michael

Re:Automated lawsuits (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740891)

> In the USA, people seem to use the term racketeering,

My Mom always called it "being a Jew."

Re:Automated lawsuits (2, Informative)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741031)

I think we use the term "barratry" here, although I only think that from having read it on Slashdot, so, you know, grain of salt and all that.

Re:Automated lawsuits (3, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740985)

This is a great scam for someone who wants to commit fraud on a national scale. Send people letters claiming that they breached copyright law and demand a settlement. Offer an opportunity for settlement for $2000. If they get a lawyer, drop any claim. If they ignore it, write it off. If it costs you a dollar per letter and 0.1% of people accept your "offer", a million letters will net you a million dollars.

That would be an illegal business model. However, if you do follow through on the rest and take them to court and win most, then it's perfectly legal. It is illegal to threaten lawsuits without cause. It's not illegal to offer a settlement if you do have cause.

The statistics aren't really in since the legal system is a slow turning one, but I'd be surprised if most people managed to show a preponderance of evidence against. Sure, you can point to hackers, open wifi, lack of computers/equipment/skill, but they're more doubt than making it *probable*. Is that his excuse? Has he sent in a different, clean hard disk? All of these defenses rely on evidence you bring yourself, there's no official log anywhere to back you up.

Re:Automated lawsuits (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741189)

It's not illegal to offer a settlement if you do have cause.

True, but on the other hand if you're going to be suing people on the scale that the RIAA has been suing people, your evidence had better be pretty solid or you're treading on thin ice. Judges are starting to wake up to what the RIAA is doing, and I hope that trend continues.

All of these defenses rely on evidence you bring yourself, there's no official log anywhere to back you up.

Also true, but there's no "official" evidence to back up their claims either, which is the crux of the matter. And no, the information ISPs record hardly qualifies as an official log. Those are typically for provisioning, diagnostic and statistical use, and are not intended to serve as evidence against their own customers. Nor does a screenshot from Kazaa showing a list of IP addresses count as strong evidence.

The chain of evidence is pretty weak, given that they're depending upon data that was not recorded with the intent of being used in court, isn't particularly reliable anyway, and is subject to human mishandling outside any forensic chain established by the courts, and isn't guaranteed to point to the actual "criminal" in any event! The problem here is the (unfortunate) human tendency to accept information generated by a machine that you don't understand as being valid, when there's a substantial chance that it isn't.

That effect is very real ... in my years as a software contractor I saw it all the time. I would imagine that judges are just as subject to it as anyone else. I had to tell my customers repeatedly that they can't trust the software until they've done end-to-end on it and know that the results are valid. Mistakes get made, people (even me!) screw up on occasion. As far as I'm concerned, log files spit out by a router or DSLAM shouldn't be admissible in court, certainly not as the primary evidence against someone. I wouldn't want my future dependent upon a few magnetic domains on a hard disk somewhere. Let the RIAA collect some actual evidence (say, a picture of me at my computer doing something illegal) and take me to court. ISP logs are a joke at best, or would be a joke if their use weren't unfairly injuring lot of people.

It's not as if there's some official Federal standard in place for ISP data monitoring that would be guaranteed to hold up in court so long as the ISP could be shown to be upholding the standard. I can guarantee that ISPs wouldn't want such a standard because it would cost them a fortune.

Re:Automated lawsuits (1)

octopus72 (936841) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741297)

It is not collected by authorised and trusted institution (like police),
instead it is performed by some company and this is no proof in a court (at least not in Europe contries)

Re:Automated lawsuits (1)

Rukie (930506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741545)

Has anyone considered the fact that IP addresses can be spoofed?

Re:Automated lawsuits (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741593)

Everyone but the lawyers involved, apparently.

Re:Automated lawsuits (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741663)

on the other hand if you're going to be suing people on the scale that the RIAA has been suing people, your evidence had better be pretty solid or you're treading on thin ice.
but there's no "official" evidence to back up their claims either, which is the crux of the matter.

In the U.S. there are profound differences between civil and criminal law - differences which the geek seems determined to ignore.

The burden of proof is lower. Much, much lower. Decisions are based on the "weight of the evidence," or, most simply stated, by what seems more likely than not.

That does not put the geek in a strong position when he spins out his tales of what might have been.

Re:Automated lawsuits (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741719)

Yes, I know ... "a preponderance of evidence", and it's true that the ratio of something to nothing is significant ... even when the "something" is little more than nothing. However, the fact that the RIAA has invariably had major problems when they've actually been forced into court (and "forced" is the correct word: they really don't want to be there) indicates to me that their so-called evidence isn't up to even civil suit standards and they know it.

