While popular arguments focus on supposed “monopolists“ such as big cable companies, it’s government that’s really to blame. Companies can make life harder for their competitors, but strangling the competition tak... (more)
Tuesday June 18th, 2013
Is Encryption Effective Against Snooping? German Government Says No, Snowden Says Yes
posted 06/18/2013, 5:47 PM (Techdirt) [Category: Science/Technology] The revelations of Edward Snowden about the NSA's snooping of citizens both inside and outside the US are posing more questions than they answer at the moment. One key area is whether the use of encryption -- for example for email -- is effective against the techniques and raw power available to the NSA (and equivalents in other countries). That's something that has come up before in the context of the UK's Snooper's Charter. When a top official there was asked whether the proposed surveillanc... (more)
Monday June 17th, 2013
File-Sharers Are Well Educated and Earn More Money
posted 06/17/2013, 5:15 PM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] New research commissioned by the Australasian Performing Right Association reveals that Australian file-sharers are more affluent and better educated than their non-downloading counterparts. One in three Aussie Internet pirates earn more than $100,000 and one in four enjoyed a university education. The results further confirm that pirates tend to be relatively young, with 44% of file-sharers under 30 years of age.... (more)
Pirate Bay Founder Denies Hacking Charges in Court
posted 05/29/2013, 10:32 AM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] Appearing in court for a second week, Gottfrid Svartholm says he had no part in hacking Swedish IT company Logica. The Pirate Bay founder denies being the person behind chat logs presented as evidence by the prosecution and maintains that other individuals who he doesn’t want to name had access to his computers either physically or via remote access. Prosecutor Henrik Olin described the Swede’s statements as “not credible.”... (more)
Google announces open source patent pledge, won't sue 'unless first attacked'
posted 03/28/2013, 10:45 PM (The Verge) [Category: Science/Technology] Google just announced the Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge, a new initiative whereby the company has promised not to sue developers, distributors, and users of open source software utilizing Mountain View's patents "unless first attacked." In introducing the good faith effort, Google is reiterating its passion and support for all things open. "Open-source software has been at the root of many innovations in cloud computing, the mobile web, and the Internet generally," writes Duane Valz, Go... (more)
Wednesday March 27th, 2013
"Piracy Is Progress" Billboard on Times Square Divides Artists
posted 03/27/2013, 10:57 PM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] The band Ghost Beach is running a controversial billboard campaign in New York’s Times Square. With slogans such as “Piracy is Progress” and “Piracy is Robbery” they are encouraging other artists to speak their mind about copyright infringement. The band itself told TorrentFreak that it is ultimately against piracy, but that the problem can only be tackled when consumers have affordable and convenient alternatives. For now, they want the public to choose whether they want to pay for their latest... (more)
Sunday March 24th, 2013
Free Access To Dozens of Anonymous VPNs Via New University Project
posted 03/24/2013, 9:29 PM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] As citizens around the world endure Internet censorship of all types, a Japanese university has stepped in to level the playing field. Whether you’re in Iran or China and blocked from YouTube, Twitter or Facebook, or in the UK desperate to get back on The Pirate Bay, KAT or H33T, a new tool from researchers gives instant access to dozens of VPN services. Not only is the system simple to use, but it’s also completely free.... (more)
This is pretty epic. I got a VPN service just the other day, been using it all week, it's superb. It was only $40 for an entire year and I get speeds of 36mbps down as opposed to 46mbps down without it, I barely even notice it's running. You can torrent freely, also you can connect to euro servers to get around YouTube copyright blockades. Also your ISP doesn't see anything you're doing, just a stream of encrypted bits. It's quite nice. - Chris
Websites Can Legally Pirate Porn Movies, Prosecutors Rule
posted 03/24/2013, 9:29 PM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] For years Japan’s leading producers of pornographic movies have been battling to protect their content overseas. In particular they have focused on Taiwan where websites openly sell their videos and TV channels air their content without permission. The studios eventually took legal action, but to no avail. This week prosecutors made the decision not to prosecute any of the alleged pirates, ruling that since pornography is obscene it isn’t worthy of copyright protection.... (more)
The team at one-month-old Domestic Drone Countermeasures doesn’t go into many specifics, but says they can offer services that will make sure Americans aren’t being spied on by hovering eyes in the sky.... (more)
Don't Download That Bro, You're Going to Get Busted!
