p2pnet news | P2P:- If the name Robert Anderson rings a bell, you’re probably thinking of the scandal where Hollywood’s MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) paid a hacker for illegal information in the Torrentspy case.
“A representative of the MPAA” told him the studio enforcer wanted information about Torrentspy and its principals, and that “We [the MPAA] don’t care how you get it‘,” says a court document.
Included in the hacked data was the source code for TorrentSpy’s backend software, says Anderson in fascinating Wired story, which goes on:
Anderson alleges this interested the MPAA, which he says wanted to set up a fake BitTorrent site of its own. According to Anderson, the MPAA said, “We’ll set up a fake Torrent site.
We’ll contact the other Torrent sites.
We’ll get their names, address books, contact information and banking information…. (They) wanted to run this as a shadow portion of the MPAA.”
Torrentspy’s US lawyer Ira Rothken said the MPAA’s Dean Garfield offered to pay $15,000 for the stolen material, “after he and the MPAA reviewed it” and “if they found it useful”.
Now, “Promises of Hollywood fame and fortune” persuaded Anderson to betray former associates in the BitTorrent scene, “to Tinseltown’s anti-piracy lobby,” says Wired, going on the MPAA told him, “We would need somebody like you. We would give you a nice paying job, a house, a car, anything you needed…. if you save Hollywood for us you can become rich and powerful.”
Anderson’s account, “shows that the content industry may be willing to go to significant – and some say ethically questionable – lengths in its war against online piracy, and that it is determined to keep its methods secret,” says Wired.
He went to the MPAA in 2005, “after a online advertising venture with TorrentSpy founder Bunnell turned sour” and,
“Looking to profit in other ways,” he emailed the MPAA and among other things, “proposed to implement an anti-piracy marketing campaign for the MPAA,” says the story.
But that wasn’t all, Wired continues.
Anderson also offered to provide inside information on TorrentSpy and soon, “Anderson says he was put in touch with the MPAA’s Dean Garfield (upper right), then the organization’s legal director, and told him he had ‘an informant who could, “intercept any e-mail communication” without saying he was the informant.
Anderson hacked into about three dozen pages of emails, “detailing banking, advertising and other confidential information,” the story has him stating:
“Everything they were talking about was sent to my Gmail. Everything they sent, anything sent to them, I got: invoices; in one case they sent passwords.”
However, of the claim the MPAA was ready to use the TorrentSpy’s backend software to set up fake sites, MPAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Kaltman says the accusation is “patently false,” according to Wired.
You may remember this:
Media Defender, a notorious anti-piracy gang working for the MPAA, RIAA and several independent media production companies, just launched their very own video upload service called ‘miivi.com’. The sole purpose of the site is to trap people into uploading copyrighted material, and bust them for doing so.
Meanwhile, documents filed in support of TorrentSpy’s wiretapping countersuit say:
“(T)he MPAA knew, or had reason to know, that such information was obtained from plaintiffs unlawfully and without authorization.”
And, “Paul Ohm, a University of Colorado Law School scholar specializing in computer crime, is skeptical. “It’s hard to say with a straight face that you can obtain that legally,” says Wired. “Ethical red bells should have been going off.”
What happened to the promises of fame and fortune for Anderson?
Once he’d cashed the MPAA’s check, “he quickly realized that Garfield had no further use for him,” says the story, but, “Hollywood’s cold shoulder put Anderson’s allegiance back up for grabs, and about a year later he came clean with TorrentSpy’s [Justin] Bunnell in an online chat. ” ‘I sold you out to the MPAA,’ Anderson says he told Bunnell. ‘I felt guilty (for) what happened and I kinda also thought at that point the MPAA wasn’t going to do anything’.”
And what of Garfield?
He made his MPAA bones in Sweden as one of the people behind the infamous raid on a major Swedish ISP when evidence was planted so gullible Swedish cops could find it, and is clearly destined for high office.
don’t care how you get it – MPAA hacked Torrentspy, May 25, 2006
Wired – Exclusive: I Was a Hacker for the MPAA, October 22, 2007
may remember – MediaDefender outed! Emails online, September 19, 2007
made his MPAA bones – The ‘face of copyright enforcement’, August 28, 2007
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