akuma_river (akuma_river) wrote in ontd_political,

Being an Internet Pirate means you are on par with a Terrorist

I'm not sure how many of you know this but NinjaVideo.Net has been shutdown by Homeland Security through ICE by a new copyright program called Operation: In Our Sites. It basically enables a multinational effort through Imigrations and Customs with the FBI and Homeland Security and allows them to raid your home, work, and confiscate your internet domain and money.

Unlike TVShack.Net which was just a raid on the domain and came back online as TVShack.CC NinjaVideo.Net was completely raided. The site is shut down, the site admins had their income taken by the federal government and they are facing serious time.

FBI Warning of Al Qaeda Hit Lists, Bomb-Making Tips Led to Shutdown of Blogging Site
Published July 19, 2010 | FoxNews.com

A popular website that hosted more than 70,000 bloggers was shut down suddenly last week after the FBI informed its chief technology officer that the site contained hit lists, bomb-making documents and links to Al Qaeda materials, it was reported on Monday.

When the WordPress platform Blogetery.com went dead, the initial explanation from the site's host, Burst.net, was that “a law-enforcement agency” had ordered it to shut down, citing a “history of abuse.” The explanation caused a wave of conspiracy theories in the blogosphere.

But according to a report on CNET Monday, Burst.net shut down Blogetery.com when it became spooked by a letter from the FBI, in which the bureau detailed the presence of terrorist materials among the blog posts.

Burst.net CTO Joe Marr explained that the FBI contacted them with a request for voluntary emergency disclosure of information, bringing to their attention that terrorist material presenting a threat to the lives of Americans was found on a server Burst.net hosted. FBI agents said they wanted specific, immediate information about the people who posted the material.

Paul Bresson, unit chief for the FBI's national press office, wrote in an email to FoxNews.com Monday that Burst.net shut down the website on its own. "We did not make a request to shut down a website," Bresson wrote.

Bloggers had been theorizing for days about the shutdown, mostly speculating about conspiracies and anti-piracy movements.

File-sharing news site TorrentFreak claimed it was most likely the work of anti-piracy authorities. The site speculated that it could be part of a new initiative called "Operation: In Our Sites," designed to crack down on Internet piracy and counterfeiting under the authority of Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel.

"Operation: In Our Sites" has already targeted numerous sites including TVShack.net, Movies-Links.TV, FilesPump.com, Now-Movies.com, PlanetMoviez.com, ThePirateCity.org, ZML.com, NinjaVideo.net and NinjaThis.net.

Others wondered whether this was a step by the government to assert control over the Web. Just weeks ago, a plan giving the President emergency power to turn off the Internet was approved by the Senate.

The reality turns out to be much more serious. A representative for Burst.net said the company had offered Blogetery's operator his money back, but that "should be the least of his concerns."

“Simply put: We cannot give him his data nor can we provide any other details," the representative said. "By stating this, most would recognize that something serious is afoot.”

U.S. Authorities Shut Down WordPress Host With 73,000 Blogs
Written by enigmax on July 16, 2010

After the U.S. Government took action against several sites connected to movie streaming recently, nerves are jangling over the possibility that this is just the beginning of a wider crackdown. Now it appears that a free blogging platform has been taken down by its hosting provider on orders from the U.S. authorities on grounds of “a history of abuse”. More than 73,000 blogs are out of action as a result.

Hot on the heels of recent threats from Vice President Joe Biden and Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel directed at sites offering unauthorized movies and music, last month U.S. authorities targeted several sites they claimed were connected to the streaming of infringing video material.

‘Operation In Our Sites‘ targeted several sites including TVShack.net, Movies-Links.TV, FilesPump.com, Now-Movies.com, PlanetMoviez.com, ThePirateCity.org, ZML.com, NinjaVideo.net and NinjaThis.net. In almost unprecedented action, the domain names of 7 sites were seized and indications are that others – The Pirate Bay and MegaUpload – narrowly avoided the same fate.

