Tag Archives: search engines

Banning VPNs and Proxies is Dangerous, IT Experts Warn

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/banning-vpns-and-proxies-is-dangerous-it-experts-warn-170623/

In April, draft legislation was developed to crack down on systems and software that allow Russian Internet users to bypass website blockades approved by telecoms watchdog Roskomnadzor.

Earlier this month the draft bill was submitted to the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament. If passed, the law will make it illegal for services to circumvent web blockades by “routing traffic of Russian Internet users through foreign servers, anonymous proxy servers, virtual private networks and other means.”

As the plans currently stand, anonymization services that fail to restrict access to sites listed by telecoms watchdog Rozcomnadzor face being blocked themselves. Sites offering circumvention software for download also face potential blacklisting.

This week the State Duma discussed the proposals with experts from the local Internet industry. In addition to the head of Rozcomnadzor, representatives from service providers, search engines and even anonymization services were in attendance. Novaya Gazeta has published comments (Russian) from some of the key people at the meeting and it’s fair to say there’s not a lot of support.

VimpelCom, the sixth largest mobile network operator in the world with more than 240 million subscribers, sent along Director for Relations with Government, Sergey Malyanov. He wondered where all this blocking will end up.

“First we banned certain information. Then this information was blocked with the responsibility placed on both owners of resources and services. Now there are blocks on top of blocks – so we already have a triple effort,” he said.

“It is now possible that there will be a fourth iteration: the block on the block to block those that were not blocked. And with that, we have significantly complicated the law and the activities of all the people affected by it.”

Malyanov said that these kinds of actions have the potential to close down the entire Internet by ruining what was once an open network running standard protocols. But amid all of this, will it even be effective?

“The question is not even about the losses that will be incurred by network operators, the owners of the resources and the search engines. The question is whether this bill addresses the goal its creators have set for themselves. In my opinion, it will not.”

Group-IB, one of the world’s leading cyber-security and threat intelligence providers, was represented CEO Ilya Sachkov. He told parliament that “ordinary respectable people” who use the Internet should always use a VPN for security. Nevertheless, he also believes that such services should be forced to filter sites deemed illegal by the state.

But in a warning about blocks in general, he warned that people who want to circumvent them will always be one step ahead.

“We have to understand that by the time the law is adopted the perpetrators will already find it very easy to circumvent,” he said.

Mobile operator giant MTS, which turns over billions of dollars and employs 50,000+ people, had their Vice-President of Corporate and Legal Affairs in attendance. Ruslan Ibragimov said that in dealing with a problem, the government should be cautious of not causing more problems, including disruption of a growing VPN market.

“We have an understanding that evil must be fought, but it’s not necessary to create a new evil, even more so – for those who are involved in this struggle,” he said.

“Broad wording of this law may pose a threat to our network, which could be affected by the new restrictive measures, as well as the VPN market, which we are currently developing, and whose potential market is estimated at 50 billion rubles a year.”

In its goal to maintain control of the Internet, it’s clear that Russia is determined to press ahead with legislative change. Unfortunately, it’s far from clear that there’s a technical solution to the problem, but if one is pursued regardless, there could be serious fallout.

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

BPI Breaks Record After Sending 310 Million Google Takedowns

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/bpi-breaks-record-after-sending-310-million-google-takedowns-170619/

A little over a year ago during March 2016, music industry group BPI reached an important milestone. After years of sending takedown notices to Google, the group burst through the 200 million URL barrier.

The fact that it took BPI several years to reach its 200 million milestone made the surpassing of the quarter billion milestone a few months later even more remarkable. In October 2016, the group sent its 250 millionth takedown to Google, a figure that nearly doubled when accounting for notices sent to Microsoft’s Bing.

But despite the volumes, the battle hadn’t been won, let alone the war. The BPI’s takedown machine continued to run at a remarkable rate, churning out millions more notices per week.

As a result, yet another new milestone was reached this month when the BPI smashed through the 300 million URL barrier. Then, days later, a further 10 million were added, with the latter couple of million added during the time it took to put this piece together.

BPI takedown notices, as reported by Google

While demanding that Google places greater emphasis on its de-ranking of ‘pirate’ sites, the BPI has called again and again for a “notice and stay down” regime, to ensure that content taken down by the search engine doesn’t simply reappear under a new URL. It’s a position BPI maintains today.

“The battle would be a whole lot easier if intermediaries played fair,” a BPI spokesperson informs TF.

“They need to take more proactive responsibility to reduce infringing content that appears on their platform, and, where we expressly notify infringing content to them, to ensure that they do not only take it down, but also keep it down.”

The long-standing suggestion is that the volume of takedown notices sent would reduce if a “take down, stay down” regime was implemented. The BPI says it’s difficult to present a precise figure but infringing content has a tendency to reappear, both in search engines and on hosting sites.

“Google rejects repeat notices for the same URL. But illegal content reappears as it is re-indexed by Google. As to the sites that actually host the content, the vast majority of notices sent to them could be avoided if they implemented take-down & stay-down,” BPI says.

The fact that the BPI has added 60 million more takedowns since the quarter billion milestone a few months ago is quite remarkable, particularly since there appears to be little slowdown from month to month. However, the numbers have grown so huge that 310 billion now feels a lot like 250 million, with just a few added on top for good measure.

That an extra 60 million takedowns can almost be dismissed as a handful is an indication of just how massive the issue is online. While pirates always welcome an abundance of links to juicy content, it’s no surprise that groups like the BPI are seeking more comprehensive and sustainable solutions.

Previously, it was hoped that the Digital Economy Bill would provide some relief, hopefully via government intervention and the imposition of a search engine Code of Practice. In the event, however, all pressure on search engines was removed from the legislation after a separate voluntary agreement was reached.

All parties agreed that the voluntary code should come into effect two weeks ago on June 1 so it seems likely that some effects should be noticeable in the near future. But the BPI says it’s still early days and there’s more work to be done.

“BPI has been working productively with search engines since the voluntary code was agreed to understand how search engines approach the problem, but also what changes can and have been made and how results can be improved,” the group explains.

“The first stage is to benchmark where we are and to assess the impact of the changes search engines have made so far. This will hopefully be completed soon, then we will have better information of the current picture and from that we hope to work together to continue to improve search for rights owners and consumers.”

