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Cosa Antipiracy Bureau

The mafiAA are more like the real mafia all the time. By Peter Sunde.

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Few people can have missed the first case that's turned up in the Solna court with the help of IPRED.

The case is about a private FTP server. The Antipiracy Bureau have for several years devoted considerable time to fighting the warez scene and perhaps this is why they've chosen to attack a private file sharing system rather than one of the many public ones. This should definitely be regarded as a tactical maneuver, although one will have to (and should) ponder why they've chosen this tack. It's also a tactical maneuver to pick on a relatively minor Internet provider.

Typical for the warez scene is that they don't want the materials to spread to the greater public. They want to keep them within a closely knitted group. But there are some choice tidbits from the court application which are very interesting.

'The intrusion has meant amongst other things that the materials have been made available to the public at large. This has been perpetrated on a large scale and through a single IP address.'

The fact the FTP server was 'private' means nothing was made available to the public at large. On the contrary - the materials were made available for a small closed group. And one cannot assess - without further information - to what extent the materials have been made available. One can't even assess whether this occurred through more than one IP address. But we can instead assume they've only seen it happening from a single IP address.

Inasmuch as the FTP server has not been accessible to the public at large (surprise - Peter Danowsky is lying to the courts again) then this means the Antipiracy Bureau in some shady way have come across this information illegally. Such is known as 'data intrusion' and it's a criminal offence.

From a purely technical point of view there are a couple of ways they might have obtained the information. They can have come across login information for someone's account such as in the data intrusion case in the 2006 elections when several people were convicted. They can have bargained for account details from someone who had legal access to the machine - but even this should be regarded as data intrusion (even though I'm not a legal expert in this area). In all other cases it's 'urkundsförfalskning' (forgery) in that they're pretending to be someone they're not.

Thus a realistic scenario where the Antipiracy Bureau obtain legal and honest access to the FTP system cannot be found. This is why I - just like André Rickardsson (IDG Sweden) - with great confidence based on technical knowledge can claim that something criminal has gone down in the work to provide the background information to the court petition. Henrik Pontén has also chosen to not reveal his methods for obtaining this information out of fear people would protect themselves against said methods. But ho-ho. We who really work with computers and not just as a well paid career move know all the possible methods. And we know they needed to do something criminal to get at this information.

The IPRED controversy is more important in the media than it is in the courts. Therefore it's not surprising Henrik Pontén on behalf of his Antipiracy Bureau accuses André Rickardsson and IDG Sweden of libel. The fact that Henrik is a supposed legal expert (and a diligent reader of my blog I should add - I figured out his IP without the help of IPRED) makes it all rather surprising that he believes an organisation can be accused of libel. (Paradoxically it's correct to say Henrik Pontén is guilty of libel when he accuses André Rickardsson and IDG Sweden of it.)

But to clarify: IPRED grants copyright holders permission to obtain IP addresses when they have seen something happen. It gives them no carte blanche to break the law to find out if anything is happening.

This holds even in theoretical cases involving file sharing through The Pirate Bay. If you read the policy page at the site you'll see clearly that even The Pirate Bay's system is private and may not be used by any organisations or corporations - but only by private individuals wishing to share files. Period. Thus one may not build automatic tools to search through this private system without permission. When the first petition using the TPB tracker system arrives so also will a formal police complaint accusing the petitioner of the crime of data intrusion. This might sound a bit silly but someone has to put their foot down.

In a disgusting way it's amusing to see how some people think they're above the law only because they're annoyed with a social structure they can no longer control or for that matter even understand. So yes, I express myself exactly as so many before me: the Antipiracy Bureau are guilty of crimes perpetrated on a commercial basis.

And I still haven't mentioned the SEK 600,000 (US$75,000) paid to Peter Bergstršm aka 'Rouge' for planting evidence in the Bahnhof scandal. (Source for this figure: Henrik Pontén at the trial of TPB caught in front of a video camera he didn't see.)

The mafiAA are more like the real mafia all the time.

Sometimes you have to play the game to get your evidence.
 - Henrik Pontén

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