Tag Archives: Legal Issues

BREIN Goes After Developers of ‘Pirate’ Kodi Builds

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/brein-goes-after-developers-of-pirate-kodi-builds-170823/

A surge of cheap media players, which often use the open source Kodi software, has made it easy for people to stream video from the Internet directly to their TVs.

The media players themselves are perfectly legal, and the Kodi software is too, but when these are loaded with pirate add-ons, legal issues arise.

Earlier this year the European Court of Justice ruled that selling or using devices pre-configured to obtain copyright-infringing content is illegal. With this decision in hand, anti-piracy group BREIN has pressured dozens of vendors to halt their sales, but the action hasn’t stopped there.

Aside from going after sellers, BREIN is also targeting people who make “pirate” Kodi builds, which are prepackaged bundles of add-ons.

“We are also going after people who are involved in illegal builds, those with add-ons for unauthorized content,” BREIN director Tim Kuik confirmed to TorrentFreak without highlighting any specific targets.

Thus far, the group has focused on three ‘pirate’ builds and settled with ten people connected to them.

BREIN settlements generally include an agreement not to offer any infringing material in the future. This is also the case here. The developers face a penalty of 500 euros per infringing link per day.

Aside from the Filmspeler (Film Player) judgment of the EU Court of Justice, BREIN’s actions also use the Geenstijl ruling as a basis. This confirmed that merely linking to copyrighted works without permission can be seen as infringement, especially when it’s done with a profit motive.

In addition to targeting developers, BREIN previously announced that it had successfully halted the infringing activities of 200 sellers of ‘pirate’ media players.

Despite BREIN’s efforts, there are still plenty of infringing players, builds, and add-ons circulating in the wild, even on eBay. However, with pressure from various sides, it has become increasingly risky for the people involved, which is a dramatic change compared to a year ago.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Should US Border Cops Need a Warrant To Search Devices?

Post Syndicated from Darknet original http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/darknethackers/~3/nkJXOQKsHkU/

The answer from me is, OF COURSE, f&ck yes. They can’t search your home, car and anywhere else in the country, they would need a warrant to search devices too. A case by the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) is heading to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the US to find out what should […]

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US Voting Machines Hacked At DEF CON – Every One

Post Syndicated from Darknet original http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/darknethackers/~3/2jfq8D4XaNo/

US Voting Machines Hacked, some in minutes at this year’s DEF CON “Voting Village” – not something you want to hear really. Especially with the results of recent elections that the World is currently dealing with the consequences from. Of course with physical access, most machines can be dominated in some way or another – […]

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DJI Firmware Hacking Removes Drone Flight Restrictions

Post Syndicated from Darknet original http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/darknethackers/~3/WrLMjVOTRig/

Drones have been taking over the world, everyone with a passing interest in making videos has one and DJI firmware hacking gives you the ability to remove all restrictions (no-fly zones, height and distance) which under most jurisdictions is illegal (mostly EU and FAA for the US). It’s an interesting subject, and also a controversial…

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Fake News As A Service (FNaaS?) – $400k To Rig An Election

Post Syndicated from Darknet original http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/darknethackers/~3/UqEqmi9y3oY/

This is pretty interesting, the prices for Fake News as a Service have come out after some research by Trend Micro, imagine that you can create a fake celebrity with 300,000 followers for only $2,600. Now we all know this Fake News thing has been going on for a while, and of course, if it’s […]

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Anti-Piracy Group Shuts Down ‘Pirate’ Kodi Repos and Add-Ons

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/anti-piracy-group-shuts-down-pirate-kodi-repos-and-add-ons-170531/

The Kodi media player software, previously known as XBMC, has seen a massive surge in popularity in recent years.

More and more people have started to use Kodi as their primary source of entertainment, often with help from unofficial add-ons that allow them to access pirated movies and TV-shows.

While the Kodi software itself is perfectly legal, a lot of third-party software are not. In Israel, this prompted the local anti-piracy group ZIRA to take action against several popular Kodi add-ons and repositories.