With more takedown notices in the pipeline not yet publicly reported by Google, the BPI informs TF that it has now notified the search giant of 315 million links to illegal content.

“That’s an astonishing number. More than 1 in 10 of the entire world’s notices to Google come from BPI. This year alone, one in every three notices sent to Google from BPI is for independent record label repertoire,” BPI concludes.

While it’s clear that groups like BPI have developed systems to cope with the huge numbers of takedown notices required in today’s environment, it’s clear that few rightsholders are happy with the status quo. With that in mind, the fight will continue, until search engines are forced into compromise. Considering the implications, that could only appear on a very distant horizon.

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

snitch – Information Gathering Tool Via Dorks

Post Syndicated from Darknet original http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/darknethackers/~3/i9qgH9CxYJ0/

Snitch is an information gathering tool which automates the process for a specified domain. Using built-in dork categories, this tool helps gather specified information domains which can be found using web search engines. It can be quite useful in early phases of penetration tests (commonly called the Information Gathering phase). snitch can…

Read the full post at darknet.org.uk

Bill to Ban VPNs & Unmask Operators Submitted to Russia’s Parliament

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/bill-to-ban-vpns-unmask-operators-submitted-to-russias-parliament-170609/

Website blocking in Russia is becoming a pretty big deal. Hundreds of domains are now blocked at the ISP level for a range of issues from copyright infringement through to prevention of access to extremist material.

In common with all countries that deploy blocking measures, there is a high demand in Russia for services and software that can circumvent blockades. As a result, VPNs, proxies, mirror sites and dedicated services such as Tor are growing in popularity.

Russian authorities view these services as a form of defiance, so for some time moves have been underway to limit their effectiveness. Earlier this year draft legislation was developed to crack down on systems and software that allow Internet users to bypass website blockades approved by telecoms watchdog Roskomnadzor.

This week the draft bill was submitted to the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament. If passed, it will effectively make it illegal for services to circumvent web blockades by “routing traffic of Russian Internet users through foreign servers, anonymous proxy servers, virtual private networks and other means.”

As it stands, the bill requires local telecoms watchdog Rozcomnadzor to keep a list of banned domains while identifying sites, services, and software that provide access to them. Once the bypassing services are identified, Rozcomnadzor will send a notice to their hosts, giving them a 72-hour deadline to reveal the identities of their operators.

After this stage is complete, the host will be given another three days to order the people running the circumvention-capable service to stop providing access to banned domains. If the service operator fails to comply within 30 days, all Internet service providers will be required to block access to the service and its web presence, if it has one.

This raises the prospect of VPN providers and proxies being forced to filter out traffic to banned domains to stay online. How this will affect users of Tor will remain to be seen, since there is no way to block domains. Furthermore, sites offering the software could also be blocked, if they continue to offer the tool.

Also tackled in the bill are search engines such as Google and Yandex that provide links in their indexes to banned resources. The proposed legislation will force them to remove all links to sites on Rozcomnadzor’s list, with the aim of making them harder to find.

However, Yandex believes that if sites are already blocked by ISPs, the appearance of their links in search results is moot.

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

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

John Oliver is wrong about Net Neutrality

Post Syndicated from Robert Graham original http://blog.erratasec.com/2017/05/john-oliver-is-wrong-about-net.html

People keep linking to John Oliver bits. We should stop doing this. This is comedy, but people are confused into thinking Oliver is engaging in rational political debate:
Enlightened people know that reasonable people disagree, that there’s two sides to any debate. John Oliver’s bit erodes that belief, making one side (your side) sound smart, and the other side sound unreasonable.
The #1 thing you should know about Net Neutrality is that reasonable people disagree. It doesn’t mean they are right, only that they are reasonable. They aren’t stupid. They aren’t shills for the telcom lobby, or confused by the telcom lobby. Indeed, those opposed to Net Neutrality are the tech experts who know how packets are routed, whereas the supporters tend only to be lawyers, academics, and activists. If you think that the anti-NetNeutrality crowd is unreasonable, then you are in a dangerous filter bubble.
Most everything in John Oliver’s piece is incorrect.
For example, he says that without Net Neutrality, Comcast can prefer original shows it produces, and slow down competing original shows by Netflix. This is silly: Comcast already does that, even with NetNeutrality rules.
Comcast owns NBC, which produces a lot of original shows. During prime time (8pm to 11pm), Comcast delivers those shows at 6-mbps to its customers, while Netflix is throttled to around 3-mbps. Because of this, Comcast original shows are seen at higher quality than Netflix shows.
Comcast can do this, even with NetNeutrality rules, because it separates its cables into “channels”. One channel carries public Internet traffic, like Netflix. The other channels carry private Internet traffic, for broadcast TV shows and pay-per-view.
All NetNeutrality means is that if Comcast wants to give preference to its own contents/services, it has to do so using separate channels on the wire, rather than pushing everything over the same channel. This is a detail nobody tells you because NetNeutrality proponents aren’t techies. They are lawyers and academics. They maximize moral outrage, while ignoring technical details.
Another example in Oliver’s show is whether search engines like Google or the (hypothetical) Bing can pay to get faster access to customers. They already do that. The average distance a packet travels on the web is less than 100-miles. That’s because the biggest companies (Google, Facebook, Netflix, etc.) pay to put servers in your city close to you. Smaller companies, such as search engine DuckDuckGo.com, also pay third-party companies like Akamai or Amazon Web Services to get closer to you. The smallest companies, however, get poor performance, being a thousand miles away.
You can test this out for yourself. Run a packet-sniffer on your home network for a week, then for each address, use mapping tools like ping and traceroute to figure out how far away things are.
The Oliver bit mentioned how Verizon banned Google Wallet. Again, technical details are important here. It had nothing to do with Net Neutrality issues blocking network packets, but only had to do with Verizon-branded phones blocking access to the encrypted enclave. You could use Google Wallet on unlocked phones you bought separately. Moreover, market forces won in the end, with Google Wallet (aka. Android Wallet) now the preferred wallet on their network. In other words, this incident shows that the “free market” fixes things in the long run without the heavy hand of government.
Oliver shows a piece where FCC chief Ajit Pai points out that Internet companies didn’t do evil without Net Neutrality rules, and thus NetNeutrality rules were unneeded. Oliver claimed this was a “disingenuous” argument. No, it’s not “disingenuous”, it entirely the point of why Net Neutrality is bad. It’s chasing theoretical possibility of abuse, not the real thing. Sure, Internet companies will occasionally go down misguided paths. If it’s truly bad, customers will rebel. In some cases, it’s not actually a bad thing, and will end up being a benefit to customers (e.g. throttling BitTorrent during primetime would benefit most BitTorrent users). It’s the pro-NetNeutrality side that’s being disingenuous, knowingly trumping up things as problems that really aren’t.
The point is this. The argument here is a complicated one, between reasonable sides. For humor, John Oliver has created a one-sided debate that falls apart under any serious analysis. Those like the EFF should not mistake such humor for intelligent technical debate.