posted 03/18/2013, 2:50 AM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] One of the most enduring questions in the history of online file-sharing asks whether something bad will come from downloading and/or sharing a particular product. Will the the recording and movie industries come knocking? Will the police or even the FBI take an interest? Are the evil bottom-feeding trolls watching my torrents? It’s a complex area, but one that’s fairly easily understood.... (more)
"Pirate Bay" Billboard Hackers Rewarded for Exposing Security Flaw
posted 03/18/2013, 2:50 AM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] A few days ago two computer science students hacked a billboard in the center of Belgrade, Serbia, and replaced its standard message with a meters-wide Pirate Bay logo. The ‘hackers’ said they wanted to show that security of IT-systems is often lacking and their message didn’t fall on deaf ears. The manager of the billboard company thanked the pair for their efforts and rewarded them with a 4G iPad Mini each.... (more)
VPN Services That Take Your Anonymity Seriously, 2013 Edition
posted 03/04/2013, 5:29 AM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] More than a year ago TorrentFreak took a look at a selection of the web’s VPN providers to see which ones really take privacy seriously. During the months that followed we received dozens of emails begging us to carry out an update and today here it is. The first installment in our list of VPN providers that due to their setup cannot link user activity to external IP addresses and activities.... (more)
If Jim Kor’s dream is realized, that’s exactly how the next generation of urban runabouts will be produced. His creation is called the Urbee 2 and it could revolutionize parts manufacturing while creating a cottage industry of small-batch automakers intent on challenging the status ... (more)
Thursday February 21st, 2013
Google Refuses to Index Huge Streaming Movie Portal Homepage
posted 02/21/2013, 4:12 PM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] One of the Internet’s largest indexes for streaming movie and TV show content is locked in a dispute over the removal of the site’s homepage from Google’s search engine results. Movie2K, the 240th most-popular site in the world according to Alexa, had its main page delisted following a copyright complaint from Paramount Pictures and efforts to have it reinstated have failed. Google says it will not review the situation, even though the infringing material in question is no longer present.... (more)
Looks like a sweet site, bookmarked!
CNET Doesn't Have to Ban BitTorrent Clients, Court Rules
posted 02/21/2013, 4:12 PM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] CBS and CNET do not have to stop distributing BitTorrent clients and other file-sharing software. A California court has denied the request for a preliminary injunction from a group of artists, who accused the companies of facilitating piracy. According to the judge there is no indication that CBS and CNET will purposefully encourage copyright infringement in the future, and a ban would needlessly silence “public discussion of P2P technologies.”... (more)
Friday February 8th, 2013
Patent Troll Says It Owns Podcasting; Sues Adam Carolla, HowStuffWorks
posted 02/08/2013, 3:49 AM (Techdirt) [Category: Science/Technology] We've written a few times about a patent trolling operation called Personal Audio. Like so many patent trolling companies, whose actually behind it is something of a mystery, but it does have an empty office in East Texas that no one ever goes to. It sued Apple and others claiming that it held patents on the concept of "playlists" and actually scored some victories. Amazingly, it sued Apple multiple times over the same patent, arguing that small changes to its products were new violations. ... (more)
Wednesday February 6th, 2013
Pirate Bay Founder Helped Wikileaks On Several Fronts
posted 02/06/2013, 4:08 AM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] The upcoming Pirate Bay documentary TPB AFK will highlight some under-reported details about the connection between the BitTorrent site and Wikileaks. Among other things, Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm was credited for his involvement in getting the “Collateral Murder” video out to the public. Daniel Domscheit-Berg, the former spokesman of WikiLeaks, further recalls travelling to Sweden with Julian Assange to pay server fees . A meeting he will not forget anytime soon.... (more)
Late evening Friday, January 25, U.S. Sentencing Commission website was hacked and government files distributed by Anonymous in what the group calls "Operation Last Resort" in response to the recent, tragic suicide of hacktivist Aaron Swartz.
he United States government says that Kim Dotcom, a German millionaire formerly known as Kim Schmitz, masterminded a vast criminal conspiracy by operating the file-storage site Megaupload. Dotcom, on the other hand, begs to differ. One year after the high-profile raid of his home and the shut-down of one of the most popular sites on the Web, Dotcom hosted a launch party for his latest endeavor, simply ... (more)
Court Refuses To Allow Copyright Troll To “Ensnare” Innocent Subscribers
posted 01/25/2013, 5:28 PM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] In another victory against copyright trolls in the United States, a court has effectively ruined an adult movie company’s chances of screwing any money out of potentially innocent Internet subscribers. The case, involving the identities of 110 alleged BitTorrent pirates, was kicked out by a judge after the plaintiff failed to explain how it would safeguard its IP address-based evidence from “ensnaring” innocent Internet subscribers.... (more)
The key difference is an encryption and decryption feature for data transfers that Dotcom says will protect him from the legal drama that has entangled Megaupload and threatened to put him behind bars.