Re:Automated lawsuits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740989)

That is pretty much what the RIAA is already doing.

Re:Automated lawsuits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18741155)

Speaking from personal experience, records kept by ISPs are dodgy at best. I became a subject of a police investigation due to database errors....

Re:Automated lawsuits (3, Informative)

mithras the prophet (579978) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741167)

They seem to be very sure that an ISP keeps accurate IP address records. Why do I feel that this will result in a semi-technical employee of the ISP pulling up who the IP Address is currently leased to?

I served on a grand jury that saw several fraud cases that involved the use of ISP IP lease records, and the employees that testified were very knowledgeable and diligent. That's not to say that they would be in every case, of course, but what direct experience I do have suggests that your concerns are misplaced.

Re:Automated lawsuits (1)

rikkards (98006) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741231)

With Rogers in Canada (notoriously the least favourable for Bittorrent usage), if you look at the TOS that they provide, they can shut you off at any point if they find that:
A. You are downloading intellectual Property that you are not supposed to have.
B. You are running any server based application (i.e. FTP)
C. You are letting anyone in your local area to get free access to your link other than people in your actual residence. At one point they would even threaten if you had a router. Nowadays you would be stupid if you didn't have a router. So C isn't really enforced anymore.

I received a Cease and Desist from Rogers regarding downloading software which I don't do much anymore if at all. In this case it had been about 6 months since the last time. Someone I know got one for downloading a couple episodes of BattleStar Galactica which I told her if I had got it, I would have responded back for them to go fvck themselves as most of the time I download anything recent tv-wise would be because the stupid Explorer 8300HD PVR I am renting from them didn't tape it or that the show they provided wasn't in widescreen format even though it was available.

I haven't heard of anyone being shut off from A yet and I know of people who have gone past the 100G per month limit so I think it is just a CYA. Plus from what I understand Sympatico isn't throttling BitTorrent so Rogers knows that their threat of cutting someone off is missing some teeth as it is easy to jump over to their competitors. Plus if they did, they would lose about $160 a month as I would move everything over to Bell.

Where the hell have you been? (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741247)

This is a great scam for someone who wants to commit fraud on a national scale. Send people letters claiming that they breached copyright law and demand a settlement. Offer an opportunity for settlement for $2000. If they get a lawyer, drop any claim. If they ignore it, write it off. If it costs you a dollar per letter and 0.1% of people accept your "offer", a million letters will net you a million dollars. Maybe this is the new business model for big media.

Um...hello? [riaa.com]

Re:Automated lawsuits (2, Funny)

Shabbs (11692) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741321)

If it costs you a dollar per letter and 0.1% of people accept your "offer", a million letters will net you a million dollars. Maybe this is the new business model for big media.
And no profit!

Re:Automated lawsuits (5, Funny)

Deorus (811828) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741467)

> I feel sorry for all of the people with a wireless network using a SSID of "Linksys".

Aren't Linksys and Default free wireless broadband ISPs?

Why don't we ... (5, Funny)

Sod75 (558841) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740845)

put the entire internet behind a NAT router ? :)

Re:Why don't we ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740993)

Because a 15 year old might decide to shutdown the internet [slashdot.org] with a single email?

Re:Why don't we ... (5, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741065)

Because a 15 year old might decide to shutdown the internet with a single email?

No need for email, there's a convenient web interface [turnofftheinternet.com] available.

Re:Why don't we ... (5, Funny)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741153)

OK, I just reconfigured my Linksys by switching the LAN and WAN ports. Please use 192.168.0.1 as your gateway and it should work.

Re:Why don't we ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18741377)

we tried that with small towns.. kills the router pretty quick.

To quote... (5, Interesting)

galenoftheshadows (828940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740849)

In an age of Wintel-virus created bot-farms, spoofs, and easily cracked WEP encrypted wireless home networks (among other easy hacks), the only tech-savvy response to such . . . an accusation . . . is, "You've got to be kidding."

'Nuff said. And thanks to Merl Ledford III. (Pardon my edit, by the way.)

I find it so hard to believe that these companies continue in the thought that they can make these cases work.

Not that foolproof (5, Interesting)

mgv (198488) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740855)

Couple of problems with their system:

1. It doesn't download the whole file from your system. Which means that they can't really show that you have the file, just that you say that you have it. Some anti-piracy systems are known for responding to any search request with a positive result but full of junk or ads.

2. It doesn't really prove it was you, it just logs it to an IP address (even if it was your IP, you are running a wireless network, right?)