Australia Readies New Copyright Safe Harbor Consultation

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/australia-readies-new-copyright-safe-harbor-consultation-170427/

Unlike in the United States where so-called safe harbor provisions apply to Internet service providers and online platforms such as Google and Facebook, Australia’s system offers reduced protection for the latter group.

To put the country on a similar footing as other technologically advanced nations, amendments were proposed to Australia’s Copyright Act that would’ve seen enhanced safe harbor assurances for platforms including search engines and social networks.

Last month, however, the government dropped the amendments before they were due to be introduced to parliament. That came as a surprise, particularly as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had given the proposals his approval just a week earlier.

While business startup advocates were disappointed by the move, copyright holders welcomed the decision, with Dan Rosen, chief executive of the Australian Recording Industry Association, calling for a “full, independent and evidence-based review” in advance of similar future proposals. Just a month later and that seems a likely outcome.

In a statement delivered by Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield, the government has now announced a further consultation on extending the safe harbor provisions of the Copyright Act.

“An expanded safe harbor regime would provide a useful mechanism for rights holders to have material that infringes their copyright removed from online service providers,” Fifield said.

“An expanded regime would also ensure that service providers are not held responsible for the infringing actions of their users, provided they take reasonable steps to take down material that infringes copyright.”

The minister said that the government intends to “proceed carefully” to ensure that any legislation achieves the above objectives while balancing the need to grow Australia’s digital economy and supporting the needs of creators and copyright holders.

The Department of Communications will now oversee a series of meetings and roundtable discussions with stakeholders, prior to delivering advice to the government by early June 2017.

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

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.

Russian MP Says She Loves Torrents, Hates Web Blockades

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/russian-mp-says-she-loves-torrents-hates-web-blockades-170417/

From Canada through the United States, to the UK, Europe, and beyond, few politicians want to be seen supporting copyright infringement.

With the notable exception of the Pirate Party, for most politicians, piracy is something to fight against, not promote. Over in Russia, however, they like to do things a little bit differently.

On the one hand, the country is cracking down really hard on pirate sites, blocking them left and right while planning new legislation that will hold social networks liable for the piracy of their users. On the other, we have Senator Lyudmila Bokova who didn’t get the memo.

Speaking at the “Internet and Law” event organized by Russian news outlet Kommersant, the Federation Council member steered away from criticism to endorse piracy as a convenient and cost-effective method of obtaining content.

“I like to use torrents because they provide the ability to download information quickly and cheaply,” Bokova said.

“To go to the cinema today – just look at the price of tickets: 1000 rubles ($17.78). For a family of three people go to the movies it’s 3,000 rubles ($53.34) from the budget. It’s expensive. A torrent is cheap.”

But the Senator, who served as deputy chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building, didn’t stop there.

Speaking with RNS, Bokova condemned Russia’s plans to block pirate sites without a trial. She criticized amendments that will force search engines such as Google and local giant Yandex to remove links to sites from search results.

“I think if we follow the path of pre-trial blocking [of pirate content and search engine links] it will create more problems in our society. I believe that in this case a court order, in my opinion, is the most correct approach,” she said.

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

FBI Uses BitTorrent to Find and Catch Child Porn Offenders

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/fbi-uses-bittorrent-to-find-and-catch-child-porn-offenders-170415/

To combat the distribution of child pornography on the Internet, U.S. law enforcement is using BitTorrent to track down and catch perpetrators.

File-sharing networks and tools are used to transfer all sorts of files, including pornographic footage of children.

The Department of Justice in the U.S. sees these cases as a high priority and has successfully prosecuted many cases in recent years. Several of these, were concluded with help from P2P file-sharing software.

A few years ago applications with shared folders, such as Limewire, allowed the FBI to pinpoint infringers who were actively sharing illegal content. The evidence in these cases was relatively strong and led to many convictions.

However, now that Limewire and other popular “shared folder” applications are no longer available, law enforcement has switched to BitTorrent.

While there have been similar cases before, this week we first spotted an indictment where BitTorrent was used to find someone sharing these files. In the affidavit, signed by a Homeland Security Investigations agent, the process is explained in detail.

The agent describes BitTorrent as a “very popular” file-sharing network that users typically connect to, through torrents they download from search engines such as Isohunt or The Pirate Bay.

These torrent sites don’t store any material themselves, the affidavit clarifies, but the perpetrators and law enforcement can use these sites to find illegal content.

“Law enforcement can search the BitTorrent network in order to locate individuals sharing previously identified child exploitation material in the same way a user searches this network,” the affidavit reads.

“By searching the network for these known torrents, law enforcement can quickly identify targets in the searcher’s jurisdiction.”

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies use these search engines to find torrents that are known to link to child porn. They then load the torrent files in modified torrent clients and obtain IP-addresses and other information from the associated trackers.

The software in question is modified to download complete files from a single source, so the investigator knows that the person on the other end has a full copy.

“There is law enforcement-specific BitTorrent network software which allows for single-source downloads from a computer at a single IP address, meaning that an entire file or files are downloaded only from a computer at a single IP address as opposed to obtaining the file from multiple peers/clients on the BitTorrent network.

“This procedure allows for the detection and investigation of those computers involved in sharing digital files of known or suspected child pornography on the BitTorrent network,” the affidavit adds.

In the present case a search by FBI special agent David Hand led to a Simi Valley man, who was arrested and indicted by a federal grand jury last week.

In addition to distributing child pornography, a follow-up investigation unveiled more gruesome details. The indictment alleges that the man also took 83 images and three videos of a 6-year-old girl with his iPhone.

Based on the above, the man faces lengthy prison terms for producing, distributing and possession of child pornography.

