This sent a chill down my spine (SOPA related)

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Illusion
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This sent a chill down my spine (SOPA related)

Post by Illusion » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:20 am

Here's a story showing scary parralels with what what SOPA legislation aimed to get going in the US.. except this has already happened in the UK. A law enforcement agency has taken a MP3 download website down, and says it's storing the IP addresses of any visitors - to enable it to "monitor and investigate" before passing details to ISPs.

SOCA in the UK are the "Serious and Organised Crime Agency" - basically dealing with things that used to be under MI5's remit prior to some restructuring a few years back..
The UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has moved on a popular hip-hop news and track-exchange site, RnB Xclusive, and is threatening those trying to access the site with criminal investigation.

The site, described by TorrentFreak as a popular blog posting news, commentary and links to music, has been seized by SOCA and now displays a hostile message:

“SOCA has taken control of this domain name.

“The individuals behind this website have been arrested for fraud.

“The majority of music files that were available via this site were stolen from the artists.”

SOCA is also recording IP addresses of visitors (which means in the next couple of hours it’s going to sweep up a bunch of journalists), and is threatening “to monitor and investigate you”, and “inform your internet service provider or these infringements”.

TorrentFreak notes that RnB Xclusive had a quarter of a million Facebook friends.
Just wow... I'm not aware of any legislation that would authorise it over here, but then again - I'm not a lawyer. Although I am aware that SOCA most likely has powers that surpass ordinary Law Enforcement Agencies. i.e Law Enforcement Agencies that actually work to help the tax payer - you know, those people that pay their wages? They solve crimes such as murders, burglaries, rapes and so on.. That's not to say SOCA isn't an important agency..

It angers me that MY tax money is paying an agency tasked with stopping the supply chain of Class A Drugs, People Smuggling, Fraud, Money Laundering, Counterfeit Currency, Kidnap and Extortion and SECURING THE FUCKING 2012 OLYMPICS (amongst other tasks) is also being tasked with "Intellectual Property Crime". Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals, fake clothes, and dodgy electronics devices - go for it, stop the import and stop people getting ripped off; would've thought it was down to Customs.. BUT last time I checked, downloading an MP3 was actually a civil offence - so, y'know - should kinda be dealt with directly between the property owner and the offender; not through the use of an agency who should really be more than busy enough right now.

Reading that article actually made me finally get off my ass and purchase a subscription to a swedish VPN provider. Fuck 'em. I don't even download stuff like that from shitty MP3 websites (who downloads MP3s over HTTP nowadays?) - but if thats how they want to play it. This leads me to my main point..

How fucking laughable is it that they have this power they can exercise - and they exercise it on something as pathetic as an MP3 download website? Seriously. Now anyone who really does have anything to hide, as well as people who are just pissed off like me, are going to just go out of there way to make things hard for them.. So now I have a VPN to use; i.e encrypted and tunneled through to a country where the legislation is such that they can't touch my details. They could sure as hell touch my computer, but I have control over that; and can implement far greater security measures than I would ever require.
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Re: This sent a chill down my spine (SOPA related)

Post by Xanatos » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:57 am

World's gone mad ever since that whole SOPA/FBI scandal; similar acts are being proposed globally and, as Moddy has just pointed out, other LE agencies are now taking a greater stand against piracy. I'm just wondering how long it'll be before we have to resort to dealing USB sticks on the street like a drug trade.
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Re: This sent a chill down my spine (SOPA related)

Post by Lucian Neo » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:46 pm

Xanatos wrote: I'm just wondering how long it'll be before we have to resort to dealing USB sticks on the street like a drug trade.
I think that those resources that are trying to stop things like an MP3 download SHOULD be used against something more serious, like lowering the crime rate. America's economy is already gone to hell. Are they trying to add insult to injury with the SOPA? I REALLY hate to know that my tax dollars are being put to use against something that stupid, and quite frankly not that damn important. Something more important is something along the lines of PUTTING AN END TO TERRORISM. But apparently we're more worried about lil-Wayne losing $3.50 off of a CD than we are worried about getting bombed. I could care less about lil Wayne losing $3.50. I'm more worried about some terrorist hijacking a plane and crashing into a pre-school and killing 200 small children.

My partner sent in a letter to congress about SOPA in America. I think I might just go do the same thing. However, if you really want to piss off the majority of a country, try to get Facebook to go dark. Just ask them to shit down for a few days due to SOPA. Between Facebook and Youtube, people will be pissed.
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Re: This sent a chill down my spine (SOPA related)

Post by Neurotic Anomaly » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:00 pm

I did send a letter to Congress. Along with over 3,000,000 other Americans. SOPA/PIPA was put down here in the U.S. long before the House and Senate even voted on them. Popular internet giants like Wikipedia, Mozilla, Reddit, Google, and Facebook voiced opposition for the bills. Some of them actually shutting themselves down for 12 to 24 hours to the public as protest to said bills.