Last week the group filed for an injunction to stop the site owners from offering their ‘pirate’ Kodi tools, but before the cases went to court, the industry group already announced a settlement with three of them.

A few days ago abeksis.com, kodiwizardil.net, and kodi-senyor.co.il ceased operating, without prior warning. The Abeksis repository was one main targets, as it offered an easy way to turn the Kodi media player into a piracy hub.

Abeksis

The targeted Kodi repos and add-ons were not monetizing their services and some also offered access to legal content. However, facing the threat of a lawsuit by the anti-piracy group, they chose to cease their services indefinitely.

ZIRA is happy with the outcome and notes that the shutdowns are “another victory in the struggle against the pirated content on the Internet and the preservation of Israeli creators and content.”

The operators of the sites reportedly paid a settlement of a few thousand shekels. In addition, they will have to pay 100,000 more ($28,000) if the repositories or add-ons reappear in the future.

As a warning to the public, the three sites in question replaced their regular content with a message from ZIRA. The message informs visitors about the shutdown, and the threat piracy poses to the local content industry.

“The site you’ve entered was taken down since it was violating intellectual property rights. The site’s operators were fined by the court and therefore the site ceased to operate!” the message reads.

“The cost of copyright infringement is paid by the Israeli population, Israeli culture and the income of the producers,” it adds.

ZIRA’s message

The enforcement actions have caused quite a bit of uncertainty among developers of Kodi add-ons and repositories. Several members of the community feel that the services in question did nothing wrong. Some other developers, however, also prefer to play it safe from now on.

The IsraeLive add-on, for example, which offered access to streams that are available through public websites, decided to remove all Israeli content and rename itself GlobeTV. This was presumably done to prevent legal issues with the respective rightsholders.

“Israeli broadcast streams are available on official websites and not using our add-on, and that’s due to legal reasoning and the Laws of the State of Israel,” the developer posted recently.

Whether ZIRA’s enforcement actions will have a lasting effect on the use of streaming piracy in Israel has yet to be seen. However, as the first broad enforcement action against developers of ‘pirate’ Kodi repos and add-ons, it’s a landmark case that could very well be copied elsewhere in the future.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

UK Schedule 7 – Man Charged For Not Sharing Password

Post Syndicated from Darknet original http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/darknethackers/~3/aGBaFnpXHK4/

Finally UK Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is finally being enacted and is no longer an idle threat, so be aware it’s not only the USA that has these kind of draconian laws. A man who refused to share his phone and laptop passwords has been charged under Schedule 7, which is pretty […]

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Reading Analytics and Privacy

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2017/04/reading_analyti.html

Interesting paper: “The rise of reading analytics and the emerging calculus of reading privacy in the digital world,” by Clifford Lynch:

Abstract: This paper studies emerging technologies for tracking reading behaviors (“reading analytics”) and their implications for reader privacy, attempting to place them in a historical context. It discusses what data is being collected, to whom it is available, and how it might be used by various interested parties (including authors). I explore means of tracking what’s being read, who is doing the reading, and how readers discover what they read. The paper includes two case studies: mass-market e-books (both directly acquired by readers and mediated by libraries) and scholarly journals (usually mediated by academic libraries); in the latter case I also provide examples of the implications of various authentication, authorization and access management practices on reader privacy. While legal issues are touched upon, the focus is generally pragmatic, emphasizing technology and marketplace practices. The article illustrates the way reader privacy concerns are shifting from government to commercial surveillance, and the interactions between government and the private sector in this area. The paper emphasizes U.S.-based developments.

Russia Plans To Ban VPNs & Proxies That Unblock Blocked Sites

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/russia-plans-to-ban-vpns-proxies-that-unblock-blocked-sites-170420/

When it comes to blocking websites, Russia is quickly emerging as a world leader. Tens of thousands of resources are now blocked in the country on copyright infringement and a wide range of other grounds.

Of course, Russian citizens are not always prepared to be constrained by their government, so large numbers of people regularly find ways to circumvent ISP blockades. The tools and methods deployed are largely the same as those used in the West, including VPNs, proxies, mirror sites and dedicated services such as Tor.

