back to article Malware+pr0n surge follows police op to kill illicit streaming sites

City of London Police are claiming credit for the suspension of 40 ad-funded websites that provided unauthorised access to copyright-protected content – but may have caused a rise in the number of web ads carrying malware or promoting pornography. Operation Creative has resulted in the suspension of 40 national and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    .... a spokesperson from "Citizens Resisting Acronyms Please" said; the recent explosion in shortened titles was a crime against humanity.

  2. Amorous Cowherder

    Cue classic Star Wars quote about slipping through fingers, etc....

  3. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    What it boils down to...

    The "IP" mafia has developped a way to strongarm registrars into cutting off domains they object to, without court oversight... and bragging about it, too. That's good, how?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: What it boils down to...

      Well, it supposedly deters terrorists. In the good ol' United States of the Americas the Department of Homeland Security is entrusted with the same task, they stop terrorists, therefor "pirating" copyrighted material is a terrorist action.

      I am happy they are now actively stopping these dreadful terrorists in the U.K. too. I feel safer already.

    2. Wzrd1 Silver badge

      Re: What it boils down to...

      "Initiative Operation Creative helps to protect advertisers by ensuring that their ads don’t appear on illegal, IP infringing websites..."

      It says it all right there. Not porn, but protecting US economic interests, well, the US studios anyway.

      Hey, we get a free play after having to deal for so many years of yielding to your request for Operation Ajax.

  4. Crisp

    City of London Police

    I always thought that it was the job of the police to protect law and order. Not act as the private army of corporations.

    1. Paul_Murphy

      Re: City of London Police

      Ha Ha - you're funny....

      Think - why is it called the 'City of London Police'? and exactly what sort of 'clients' are there in the City for the Police to look after?

    2. Suricou Raven

      Re: City of London Police

      City of London Police. Not exactly like the regular police. They *are* a private army for corporations. Regular street crime in London is the domain of the Met, the CoLP are mostly concerned with financial crime.

      1. dogged

        Re: City of London Police

        > CoLP are mostly concerned with financial crime.

        Not financial crime that affects actual people though. Only the stuff that might hurt big business a little tiny bit.

  5. bigtimehustler

    Yes, what bothers me is that a random police force has taken it upon themselves to investigate a civil case that affects the whole nation, rather than, you know, policing the city of london? Complete rubbish, they should be banned from acting outside of their jurisdiction and not concentrating on criminal cases.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This random police force

      Has shedloads of "private" income from Banks, BBC, Record Industry etc , all who have plush central London offices in their district and "donate" to police charities

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This random police force

        Often donated with a brotherly handshake in Great Queen Street of course.

    2. DavidJB

      They are not a 'random police force'. The City of London Police have a designated UK-wide role in dealing with financial crime and various other matters, which now includes IP crime. (Just as, e.g., the Metropolitan Police have a national and international role in anti-terrorism.) Also, of course, they are dealing with criminal copyright infringement, not a 'civil case'.

  6. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Agile hosting always wins

    Time for the fuzz + 7 other outfits to nail 40 infringing websites: 3 months

    Time for an owner to register a new site & carry on streaming: 1 hour (guess)

    I think we can all work out how this will end.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Agile hosting always wins

      Resulting in huge amounts of taxpayers money being thrown into the wind.

      Fighting piracy by these means is about as fruitfull as shoveling snow around the north pole.

      On a more positive note, the fat cats at the top of these Acronym ridden agencies continue to earn small fortunes..... regardless of the outcome the boys at the top retain their jobs.

      1. Darryl

        Re: Agile hosting always wins

        It's the IP version of security theatre.

        "Look at us! We shut down 40 whole websites! We've made the web legal!"

        All the while conveniently ignoring the 80 new sites that popped up in the same amount of time.

        1. BongoJoe

          Re: Agile hosting always wins

          With a bit of spin and joo-joo maths that comes up as "50% of internet sites funding terrorism smashed by the brave boys in blue!" in the Daily Express

      2. Crazy Operations Guy

        Re: "as fruitfull as shoveling snow around the north pole."

        I actually did that for a few months...

        During my college days I was taken along with a group of other students up to the Arctic as I was one of the few people that knew how to fix the equipment they were using (They were also quadrupling my pay for the duration of the expedition, hard to say no to that). While I spent some of my time actually doing my job (fixing the effects of extreme thermal-cycling, replacing seized motors, etc) I spent the majority of my time clearing snow from around the doors and external equipment to prevent us from freezing to death.

        Although you can build some awesome, and warm, snow-forts up there.

        1. Khaptain Silver badge

          Re: "as fruitfull as shoveling snow around the north pole."

          "I spent the majority of my time clearing snow from around the doors and external equipment to prevent us from freezing to death."

          You've just made my day, beers all round...