3. It currently doesn't do bit torrent, just other P2P systems.

And probably alot of other problems - just did a quick scan of TFA to produce this post.

Michael

Re:Not that foolproof (5, Interesting)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740913)

Couple of problems with their system:
2. It doesn't really prove it was you, it just logs it to an IP address (even if it was your IP, you are running a wireless network, right?)

Exactly. I never illegally downloaded file in my adult life (and likely not before, given that 2400 baud was fast back then), yet I have a wireless (FON) router open to everyone who are near. It's pretty open, you could even print if my printer happens to be turned on. Security doesn't worry me as there is only linux machines on that network, and the internet connection is decently firewalled. But conceivable, someone could drive by, and download the latest Beatles-modern-equivalent file, and I could receive such a letter --- my IP is fixed, so no discussion there. But still, if any ISP is innocent, so am I.

In other words, they have to prove not only what IP did it, but what person. How do you do that? This sounds very much like the naughty-phone-bills case. They had to prove that it was a resident above 18(or 16?) that had called, and if they were unable to (as they were in most cases) they were kicked from court.

Re:Not that foolproof (2, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740955)

very Utopian of you. I'm sure you'd be just fine if someone used your open connection to download child porn.

Re:Not that foolproof (1)

ewanm89 (1052822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741019)

Tors anonymous proxy network anyone?

Re:Not that foolproof (5, Interesting)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741021)

very Utopian of you. I'm sure you'd be just fine if someone used your open connection to download child porn.

It will bother me no more and no less than if they'd used any other connection. What's next? Not borrowing a screwdriver out because it might be used for a break-in? I will not let a few deviants destroy all that is good and beautiful about this world, and neither should you. I share my connection freely within reasonable limits.

Re:Not that foolproof (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18741113)

Not borrowing a screwdriver out because it might be used for a break-in?

I realize you might not be from the US but "borrow" means to "lend from" not "lend to". It's a real problem these days for people, especially in the Midwestern US, to use that term incorrectly and look like a tool.

Re:Not that foolproof (5, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741205)

Oh I wish we did live in such a world, really, I'm not kidding, it would be great.

However you could find yourself arrested, your equipment seized, and stories in the newspaper before anyone had time to believe that is wasn't you who did it, if they ever did.

Sharing is a good thing, but unconditional sharing a net connection without checks of any kind is asking for your generosity to be abused.

Re:Not that foolproof (4, Insightful)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741671)

Oh I wish we did live in such a world, really, I'm not kidding, it would be great.

However you could find yourself arrested, your equipment seized, and stories in the newspaper before anyone had time to believe that is wasn't you who did it, if they ever did.

Those things could happen no matter what I do. It happens to the people dealing with children occasionally, unfortunately, but fortunately the police are usually adamant about being very sure before they go around arresting people for such crimes until they are reasonable sure. For a mathematician such as I, I find it unlikely. If my IP did show up in a log, the local police might visit me for a chat, I'd show him what I could show (which would be a likely timestamp, maybe) and he would be on his way.

Sharing is a good thing, but unconditional sharing a net connection without checks of any kind is asking for your generosity to be abused.

Really? I think you fear your fate too much. In fact, my very open network has only ever been used by one person, and that person is me. What I do is legal, makes the world a bit nicer, harms noone, and the chance of mishaps are small. I'd be a coward for not doing it.

Let me put the risk in perspective for you. The police claims that they monitor several child porn sites. And that lots of lots of people tune in and stays there for more than 1 minute. Yet, charges are rare. Doesn't that tell you something?

Re:Not that foolproof (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18741701)

very Utopian of you. I'm sure you'd be just fine if someone used your open connection to download child porn.

It will bother me no more and no less than if they'd used any other connection. What's next? Not borrowing a screwdriver out because it might be used for a break-in? I will not let a few deviants destroy all that is good and beautiful about this world, and neither should you. I share my connection freely within reasonable limits.

Wow, you're mellow. I have a friend in prison because unsolicited child porn passed through his network. He's not feeling so mellow any more.

Re:Not that foolproof (3, Informative)

grimwell (141031) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741053)

But still, if any ISP is innocent, so am I.

I don't think the safe harbor provisions of the dmca would apply to you. The majority of ISPs' AUPs forbid "re-sharing" or re-selling of a subscriber's internet connection. You are a customer, not an ISP.

If you have an account with an ISP that permits you to re-sell the internet access, then you could claim safe harbor. Indeed, the riaa would be left sending you letters for ip-to-user translations.

Try finding a small local ISP and work with them to get re-sellable internet access. Maybe try the neighborhood wireless angle or free hotspot connectivity.