Fears remain, however, that this action is only the beginning, and that more sites will be targeted as the months roll on. Indeed, TorrentFreak has already received information that other sites, so far unnamed in the media, are being monitored by the authorities on copyright grounds.

Now, according to the owner of a free WordPress platform which hosts more than 73,000 blogs, his network of sites has been completely shut down on the orders of the authorities.

Blogetery.com has been with host BurstNet for 7 months but on Friday July 9th the site disappeared. The following Monday the owner received an email from BurstNet:

Due to the history of abuse and on going abuse on this ‘bn.***********’ server.

We have opted to terminate this server, effective immediately. This termination applies to: bn.affiliateplex.com

Abuse Department
BurstNET Technologies, Inc

Further correspondence received the following response:

Bn.xx*********** was terminated by request of law enforcement officials, due to material hosted on the server.

We are limited as to the details we can provide to you, but note that this was a critical matter and the only available option to us was to immediately deactivate the server.

…and a later clarification:

Please note that this was not a typical case, in which suspension and notification would be the norm. This was a critical matter brought to our attention by law enforcement officials. We had to immediately remove the server.

“We notified him [the Blogetery owner] when we terminated it [the server], and we refunded him his money to his account, because he has other servers with us If he wants the refund to his card, we can easily do that. However, it should be the least of his concerns,” A BurstNet representative later confirmed.

“Simply put: We cannot give him his data nor can we provide any other details. By stating this, most would recognize that something serious is afoot.”

Due to the fact that the authorities aren’t sharing information and BurstNet are sworn to secrecy, it is proving almost impossible to confirm the exact reason why Blogetery has been completely taken down. The owner does, however, admit to handling many copyright-related cease and desists in the past, albeit in a timely manner as the DMCA requires.

Nevertheless, a couple of quick Google searches which are likely to turn up blogs which link to copyright material appear to do just that – here, here and here. That said, on any network this large this type of activity is bound to happen. Many thousands of blogs on the same platform would have been perfectly legal.

“All of the users are without service just like when the Pirate Bay raids happened and all the people who were on the host sites were also taken down,” pointed out an annoyed Blogetery user who contacted TorrentFreak. “I have lost my personal site also and I don’t have any way to contact the owner since his contact info was on the blogetery.com site & that was the only way to contact him.”

Indeed, 73,000 blogs is a significant number to take down in one swoop, regardless of what some users of the site may or may not have been doing. Time will tell if it was indeed a copyright complaint that took down the service but the signs are certainly there. Not so long ago the conclusion that this type of action could be taken on copyright grounds would have been dismissed out of hand, but the current atmosphere seems to be changing.

Update: Apparently there was “terrorist material” hosted on one of the blogs.

Movie pirate websites shut down by ICE
Posted by Marco | Editor on July 6, 2010 · 13 Comments

The US immigration and customs Enforcement (ICE) has launched an operation that is aimed a internet counterfeiting and piracy called ‘operation in our sites’. This has resulted in the closure of nine websites that were offering illegal movie copies. You can find the names of the websites that were shut down in the press release.

In the first action carried out as part of the initiative, authorities executed seizure warrants against nine domain names of Web sites that were offering first-run movies, often within hours of their theatrical release. Seven of those sites were targeted for seizure by the SDNY. Agents from ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) also seized assets from 15 bank, Paypal, investment and advertising accounts, and executed four residential search warrants in several states.

ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton, joined on a Los Angeles soundstage by senior representatives from major movie studios, entertainment unions and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), made clear that the theft of such intellectual property is a serious crime and one the U.S. government has made a priority combating.

Copyrighted material is known as intellectual property (IP) under the law.

“ICE and our partners at the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center are targeting pirate Web sites run by people who have no respect for creativity and innovation,” said ICE Assistant Secretary Morton, who was in Southern California to meet with the leaders of the movie industry. “We are dedicated to protecting the jobs, the income and the tax revenue that disappear when organized criminals traffic in stolen movies for their own profit.”