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

Cloudflare Doesn’t Want to Become the ‘Piracy Police’

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/cloudflare-doesnt-want-to-be-the-piracy-police-170413/

As one of the leading CDN and DDoS protection services, Cloudflare is used by millions of websites across the globe.

This includes thousands of “pirate” sites, including the likes of The Pirate Bay and ExtraTorrent, which rely on the U.S.-based company to keep server loads down.

Copyright holders are not happy that CloudFlare services these sites. Last year, the RIAA and MPAA called the company out for aiding copyright infringers and helping pirate sites to obfuscate their actual location.

The rightsholders want Internet services such as Cloudflare to help them address online piracy more effectively. They are pushing for voluntary agreements to go above and beyond what the law prescribes them to do.

In the UK, for example, search engines have agreed to do more to hinder piracy, and advertisers, payment processors, and ISPs have also taken more active roles in combatting infringement.

In a whitepaper, Cloudflare sees this trend as a worrying development. The company points out that the safe harbor provisions put in place by the DMCA and Europe’s eCommerce Directive have been effective in fostering innovation for many years. Voluntary “anti-piracy” agreements may change this.

“Slowly however, a wider net of intermediaries — from hosting providers to search engines, eCommerce platforms and other internet players — have been encouraged to help address new societal challenges, to help ‘clean up the web’, and effectively become internet police. Innovation continues but at the same time is threatened,” Cloudflare writes.

In addition, rightsholders are trying to update current legislation to increase liability for Internet services. In Europe, for example, a new copyright law proposal will make piracy filtering systems mandatory for some Internet services.

In its whitepaper, Cloudflare argues the such “back-door attempts to update legislation” should be closely monitored.

Instead of putting the blame on outsiders, copyright holders should change their views and embrace the Internet, the company argues. There are plenty of opportunities on the Internet, and the losses rightholders claim are often overblown rhetoric.

“Internet innovation has kept pace but many content creators and rights-holders have not adapted, and many content creators claim a loss in earning power as a result of online piracy.”

According to Cloudflare, content creators are often too quick to put the blame onto others, out of frustration.

“Many rights-holders are frustrated by their own inability to monetize the exchange of protected content and so the internet is seen not as a digital opportunity but rather a digital threat.”

Cloudflare argues that increased monitoring and censorship are not proper solutions. Third-party Internet services shouldn’t be pushed into the role of Internet police out of a fear of piracy.

Instead, the company cautions against far-reaching voluntary agreements that may come at the expense of the public.

“Voluntary measures have their limits and care must be taken not to have intermediaries be pushed into the area of excessive monitoring or indeed censorship. Intermediaries should not be forced to act as judge and jury, and indeed putting commercial entities in such a position is dangerous.”

Cloudfare stresses that it does not monitor, evaluate, judge or store content on sites operated by its clients, nor has it plans to do so. The company merely acts as a neutral ‘reverse proxy’ and operates within the boundaries of the law

Of course, Cloudflare isn’t completely deaf to the concerns of copyright holders. Among other things, it has a trusted notifier program that allows rightsholders to obtain the true location of pirate sites that use the service. However, they explicitly say ‘no’ to proactive monitoring.

“Policy makers should not look for quick, short-term solutions to other complex problems of the moment involving the internet. A firehose approach which soaks anyone and everyone standing around an issue, is simply not the way forward,” the company writes.

The full whitepaper titled “Intermediary Liability: Safeguarding Digital Innovation and the Role of Internet Intermediaries” is avaialble here (pdf).

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

Pirate Streaming Site 123Movies Rebrands as GoMovies

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-streaming-site-123movies-rebrands-as-gomovies-170329/

Pirate movie streaming sites and services continue to gain popularity, with 123movies at the forefront of this trend.

However, growth doesn’t always come easy. Over the past week the site has been suffering significant downtime, for unknown reasons. The site eventually returned during the weekend on the domain 123movieshd.to, but that wasn’t the end of the upheaval.

Yesterday the site switched to a new home, first renaming itself to Memovies, only to switch to Gomovies a few hours later.

While the site’s operators are staying quiet on the exact reason for the downtime, a site representative told TorrentFreak that GoMovies.to will be the site’s official domain, at least for the time being.

When asked about the reason for the name change, the representative said that it is in part to set itself apart from the many fake sites and proxies that appeared online recently.

The operators grew tired of the many fake sites that ranked very high in search engines with the 123movies brand. With the change, GoMovies will try to regain momentum.

The old 123movies.is and 123movies.to domain names are now linking to the new GoMovies one, and the site also confirmed the surprising brand change on its official Twitter account.

“We’re back at GoMovies.to – This is our Official Domain – new Home for 123Movies users. Old data remains the same. Please spread.”

123movies / Gomovies on Twitter

While GoMovies has a new domain name and logo, the rest of the site is pretty much intact. In fact, most of the references to 123movies are still present on the site, even in the site title and the FAQ section.

Although the turbulent week with several days of downtime remains largely unexplained, the site representative hopes that they will remain on the new domain for a while. However, we were told that it’s possible that they will have to change again in the future.

In addition to the site’s millions of users, 123movies / GoMovies developments are also being closely watched by copyright holders, who see the site as one of their main targets.

Hollywood previously reported the site to the U.S. Government’s Trade Representative, labeling it one of the most “notorious” pirate markets, and the site is blocked by UK ISPs as well. Last week, the US Ambassador to Vietnam turned up the pressure by urging a local minister to prosecute the site’s operators, who allegedly reside there.

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

Netflix Gets Serious About Its Anti-Piracy Efforts

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/netflix-gets-serious-about-its-anti-piracy-efforts-170324/

A few years ago Netflix had a pretty casual stance when it came to online piracy.

At the time, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that they were keeping an eye on the phenomenon, stressing that it’s not exclusively a bad thing. It also creates demand, he argued.

“Certainly there’s some torrenting that goes on, and that’s true around the world, but some of that just creates the demand,” Hastings said.

Netflix openly admitted to using torrent download data as a market signal, buying shows that are popular among pirates in a certain region. The best way to beat piracy is to provide good options, the mantra was.

While it’s still an important issue, Netflix as a company has a different role now. With an increasing number of original shows, it’s becoming a significant content producer, instead of ‘just’ a distribution platform.