Re:Not that foolproof (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18741087)

An ISP's TOS is a contract between you and the ISP stating the terms of continued service, not a legal qualifier that determines whether you are letting others use your network or not.

Re:Not that foolproof (4, Insightful)

countach (534280) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741133)

I don't see why the private contractual arrangments between you and your ISP would affect whether you are an ISP according to the DMCA. A few problems with your persoanl contractual arrangments wouldn't usually affect something like that. (Someone who's read the DMCA prove me wrong).

As for forbidding "resharing", how on earth can they ask for that? Can I share with my wife? Kids? Friends? Boarders? Relatives? Guests? That's a ridiculous clause if such things exist.

Re:Not that foolproof (2, Informative)

grimwell (141031) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741563)

I don't see why the private contractual arrangments between you and your ISP would affect whether you are an ISP according to the DMCA. A few problems with your persoanl contractual arrangments wouldn't usually affect something like that.

While I am not a lawyer, I believe it would hinge on the legal definition of an ISP. If your upstream provider doesn't allow you to re-sell your internet access, it makes it pretty difficult to argue that you are an ISP.

As for forbidding "resharing", how on earth can they ask for that? Can I share with my wife? Kids? Friends? Boarders? Relatives? Guests?

From Comcast's AUP [comcast.net]
ix. resell the Service or otherwise make available to anyone outside the Premises the ability to use the Service (i.e. wi-fi, or other methods of networking), in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, or on a bundled or unbundled basis. The Service is for personal and non-commercial use only and you agree not to use the Service for operation as an Internet service provider or for any business enterprise or purpose, or as an end-point on a non-Comcast local area network or wide area network;

x. connect multiple computers behind the cable modem to set up a LAN (Local Area Network) that in any manner would result in a violation of the terms of this Policy or an applicable Service plan;


Note: that was just the first ISP's AUP I looked at.

That's a ridiculous clause if such things exist.

Haven't read your ISP's AUP, have you?

Re:Not that foolproof (1)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741453)

But still, if any ISP is innocent, so am I.

I don't think the safe harbor provisions of the dmca would apply to you. The majority of ISPs' AUPs forbid "re-sharing" or re-selling of a subscriber's internet connection. You are a customer, not an ISP.

If you have an account with an ISP that permits you to re-sell the internet access, then you could claim safe harbor. Indeed, the riaa would be left sending you letters for ip-to-user translations.

Try finding a small local ISP and work with them to get re-sellable internet access. Maybe try the neighborhood wireless angle or free hotspot connectivity.

What are you going on about? This is about the civilized world, not US :p

My ISP lets me do anything that is legal and non-commercial, and I sincerely doubt that the non-commercial will really hold up in court. Not that it matters, since I have no intentions to. Providing free wireless is well within those parameters.

Re:Not that foolproof (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741139)

Well, if you get such a letter, you better have a log file to show them it wasn't you. Of course, such log files can also be faked, but I guess you are in a much worse position if you can't show at least some evidence that it wasn't you.

Re:Not that foolproof (1)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741573)

Well, if you get such a letter, you better have a log file to show them it wasn't you. Of course, such log files can also be faked, but I guess you are in a much worse position if you can't show at least some evidence that it wasn't you.

No. It is not my job to show I am innocent. Heck, some guy in this country was let off intensive sharing of child-pornography on the defense that his computer was riddled with virus.. Or some such. I'll just say "I didn't do it. Since I have an open wireless, it could be anyone in the neighbourhood". Then it would be my word against theirs, and the case would drop. Of course, they might bother me, even ransack my harddisks (which are clean). If they actually took my computer, I would be awarded damages if found innocent, and so forth (not much, of course. But still). Since I would be innocent, I don't really worry that I'll be convicted.

Re:Not that foolproof (2, Insightful)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741165)

In other words, they have to prove not only what IP did it, but what person.

This is always the crux of the argument I haven't seen fleshed out. If a bank robbery is committed and my license plate is seen on the get away car, I can be quite sure I'm going to be bothered by the police until I tell them who I had let use my car at that particular time (assuming of course *I* wasn't driving a the time!).

I suppose if I could prove I routinely left my car on the street, unlocked, with the keys in it then there might be reason for not charging me, but then I'd have to report the car as stolen (since them putting the car back would be quite unlikely me thinks.

So I don't mean this as a rant, but given the ISP customer signed an agreement, aren't they responsible for all use of that service? If they can prove it wasn't them, but they are on the hook to cough up who *was* using it aren't they?

It's the same thing as the recent RIAA case against the granny who claimed she didn't know what the kids in the house were doing. Given that she's the adult, she's responsible for anything the kids did under her watch isn't she?

