back to article Video download site ordered to spy on users

When the founders called the site TorrentSpy, this isn't what they had in mind. In a recent court ruling, made public last week, a federal judge ordered TorrentSpy.com to track the behavior of its own users - a means of gathering evidence in a lawsuit against the site by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). On …

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  1. Rick

    In the name of US justice

    With the way things are going its no suprise that this is happening. The US AG (attorney general) is about to get a vote of no confidence from the Congress but the "W" seems to think that doesn't matter so he's keeping him. Besides with all the illeagal wire tapping that has gone on so far why not just go ahead and have the RIAA or MPAA write the laws the way they want them. I mean "W" is doing that on a daily basis as it is. What's the problem with circumventing the principles that this country was built on if it means more dollars in the fat cats pockets. Just look at the Oil industry. "W" is all about big business and anytime they cry foul he bows to there every whim and gives them all they need to go after hard working people. Privacy in America is just a myth now as far as im concerned if you feel that you are still a private citizen I would say you are fooling yourself.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's goes the 5th Amendment

    TorrentSpy is being ordered to *collect* and provide evidence against themselves in this case.

    Don't they have a licensed and qualified lawyer?

  3. Pete

    Surely that is self-incrimination?

    Torrentspy are arguing that they don't break the law, right? So surely they can't be forced to do anything unless they are shown to be breaking a law?

    Gathering data is the job of law enforcement agents, not site owners. Torrentspy have the right to refuse to change their policies until they are shown to be outside the law. Anything else is just bullying and pressuring from the MPAA.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what about us?

    Anyone know how this is going to affect us British users of the site?

    It would be interesting to know if this infringes on other countries' laws in which case, that would be a fairly good reason not to do it. Or am I being naive?

  5. Dam

    Re: In the name of US justice

    ""W" is all about big business and anytime they cry foul he bows to there every whim and gives them all they need to go after hard working people."

    Well, no offense meant, but it serves you right (as a country at large) for having reelected him...

    Hopefully, such rulings won't happen in europe too :/

  6. jason

    What country is torrentspy in again?

    Maybe i am missing something, but isn't Torrentspy based in the Netherlands, and therefore beyond US duristiction?, surely the torrentspy admin are well within their rights to tell the US courts to go F*** themselves.

  7. Colin Jackson

    Well, hang on...

    Much as I despise President Gump, this seems more to be a case of one judge not understanding the wider issues and the precident-setting nature of her decision, probably due to a small army of MPAA slick lawyers being balanced only by the dad of somebody's mate of somebody from TorrentSpy.

    What happens if I pick up a torrent that uses TS as a tracker, but is stored elsewhere? I've never been to TS, have no association with it etc., yet they have data about my activities because I unwittingly used one of their torrents. The law as it stand seem to be becoming increasingly unable to deal with the distributed nature of todays information systems.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    we safe or not?

    "The new court order requires the site to turn over server logs of user activity, including IP addresses...."

    and

    "the ruling orders TorrentSpy to "mask" the IP addresses it provides to court, so they can't be associated with particular people."

    so either they get our ips or they don't?

  9. Narak1

    Torrentspy location

    Server Type: Microsoft-IIS/6.0

    IP Address: 82.192.86.141

    IP Location - Noord-holland - Amsterdam - Leaseweb

    Response Code: 200

    Blacklist Status: Clear

    SSL Cert: No valid SSL on this Host

    Domain Status: Registered And Active Website

  10. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    Dam - they already have

    You may not have noticed but we have far less of this privacy thing online than they have in the states. The EU already requires ISPs to keep 12 months worth of logs recording every packet that goes across their networks, ostensibly for the purposes of security. This includes phone networks. Our calls are already routinely monitored by various domestic security agencies as a friend of mine found out once, after saying the wrong combination of words in a phone conversation and receiving a visit from the police the next day. Of course they were very apologetic about it but the fact that they were sent because of something he said in a phone conversation makes me a little wary.

    If George Bush is in the pocket of big business them I'm less worried. The profit motive must be driving him. That means someone can wave enough money to convince him to change his mind. Our lot are apparently doing this because they think it's *right*, and all of this information is stored and catalogued, again, routinely. It is trawled and harvested and analysed to look for patterns. Not just for terrorist activity, but for any potentially criminal activity, including copyright infringement. Compared to this the so-called wire-taps mentioned earlier are nothing. They didn't record voices for starters.