Interestingly, this also shows in Netflix’s approach to piracy. The casual stance has long gone, and today Netflix is operating on par with the major Hollywood studios when it comes to copyright enforcement efforts.

Last year we reported that the company had begun sending DMCA takedown notices on a large scale, but its actions don’t stop there. While Netflix doesn’t boast about its anti-piracy efforts in public, a recent job listing for a Global Copyright Protection Counsel is quite a revelation.

The counsel in question will support Netflix’s “Global Copyright Protection Group,” a department the streaming service hasn’t mentioned in public thus far. One of the key focuses of the job is to minimize online piracy, through an advanced strategy.

“He or she will be tasked with supporting the Netflix Global Copyright Protection Group in its industry-wide anti-piracy strategic initiatives and tactical take down efforts with the goal of reducing online piracy to a socially unacceptable fringe activity.”

The responsibilities that come with the job are very broad, touching on pretty much every piracy angle utilized by Hollywood studios in recent years. Ranging from leak-prevention to automated takedown efforts, Netflix has it covered.

Counsel, Global Copyright Protection

The prospective employee will assist in “enforcement activities” and conduct “piracy trends analysis” while keeping an eye on the overall piracy ecosystem, including third-party platforms such as search engines, social media, advertisers, payment processors, domain name registrars.

In addition to traditional pirate sites, the anti-piracy efforts also focus on streaming devices, including fully-loaded Kodi boxes, and anonymizer tools such as VPNs and proxies.

“Consider solutions to deal with new piracy models and ways to consume pirate content online, such as illicit streaming devices and the use of TV add on apps. Monitor use of circumvention and anonymizer tools in the online pirate world,” the job application reads.

The application further mentions a review of “piracy demand” and “piracy messaging projects,” suggesting a concrete outreach to consumers. In addition, Netflix will directly reach out to pirate sites and other intermediaries.

“Assist in the management of Netflix correspondence with and outreach to both the administrators of pirate sites and the facilitators of piracy, including hosting platforms and providers, social media platforms and UGC sites in response to our tactical and industry copyright protection efforts.”

Overall the job application paints a picture of a rather mature and complete anti-piracy program and strategy. Now that copyrights are becoming a more vital asset for Netflix, it’s likely to become even more advanced as time progresses.

That’s quite a leap from the casual stance a few years ago. Apparently, Netflix now believes that solving piracy isn’t just as simple as making content available. They also want a ‘stick’ with their carrot.

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

Australia Shelves Copyright Safe Harbor For Google, Facebook, et al

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/australia-shelves-copyright-safe-harbor-for-google-facebook-et-al-170323/

Due to what some have described as a drafting error in Australia’s implementation of the Australia – US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA), so-called safe harbor provisions currently only apply to commercial Internet service providers Down Under.

This means that while local ISPs such as Telstra receive protection from copyright infringement complaints, platforms such as Google, Facebook and YouTube face legal uncertainty.

In order to put Australia on a similar footing to technology companies operating in the United States, proposed amendments to the Copyright Act would’ve seen enhanced safe harbor protections for technology platforms such as search engines and social networks.

But that dream has now received a considerable setback after the amendments were withdrawn at the eleventh hour.

In a blow to Google, Facebook and others, the government dropped the amendments before they were due to be introduced to parliament yesterday. That came as a big surprise, particularly as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had given the proposals his seal of approval just last week.

“Provisions relating to safe harbor were removed from the bill before its introduction to enable the government to further consider feedback received on this proposal whilst not delaying the passage of other important reforms,” Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said in a statement.

There can be little doubt that intense lobbying from entertainment industry groups played their part, with a series of articles published in ‎News Corp-owned The Australian piling on the pressure in favor of rightsholders.

This week the publication accused Google and others of “ruthlessly exploiting” safe harbor protections in the US and Europe, forcing copyright holders into an expensive and time-consuming battle to have infringing content taken down.

While large takedown efforts are indeed underway in both of those regions, companies like Google argue that doing business in countries without safe harbor provisions presents a risk to business development and innovation. Being held responsible for millions of other people’s infringements could prove massively costly and certainly not worth the risk.

Startup advocacy group StartupAUS criticized the withdrawal of the amendments, describing the move as “a blow to Australian entrepreneurs.”

“Australia’s copyright laws have still not caught up with the realities of the internet. As a result, the laws still struggle to provide clarity and protection for organizations doing business online,” said CEO Alex McCauley.

“Copyright safe harbor is international best practice and without it Australian startups will be held back from participating in the rich global market for content and ideas. We strongly urge the government to reconsider the need for safe harbor provisions.”

But for players in the entertainment industry, safe harbor protections are not something to be quickly revisited without significant preparation.

Welcoming their withdrawal, Dan Rosen, chief executive of the Australian Recording Industry Association, called for a “full, independent and evidence-based review” in advance of similar proposals being raised in the future.

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

Google Gets More WordPress.com Takedown Requests Than WordPress Itself

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/google-gets-more-wordpress-com-takedown-requests-than-wordpress-170319/

Automattic, the company behind the popular WordPress.com blogging platform, receives thousands of takedown requests from rightsholders.

A few days ago the company published its latest transparency report, showing that they processed 5,006 requests during the second half of last year.

While this is a significant amount, it pales in comparison to many other user-generated services. Google, for example, receives the same number in less than four minutes.

What’s also different is the high rejection rate WordPress has. More than 40% of all DMCA takedown notices are rejected due to inaccuracies or abuse, more than many other service providers.

Overall, however, both the number of takedown requests and the removal rate are relatively stable. As can be seen below, Automattic generally removes content for just over half of the notices it receives; the rest are rejected.

When we took a closer look at the takedown numbers, comparing them to Google’s data, something else stood out. It appears that Google receives more takedown requests for WordPress.com than Automattic, the company that operates the blogging platform.

Over the past 12 months, copyright holders asked Google to remove over 13,100 WordPress.com URLs, while Automattic received less than 10,000 last year. In other words, copyright holders are more keen to remove the search engine results than the actual content, which is not very logical.

TorrentFreak contacted Steve from Automattic, who says that the numbers suggest that rightsholders prefer to go through Google because this is the easier path.

“Those numbers aren’t entirely surprising for a few reasons. When looking to limit access to material online, complainants will naturally look for the path of least resistance,” Steve says.

“Since we manually scrutinize every single DMCA takedown notice that we receive for formal validity and fair use considerations, removal is not guaranteed, and we reject about 40% of all notices for being deficient in some way,” he adds.