If I leave a loaded gun outside for anyone to use, aren't I responsible for anything done with that gun?

I fully appreciate leaving open access for all to use, I just worry about the consequences that's all :)


Re:Not that foolproof (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741327)

According to part 14 FCC code, it is unlicensed band.

As long as you abide by uW/m^2 required for that band and keep your harmonics down below a certain threshold, operating is perfectly legal.

Radio is not comparable to your physical analogies, as they just dont work.

As far as anybody knows, access to your system is forbidden and considered trespass.

Re:Not that foolproof (1)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741517)

As far as anybody knows, access to your system is forbidden and considered trespass.

Hence the big banner that says "Welcome! You are welcome to use this connection, the password is user and the password is password :D (Well, that is the 2nd part. The first part is the same, but in Danish.

I'm not actually sure if it would be counted as tresspass here. In general, you have to show a clear border... I just don't know. I suppose the courts will have to decide that, should anyone actually press charges. If that happens, I think the accusers would be hard pressed to tell why they didn't at least enable the WEP protocol encryption, since that would clearly indicate to anyone that this is a private network.

Re:Not that foolproof (1)

damienl451 (841528) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741183)

I suppose one could argue that you are responsible for what you do *AND* let other people do with your connection. It's either that, or any person who wants to trade child porn or any illegal material only has to leave his wireless network open to be able to claim that it wasn't him but a random person using Wifi. In this particular case, it is unreasonable to ask the state or the plaintiff to show that it was you who downloaded/uploaded illegal things, since there is absolutely no way they could make such a case. At the very least, you should have to produce reliable logs showing that a third-party was logged on your network at the time the infringing material was downloaded. If someone claims it's not him despite convincing evidence (i.e. that his connection was used), *he* has to prove it.

Re:Not that foolproof (1)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741611)

I suppose one could argue that you are responsible for what you do *AND* let other people do with your connection. It's either that, or any person who wants to trade child porn or any illegal material only has to leave his wireless network open to be able to claim that it wasn't him but a random person using Wifi. In this particular case, it is unreasonable to ask the state or the plaintiff to show that it was you who downloaded/uploaded illegal things, since there is absolutely no way they could make such a case. At the very least, you should have to produce reliable logs showing that a third-party was logged on your network at the time the infringing material was downloaded. If someone claims it's not him despite convincing evidence (i.e. that his connection was used), *he* has to prove it.

You are wrong. Really, you are innocent until it is reasonable proven that you are guilty. Above, you list why child porno addicts are almost never convicted for downloading (in this country). It is too hard to prove it was really them. Creditcard transactions and possesion are the normal means.

However, since child pornography spreading is considered a major crime, conceivable the police could obtain a permit to install a camera or such to get some hard proof. But I have never heard of a case where that was necessary.

Re:Not that foolproof (1)

buswolley (591500) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741549)

I have yet to hear a modern band that is equivalent to the Beatles.

Re:Not that foolproof (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741199)

1 - That shows intent , so dont use that in court..
2 - That is true, though your ISP might cut you off for violating the AUP in the process. ( but better that then fined/jailed ) ...
4 - Dont forget the plethora of viruses/trojans out there.

Re:Not that foolproof (2, Insightful)

number11 (129686) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741371)

1. It doesn't download the whole file from your system. Which means that they can't really show that you have the file

I haven't seen the OA, because part of it is slashdotted. But, presuming they have the SHA1 (and perhaps TTH) hashes from the victim, and a bit-identical sample (compared to the whole file they downloaded from somewhere else), that may be close enough. (I don't know if they restrict themselves to victims who have files with matching hashes, or even make any check for file bogosity, though. Given that they're on record as threatening to sue people who simply had an offending character string in the filename, they may not.)

2. It doesn't really prove it was you, it just logs it to an IP address

This would seem to be the weakest of their points.

3. It currently doesn't do bit torrent, just other P2P systems

Gnutella/G2 and eD2K specifically. Maybe. But what makes you think this is their only tool? We do know they've sued Kazaa and bit torrent users as well. And Shareaza (the OSS source their program is apparently based on) does do bit torrent, so it doesn't seem like a big step, except maybe for the fact that bit torrent doesn't provide an automatic search mechanism.

Their system is not airtight. But for a lawsuit they don't need to meet the standard of proof that a criminal trial needs.