To counter this defiance, the Russian government has been considering legislation to tackle sites, tools and services that provide Internet users with ways to circumvent blockades. According to local news outlet Vedomosti, that has now resulted in a tough new bill.

Russia’s plan is to issue a nationwide ban on systems and software that allow Internet users to bypass website blockades previously approved by telecoms watchdog Roskomnadzor. This means that if a VPN, proxy or similar tool unblocks torrent site RuTracker, for example, it will be breaking the law. As a result, it too will find itself on Russia’s banned site list.

The publication says it has confirmed the bill’s existence with a federal official and several Internet service provider sources.

The technical aspects of the bill were reportedly formulated by lawyers working for the Media Communications Union (MCU), a trade group established by the largest media companies in the country. The MCU has a particular interest in ensuring that web users do not bypass pirate site blockades by using anonymous web-based CGI proxies.

The bill does give VPN and proxy providers some remove for maneuver. If they are configured to prevent access to all domains present in Russia’s banned resources list, it appears they can avoid legal issues. However, for VPN services which pride themselves on not monitoring user traffic, censoring certain sites could provoke a backlash and undermine credibility.

As previously reported, Russia also has search engines in its sights. It wants to prevent links to banned sites appearing in search results, claiming that these encourage people to access banned material.

The new bill reportedly lays out a new framework which will force search engines to remove such links. Failing to do so could result in fines of up to $12,400 per breach, clearly a significant issue for companies such as Google and local search giant Yandex.

“We believe that the laying of responsibilities on search engines is superfluous,” a Yandex spokesperson said.

“Even if the reference to a [banned] resource does appear in search results, it does not mean that by clicking on it the user will get access, if it was already blocked by ISPs or in any other ways.”

This morning, the bill was discussed at the Russian Internet Forum (RIF). While it’s aim of reducing copyright infringement was understood, there were concerns that the bill could affect negatively effect the rights of Internet users.

“Naturally, we are against the spread of illegal content, but the law does not violate the rights and freedoms of citizens to access information,” says Sergey Grebennikov, director of the Regional Public Center of Internet Technologies.

“Yes, there is a ‘gray zone’ used to carry out illegal activities and the distribution of illegal content using a CGI proxies, but it does not mean that legitimate users have to suffer. It is also important to note that the laws do not violate the rights of users who choose the safe use of the Internet, for example, by using a VPN connection,” Grebennikov concludes.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Shadow Brokers Release Dangerous NSA Hacking Tools

Post Syndicated from Darknet original http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/darknethackers/~3/C7Uj-fd-nmk/

It’s not the first time Shadow Brokers has been on the radar with NSA Hacking Tools, in August 2016 they exposed a bunch of 0-day exploits (also from 2013). This cache of tools appears to be from 2013, so was properly snatched during the same intrusion. This is somewhat more dangerous though as it provides […]

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Prisoners Hack Prison From Inside Prison

Post Syndicated from Darknet original http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/darknethackers/~3/YTDOBPW2iiM/

Prisoners Hack Prison! Sounds exciting right? This time it’s actually pretty entertaining with the prisoners managing to hack a prison network from INSIDE the prison using scavenged PC parts from a rehabilitation class. Some pretty resourceful guys managing to build 2 functional PCs from scrapped parts AND connect to the prison network AND try and…

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European Commission Pushing For Encryption Backdoors

Post Syndicated from Darknet original http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/darknethackers/~3/ocno8CjeP-U/

The debate surrounding encryption backdoors has been raging on for years with governments (that typically don’t really understand the things they are pushing for) requesting all software have government ‘secured’ backdoor keys. This is now getting more serious in Europe with the EC actually forcing the issue (in a passive aggressive kind of way…

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WikiLeaks Exposes Massive CIA Leak Including Hacking Tools

Post Syndicated from Darknet original http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/darknethackers/~3/HOArkGLZ1Es/

WikiLeaks has dropped another massive bomb called “Vault7“, basically a massive CIA leak which covers documents, correspondence, hacking tools, exploits and much more. It details sophisticated software tools and techniques used by the agency to break into smartphones, computers and even Smart TVs. The first installment published already contains…