The decryption keys for uploaded files are held by the ... (more)
Dotcom's Mega Launches To Unprecedented Demand
posted 01/21/2013, 2:57 PM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] The much anticipated rebirth of Megaupload took place in the last few hours with interest living up to expectations. In less than one hour the site picked up 100,000 new registrations, going on to 500,000 and beyond just a few hours later. As the site struggled to cope with demand it became unresponsive in the face of an unprecedented flood of users eager to test out the new file-hosting site. Just a few minutes ago the launch party at Kim Dotcom’s mansion began, with some interesting reveals.... (more)
U.S. Judge Dismisses “Copyright Shakedown” of Foreign Video Sites
posted 01/12/2013, 12:56 PM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] Tube sites EmpFlix and TNAflix, which grew out of the famous BitTorrent trackers Empornium and PureTNA, were targeted in 2011 by an adult rightsholder company in a copyright case. If successful it could have seen the sites losing their domains and being shut down. However, in a case described by their lawyers as “higher-end versions” of the current wave of BitTorrent troll suits, the non-US based sites have just come out the winners after a U.S. judge dismissed the case.... (more)
PARIS - Video posted online shows an unmanned drone buzzing a French police car in the streets of Paris.
The video posted by Team Black Sheep, a group that specializes in recording unmanned aerial flights, shows the unmanned craft landing on top of a box truck and stopping near a crowd gathered on a street corner.... (more)
Imagine the possibilities for copblocking from the comfort of your own home! - Chris
“Even mass murderers [like Breivik] should not be executed, in my opinion.”
“GW deniers fall into a completely different category from Behring Breivik. They are already causing the deaths of hundreds of millions of future people. We could be speaking of billions, but I am making a conservative estimate.”... (more)
Verizon Determined to Expose BitTorrent Copyright Trolls
posted 12/12/2012, 4:46 AM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] It’s now apparent that Verizon is fed up with the avalanche of mass-BitTorrent lawsuits and is determined to put an end to copyright trolls’ extortion-like practices. The Internet provider is asking a Texas court to grant discovery so it can expose how these companies operate. According to Verizon, copyright trolling practices don’t belong in court and the ISP equates the companies involved with “schoolyard bullies who push and shove until firm opposition is met when they shrink away.”... (more)
UK Streaming Link Site Operators Handed Suspended Jail Sentences
posted 12/12/2012, 4:46 AM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] Two brothers from the UK in their mid-twenties have been convicted for operating websites that indexed links to unauthorized streams of copyrighted movies. The pair were charged in 2010 and this week were handed nine month suspended jail sentences and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work. The convictions follow an investigation by West Yorkshire Police in collaboration with the movie industry group FACT, who feel that in the UK the tide is turning in favor of copyright holders.... (more)
Monday December 10th, 2012
Kim Dotcom: Mega Will Turn Encryption into a Mass Product
posted 12/10/2012, 5:05 AM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] Next month Kim Dotcom will release a new and improved version of the now defunct Megaupload. Today, he unveiled the new look of the site by sharing several teaser screenshots, including one of the encryption interface. Mega, as the new service is called, will turn encryption into a mass product and Dotcom believes that with Mega’s help half of all Internet traffic will be encrypted in 5 years.... (more)
The 397-0 vote is meant to send a signal to countries meeting at a U.N. conference on telecommunications this week. Participants are meeting to update an international telecom treaty, but critics warn that many countries’ proposals could allow U.N. regulation of the In... (more)
Six Strikes Anti-Piracy Plan Delayed Till 2013
posted 11/29/2012, 12:41 AM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] The much debated “six strikes” anti-piracy scheme was supposed to kick off in the United States today, but this is not going to happen. The Center for Copyright Information has announced that the ISPs are not ready to send warnings just yet, citing Hurricane Sandy as one of the reasons for the delay. The scheme is now expected to take off early next year if everything goes according to the updated schedule.... (more)
Defense Distributed, a company which wants to extend the U.S. Second Amendment rights to the entire world, hopes to test prototypes of the printable weapons by the end of the year.