Re:Not that foolproof (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741375)

The claim is that the "File Sharing Monitor" is totally foolproof and that it can provide forensic-quality information to a court in order that file-sharers be punished. The question remains whether an IP-address is sufficient evidence to sue a person for downloading copyrighted material. Recent cases suggest that the RIAA and the MPAA will need more evidence than that. - of-course this is not foolproof. However I am of an opinion that almost all of the evidence they find is actually correct evidence of the files being offered for upload by someone.

Now, the parent is saying this: 2. It doesn't really prove it was you, it just logs it to an IP address (even if it was your IP, you are running a wireless network, right?) - This is where I can ask the following question: if a red-light camera can be used to send an automated ticket to the car owner, regardless of who was driving, why shouldn't the evidence in this case be sufficient to fine (or file a lawsuit) the person, whose computer is using the IP address in question, the IP address associated with the file download?

Industrial fascism (3, Insightful)

aurispector (530273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740861)

When are these guys going to adopt a really cool logo, like a cross with bent arms or a bundle of sticks wrapped around an axe?

Once these tactics are accepted and legalized, eventually governments should begin experimenting with the use of webcams and computer microphones to monitor people for other illegal behaviors.

Re:Industrial fascism (1, Informative)

arachnoprobe (945081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741213)

Germany is already doing that...

Re:Industrial fascism (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18741323)

governments should begin experimenting with the use of webcams and computer microphones to monitor people for other illegal behaviors.

We already do that...why do you think there's a free microphone in every laptop?

Sincerely,
NSA

"foolproof"? (5, Insightful)

mqj (949877) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740873)

The claim is that the "File Sharing Monitor" is totally foolproof


Wow. That sounds like a challenge. Seems like somebody ignored the saying "It's hard to make a program foolproof because fools are so ingenious."

Re:"foolproof"? (3, Interesting)

Ticklemonster (736987) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741117)

Sounds to me like quite a few people need to create some word documents of the exact same size as the files searched for, name them accordingly, then orchestrate a file sharing orgy amongst themselves to create a rather large target for this fool proof system. Flood'em with bullshit, then see how credible they are...

Re:"foolproof"? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741177)

What if I take some (mathematical) matrix, make a recording of me reading it aloud, and put the result on p2p under the name "The_Matrix.mpeg"? Will that system detect that it's not the movie?

Re:"foolproof"? (2, Funny)

avelldiroll (813074) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741571)

i like that one too: "If you make something idiot-proof, the universe creates a better idiot."

Proxy servers (1)

dour power (764750) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740901)

This is how you won't catch me downloading.

Re:Proxy servers (1)

ATwentyCharacterName (1085199) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741307)

How do you know that a random proxy server you use isn't merely collecting more evidence on you to prove your guilt?

Re:Proxy servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18741695)

You could do like I do.

1. Run Tor.
2. Access JAP [tu-dresden.de] through Tor.
3. Access proxy servers through the JAP over Tor connection.
4. ???
5. Profit!

Piss off the wrong guy with this, scum... (-1, Offtopic)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740933)

and you will kiss the ground hard. The way I see it people behind schemes like
that are still gambling on the shock and awe of legal papers.

http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=/watch% 3Fv%3DM25FzNAEWTg [youtube.com]

Helicopter execution in nevada desert
01:09
Guy is thrown out of helicopter... Music added by me.
Tags:
Death Murder Homicide Execution Helicopter
Added: 7 months ago in Category: Comedy
From: abc311
Views: 4,689
10 ratings

Wonderful. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18740945)

Great story. Thanks for the warning, the minute they decide to come over here I'm going to see how many thing I can have their entire marketing board arrested for. "Forensic-Quality Evidence"? Any IT tech can prove that one false in court, so that's fraud against everyone you sold your software to. The people using it really don't have *any* admissible evidence either, because unless it can be readily confirmed with ACTUALLY admissible quality by a law enforcement body, they've got nothing, and will likely get themselves arrested.

Of course, that's if the damn cops weren't dirty. Better solution is to just sleaze the White House's external IP so they'll all start suing the American government. ;)

Use an alternate P2P (5, Insightful)

hjf (703092) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740953)

www.freenetproject.org

Dream Pinball 3D huh? (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740979)

I thought they were sharing stuff like Final Fantasy XII, Quake 4, and other top tier titles.

Why minimize the initial act? Thousands of people are not being threatened over "dream pinball 3d".

Re:Dream Pinball 3D huh? (3, Interesting)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741023)

10:1 the agency responsible for that news article is also a client of whoever makes Dream Pinball 3D

Re:Dream Pinball 3D huh? (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741447)

Thousands of people are not being threatened over "dream pinball 3d".
I don't know, you could certainly threaten me with something called "pinball 3D"... If I have to be stuck on a machine with inane games I'd rather play minesweeper.