“Criminal copyright infringement occurs on a massive scale over the Internet, reportedly resulting in billions of dollars in losses to the U.S. economy,” said Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, whose office handled the seizure warrants of seven domain names Wednesday. “That translates into lost jobs and real hardships for ordinary working people. That’s why we took the actions we did. If your business model is movie piracy, your story will not have a happy ending.”

“Content theft online has become increasingly ubiquitous as technology and software improve and access to the Internet increases,” said Mike Robinson, chief of operations, content protection for the MPAA. “We are committed to working with law enforcement to get the illegal choices out of the marketplace and instead focus on continuing to offer more innovative and flexible legal options to consumers to enjoy the movies and TV shows that we all love. The American motion picture and television industry is one of our nation’s most valuable cultural and economic resources. We are grateful to ICE, the Obama Administration, and the federal agencies that have made the protection of intellectual property a priority for the United States.”

“We are facing a dramatic rise in the number of foreign and domestic Web sites that are in the business of making films and television shows – created by our members – available for illegal download or streaming,” said Kathy Garmezy, associate executive director of government and international affairs for the Directors Guild of America. “If left unchecked, this illegal activity threatens the very ability of filmmakers to both earn a living and create the content that is enjoyed by billions around the world.”

“We commend the action of ICE and the IPR Center in striking a significant blow against those who seek to profit from the copyrighted, intellectual property of others,” said Matthew D. Loeb, president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). “Intellectual property is the basis of our modern economy. The stealing of digital content is not a victimless crime; it’s also the theft of tens of thousands of American jobs.”

The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), based in Virginia and managed by ICE, is directing the government’s response to a crime that is estimated to cost American industry billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs every year. Its “Operation In Our Sites” is targeting not only films and music, but other items distributed over the Internet, such as counterfeit pharmaceuticals, software, electronics, games and other products that threaten public health and safety.

The investigation involving SDNY together with the ICE New York Special Agent in Charge and the IPR Center resulted in the seizure warrants for seven domain names: TVSHACK.NET, MOVIES-LINKS.TV, FILESPUMP.COM, NOW-MOVIES.COM, PLANETMOVIEZ.COM, THEPIRATECITY.ORG, and ZML.COM. In an undercover capacity, investigators downloaded various newly released movies from the Web sites and their affiliates, to identify those Web sites that were involved in the distribution of stolen content

Also on Wednesday, as a result of a months-long operation, the IPR Center seized the domain names and Web site content of NinjaVideo.net and NinjaThis.net, both of which generated revenue from donations and advertising. These sites allowed visitors to stream or download popular television shows and movies. Over the course of the investigation, agents observed links to more than 200 movies and more than 300 television programs on the NinjaVideo site. This investigation resulted in the execution of federal search warrants for their content and domain name at servers in the United States and the Netherlands. HSI agents also executed four residential search warrants in North Carolina, New Jersey, New York and Washington. The case is ongoing.

The IPR Center has united the U.S. government agencies that combat intellectual property theft. In addition to ICE, the partners include: U.S. Customs and Border Protection; the FBI; the Department of Commerce; the Food and Drug Administration; the Postal Inspection Service; the General Services Administration, Office of the Inspector General; the Naval Criminal Investigative Service; the Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the Army Criminal Investigative Division’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit; and the Government of Mexico Tax Administrative Service.

The IPR Center is one of the U.S. government’s key weapons in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy. The IPR Center offers assistance for both law enforcement and the private sector to address the growing transnational threat of counterfeit merchandise. The IPR Center coordinates outreach to U.S. rights holders and conducts domestic and international law enforcement training to stem the growing counterfeiting threat as well as coordinating and directing anti-counterfeiting investigations.

To learn more about the IPR Center go to www.ice.gov.