  7. Vimes

    Compare and contrast the police reaction to incidents where corporations are affected to those where hundreds of thousands of members of the public are affected by a mass invasion of privacy by the telecoms companies:

    Incidentally, if intercepting communications really isn't a crime then perhaps somebody ought to have a word with Coulson?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what a collosal waste of time effort and energy.

    What about...

    online identify fraud - hardly ever investigated

    online bullying - must be the victims fault right?

    Oh of course, there is no funding for catching actual crims, just those streaming some TV must be stopped!

  9. James 51

    "Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI, said: “The early results from Operation Creative show that through working with the police and the online advertising industry, we can begin to disrupt the funding that sustains illegal websites."

    We don't know that they were illegal, there was no criminal convictions. They were suspected and on that basis ISPs were told to redirect access. Even if they were clearly breaking the law, it's devolving to the level of we don't like you so we're going to throw the book at you. It's only a matter of time before this gets abused (if it hasn't already).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm throughly dis-pleased by this action...

    ... as the Police haven't released the list of sites they shut down, so how am I going to find them now, it's clearly been long enough for them to re-start the site elsewhere with a slightly different URL that will clearly be blocked by my ISP until I fire up Tor Browser.

  11. Tom 35

    Ha ha, good one.

    "a formal ‘prevention and deterrent’ process began to encourage infringing websites to engage with the police, to correct their behaviour and to begin to operate legitimately. "

    So how did that go then?

    Since most of the type of site they talk about work because they offer content to the world, and stuff that is not available at all from the Hollywood types...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Judge, Jury and Executioner

    The illegal sites were taken down after the owner was convicted of what crime?

    This is getting silly now, justice no longer being equally applied.

    BTW, I bet you the streaming sites they are talking about contain football streams....

    PPS and the comment about there being a malware surge as some of the sites swap from the mainstream ads to other ones.... well thats like the old FAST advert about copied games funding terrorism and child abuse...

  13. Anon5000


    The City of London Police appear to be writing nasty letters to sites as well as domain registry providers even though they are out of their jurisdiction. No legal basis to shut the sites down so attempting to scare them in to submission on behalf of the media monsters.

    Obviously the sites are dodgy but I doubt they are hurting UK IP holders one bit, yet alone needing a department in the City of London Police to harass them and their business partners with non-legal letters.

    1. earl grey

      Re: CorporationPolice

      Media monsters?

      The "B" is next to the "N" on the keyboard....presume you really meant the more correct:

      Media Mobsters

  14. Not Fred31

    "confirmed by analysts"

    "Once illegal activity was confirmed by analysts"

    Remember the old days when illegal activity was confirmed by impartial judges?

    1. James 51

      Re: "confirmed by analysts"

      Let's not forget the juries either.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Porn to be made illegal in the UK?

    >Many of these sites have no content filters and contain material that is unsuitable for children

    >unsuitable for children

    Oh, if only there was something parents could do to prevent their children from finding such materials?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I actually found out the other day that Police can issue their own warrants...

    Won't be long before that gets abused.

  17. btrower

    Don't forget the Lemonade

    The upside of this is that the Internet *always* routes around damage. The CoLP are an attacker and will eventually be rebuffed and kicked off of the Internet. Hopefully we will be able to identify other entities and individuals involved so the suspension from the Internet applies to them as well.

    We need an equivalent to RBL that identifies these attackers so that their IP traffic only goes where it is welcome. Hint:It is not welcome here.

    1. Fatman

      Re: Don't forget the Lemonade

      We need an equivalent to RBL that identifies these attackers so that their IP traffic only goes where it is welcome.

      Suggestion: /dev/null

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Don't forget the Lemonade

      Such a DNSBL would be trivial to setup - the problem would be keeping it up.

  18. Midnight

    That was appropriate

    Curiously enough, this article was accompanied by a banner ad informing me that asian women want to meet me.

    Have the City of London Police been in touch with El Reg recently?

  19. Stretch

    lot of use of words like "criminal" and "illegal". this is all guff. its a civil matter and the police should have no involvement.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft)"

    Ahh - fans of irony, I see!

    Additionally, I was unaware that there was a problem with people depriving copyright owners of the legal rights to their own work.

    Actually, hang on a minute - I have heard of such a thing, it's just that it's usually record labels who are doing it...

  21. Ed_UK

    "sites with explicit adult content"

    What - you mean car insurance, mortagages and gardening?

    Fecking euphemisms!

  22. Miek

    "Almost half (46 per cent) of total ads served to the sites were for unknown or unidentified brands which invited users to click through, often to fraudulent scams." -- What kind of numpty actually clicks on adverts on the internet?

    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

      Re: What kind of numpty actually clicks on adverts on the internet?

      The City of London Police and the BPI, it would seem.

  23. Nym

    Being an American in These Times

    "Obama did it."

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