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Top 10 FOSS legal stories in 2016 (opensource.com)

Post Syndicated from corbet original https://lwn.net/Articles/714719/rss

Mark Radcliffe surveys
the most important legal issues
surrounding free and open-source
software on opensource.com. “The challenge for the Linux community
is to decide when to bring litigation to enforce the GPLv2. What it means
in many situations is that to be compliant is currently left to individual
contributors rather than being based on a set of community norms. As
Theodore Ts’o noted, this issue really concerns project
governance. Although permitting individual contributors to make these
decisions may be the Platonic ideal, the tradeoff is ambiguity for users
trying to be compliant as well as the potential for rogue members of the
community (like McHardy) to create problems. The members of the Linux
community and other FOSS communities need to consider how they can best
assist the members of their community to understand what compliance means
and to determine when litigation might be useful in furtherance of the
community’s goals.

Dark Web Paying Corporate Workers To Leak Info

Post Syndicated from Darknet original http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/darknethackers/~3/zVyI8cb3Wrs/

This is not particularly new news, but the Dark Web paying corporate workers to leak info – especially pertaining to stock prices (earnings reports etc) is setting the mainstream news on fire at the moment. It’s also funny because people constantly contact us asking questions about the ‘Dark Web’ aka the ‘Dark Net’ which happens […]

The…

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Ahashare ‘Disappears’ After Domain Name Suspension

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/ahashare-disappears-after-domain-name-suspension-170131/

ahasharelogoWith tens of thousands of visitors per day, torrent site Ahashare has built a decent sized community in recent years.

The site has an active team of uploaders and many regular visitors, or should we say had? For the past few days, the site has been unreachable on its regular Ahashare.com domain.

Roughly a week ago the site vanished without a trace. After some digging, it appears that the site’s domain name has been suspended by Public Domain Registry (PDR), with a “clienthold” status.

We have seen this status on suspended domains before. According to ICANN the clienthold tag is uncommon and “usually enacted during legal disputes, non-payment, or when your domain is subject to deletion.”

Clienthold….

ahashareclinethold

TorrentFreak contacted the site’s team via the publicly listed address hoping to find out more, but we have yet to hear back.

The site’s operators are quiet on social media as well. The Twitter account posted the last site update more than five years ago. Two weeks ago a new tweet was posted linking to what seems to be a counterfeit sunglasses site, suggesting that it’s compromised.

Generally speaking, domain name suspensions are easily countered if sites switch to a new domain. Thus far it looks like the Ahashare team hasn’t done this yet, so it’s possible that more is going on.

Ahashare.com in better times

ahashare

Ahashare registered its domain through the Indian domain registrar PDR, which is no stranger when it comes to suspensions.

The company previously seized the domains of ExtraTorrent and several other popular torrent sites. However, in recent years there might have been less compliance. The MPAA now lists PDR as a non-cooperative registrar in a recent recommendation to the Government, but it’s possible this doesn’t apply universally.

Whether Ahashare will return in the future is unknown, but in the meantime, the site’s users will have to look elsewhere for their daily torrent fix.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Demonoid Suffers Extended Downtime Due to Hosting Issue

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/demonoid-suffers-extended-downtime-due-hosting-issue-170126/

demonoid-logoAs one of the oldest torrent communities online, the semi-private Demonoid tracker has had its fair share of troubles over the years.

The site has gone offline on several occasions in the past. Most notable was the 20 months downtime streak, which began in 2012 following a DDoS attack and legal troubles in Ukraine.

Since then Demonoid has slowly but steadily rebuilt its community up to a point where it now has millions of visitors per month, bringing it back into the range of the largest torrent sites once again.

However, to the surprise of many, the site went dark again earlier this week. People who try to access the latest Dnoid.me domain will see that nothing is coming up at all.

Initially, the downtime was little to worry about. On Tuesday the Demonoid crew announced that there was going to be a planned server change, cautioning users not to panic.