NV Blue talks about the Defense Fund
07-22-2010 17:59:32
Phara | NinjaVideoForum.Net

Oh God. I've been staring at a blank page for two days trying to draft this thing and every word I write down is like a knife to the stomach. We have so much pride. So much pride. This is the hardest thing we've ever had to do. I loathe this, we all do. But we need this. We need you. Our lives, our very freedom depends on this. We can’t do it alone.

Quotes are starting to come in as to the cost of the defense. We are looking at six to seven digits and it's going to be pure hell.

... We have nothing. Nothing at all. They took... everything.

Precedents are being made upon our heads. Never before has a site like ours been targeted in this way.
We ask you... if you are vested in this case, this landmark case on the future of Internet Sharing and Internet Rights, that you speak to your friends, your family, your co-workers, your bosses. Perhaps you are affiliated with the ACLU, Google, Youtube, MegaUpload, Rapidshare, The Pirate Parties around the world. Perhaps you are financially comfortable and you feel passionately about the issue at hand. We need... NEED... legal sponsorship in addition to legal donation. Perhaps the future of your own site is at risk and it is this case that will put it in the crosshairs of the next raid. Perhaps it will be you who will see your home, dear lord, your home, ripped apart by THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.

There are huge sites out there, organizations backed by those sympathetic to this cause. They, the Feds, have shone a spotlight on all of us, and pointed it directly upon NinjaVideo. But it doesn't mean they will stop there. You might think this doesn’t affect you personally, but it does. It really does. We ask you... we need you all to consider stepping in and aiding us. Contact others on our behalf. Lend advice and give financial support. We need you. We are worried... we are a tiny group of people standing in front of a behemoth. We need a virtual army behind us to even stand a chance.

We have never demanded anything of our users. Ever. We never once forced a fee upon our members... in any form. And we still won't. However, today... today we ask you to look into your hearts, as well as your wallets, and consider donating to the Legal Fund. If every person that ever used Ninja donated $1, just $1... we would have a fighting chance. We are up against the Federal Government of the United States. They are petrifying. PETRIFYING. And they are backed by Hollywood. And they have chosen us to be an example. I think you understand how much money is on the other side.

We're a few twenty to thirtysomes. I have a cat. Wads likes to bicycle, etc... We're normal people. We always were, every step of the way. No one did this to get rich. We supported independent artists, released podcasts, fostered growth and debate. We were on our way to opening the Ninja Design Firm, wanted to set up an Independent Film Festival, a Spotlight Artist Music Concert... We had and still have so many wonderful plans. So many ideas to change this world. At least part of it. Ninja was the beginning of something that meant more than money. It was a small corner in a much larger debate. Now Ninja is the debate. And we are Ninja personified. We’re not bankrolled by a major corporation. We’re not funded by taxpayers. We’re individuals who banded together through the internet, just like you did. We played in the grey space of the internet, and they’re going to try to use our case to shade that area black.

They want to cage us. They most likely will.

Please don't let them. All it takes is $1 from each of you.

Lastly, we feel that those willing to support on a major level, be they individuals or organizations, should be directly involved with us behind the scenes. This is not a staff position per se, but an organized effort to band together those with the fiscal power to help this entire movement. Those that can put four digits towards the donation fund will hold a prominence with the behind the scenes action. This is worldwide. And you will be instrumental.

We're backed into a corner facing quite literally the most powerful force in the world. The US Government. o_O ... How does one actually capture the enormity of those words in text? This is our lives, our very freedom. But it's yours too. The United States Government vs NinjaVideo. The United States Government vs All of Us. We need your help.

Your prayers, your posts, your words, your art... your support in general is priceless. Unfortunately, in the world we live in, it will be your money that gives us a fighting chance. The former gives us the strength to close our eyes and take it one breath at a time, the latter gives us the opportunity to take that breath outside of a prison cell.

We love you, NinjaVideo. We always will.

Forever yours,
Phara & All the NV Blue

Tags: censorship, crime, fbi, homeland security, internet/net neutrality/piracy, law, media

  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded