Fri Jul 25, 2008 14:35
Court documents show that a hacker, hired by the MPAA, offered to reveal the identities of the Pirate Bay founders. The hacker, who also retrieved private information from TorrentSpy, was paid $15.000 for his efforts.
It turns out that the MPAA will do pretty much anything to obtain information about BitTorrent sites and its users. Back in 2006, they made a deal with a ?hacker?, better known as Robert Anderson, to steal e-mail correspondence and trade secrets from TorrentSpy.
The hacker later admitted that this was indeed true, and in a surprising turn of events, he switched sides, and joined TorrentSpy. The court case between the MPAA and TorrentSpy eventually led to the downfall of TorrentSpy, but it turned out that the MPAA was also interested in intel on The Pirate Bay.
Cnet cites court documents showing that Anderson wrote to the MPAA: ?We can provide the names, address, and phone (numbers) of the owners of Torrentspy.com and Thepiratebay.org ? along with evidence, including correspondence between the two companies.?
In addition, the court documents reveal that MPAA?s Dean Garfield stated: ?We were going to get information about the location and identity of the people who were running Torrentspy, as well as information related to a general conspiracy and relationship between Torrentspy and a number of other prominent services including ThePirateBay.?
I a response to the news, Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde told TorrentFreak: ?We?re very open with what we do. I think the e-mails between us and Justin would be something along the lines with ?what?s up with the scraper that is going berserk? or ?what the fuck is up with that filerights-shit??.. I think it?s amazingly funny if the MPAA bought information like that, expensively, and against the US law. Only proves their stupidity and that they have no case.?
The Pirate Bay has always been one of the main targets of the MPAA. In 2006, John Malcolm, Executive Vice President of the MPAA wrote a letter to Sweden?s State Secretary in which he urged the authorities to take action against the site: ?It is certainly not in Sweden?s best interests to earn a reputation among other nations and trading partners as a place where utter lawlessness with respect to intellectual property rights is tolerated.?
It is of course interesting to see that the MPAA is interested in the identities of the Pirate Bay founders, but they could have easily done a Google search, because that info is pretty much public information. I guess they rather use a hacker.
The Pirate Bay website is offline at the moment, unrelated to this news, as they are doing some server maintenance and site upgrades. They will be back soon.