The Google takedown process is highly automated which makes it relatively easy for copyright holders to target a high volume of URLs, including those of Wordpess.com.

“Removing sites from top search engines is often much easier due to the automatic nature of the review process… something that is made even easier still by the various trusted partnership programs, and use of bulk electronic takedown notices,” Steve notes.

Still, it’s a strange situation. If a copyright holder is really concerned about infringing content on WordPress.com, it should be at least worth a shot to ask the company to remove it.

But no, of the top ten reporting organizations that asked Google to remove WordPress URLs, none appears in Automattic’s most recent top ten.

Finally, it appears that the thousands of notices that are sent to the search engine are pretty much useless anyway. It may be easier than reaching out to Automattic, but not very effective since Google appears to have whitelisted the blogging platform.

Of the 13,100 takedown requests Google processed over the past 12 months, only 0.3% were ultimately removed.

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

Google Anti-Piracy Agreement Will Target Domain Hopping, Share Search Data

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/google-anti-piracy-agreement-will-target-domain-hopping-share-search-data-170307/

Following roundtable discussions between the BPI, Motion Picture Association, Alliance for IP, plus representatives of Google and Bing, in February a voluntary anti-piracy agreement was announced.

Under this anti-piracy code, search engines agreed to further optimize their algorithms to demote pirated content in search results, with the aim of making infringing content less visible and legal alternatives easier to find.

As highlighted last month, details of the arrangement were planned to remain largely secret but thanks to a pair of Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests from both the EFF and TJ McIntyre from Digital Rights Ireland, we now have a somewhat clearer idea of what will be happening between the groups.

As expected, the main focus is the search deranking of sites “dedicated to infringement” based on the volume of valid DMCA-style notices rightsholders send to Google. In other words, sites that index a majority of infringing content and are subjected to a lot of rightsholder complaints will find their results buried.

Unfortunately, the report released under the FOIA request is redacted, which leaves some sections ambiguous at best and hard to follow at worst. This section, however, seems to indicate an additional effort to manipulate search results that are generated from “neutral” non-piracy related search terms.

“All parties support the objective of removing links to infringing content from [REDACTED] search results returned to consumers in the UK in response to ‘neutral’ formulations of search query (exact search terms to be agreed) with the goal of presenting the consumer with links to legitimate sites. This includes search results presented to the user in the form of natural search results, sponsored or advertisement results or media player ‘box’ results,” the document reads.

These search terms haven’t been defined publicly but based on previous copyright holder complaints, words such as ‘download’, ‘MP3’ and even artist or content names could be in the mix. In any event, an assessment will take place to see how they prejudice rightsholders, especially when it comes to fresh content.

“Selection of such search queries by the parties shall take into account data indicating the actual levels of usage of such search terms, as well as the harm that illegal access to content via specific queries can cause to creators, in particular for new releases,” the agreement notes.

Google’s AutoComplete feature, which has proven controversial in the past, will also be subject to tweaks that focus on not suggesting infringing content when neutral terms are entered.

Moving forward, an area that is likely to raise an eyebrow or two is a statement in the agreement which possibly suggests the sharing of search engine user behavior data with rightsholders.

“Search engines and rights holders will exchange detailed information on a confidential basis in order to better understand how users are searching for content,” it reads.

“This information exchange will not be expected to include commercially confidential information, and is without prejudice to the existing legal remedies available to either party.”

To give an indication of how complex these discussions must’ve been at times, one only has to look at the following paragraph, which appears to be an effort to lay some of the blame with rightsholders, should infringing links appear more prominently than legal ones in search results.

“Performance in achieving the above metric should be considered in tandem with an objective assessment of the existence of legitimate websites (of rights holders or their partners, distributors or other authorized locations) that offer consumers access to legitimate content or information for the measured queries, and the efforts made by rights holders to take advantage of reasonable techniques such as search engine optimisation,” it reads.

In other words, rightsholders shouldn’t be able to blame Google and Bing for the appearance of ‘pirate’ results if they don’t make legal alternatives available or fail to carry out effective SEO. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem though, since the agreement notes that the parties will work together to optimize SEO for legitimate sites to “improve the likelihood such sites will rank higher in results for well-meaning queries.”

Another interesting detail in the agreement is how the parties intend to tackle so-called “domain hopping” by pirate sites. Currently, when Google receives a lot of DMCA notices for a domain utilized by a pirate site, the site is downranked in results. That often leads to the site getting a new domain, at which point the ‘clean’ domain starts appearing higher in results again. The agreement seeks to deal with that.

“All parties will work with the [Intellectual Property Office] to evaluate how frequently copyright infringing websites, subjected to demotion, change their top-level domain (TLD), but otherwise retain substantially the same identity,” the agreement reads.

“If this activity is sufficiently widespread as to justify it, search engines and rights holders should develop a process whereby rights holders can notify search engines of the occurrence so that, when verified, such domains can be appropriately demoted.”

Overall, Google and Bing will work with rightsholders to demote domains quicker, with the latter encouraged to use APIs and better-formatted infringement notices. A whitelist of sorts will also be introduced, to ensure that legitimate sites don’t get caught up in Google and Bing’s downgrading filters.

But for those concerned about the potential for this voluntary agreement to spread beyond those currently involved, there’s something looming on the horizon. Google and Bing have also committed to sharing their work in this area with search engines and rightsholders that are not already signatories.

“All parties to this Code of Practice commit to ensure that progress or best practice in this area (to the extent that such information is non-confidential) is shared widely with smaller search engines and independent rights holders,” the agreement notes.

As previously reported, the Minister of State for Intellectual Property will oversee the implementation of the voluntary code, and provide quarterly cycles of research and a review after one year.

The full, albeit redacted document, can be viewed here (pdf)

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

Pirate Streaming Site Loses Domain, Advertises New One On Adsense

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-streaming-site-loses-domain-advertises-new-one-on-adsense-170305/

In recent years, most large pirate sites have faced domain name issues of some kind.

Just last week the streaming site Putlocker lost its domain name in a lawsuit, and a few days ago ExtraTorrent had its domain suspended following what appears to be a copyright complaint.

Another site that was hit recently is the streaming portal Pubfilm. Last week the site had several of its domain names suspended by its registry, including the main pubfilm.com domain.

