Monthly Archives: May 2005

FBI shuts down BitTorrent server today – the first criminal action against BitTorrent

The FBI earlier today raided the “Elite Torrents” BitTorrent network, shutting down its core server. Anyone accessing the site now receives the message “This Site Has Been Permanently Shut Down By The Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

The site had been one that was sharing the new Star Wars release, “Revenge of the Sith.” The movie is claimed to have been downloaded more than 10,000 times the first day it was available, and was up and available for download six hours before the movie opened in theatres.

BitTorrent as a technology has many legitimate uses – I know of a few Podcasters that use the technology to make their shows available faster and more freely available. However, it’s not surprising that actions like this are being taken. Piracy can’t be condoned. And, the mainstream media is full of stories about the widespread infringement of the latest (last?) Star Wars film. It’s so widespread that in order to show they are being effective the government is now forced to take action. If I were a BitTorrent user, I would think twice before infringing the copyright by means of an unauthorized download — it won’t be long before the next raid.

FTC to urge ISP’s to take active role in policing the Net

An interesting article written by Declan McCullogh points out that the FTC plans to ask ISPs to take a more active role in policing the net. Basically, the plan is for the FTC to send a letter to ISPs pointing out steps these service providers can take to help reduce spam by finding and eliminating “zombie networks” that are churning out spam.

It’s a start, but I’m concerned that it is just a baby step. The problem is that much of the traffic is outside of the jurisdiction of the FTC, as the servers that originated these attacks are overseas. Still, if there are *any* assets that are here these assets can be seized.

Blawg Review #7

My post on extortion by means of distributed denial of service attacks was listed among about thirty other noteworthy entries as part of Blawg Review #7. I encourage you to read the other entries, too. No. 7 is hosted this week at Jeremy Richey’s Blawg, check out what this law student has to say. Continue Reading

Comments expected

I have noticed the lack of comments, which may have been because for a while the software was set to only allow registered Blogger users to post comments. Well, I’ve fixed that – anybody can now. If that grows to be a problem with comment spam, well, then I’ll rethink that. The only comments I… Continue Reading

Spyware Survey Results

The Ponemen institute released the results of their 2005 National Spyware Survey today. Interestingly, 97% of the people who reported having found spyware on their machine did not remember seeing an end user license agreement (EULA) before the software was installed. Not surprising is the figure that 87% reported reduced productivity losses as a result… Continue Reading

Virus sends Hate Spam

Now I know why I got a bunch of German spam yesterday – It turns out that a new version of the virus called Sober.q has been released. It sends spam to addresses found on infected PC’s, with neo-Nazi messages in German and English. So, somebody who knows me needs to update their anti-virus software.… Continue Reading

Musings on Convergence: A Buzzword ahead of its time?

The discussion I heard recently on “Maximizing your digital lifestyle” made me reflect on the convergence of digital media and its impact on our modern lifestyle. (Convergence is usually defined as the ‘coming together’ of formerly distinct technologies, industries or activities.) The speakers on the podcast discussed their desire for the capability to experience their… Continue Reading

Copyright Office adds RSS Feeds!

I learned through Library Stuff (originally courtesy of Dave Winer) that the U.S. Copyright Office has added four RSS feeds to its website. The feeds are:* Copyright Office Home Page* NewsNet* Federal Register* Current Legislation I’ve already added the first two of these to my RSS news reader, it’s a great new way to keep… Continue Reading