Don’t panic

servermove

Not everyone had seen the announcement though, and for those who did see it, an outage of two full days for a server move seemed a bit much.

To find out more, TorrentFreak reached out to the Demonoid team via the official Twitter account. They informed us that they’ve run into some unforeseen problems, but nothing that can’t be overcome.

The team is currently working on a fix and they hope to bring the site back online as soon as possible. But, depending now how things go, it may take a couple of extra days. The team made clear that there are no legal issues, but for now they prefer to keep the finer details in-house.

The above makes it clear that Demonoid users have no other option than to patiently wait until the site returns, or find an alternative for the time being.

This is easier said than done for some. While the active Demonoid community is a bit smaller now than it was at its height, it is still a prime location for users who are sharing more obscure content that’s hard to find on public sites.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

KickassTorrents Brought Back to Life by Original Staffers

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/kickasstorrents-brought-back-to-life-by-original-staffers-161216/

katA few months ago a criminal investegation by the U.S. Government brought down KickassTorrents, the largest torrent site at the time.

As a result, millions of people were left without their favorite torrent site. This included a very active community of admins, moderators and forum members.

Shortly after the shutdown, several KAT-crew members regrouped in an effort to get the community part of the site back up. They launched the Katcr.co forum as their new home and hinted that torrents could come back too, in the future.

Today is the big day as Katcr.co (KATcr) has now launched a fully operational torrent site, which looks identical to its predecessor. The site starts with a clean user database but many members of the original staff are on board.

“The majority of our original Staff, Admins and Moderation team joined us after Kat.cr went down – which is something we’re very proud of. This shows the loyalty, dedication and real love for KAT that we all share,” The KATcr team told TorrentFreak.

At the original KAT, site administrators and crew were clearly separated from those who technically and financially ran the place. This means that the people in charge of KATcr didn’t have access to the original code and data.

Still, they managed to put together bits and pieces to make it look identical, so former KAT users should feel right at home.

The new Katcr.co

katcr

Perhaps just as importantly, many of the site’s renowned uploaders are also back. As a result, the site will be populated with a lot of fresh content right from the start.

“We have all our major uploaders on board and they continued to share tirelessly even before the torrent engines returned. The torrent community can continue to expect to see uploads from all the names they know and trust,” the KATcr crew says.

Uploading to KATcr

katupload

Putting everything together took quite a bit of time, but the team wanted to make sure that everything is secure, which they are confident is the case now.

“In order to keep our members safe we chose to rebuild and keep only safe elements. Despite the fact that a rebuild took longer, the safety of our community comes first,” the KATcr crew told us.

While some might see it as a bold move to relaunch a site whose alleged operators are still wanted by the U.S. Government, the current staff sees no major legal issues ahead.

They point out that the site has a proper DMCA takedown procedure, just like YouTube, adding that they don’t store any copyrighted material on the site’s servers.

“KAT is a community-based forum and a torrent search engine. It’s the heart of who we are and that will never change. Despite opinions to the contrary, torrents are not illegal and we do not host any content.

“So long as Kickass Torrents continues to operate to the absolute letter of the law then we are most certainly not conducting criminal activities,” they note.

In a similar vein, the KATcr crew believes that the original operators of the site will walk free.

“We strongly believe the investigation carried out by Homeland Security and the IRS is unlawful in basis, targeting a foreign citizen and prosecuting them under US law. We have every confidence in the outcome of the pending legal action,” they say.

Over the past months, many KAT copies and mirrors emerged claiming to be the real reincarnation. In reality, the original site is still gone, but with many old staffers and uploaders onboard, KATcr might have some legs.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

UK Encryption Backdoor Law Passed Via Investigatory Powers Act

Post Syndicated from Darknet original http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/darknethackers/~3/mYvV-ZzHN1k/

The latest news out of my homeland is not good, the UK encryption backdoor law passed via Investigatory Powers Act or the IPA Bill as it’s commonly known. And itself was passed through a kind of backdoor route, which avoided the scorn of the public. Which was good for the lawmakers, but not for the […]

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