    I'm getting sick of people who bash america without examining circumstances closer to home. You think the states are some sort of dictatorship? Well when they talk about introducing national ID cards and recording every mile you drive for "tax purposes", and when they've started putting chips in people's bins, I might start to believe you.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: In the name of US justice

    Dam writes: "Well, no offense meant, but it serves you right (as a country at large) for having reelected him..."

    He wasn't elected fair and square. There was ample evidence of vote rigging and voter intimidation going on. The US is probably the largest Banana Republic in the world.

  12. Dillon Pyron

    Getting out of the US?

    On Slashdot yesterday, there was a comment from Torrentspy that they were considering getting out of the US. Serves us right!

    Okay, mask the IPs. Make mine 127.0.0.1.

  13. florian mosleh

    Re: Re: In the name of US justice

    "He wasn't elected fair and square. There was ample evidence of vote rigging and voter intimidation going on. The US is probably the largest Banana Republic in the world."

    In the last election here in the US, only about 10% of the 22-35 year-old voters (who tend to be Bush's most vocal critics) actually bothered to go vote. You may not like it, but the jackass was re-elected by the apathy of his constituency.

  14. SImon Hobson Silver badge

    For how long ?

    "... the ruling orders TorrentSpy to "mask" the IP addresses it provides to court, so they can't be associated with particular people"

    So they don't want information that is actually useful for the prosecutors ... YET

    Obviously this is just a first step, carefully dressed up with "but it's going to be anonymous so no need to worry". Of course, by doing this it's just a means to collect evidence to justify them collecting evidence and the next step will be to demand unmasked data.

  15. Dave

    National ID card

    "Well when they talk about introducing national ID cards and recording every mile you drive for "tax purposes", and when they've started putting chips in people's bins, I might start to believe you."

    Graham, you might as well start believing. We already have a National ID card policy. Try getting stopped without your wallet. If your papers aren't in order, the gestapo are within their powers to arrest you. Second, in PA, there are cctv cameras going up EVERYWHERE. Two or three at every light. We are being tracked, it's just not complete yet. Lastly, the US is trying to mandate that everyone gets an ID chip put under their skin, and are pushing to have hospitals install it at birth. The trials are underway RIGHT NOW.

  16. rfrovarp

    Prosecutors? What prosecutors?

    "So they don't want information that is actually useful for the prosecutors ... YET"

    Prosecutors implies criminal charges. While copyright theft is illegal, it's always pursued in civil courts. How else would they make money?

  17. rfrovarp

    In the US

    TorrentSpy.com is owned by entities in the US. That puts them under US law.

    owner-contact: P-NZA36

    owner-organization: Sharestream, Ltd

    owner-fname: Network

    owner-lname: Admin

    owner-street: PO Box 556 Hunkins Plaza

    owner-city: Charlestown

    owner-zip: N/A

    owner-country: SH

    owner-phone: 8694690211

    owner-email: admin@torrentspy.com

  18. PaqueRhat

    Welcome to the Corporate States of Fascist America

    The people of the world watch our every move. We are the trend setters. What is to happen to the rest of the world is tested here first. If the people of America want Orwell's world to be a reality, then just do nothing. Lazy son's of bitches! Of course those money grubbing scum are attacking our rights of privacy! Haven't any of you ever READ about the Nazi's of the last century?

    To not know your history is dooming yourself to repeat it!

    W!? Please!!!

    If we sit by and let the gnawing away of our freedoms continue on at the rate they have in just the last 7 (seven) years, we'd better line up for our tattoo's! AND I DON'T MEAN PRETTY DRAGONS either!

    You think I'm kidding?

    TorrentSpy ... do what PirateBay did...

    At least they KNOW they're getting in bed with ABSOLUTE control... and autonomy... maybe that will get it across to the money grubbing fascist's of Corporate America that there ARE people who are willing to protect themselves from this new method of fleecing. As if frivolous law-suits weren't bad enough, now they're peeling away more and more layers of protection for the people to get at the last vestiges of entertainment at 'affordable' prices!

