AfterDawn: Tech news

MPAA hacker comes clean in interview

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 22 Oct 2007 9:34 User comments (12)

MPAA hacker comes clean in interview In an interview with Wired magazine, hacker Robert Anderson give details about his association with the MPAA, whom he says promised him money and power in exchange for providing confidential information about BitTorrent site TorrentSpy.
According to Anderson, he began working with the MPAA in 2005 after a failed business venture with TorrentSpy founder Justin Bunnell. He says he emailed the MPAA offering to work with them to help fight piracy, and that's where things start getting interesting.

When he started working with MPAA legal director Dean Garfield he mentioned that he had "an informant" who could intercept any email communication on TorrentSpy servers. As it turned out that informant was him, and he did provide the information after hacking into the company's mail server and arranging to have a copy of every email passing through the machine forwarded to him.

The information provided by Anderson was eventually instrumental in bringing a copyright infringement suit against TorrentSpy, while the methods used to collect it sparked a countersuit from Justin Bunnell, claiming the MPAA illegally obtained the information. According to the suit, "Dean Garfield expressly told the informant (Anderson), on behalf of the MPAA, regarding the information that he requested, 'We don't care how you get it.'" Bunnell's suit alleges that Garfield knew, or should have known, that the information was collected illegally.

The MPAA, of course, denies the allegations. They point to the line in a contract between the MPAA and Anderson which specifically states a requirement that the information be obtained legally, but it's difficult to imagine a corporate lawyer thinking the distribution of clearly confidential, intra-corporation email - including invoices and the source code for the TorrentSpy site - would possibly be legal.

Paul Ohm, a University of Colorado Law School scholar specializing in computer crime, certainly doesn't think so. "It's hard to say with a straight face that you can obtain that legally," said Ohm. "Ethical red bells should have been going off."

Still, Bunnell's suit has been dismissed by a federal judge, which his lawyer is now preparing to appeal. And the final verdict may have a significant effect in how anti-piracy efforts are conducted in the future.

Source: Wired

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12 user comments

122.10.2007 11:28

Oh, the wonderful legal grey area between right and wrong. It'll depend upon which party you want to side with to find the answer. Personally, I think the MPAA's case is full of illegalities, but no doubt the lawyers for the MPAA will have their say.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Oct 2007 @ 18:39

My opinions come with no warranty whatsoever, but are totally open-source, so you can reverse engineer or decompile them as you see fit. All other rights reserved.

"Freedom" in the west consists of: Freedom of speech, freedom of opinion and freedom of movement. So why is it then, that people want to know what youre saying, what you think of them and where you are going?

222.10.2007 12:57
nobrainer
Inactive

I thought in the USA that hacking comes under anti terrorism laws and is a serious breach of the law?

And it matters not what country the people reside in as they can be extradited by the us under their new global powers to do what they like such as the Gary McKinnon case who faces 60years in a foreign jail for hacking.

Maybe everyone needs to report this illegal activity by the media companies to the American cybercrime agency: http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/cybercrime/reporting.htm

I'm sure that the gw bush gov will send around the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to smoke them out just like they did with the davidians at waco, texas, but the media did try to cover that up so they may require a little cover up for their own illegal exploits, but the videos still exist of the tank: (part 3, 3:00min & 6:30min)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-ybjspgjkQ&mode=related&search=

http://www.carolmoore.net/waco/

Quote:
After six hours of tank attacks, a fire started, probably by the last tank attack knocking over a lantern–but possibly by an FBI incendiary device at the front of the building. Infrared (FLIR) video evidence strongly suggests an agent in an FBI tank lobbed an incendiary device into the back of the building after the first fire, starting a second fire.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Oct 2007 @ 13:00

322.10.2007 13:58

"whom he says promised him money and power in exchange for providing confidential information"

See what happens when you make a deal with the Devil? Even the Bible says that he presents himself "as an angel of light". The RIAA honestly think they're helping people by bending them over and saying "grab ankles!"

422.10.2007 14:04

"I'm sure that the gw bush gov will send around the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to smoke them out just like they did with the davidians at waco, texas"

That wasn't Bush numbnuts..it was Clinton and Janet Reno (both DEMOCRATS!)

522.10.2007 15:28
nobrainer
Inactive

Originally posted by windsong:
"I'm sure that the gw bush gov will send around the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to smoke them out just like they did with the davidians at waco, texas"

That wasn't Bush numbnuts..it was Clinton and Janet Reno (both DEMOCRATS!)
both parties ruled by the same ppl, Bush got sponsorship from Rockefeller and Hilary Clinton from the Rothschilds both leading members of the Bilderberg Group as well as Rupert Murdoch, Ex PM Tony Blair, Current PM Gordon Brown and many other nations leaders and World Bankers, TV & Radio ceo's big oil ppl ect.

What happens when the New to be covertly thrust upon America/Canada/Mexico, "American union" and the european union and the Asian union join who are the leaders?
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Oct 2007 @ 15:31

622.10.2007 18:50

"According to Anderson, he began working with the MPAA in 2005 after a failed business venture with TorrentSpy founder Justin Bunnell. He says he emailed the MPAA offering to work with them to help fight piracy, and that's where things start getting interesting."

I think it is sad that people are gullible enough to think they can stop progress. The internet is and should stay free. The internet is for the people (and I don't care that it was started by some gov't army division), leave it alone. Because like nature, we will find a way.

723.10.2007 0:53
WierdName
Inactive

And we thought those leaked emails were big...

As for the people that seem to always turn topics into a political debate/fight, would you just stick to the topic?! This is a tech forum not political. I'm sure many would agree with me on preferring to read about tech stuff not who's the bigger jerk in office.