Just a thought (2, Interesting)

pytheron (443963) | more than 7 years ago | (#18740999)

how would it stand in court if you had a wireless access point that was open. Just claim that someone else used your network without authorisation to download the offending files (assume that the authorities did not find evidence on your storage mediums).

Re:Just a thought (2, Informative)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741075)

how would it stand in court if you had a wireless access point that was open. Just claim that someone else used your network without authorisation to download the offending files (assume that the authorities did not find evidence on your storage mediums).
1: IANAL. This is semi-layman's conjecture. If you want a real answer, spend the $100 and ask a real lawyer.

2; Since these are civil suits, most likely with a "preponderance of the evidence" standard, your claim won't hold enough water. So what if there was a possibility of an open connection: is there any proof that someone else actually used it? If the sum total of the evidence better supports their story than yours, you lose.

IMHO, if you want to genuinely protect yourself, you'll start logging your wide-open router's MAC address connections, and keep them for as long as you can -- six years if you can manage it. (A lawyer in your state could tell you the precise statute of limitations in your hypothetical case.)

OTOH, if you want to break the law, you should be "browsing anonymously" with a proxy server and a "privacy" enabled P2P system.

Re:Just a thought (1)

AlgorithMan (937244) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741169)

aren't botnets already working as torrent seeds for any file the botnet controller wants to have?

just download and install such a botnet and any lawsuit should be dismissed because "in doubt, on behalf of the [alleged] culprit"... if a file on your storage media COULD have been downloaded by a botnet this should be enough doubt for dismissal of the case...

Re:Just a thought (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18741289)

Hello:

The plural of medium is media.

Grrrr.

Re:Just a thought (1)

koma77 (930091) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741395)

Most ISPs put a line in the fine print telling that you are responsible for your internet connection and must not share it with anyone. So, if you have an open WLAN, you probably are violating the agreement and are responsible for whatever is going on via your connection...

Re:Just a thought (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741757)

Most ISPs put a line in the fine print telling that you are responsible for your internet connection and must not share it with anyone.
That's the agreement with the ISP, not really related in my opinion.

However, how the music industry tends to file these lawsuits, is against the bill payer, claiming THEY were the ones that downloaded the content. Not somebody else. If they were fishing around saying it was someone on that Internet connection, they couldn't really claim they have 'forensic quality' evidence, as it doesn't lead to a specific person.

Just a minute, but (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18741005)

Is this Europe we're talking about?

IANAL, but I don't think they'd get far in a Belgian court, with evidence that is not collected by police services or by a judicial expert appointed to collect that evidence.

I think legislation in other European countries doesn't differ much from ours. You just don't step up to a judge saying "here's the IP address of the guy that did this or that last week, please have the cops find out who it is and sentence him, will ya?"

So either the lawsuits are fake (which makes it extorsion), or the whole story is.

Digg got it first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18741047)

yup, 2 days ago... slashdot is like my hometown newspaper now, when I read it here, usually its in there the same day :D

This place use to be cutting edge

[/tease]

Juicy bits pulled from server to prevent /.'ing (4, Funny)

carpe_noctem (457178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741097)

-Link to PDF temporarily removed, will return later-

What, no .torrent file?!

Re:Juicy bits pulled from server to prevent /.'ing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18741399)

Here is the pdf

http://www.bundybovines.com/20070414093506062-1.pd f [bundybovines.com]

Responsible party? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741175)

Too bad my PC has been hacked into in the past ( ok, actually it was my PC based router and all i had to do was reboot, but still you get the idea, trojaned PC's are quite common these days ).. And i use WEP for my laptop...

Techniques (3, Funny)

noz (253073) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741203)

details of the anti-piracy company's techniques for identifying alleged file-sharers on the internet
People who visit the linked article?

The greatest anti-piracy effort today.... (0, Troll)

3seas (184403) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741275)

It's called FreeSoftware.....

But if you are a game player and what's in FreeSoftware is not keeping up with Rob and Brazilton then isn't it really a choice to extend the game to real life, not getting caught? The 1337 game, so smart so smart with all your tricks ....

Live by the game, die by the game.

I found that my DSL (the new AT&T) provider can see everything I do including my password (which I can't even see on my system when I enter them). And since this is going over two copper wires or thru the phone system controlled by ... trace capable technology and knowledge how to use it.

Oh so smart.....what we make we can break and we can also certainly trace it...

Only when a system is set up to intentionally break trace ability can a trace fail, but a trace will lead to that system, just not beyond it. Here is where pressure might be applied, unless its run my a university of law supporting anon.....