The resulting inssurection caused the bills to drop quicker than expected. It's nice to see that Americans still have patriotism left, though it took this to get it out. But that is how you get people to act. Affecting the way they live.
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Re: This sent a chill down my spine (SOPA related)

Post by Illusion » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:20 pm

Yeah, I remember the SOPA protests - and was impressed by how many places had censored/blacked out their logos; in addition to the obvious the wikipedia black out.

My concern about here in the UK however, is that we have no legislation like this that has been approved; at least none that has been publicised. Yet this has already happened. I'm also concerned about the agency that has done this, this was an agency tasked with serious and organised crimes such as people smuggling, Olympic 2012 threats, Kidnap and so on.

Having never visited the website in question - I find it hard to believe that this website, dedicated to R'n'B MP3's - was any more organised than.. say someone going out and mugging people in alleyways; and it most certainly wasn't as serious as that. Yet somehow SOCA have made it their business to pursue this: something which is surely not in the public interest. It's especially not in the public interest when we're currently preparing for the world to be watching us host the Olympics - and these guys (along with some military involvement, and a police force or two) are the ones supposedly ensuring this goes to plan.

I remember reading about the proportion of ex-army Intelligence Corps guys who go for SOCA after leaving the forces; so we essentially have guys who have analysed threats in the Cold War, Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan.. and so on; who are now being wasted on the petty interests of private companies who have enough civil legal power to do this for themselves. Proper protocol would assume they would contact a solicitors firm, solicitors (or legal dept) would send cease and desist, solicitors would get a court order for the ISP to hand over details, then they would trace people down and send warning letters and so on from there.

But no. In Olympic Year, when there's Royal Marines practising SHTF scenarios on the River Thames, when people I know have had the book thrown at them for being in the wrong places, when really - the city is preparing for a complete security lock down: we have the agency who should be overseeing this, apparently wasting time on things which are neither criminal offences or in the public interest, nor are they using legally justifiable methods to deal with the problem.

Just sickens me, there was a time when I looked at the thought of SOCA et al as a cushy career path.
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Re: This sent a chill down my spine (SOPA related)

Post by Lucian Neo » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:36 pm

Well if one of you're worries is about NO being shut down, You can always branch out to having a site based out of the U.S. There's not much ANYBODY in the UK can do about that. They can shut this one down (If it is based in the UK) but they can't interfere with American sites.
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Re: This sent a chill down my spine (SOPA related)

Post by Illusion » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:49 pm

Here's a safe version of the website so people can view the scary notice that SOCA left: Google Cache.
Lucian Neo wrote:Well if one of you're worries is about NO being shut down, You can always branch out to having a site based out of the U.S. There's not much ANYBODY in the UK can do about that. They can shut this one down (If it is based in the UK) but they can't interfere with American sites.
Pretty sure it's in a geographic area that isn't the UK; and there may be a few contingency plans kicking around.

However, if it's happened in the UK where there's no legislation - I don't see the circumstances being too different in the US; as the userbase is weighted towards the US, the hosting is possibly US and the domain is a US domain. This incident is pretty much the same as the MegaUpload incident in the US; website gets taken offline, scary notice left on website and owner charged with fraud. Except in this incident the authorities directly threaten the users, lie about a 10 year stretch being a possibility and log all and any visitors to the page. So as far as UK/US hosting goes; you're in the same position whichever side of the pond.

RnBXclusive was run by a moron anyway, the WHOIS look up gave me his name, which gave me his LinkedIn profile which gave me his location.. Oh, and on LinkedIn he listed RnBXclusive as his company.. :roll: (LinkedIn Profile) Turns out it was hosted by a rackspace facility in Scotland.
[Querying whois.verisign-grs.com]
[Redirected to whois.godaddy.com]
[Querying whois.godaddy.com]
[whois.godaddy.com]

Registrant:
Suheil Saiyed


Registered through: GoDaddy.com, LLC (http://www.godaddy.com)
Domain Name: RNBXCLUSIVE.COM

Domain servers in listed order:
NS.RACKSPACE.COM
NS2.RACKSPACE.COM

General information and location of 83.138.166.114
IPv4 address:83.138.166.114
Reverse DNS:s82574.clubonside.dk
RIR:RIPENCC
Country:United Kingdom

RBL Status:Clear

Whois information on 83.138.166.114:
% This is the RIPE Database query service.
% The objects are in RPSL format.
%
% The RIPE Database is subject to Terms and Conditions.
% See http://www.ripe.net/db/support/db-terms-conditions.pdf
% Note: this output has been filtered.
% To receive output for a database update, use the "-B" flag.
% Information related to '83.138.166.64 - 83.138.166.127'
Inetnum:83.138.166.64 - 83.138.166.127
Netname:RSPC-UK-RACKSPACE-INTERNAL
remarks
Descr:Rackspace Managed Hosting
Country:GB
Admin-c:IA247-RIPE
Tech-c:IA247-RIPE
Remarks:rev-srv: ns.rackspace.com
Status:ASSIGNED PA
Mnt-by:RSPC-MNT
Source:RIPE # Filtered
Remarks:rev-srv attribute deprecated by RIPE NCC on 02/09/2009
Person:IP Admin
Address:Rackspace Managed Hosting
112 E. Pecan St. Suite 600
San Antonio, Texas 78205
Phone:+1 210 892 4000
Fax-no:+1 210 892 4329
E-mail:ipadmin@rackspace.com
Nic-hdl:IA247-RIPE
Remarks:### Rackspace Abuse Department
Remarks:### Please send any complaints to the following:
Remarks:### abuse@rackspace.com
Mnt-by:RSPC-MNT
Source:RIPE # Filtered
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Re: This sent a chill down my spine (SOPA related)