'This project could very well change the way we think about gun control and consumption,' the organisation... (more)
Tuesday November 27th, 2012
Verizon Sued For Defending Alleged BitTorrent Pirates
posted 11/27/2012, 1:58 AM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] A group of adult movie companies is suing Verizon for failing to hand over the personal details of alleged BitTorrent pirates. The provider systematically refuses to comply with court-ordered subpoenas and the copyright holders see these actions as more than just an attempt to protect its customers. According to the them, Verizon’s objections are in bad faith as the Internet provider is profiting from BitTorrent infringements at the expense of lower-tier ISPs.
Phone patents: An absurd battle
posted 11/19/2012, 8:49 PM (BBC News) [Category: Science/Technology] "To get an idea of the size of the problem facing the likes of Apple and Samsung, consider this: O'Connor believes - based on estimates from patent firm RPX - that there are about 250,000 active patents in the United States that may have some relevance to the activities of mobile device manufacturers out of a total of about 1.5 million active patents. That means that about 17% of all active patents in the United States are potentially patents on smartphone technology.
New Megaupload To Launch On Police Raid Anniversary
posted 10/29/2012, 1:18 AM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] January this year the U.S. Government destroyed Megaupload, but founder Kim Dotcom is a not done with the file-hosting business yet and is preparing a comeback with something bigger and better. Over the past months a group of coders have been working hard on the new “Mega” venture and Dotcom announced today that the raid-proof service will launch exactly one year after Megaupload was shut down.
With 50 million visitors per day at its peak, Megaupload was one of the largest websit... (more)
Cisco's CEO Rips Into The Patent System & All Who Abuse It, Big Or Small
posted 10/29/2012, 1:18 AM (Techdirt) [Category: Science/Technology] There are plenty of discussions about the problem of patent trolls, but if you think that's the only problem with the patent system, you haven't been paying attention. There have been a ton of major clashes going on between big companies, spending billions buying up patents, suing each other... and not putting that money into innovation or lower prices. So it's nice to see Cisco CEO John Chambers speak out against the patent system by calling out both the trolls and the big tech compani... (more)
Pirate Bay Moves to The Cloud, Becomes Raid-Proof
posted 10/18/2012, 8:59 AM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] The Pirate Bay has made an important change to its infrastructure. The world’s most famous BitTorrent site has switched its entire operation to the cloud. From now on The Pirate Bay will serve its users from several cloud hosting providers scattered around the world. The move will cut costs, ensure better uptime, and make the site virtually invulnerable to police raids — all while keeping user data secure.... (more)
Tuesday October 16th, 2012
File-Sharers Buy 30% More Music Than Non-P2P Peers
posted 10/16/2012, 5:46 AM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] One of the most comprehensive studies into media sharing and consumption habits in the United States and Germany reveals that file-sharers buy 30% more music than their non-sharing counterparts. The result confirms that file-sharers are actually the music industry’s best customers. In addition, the research reveals that contrary to popular belief, offline “copying” is far more prevalent than online music piracy.... (more)
Monday October 15th, 2012
3D Printer DRM Patent To Stop People Downloading a Car
posted 10/15/2012, 1:57 AM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] DRM systems in the digital media world are nothing new and are utilized extensively in the music, movie and video games industries. Now, after applying four years ago, a company has this week obtained a patent for a DRM system that aims to stop future owners of 3D printers from printing whatever they like. The dream of downloading a new pair of sneakers or even a car might already be in jeopardy, before it’s even begun.... (more)
The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.
This means that the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures... (more)
Tuesday October 9th, 2012
Finally: BitTorrent Piracy Evidence to be Tested in Court
posted 10/09/2012, 5:05 AM (TorrentFreak) [Category: Science/Technology] A landmark order by a Pennsylvania District Court judge may become the turning point for the many mass-BitTorrent lawsuits that are sweeping through the United States. For the first time in these cases a copyright holder has been ordered to go to trial, instead of settling with the alleged file-sharers for a few thousand dollars. This will be the first time that BitTorrent-related evidence will be tested in a U.S. court.
Over the past two years a small group of copyright holders h... (more)