ISP Telenor Will Voluntarily Block The Pirate Bay in Sweden

Telenor, an ISP will block The Pirate Bay in Sweden voluntarily. It is a result of the consolidation with Bredbandsbolaget; a Telenor owned ISP that was previously tasked with blocking The Pirate Bay.

In 2014, Nordisk Film, Swedish Film Industry, Sony Music, Universal Music, and Warner Music filed a case against Bredbandsbolaget, one of Sweden’s biggest ISPs.

The ISP did not back down.

The company stated that it refuses to block The Pirate Bay.

The parties met in court in February 2015. Bredbandsbolaget argued that ISPs just like postal service should not be held responsible for content exchange.

TV companies SVT, TV4 Group, MTG TV, SBS Discovery and C More, teamed up with the IFPI alongside Paramount, Disney, Warner, and Sony in the case.

The Stockholm District Court in November 2015 decided in favor of Bredbandsbolaget.

Bredbandsbolaget blocked The Pirate Bay in March 2017 but pledged to fight on.

It seemed to have affected Telenor, the parent company of Bredbandsbolaget, as The Pirate Bay will be blocked by Telenor too.

The reason could be because the two brands will now merge into one entity even though Bredbandsbolaget was acquired by Telenor back in 2005.

Before the merger, Bredbandsbolaget’s 600,000 broadband customers were denied access to The Pirate Bay, now 700,000 of Telenor’s customers will likely face the same fate.

The company said they are merging both the brands.

Anyway, it’s a wise move because at EU level the legal basis for web-blocking on copyright infringement grounds was firmly established last year.

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies On BitTorrent This Week – 21/05/2018

The 10 most downloaded movies this week on BitTorrent – 21/05/2018 are here. The top three for this week is ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’, followed by ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, and ‘Deadpool 2’ rounds in the top three.

There are two newcomers this week.

The most downloaded movie this week is Pacific Rim: Uprising.

Every movie in the list given below is Web-DL/Webrip/HDRip/BDRip/DVDrip unless stated otherwise.

THIS WEEK’S MOST DOWNLOADED MOVIES ARE:

Movie Rank Rank Last Week Movie Name IMDb Rating/Trailer
1 N/A Pacific Rim: Uprising 5.8/Trailer
2 (2) Avengers: Infinity War (HDCam) 9.1/Trailer
3 N/A Deadpool 2 (HDTS) 8.3/Trailer
4 (1) Black Panther 7.9/Trailer
5 (7) Red Sparrow 6.7/Trailer
6 (3) Game Night 7.3/Trailer
7 (4) Ready Player One 7.8/Trailer
8 (6) 12 Strong 6.8/Trailer
9 (8) Den of Thieves 7.0/Trailer
10 (9) Thor: Ragnarok 7.9/Trailer

UK Police Reportedly Accessing Phone Records Unlawfully

Privacy International sent a formal complaint against UK’s police forces highly invasive “mobile phone extraction technology.”

In the complaint made to the Information Commissioners Office, the group reports that UK authorities have been accessing the contents of people’s phones unauthorized as in without a warrant. It has also been forwarded to the Home Office and the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

PI in the complaint called for reforms by claiming the practices are “totally unregulated, potentially discriminatory and unlawful.”

Data Mining

Millie Graham Wood, working for Privacy International as an attorney has claimed UK’s police is using Israeli firm’s Cellebrite to download data directly from phones without owner’s knowing it.

Easily Recoverable

Wood claims to have tested the Cellebrite UFED Touch 2 device and that it connects directly to the phone from which it gathers data. He further added that the Cellebrite device was even able to tie back together previously deleted messages from WhatsApp which is an encrypted messaging app.

Ace Hosting Shutdown, Users in Danger

Ace Hosting has closed its business and is dissolving after having agreed to hand over a copyright settlement of £100,000 to the Premier League. VAT not paid, corporation tax bills £260,000 also unpaid, and its subscribers and resellers owed roughly £353,000, Ace is in hot water. The worst thing though is its users’ details are set to be public and may even be handed to the authorities.

For those who are unaware, unauthorized IPTV services have gained popularity in recent years as they offer thousands of unlicensed channels at cheap rates, are reasonably reliable, and provide decent levels of service.

They are, however, a considerable menace to rightsholders who long to see them fall. In this particular case, it’s the Premier League, which has been disrupting IPTV services for quite some time, hoping they’ll shut down.

While others have bypassed it, Ace Hosting could not and so have ended up in this precarious position.