Post by Lucian Neo » Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:27 am

It's a good thing I always change my IP. :D Let them threaten me with whatever they have. I can probably find something I can counter sue them with. :3 I won't go down without a fight. :3
Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the hell is the ceiling?

People are like slinkies, not really good for anything, but still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs;)

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Re: This sent a chill down my spine (SOPA related)

Post by Celtisch » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:30 am

I knew this sort of thing was coming, the SOPA and PIPA and what not... I wrote about it before (when I used to blog things like this or whatever). They have already tried this sort of thing back in 2009 in Europe and the U.S. where Microsoft was pushing for it... Of course failed miserably and was not very well thought out (much like SOPA).

I have noticed that the U.K. is terrible with this sort of thing, by the way. Arresting people for internet activity and/or confiscating their hard drive.
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Re: This sent a chill down my spine (SOPA related)

Post by Illusion » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:00 am

This is a real concern, as one western nation enforcing such a draconian policy often allows others to justify bringing in similar measures.

Hopefully Holland will keep their relaxed policy of essentially doing anything for money (The Museum of Amsterdam practically brags about it's past in this way!) and we'll see an explosion of dutch VPN services. However, with it being part of the EU - I doubt it.
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Re: This sent a chill down my spine (SOPA related)

Post by mib » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:04 am

I was checking old bookmarks and I was surprised how many of the streaming video sites were shut down in that sting. I never really used those sites more than once, so it's not a feeling of great loss.

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Re: This sent a chill down my spine (SOPA related)

Post by Illusion » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:07 am

MIB wrote:I was checking old bookmarks and I was surprised how many of the streaming video sites were shut down in that sting. I never really used those sites more than once, so it's not a feeling of great loss.
Yeah, I think I only used them for watching one or two shows online. I'm thinking House mainly.

Although, I did stream the odd sports match - and even live streams have been hit in a very similar way; with even the same notice.
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Re: This sent a chill down my spine (SOPA related)

Post by Celtisch » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:43 pm

MIB wrote:I was checking old bookmarks and I was surprised how many of the streaming video sites were shut down in that sting. I never really used those sites more than once, so it's not a feeling of great loss.
No offence but... I don't see it as surprising. It's pretty typical by now, actually.

The FBI (as well as authorities in the U.K.) have been really cracking down on piracy and media sharing/streaming since 2009, the only reason people are noticing it more now is because this SOPA, PIPA and ACTA talk is bringing the subject up more than normal.

In related news, thepiratebay.org switched to a .se (Sweden) top-level domain to avoid anti-piracy laws in the U.S.
btjunkie.org willingly shut down their website to avoid issues like this.
And now I use kat.ph instead. ;)
I don't really pirate though since I use open-source software, but I still like my torrents. :D
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Re: This sent a chill down my spine (SOPA related)

Post by Xanatos » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:44 am

Celtisch wrote:In related news, thepiratebay.org switched to a .se (Sweden) top-level domain to avoid anti-piracy laws in the U.S.
I noticed that yesterday when I was downloading LOTR.
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Re: This sent a chill down my spine (SOPA related)

Post by Illusion » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:56 pm

Yeah I have noticed thepiratebay.se TLD recently, it makes sense - as their VPN provider also goes through Sweden. (Their VPN provider is pretty good I must say)

Similarly, I use primarily FOSS software on my linux box - I think the only software I have that's pirated is specialized stuff for studying that I could actually get a license for if I bothered; EndNote, SPSS and so on. That said, I do have a lot of training DVDs for different software packages and techniques, as well as a massive archive of ebooks. I wouldn't be too frustrated if software piracy was clamped down on, personally it would hit me harder if they did things like ebooks and training packages; even films aren't too big a deal with me.
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Re: This sent a chill down my spine (SOPA related)

Post by Celtisch » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:59 am

FOSS/Linux FTW! :D

No need for piracy when it is already out there.

Either way, you know it's bad when you have free/open-source software users and the anti-piracy people saying that SOPA/PIPA are bad.
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Re: This sent a chill down my spine (SOPA related)

Post by Illusion » Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:29 pm

Pr3dAt0R wrote:And we've got another one: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/322396
Seems that they're going on until they run out of letter combo's...
Well, hopefully like over here, it will get to within 24hours of approval before politicians go mental and do a U-turn..
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