In response, the site swiftly moved to a new domain name, announcing the change on social media.

“Pubfilm have changed to a new domain its pubfilm.ac or pubfilm.is. Sorry about that. Thanks for your patience,” the site’s operator announced in a Facebook post last week.

However, since not all former users are on Facebook, the site didn’t stop there. To prevent people from ending up at copycat sites through Google searches, Pubfilm launched an Adsense campaign too.

When we search for “Pubfilm” on Google, a prominent advertisement is displayed at the top or below the results. The ad links people to Pubfilm.ac, the new “official home” of the streaming site.

Pubfilm advertisement

While these ads are not cheap, it shows that Pubfilm is dedicated to getting its users back on board. One of the upsides is that it pre-selects only users without an ad-blocker, who are likely to bump the site’s revenue in the long term.

Whether these ads will last long is doubtful though. The search engine is very strict when it comes to advertisements, not least due to pressure from rightsholders.

Increasingly, copyright holders have been urging third party services to cut their ties with pirate sites. Hosting providers, search engines, ISPs, domain name registrars and advertisers should all do more to counter online piracy, the argument goes.

While this ad appears to have slipped through the cracks, rightsholders will not shy away from holding it against Google.

Pubfilm, meanwhile, will probably be happy with the extra attention it receives.

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

Russia Drafts Legislation to Remove Pirate Sites From Search Engines

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/russia-drafts-legislation-remove-pirate-sites-search-engines-170226/

Copyright holders all over the world believe that search engines play a crucial role in the piracy ecosystem. They argue that when seeking out content, people often use sites like Google, which can lead them to infringing material on pirate sites.

Entertainment companies can address the problem by sending takedown notices, but they insist that’s a very inefficient process. Pirate content is way too visible in search results, they argue, particularly when it appears in the first few pages of results.

With most countries continuing to grapple with the issue, it now appears that Russia intends to legislate against it. This week, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev submitted a draft bill to parliament that will force search engines to remove specified pirate sites from their results.

Developed by the Ministry of Communications, the bill will compel search companies such as Google and local giant Yandex to deindex sites that have failed to respond to takedown requests on several occasions, perhaps as little as twice.

One such example is huge torrent site RuTracker, which was blocked by local ISPs following an order from the Moscow City Court. RuTracker was effectively told to remove around 320,000 torrents to avoid a ban but chose not to do so after running a poll among its users. Under current legislation, RuTracker is now blocked for life, and if the new law is passed, all of its pages will disappear from search engines.

The draft bill also targets counter-measures employed by sites attempting to circumvent ISP blockades.

Often, when one domain is blocked, sites will buy new domains in an effort to keep going. Others will use proxy sites and even full-scale mirrors to stay one step ahead of the court. The bill refers to all of these options as “derivative sites” and will allow for them to be blocked without further court process.

The bill was approved during a government meeting on February 17 and will now pass through its various parliamentary stages before becoming law.

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

Lawmakers Won’t Force Google to Police Piracy but Doubt Voluntary Code

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/lawmakers-wont-force-google-police-piracy-doubt-voluntary-code-170224/

Following a Digital Economy Bill committee earlier this month, it was revealed that copyright holders and search engines were close to finalizing a voluntary anti-piracy code. This Monday, it became reality.

Under this agreement, search engines will optimize their algorithms to demote pirated content in search results, with the aim of making infringing content less visible and legal content more so. The system is due to begin in earnest during early summer but what if it doesn’t do its job?

That eventuality has been discussed as part of the negotiations surrounding the Digital Economy Bill, with some lawmakers supporting an amendment which would give the Secretary of State the power to force Google and other search engines to tackle piracy, if the voluntary route fails.

To the relief of Google and the disappointment of rightsholders, this week the amendment was withdrawn but those in favor of the legislation didn’t go quietly. Lord Stevenson of Balmacara was particularly vocal after reading out a portion of the code (shown below) relating to the demoting of sites that receive large numbers of DMCA-style notices.

[T]o more effectively use such notices to demote domains demonstrated to be dedicated to infringement, and to work collaboratively with rights holders to consider other technically reasonable, scalable avenues empirically demonstrated to help materially reduce the appearance of illegitimate sites in the top search rankings

“I could read that again, because you would probably need to hear it again to have the faintest idea what we are talking about,” he said.

“I fear that it smacks of either a lowest common denominator approach or some hard arm-wrestling in the corridors where the discussion took place to get something that looks reasonable on paper.

“It does not smack of a real commitment to scourge out the terrible way in which search engines have referred people who should have known better to material that was not cleared for copyright and should not have been made available to them through that route.”

While Lord Stevenson clearly wasn’t happy, he did reveal some more information on how the code will be managed.

The Minister of State for Intellectual Property will oversee its implementation, supported by quarterly meetings of all parties involved. The Minister will also “set requirements for reporting by search engines and rights holders on any matter herein, including in particular those matters where the Code of Practice calls for ongoing discussion.”

Then, after a year of operation, the effectiveness of the code will be reviewed to ensure “continuing progress towards achieving the Shared Objectives.”

What those objectives are will remain a mystery, however. In response to Lord Stevenson’s request to see a copy of the code, Baroness Buscombe said that wouldn’t be possible.

“We do not plan to publish the code in full because details about the number of copyright infringement reports a site can receive before it is demoted might allow pirates to game the system. We are, however, very happy to share the commitments in the code in more general terms,” she said.

Baroness Buscombe went on to ask for the amendment to be dropped and that was followed by a spirited response from Lord Stevenson.

“I cannot see this agreement lasting and believe that there will have to be a backstop power at some stage,” he said.

“At the moment, it is a ‘large copyright holders against large search engines’ agreement, and on that level it might operate. I do not think it will be effective. I do not think it is sustainable because there will be new people coming in and business models and practices will change — we cannot foresee that.”

And with that the amendment was withdrawn and with it any chance of forcing search engines into compliance by law for the foreseeable future. Only time will tell how things will play out but as the wording of the paragraph cited by Lord Stevenson shows, there is plenty of room for manoever.

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

Now Available – I3 Instances for Demanding, I/O Intensive Applications

Post Syndicated from Jeff Barr original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/now-available-i3-instances-for-demanding-io-intensive-applications/

On the first day of AWS re:Invent I published an EC2 Instance Update and promised to share additional information with you as soon as I had it.

