Posts Tagged ‘Privacy’

The Pirates of . . . Sweden

Posted on Apr 22 2009 by Neil Watson | 1 Comment

If you haven’t heard about the Pirate Bay case then you must have been living in a box (or should that be treasure chest) for the last month or so as the story has been all over the industry news. But just in case you don’t know what happened, here is a quick recap.

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

On 17th April 2009 a Swedish court found the four founders of The Pirate Bay, a website that distributes links to files that can be downloaded and shared via P2P clients, guilty of assisting file sharing of copyrighted material. They were each sentenced to 1 year in jail and ordered to pay £2.4million in damages to the entertainment industry. However latest news reports have announced they plan to launch an appeal.

Unsurprisingly the verdict has received mixed emotions from the various parties affected. The entertainment industry has come out in force to support the ruling hailing it a triumph, whilst a large amount of pro-file sharing protestors hit the streets of Stockholm in outrage.

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Are we living in “1984”?

Posted on Nov 03 2008 by Neil Watson | 5 Comments
Tags : ,
Categories : Featured, Privacy, Security

Update: (10th August 2009)

The Interception of Communications Commissioner’s annual report has sparked fresh calls to control the amount of surveillance currently carried out on UK citizens. Read more in this ISPreview article

The question has been asked many times before, but just how did George Orwell foresee the future? Ok, so his timescales were a little off, but are we moving even closer towards a big brother culture? The government’s latest proposals suggest we are!

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

The proposal

Sir David Pepper, Director of the British intelligence agency, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has announced plans to centrally store records of all electronic communications throughout the UK. The Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP) will be the largest surveillance system ever created in the UK and calls for a ‘live tap’ to be placed on every electronic communication in Britain including telephone calls, emails and visited websites.

The GCHQ and its supporters argue this is a necessary step in the fight against terrorism and that the centrally stored data will enable the police and government organisations to collect vital evidence of what it calls ‘terrorist friendship trees’ to identify potential plots and collaborations.

So how far are they willing to go? “quite a long way” according to Geoff Hoon, Transport Secretary, who recently defended the plans on the BBC’s Question Time. He went so far as to suggest “If they are going to use the Internet to communicate with each other and we don’t have the power to deal with that, then you are giving a licence to terrorists to kill people.”

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Are YOU on the list?

Posted on Sep 08 2008 by Neil Watson | 1 Comment

An increasing number of broadband end users are being approached by law firms such as Davenport Lyons under suspicion of illegal file sharing and, if you are a broadband provider, you need to know what’s going on and how this issue affects you and your customers.

What’s been going on?

No-one denies that illegal file sharing is an issue that should be pursued by the courts however the way in which it is currently being tackled is far from perfect. Over recent months there have been cases where opportunistic law firms identified illegal file sharers, obtained court orders which require the ISP to provide the customer’s details and then sent letters to those customers demanding payments of £300+ or risk being taken to court.

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

Unsurprisingly, many customers when faced with one of these letters may simply choose to pay up in the hope that this will be the end of the matter. But how accurately are these customers being identified? There have been numerous cases of inaccuracies resulting in the wrong customers being served with these intimidating letters. Just one example of this is Euan MacLay who received an email from abuse@pipex.net accusing him of illegally downloading an episode of Stargate Atlantis six months after he moved away from the company. It was eventually found that his IP address had been reassigned and the service provider’s records had not been updated.

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