Users in Danger

For subscribers and resellers what is more worrying than the £353,000 owed to them by Ace Hosting is their details being made public and the potential handing over to the authorities. Most people will forego their £3, but to see their personal information going into the hands of interested parties is not something they would want.

Conclusion

Ace Hosting saga will eventually fade into history. Subscribers will probably not be tried, but then again it is an essential lesson for everyone.

US Police Can Geolocate Nearly Every Mobile Phone

It has been found out that US police are using a system that allows them to geolocate nearly every phone in the country but some cops are abusing it.

The US police have access to a system called Securus Technologies. The authorities can use it to “ping” a phone’s location when a warrant is acquired. The fear now is that some cops are abusing the system.

Last year Cory Hutcheson, a Missouri deputy, supposedly accessed the Securus system “for the unlawful purpose of spying on Plaintiffs for his own personal gain.”

Flaws in the System

Securus grants police access to ping cell phone locations in real time because of the location data provided by carriers.

Warrants are required to access the phone tracking system, but it seems Securus did not scrutinize requests adequately so and Hutcheson exploited the system.

Securus announced that it requires authorities to upload the proper documentation – a warrant or affidavit – prior to processing a request. However, Senator Ron Wyden (Oregon) has said that Securus does not “conduct any review of surveillance requests.”

July Onwards Chrome Will Mark HTTP Sites as ‘Not Secure’

From July Google Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure.” This is according to Emily Schechter, Chrome security product manager. Starting with version 68, Chrome will warn users with an additional notification in the address bar.

Google has been influencing users to move away from unencrypted sites for years, but this is arguably the most direct one yet. Google search engine started down-ranking unencrypted sites in 2015, in 2016 Chrome team gave a similar warning for unencrypted password fields.

Due to increased HTTPS adoption, the Chrome team felt it was the right time to make the announcement. From the top 100 sites on the web, 81 of them default to HTTPS, and an enormous amount of Chrome traffic is already encrypted. Schechter said “Based on the awesome rate that sites have been migrating to HTTPS and the strong trajectory through this year,’. He also said, “we think that in July the balance will be tipped enough so that we can mark all HTTP sites.”

HTTPS encryption secures the tunnel between your browser and the website you are visiting. Lacking that encryption will mean anyone with access to your ISP or router could intercept data sent to sites or infuse malware into otherwise clean pages.

The move towards a more secured web will be a big win for online security. With July just around the corner, the hope is that all web traffic will leverage robust encryption algorithms to keep your data secured.

How the CLOUD Act Grants any Country to Pry on You

Cloud Act introduced by US senators in February 2018 dramatically harms the digital rights of people.

What Is The CLOUD Act?

The Clarifying Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act is a bilateral agreement between the US and foreign countries to overlook each other’s digital privacy laws.

The Act would authorize the US government to request “the contents of a wire or electronic communication and any record or other information.” So it essentially means the US could ask services and tech giants to hand over user data and not need to follow that particular country’s privacy laws.

Agreements Between the US and other Countries

Anyone who is not a US citizen or located in the US could be pried on. US government’s Executive Agreements with other countries in the second part of the bill permits both the US and the other country to neglect each other’s privacy laws.

The CLOUD Act and US Favoritism

This Act is US favored because while non-US countries are expected to uphold the privacy of US-born citizens, the US themselves have full liberty to pry on anyone they see it.

What options are there against this prying Act?

Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties or MLAT is a system that lets authorities around the world to collaborate on data that is stored beyond their jurisdiction. It is designed to help authorities cooperate.

The authorities can request data, but it should meet the laws of the country that data is located in because the citizens right to privacy cannot be compromised.

MLAT exists to harbor cooperation between countries, whereas CLOUD Act is highly debatable.

Closing

The CLOUD Act if passed is a scary bill as it will take away the digital rights of people. The present MLAT system should be bolstered to protect users across the world instead of establishing a new system or Act.

Are Companies Devoting Enough to Cyber Security?

Cyber Attacks have not only become more common but also devastating. WannaCry ransomware which happened on 12th May 2017is a prime example of a cyber attack. It struck thousands of computers in more than 150 countries. It crashed some of the most prominent organizations on this planet including UK’s NHS, a health service.

The Likely Calamity from Cyber Attacks

WannaCry crippled NHS to the point that vital works were pushed back. The backlog created has still not been sorted fully.

The NHS could have avoided the WannaCry ransomware which cost them around £180,000 for specific agencies.

While auditing the attack, it was found out simple IT security could have prevented this enormous backlog to NHS. Ultimately, the attack cost them more than say a well-implemented security system.

Cyber attack cost varies from the method used to current security measures. Usually, a cyber attack will set a US company back by a whopping $225,000, UK $150,000.