Today I am happy to be able to let you know that we are making six sizes of our new I3 instances available in fifteen AWS regions! Designed for I/O intensive workloads and equipped with super-efficient NVMe SSD storage, these instances can deliver up to 3.3 million IOPS at a 4 KB block and up to 16 GB/second of sequential disk throughput. This makes them a great fit for any workload that requires high throughput and low latency including relational databases, NoSQL databases, search engines, data warehouses, real-time analytics, and disk-based caches. When compared to the I2 instances, I3 instances deliver storage that is less expensive and more dense, with the ability to deliver substantially more IOPS and more network bandwidth per CPU core.

The Specs
Here are the instance sizes and the associated specs:

Instance Name vCPU Count Memory
Instance Storage (NVMe SSD) Price/Hour
i3.large 2 15.25 GiB 0.475 TB $0.15
i3.xlarge 4 30.5 GiB 0.950 TB $0.31
i3.2xlarge 8 61 GiB 1.9 TB $0.62
i3.4xlarge 16 122 GiB 3.8 TB (2 disks) $1.25
i3.8xlarge 32 244 GiB 7.6 TB (4 disks) $2.50
i3.16xlarge 64 488 GiB 15.2 TB (8 disks) $4.99

The prices shown are for On-Demand instances in the US East (Northern Virginia) Region; see the EC2 pricing page for more information.

I3 instances are available in On-Demand, Reserved, and Spot form in the US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Oregon), US West (Northern California), US East (Ohio), Canada (Central), South America (São Paulo), EU (Ireland), EU (London), EU (Frankfurt), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Asia Pacific (Seoul), Asia Pacific (Mumbai), Asia Pacific (Sydney), and AWS GovCloud (US) Regions. You can also use them as Dedicated Hosts and as Dedicated Instances.

These instances support Hardware Virtualization (HVM) AMIs only, and must be run within a Virtual Private Cloud. In order to benefit from the performance made possible by the NVMe storage, you must run one of the following operating systems:

  • Amazon Linux AMI
  • RHEL – 6.5 or better
  • CentOS – 7.0 or better
  • Ubuntu – 16.04 or 16.10
  • SUSE 12
  • SUSE 11 with SP3
  • Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012 R2, and 2016

The I3 instances offer up to 8 NVMe SSDs. In order to achieve the best possible throughput and to get as many IOPS as possible, you can stripe multiple volumes together, or spread the I/O workload across them in another way.

Each vCPU (Virtual CPU) is a hardware hyperthread on an Intel E5-2686 v4 (Broadwell) processor running at 2.3 GHz. The processor supports the AVX2 instructions, along with Turbo Boost and NUMA.

Go For Launch
The I3 instances are available today in fifteen AWS regions and you can start to use them right now.

Jeff;

 

Music Industry Wants Piracy Filters, No Takedown Whack-a-Mole

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/music-industry-wants-piracy-filters-no-takedown-whack-a-mole-170222/

Signed into law nearly twenty years ago, the DMCA is one of the best known pieces of Internet related legislation.

The law provides a safe harbor for Internet services, shielding them from copyright infringement liability as long as they process takedown notices and deal with repeat infringers.

In recent years, however, various parties have complained about shortcomings and abuse of the system. On the one hand, rightsholders believe that the law doesn’t do enough to protect creators, while the opposing side warns of increased censorship and abuse.

To address these concerns, the U.S. Copyright Office is currently running an extended public consultation.

This week a new round of comments was submitted, including a detailed response from a coalition of music industry groups such as the RIAA, National Music Publishers’ Association, and SoundExchange. When it comes to their views of the DMCA the music groups are very clear: It’s failing.

The music groups note that they are currently required to police the entire Internet in search of infringing links and files, which they then have to take down one at a time. This doesn’t work, they argue.

They say that the present situation forces rightsholders to participate in a never-ending whack-a-mole game which doesn’t fix the underlying problem. Instead, it results in a “frustrating, burdensome and ultimately ineffective takedown process.”

“…as numerous copyright owners point out in their comments, the notice and takedown system as currently configured results in an endless game of whack-a-mole, with infringing content that is removed from a site one moment reposted to the same site and other sites moments later, to be repeated ad infinitem.”

Instead of leaving all the work up to copyright holders, the music groups want Internet services to filter out and block infringing content proactively. With the use of automated hash filtering tools, for example.

“One possible solution to this problem would be to require that, once a service provider receives a takedown notice with respect to a given work, the service provider use automated content identification technology to prevent the same work from being uploaded in the future,” the groups write.

“Automated content identification technologies are one important type of standard technical measure that should be adopted across the industry, and at a minimum by service providers who give the public access to large amounts of works uploaded by users.”

These anti-piracy filters are already in use by some companies and are relatively cheap to implement, even for relatively smaller services, the music groups note.

The whack-a-mole problem doesn’t only apply to hosting providers but also to search engines, the music groups complain.

While companies such as Google remove links to infringing material upon request, these links often reappear under a different URL. At the same time, pirate sites often appear before legitimate services in search results. A fix for this problem would be to stop indexing known pirate sites completely.

“One possible solution would be to require search engines to de-index structurally infringing sites that are the subject of a large number of takedown notices,” the groups recommend.

Ideally, they want copyright holders and Internet services to reach a voluntary agreement on how to filter pirated content. This could be similar to YouTube’s Content-ID system, or the hash filtering mechanisms Dropbox and Google Drive employ, for example.

If service providers are not interested in helping out, however, the music industry says new legislation might be needed to give them a push.

“The Music Community stands ready to work with service providers and other copyright owners on the development and implementation of standard technical measures and voluntary measures. However, to the extent such measures are not forthcoming, legislative solutions will be necessary to restore the balance Congress intended,” the recommendation reads.

Interestingly, this collaborative stance doesn’t appear to apply to all parties. File-hosting service 4Shared previously informed TorrentFreak that several prominent music groups have shown little interest in their voluntary piracy fingerprint tool.

The notion of piracy filters isn’t new. A few months ago the European Commission released its proposal to modernize the EU’s copyright law, under which online services will also be required to install mandatory piracy filters.

Whether the U.S. Government will follow suit has yet to be seen. In any case, rightsholders are likely to keep lobbying for change until they see significant improvements.

The full submission of the music groups is available here (pdf).

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