823.10.2007 18:37

I totally agree. However, the arguments that should be debated here are not technical, but legal. The hiring of an illegal hacker could be compared to any other type of police informant, which in itself is common practice and would be easily admissible in court. The grey area that I spoke of earlier, concerns the method that the hacker used to obtain the Emails from torrentspy. Was it legally obtained? Of course it wasn't. Was the MPAA aware of it? I have no doubt in my mind that they were, especially when Garfield says he had '"an informant" who could intercept any email communication on TorrentSpy servers'. That to me is as near as proof.

As for the political arguments clogging up the boards, be prepared to put up with it for another year until the US election. The last one was a bitter experience, particularly on the usenet front. I have no problem with free speech, but politics is not the answer to everything.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 Oct 2007 @ 17:26

My opinions come with no warranty whatsoever, but are totally open-source, so you can reverse engineer or decompile them as you see fit. All other rights reserved.

"Freedom" in the west consists of: Freedom of speech, freedom of opinion and freedom of movement. So why is it then, that people want to know what youre saying, what you think of them and where you are going?

924.10.2007 16:55

I love how the MPAA does this and just deni the fact. I feel that this may set a precident if any legal action may take place.

1025.10.2007 9:18
RNR1995
Inactive

First of all hacking is a felony
Second I love the way a judge just threw out the guys claim LOVELY!
If the information had been obtained with a warrant, then it would be legal
Just because these fat ass suits have all this money to pay off people does not make it right. How much justice can you afford?

1128.10.2007 14:43

Quote:
I thought in the USA that hacking comes under anti terrorism laws and is a serious breach of the law?

In the USA it depends entirely upon your political affiliations.
Quote:
And it matters not what country the people reside in as they can be extradited by the us under their new global powers to do what they like such as the Gary McKinnon case who faces 60years in a foreign jail for hacking.

In the USA as anywhere else just 'follow the money'.
Quote:
Maybe everyone needs to report this illegal activity by the media companies to the American cybercrime agency: http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/cybercrime/reporting.htm

Don't expect any sympathy or response there.
Quote:
I'm sure that the gw bush gov will send around the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to smoke them out just like they did with the davidians at waco, texas, but the media did try to cover that up so they may require a little cover up for their own illegal exploits, but the videos still exist of the tank: (part 3, 3:00min & 6:30min)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-ybjspgjkQ&mode=related&search=

http://www.carolmoore.net/waco/

Surely, you jest! The BATF has nothing to do with communications activities-pick another bleeping gummint agency.
Quote:
After six hours of tank attacks, a fire started, probably by the last tank attack knocking over a lantern–but possibly by an FBI incendiary device at the front of the building. Infrared (FLIR) video evidence strongly suggests an agent in an FBI tank lobbed an incendiary device into the back of the building after the first fire, starting a second fire.


nobrainer,

I generally agree with your opinions presented above, but you triggered a rant from me with your reference to "the gw bush gov" . The Bush Administration covers the period of 2001-2009. There have been NO murders of U.S. citizens, unlike the previous administration's multiple incidents beginning in 1993-2001.

Perhaps you should research the 1993 Branch Davidian fiasco at Waco before presenting your political 'nobrainer' opinions.

I must remind you that although the Waco incident did involve the BATF and FBI using Texas National Guard 'weapons of minor destruction', it was the administration of our First Rapist and Womanizer Bill Clinton and his hatchet-woman Janet Reno who literally murdered dozens of women and children in the fire that ended the assault that began as an early-morning illegal attack on private citizens.

By the way, have you heard of any indictments handed down by the leftist-leaning DOJ against Reno after she accepted "full responsibility" for those murders?

I won't recite the eight-year reign of terror 'Broke-dick' Willy perpetrated on private citizens, but those of us who were above the age of puberty when this occurred remember well.

Perhaps your parents remember the incompetent administration of 'Jimma' Carter who ushered in our current 'Age of Terrorism'.

'Jimma' and 'Willy' will be fondly remembered as benevolent dictators compared to the impending socialist assault that the First Rapist's enabling, leftist 'wife' is planning for us if somehow she is elected.

You could prepare for this totalitarian regime by researching 'Saul Alinsky' and follow the bitch's career from there. Then you could post your 'nobrainer' comments with some knowledge of history.

You may also find it profitable to research 'Lenin', 'Stalin', 'The Communist Manifesto', 'Hitler', and 'Das Kapital' paying particular attention to the distinct similarities and outcomes of those totalitarian regimes.

Finally, I would suggest Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waco_Siege ) for quick reference and a source for search keywords but YouTube and leftist websites should be used for entertainment purposes only.

Otherwise, stick to the Sci-Fi channels because they represent fiction as fiction instead of leftist websites that present lies, misrepresentations and slander as fact.

And no, I am not a Branch-Davidian and I do not in any way condone their lifestyle, but our Constitution and Bill of Rights were thoroughly trashed by the so-called Clinton Administration. As a Texas conservative, I am continually outraged by leftists and their totalitarian agendas wherever they exist.

I must apologize for the above rant, especially on a non-political website, but I am extremely concerned for citizens of this world who cannot recognize what is happening to their civil liberties.

Remember the Holocaust. It could be coming to a 'gummint' near you.

As we know, this assault on P2P is instigated by 'big business' using bought-and-paid-for politicians.

Today bit-torrent, tomorrow the internet. See what is already occurring in China.

1229.10.2007 14:18

Go oledawg. I couldn't agree more, and I'm glad some people can see how ignorant and idiot these lies perpetrated by these leftist fascists are.

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