The overall cost of cyber attacks globally is thought to be around $11.7 million, an increase of 22.7 compared to last year.

The Rise in Cybersecurity Expenditure

Thales e-security reported 73% of surveyed firms expect their cybersecurity expenditure to rise over the course of the year.

Making the Right Moves

Having an internal IT department is safer than hiring a contractor to take care of your cybersecurity needs. Data Spread is highly possible which is an avenue for attack when you open up to third parties.

Internal cybersecurity enables direct control of secretive information, where else sharing your data with a third party is a risky idea.

New Forms of Cyber Attacks Requires Better Solutions

Companies have to come up with better solutions to be one step ahead of hackers. Attacks are becoming more and more sophisticated, so it is only right that better measures are taken.

Spend Wisely for Best Results

Companies may have a lot of money to spend on cybersecurity, but spending it in the right areas is the key. The margin is minimal between getting it right and losing thousands or millions of dollars.

Internet Association Criticizes MPAA’s ‘Crony Politics’

The Internet Association consisting of several large technology companies criticized the MPAA. They accused MPAA of using Facebook’s controversy for “rent seeking” and “accomplice politics” to promote its own interests in a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

In April, MPAA Chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin used Facebook’s privacy disaster to scrutinize Internet’s current state.

Rivkin wrote “The Internet is no longer nascent – and people around the world are growing increasingly uncomfortable with what it’s becoming,” when lettering it to several Senators, connecting Internet-related privacy violation to regulation, immunities, and safe harbors.

The head of Hollywood’s chief lobbying group concerned about Facebook users is a good thing, but not everyone is convinced.

For some, the MPAA is merely exploiting the fiasco to grow its own unrelated interests.

The Internet Association is a US-based organization comprising many prominent members including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Reddit, Twitter, and Yahoo.

The MPAA criticized these companies, named or not, which made the Internet Association respond.
Internet Association president and CEO, Michael Beckerman, in a public letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, scourged the MPAA and similar lobbying groups by stating these groups hijack the regulatory debate with anti-internet propaganda.

Beckerman writes “Look no further than the gratuitous letter Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. Chairman & CEO Charles Rivkin submitted to the Energy and Commerce Committee during your recent Zuckerberg hearing.”

Beckerman: “The hearing had nothing to do with the Motion Picture industry, but Mr. Rivkin demonstrated shameless rent-seeking by calling for regulation on internet companies simply in an effort to protect his clients’ business interest.”

The Internet Association CEO added rent-seeking efforts are part of the “crony politics” used by “pre-internet” companies to protect their old business models.

“This blatant display of crony politics is not unique to the big Hollywood studios, but rather emblematic of a broader anti-consumer lobbying campaign.

Many other pre-internet industries —telcos, legacy tech firms, hotels, and others — are looking to defend old business models by regulating a rising competitor to the clear detriment of consumers.”

The crack between Silicon Valley and Hollywood is wide open.

The MPAA and other copyright industry groups want stricter regulation so that Internet companies are held accountable. However, privacy is not their primary focus.

They want internet giants to prevent privacy and compensate rightsholders. But, to use Facebook’s privacy disaster to bring this message forward was a good thing or not is something up for debate.

The Internet Association hit back at the MPAA’s efforts, but it did admit that more has to be done for internet privacy.

Why Millenials are Lukewarm About Privacy

Millennials seem least bothered that Facebook and other companies are using their data for profit, according to a piece by New York Post. The story suggested that millennials have accepted the fact that to maximize the advantages, sacrifices need to be made.

Millennials are comfortable to be an “open book” for all to see. The opinion piece states that the previous generations guarded their privacy. But, then again the previous generation had fewer privacy threats as compared to millennials.

You could argue that the millennials have been handed a crazy and dangerous world and so social media is their outlet and a much-needed distraction from modern life. Hence, they seem indifferent about their personal information being leaked to the masses.

Who would have imagined that social media platforms could learn our likes and dislikes, political preferences, religious affiliations, sexual orientations and so on? If a law enforcement team want to know my activities on a given day, it is readily accessible from the data uploaded to social media sites.

The article gives it back to the millennials who were outraged at Cambridge Analytica for using their information. If you are too carefree about your personal information, these things can happen. The question is: Is Cambridge Analytica any different from other companies? Every tech giant monetizes your information. So, all in all, they are all the same.

Millennials aggravate it by being only too willing to provide such information through their daily contents, photos, etc. The opinion piece questions whether the previous generations would have been so forthcoming as compared to the millennials.

What do you think? Is it a fair assessment of the current state of affairs?