Some of what goes on is like shoplifting in a store with hidden cameras, only you are doing it from anywhere in teh world with the camera being somewhere on the data transfer path.

If you want to pirate stuff safely (more or less) don't use data lines, use something more detached from data lines, like CDs, DVD, USB thumb drives, or even removable or external hard drives., etc...

For those who think I'm uninformed about the tricks, well there have been deception tricks long before computers came about. The only thing new here is the illusion of not being seen in broad daylight doing something you shouldn't and even more important, don't need to do.

Support FreeSoftware.... or play a game for real and risk punishment...

BTW, my expreience with bittorrent (dl'ing free software DVD distros like ArtistX and Debians latest) has been poor, problemmatic and anti-productive (I have no problem in giving back since being on DSL is a constant connection that runs when I'm not using it)... but when the p2p connection has problems that don't help me give back....

It took me 3-4 days, and alot of restarts to get the first DVD for Debain Etch, while the last two parts took alot less as a direct download. ArtistX (formerly MusicX) is only available thru bittorrent and its just over 2 gigs. Took over a week and a total download of probably more than twice that... alot of wasted band width.

I've tested my bittorrent ability and can get as much bandwidth incomming as the plan I'm on gives (my setting are fine), but apparently there are other factors the can influence specific targets.

direct down load mirrors are much better, using wget.... Only I can't give back....

torrents are a good idea..... but not so reliable. And apparently risky for pirates.

All about time Re:The greatest anti-piracy .... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741381)

To Pirates:
what do you spend your time doing?

And more Important: Why?

There is plenty to do, be entertained by, etc. without pirating.

It didn't use to be like that however. Things change and just as old hardware gets tossed as new and better comes out, software piracy and piracy of other digital data is going to wear out and be replaced by that which isn't so considered piratable.

And where will that put those who support the media of interest to pirates today?

Obsolete ... or 55371337

So (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741315)

This week: Download Feisty Fawn from a torrent
Next week: Jail

Yay

Shareza should sue them... (1)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741367)

Shareza should sue them for hacking their program without permission.

Why isn't this a DMCA Violation? (4, Interesting)

pacalis (970205) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741461)

Section 1201 makes it illegal to (1) "circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work" Seriously, couldn't a modification of Shareza effectively be construded as a DMCA violation? In this case, they are associating additional information with the work, which is an effective change in access to the work.

Easy way to avoid being sued (2, Interesting)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741373)

If you get a letter, if you dont have a copy of the item in question then go out and buy a "license" for it. When it comes to court, wave your "license" and what can they sue you for? End of court case. Everybody should do this.

Are the RIAA/MPIAA proper litigants? (1)

geoff lane (93738) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741463)

Just occurred to me.. Are the RIAA/MPIAA proper litigants? It's not their copyright material and although they are contracted to carry out the investigation surely it should be the copyright owner who instigates the legal case.

It's been said before, (1)

Dash Hash (955484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741505)

and I'll say it again now: One of these days, the Mafiaas are going to piss off the wrong person, and their corrupt leaders are going to end up with a bullet in the head. They go throwing their weight around like they were the only dogs in the yard that mattered, and they eventually piss off a smaller, quieter but far more vicious dog, and get torn apart. People won't take their BS forever, and something tells me, the Mafiaa won't be able to see where the line of "too far" is. I would feel pity for the leaders, but considering the billions of dollars their forced DRM infections have cost people, I can't in good faith care for them enough to feel pity. And yes, for any of the rats who troll this place for their Mafiaa masters, I am saying that I feel some lives aren't "priceless." When a group starts making life Hell for everyone else, their lives become without worth, and sooner or later, somebody is going to "cash in" on the worthless filth and improve not only their own lives, but the lives of everyone around them.

If each P2P app was also a proxy... (2, Interesting)

dave420 (699308) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741513)

... then there could be no claim to the owner of the IP actually being the one downloading, regardless of whether the P2P app was actually proxying at the time or not. If all client->proxy communication was encrypted, then even the ISP couldn't sniff it and know what's going on, should they be subpoenaed for such information. Then the only thing the user would be guilty of is running an open proxy on the ISP's network, as opposed to being sued for millions. And if the ISP doesn't give a rat's ass, then there is no problem. Just a formal "tut tut" letter from the ISP. Or am I being naive?

Re:If each P2P app was also a proxy... (1)

ButcherCH (822663) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741751)

That's the principle of apps like freenet. http://freenetproject.org/ [freenetproject.org]

Someone tag this "duh"... (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 7 years ago | (#18741753)

How else would they do it? CCTV in the homes?
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