    EVERYONE needs to begin flooding the RIAA and the MPAA with complaints and OUR OWN LAWSUITS!!!

    Not SPAM, but COMPLAINTS, LAWSUITS AND WHATEVER ELSE WE CAN TO BRING THEM DOWN!

    We need to fight back. Fire with Fire! Let them KNOW we're sick and tired of this crap and we're not going to take it anymore!

  19. James Cleveland

    What view does the law have on...

    "oops guys I forgot to plug the other disks into the raid and I've spilled beer in the server...not to mention that completely non-suspicious fire in the tape storage yesterday".

    TorrentSpy need a bastard.

  20. Mectron

    IT is the Digital Mafia

    No need to watch the Sopanno to see a criminal gangs in action. Just watch MPAA daily. It is the proof that openly criminal gangs can operate in the open without risk, as long at they pay the right goverments. The MPAA and RIAA have no legitimate reason to existe and they sole and only purpose is to rip-off artists and consumers and prove to the world that corruption is widespread and universal in the USA goverment.

  21. Ashtonian

    Accidently

    while reaching over for your coffee!

    Thank you James, you made me smile.

  22. Chris Pasiuk

    Tha-Tha-That's Right... We're All Do-Do-Do-Doomed. Wanna C-C-C-Coke?

    I read this stuff and keep getting flashbacks of Max Headroom episodes. Permanently on TVs so the ads can stream at you while you're asleep, bio-implanted IDs/Credit chips, and civilization under the control of corporations with governments being nothing more than a placebo for the masses.

    I'm still searching for an island that I can call my own that's not under the umbrella of some petty government. :P

  23. CSQuake

    Need 8mb broadband?

    Once all this is finished and the MPAA and RIAA get their way with collecting info on us, will we still need 8mb broadband?

    It's gonna save me a fortune downgrading from 8mb to 512k, which I think soon the ISPs will be giving that speed free.

  24. Andrew Sweeney

    Banana Republic, Anyone?

    While I do agree we the previous comment that someone needs to form a data-haven free country on their own island, there are just a few problems

    1. good ol' "w" will just call you a rebel and send in the army to pacify the rebellion

    or

    2. look what happened to the last country to stand up to the US, Cuba, they're still paying for it decades later with trade embargos. Hell, as a US citizen I can't even visit Cuba without special permits from the gov, or I face arrest upon my return to the US

  25. Daniel Ballado-Torres

    TorrentSpy BOFH

    Yeah. That's what they need. Except I'd like more for their BOFH to cause bodily harm to the RIAA/MPAA lawsuits and get away with it.

    *evil grin*

  26. Ronny Cook

    Safe from prosecution...

    > I'm still searching for an island that I can call my own that's

    > not under the umbrella of some petty government. :P

    Antarctica maybe:

    Article 3 - free exchange of information and personnel in cooperation with the United Nations and other international agencies;

    Article 4 - does not recognize, dispute, or establish territorial claims and no new claims shall be asserted while the treaty is in force;

    but you need to watch for article 8:

    Article 8 - allows for jurisdiction over observers and scientists by their own states

    One approach is "Seasteading", building new "land" not under any current sovereignty:

    http://seastead.org/

    Or you could try the Thunderbird 5 approach (i.e. a space station).

  27. Sean O'Connor

    Stop being such an idiot

    ""W" is all about big business and anytime they cry foul he bows to there every whim and gives them all they need to go after hard working people."

    I write games for a living as an independent author and it's the only income I get to feed my family and pay the bills. How do you think I feel when I see my games on some torrent?

    Stop being such an idiot. It's not just "big business" that's affected it's anybody who writes anything digitally - big companies and hard working "little guys" like me alike.

    How would you feel if I could choose to torrent a bit of your salary at the end of every month? If I could choose to take as much of it as I thought was fair by my own reckoning?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trand Setters?????

    "The people of the world watch our every move. We are the trend setters. What is to happen to the rest of the world is tested here first."

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

    Of course. The rest of the world are always sitting on the edge of their seat watching the US as we don't know what to do next until they show us.

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

    Best LOL in a long time...

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