View Full Version : Swedish pirates have wind in their sails for EU vote

Magda Hassan
06-04-2009, 08:20 AM
I wonder how this will go in the EU elections? Looks interesting.

A Swedish party which wants an Internet filesharing free-for-all, the
Pirate Party, could become one of the surprise new entrants to the
European parliament this week.

The party, which also wants to beef up Internet privacy, was founded in
January 2006 and quickly attracted members angered by controversial laws
adopted in the country that criminalised filesharing and authorised
monitoring of emails.

Its membership shot up after a Stockholm court on April 17 sentenced
four Swedes to a year in jail for running one of the world's biggest
filesharing sites, The Pirate Bay.

"When the verdict was announced at 11:00 am, we had 14,711 members,"
Rick Falkvinge, the 37-year-old founder of the party, told AFP.

"We tripled in a week, becoming the third-biggest party in Sweden in
terms of numbers. All of a sudden we were everywhere."

Opinion polls ahead of the June 7th European parliament elections credit
the party with between 5.5 and 7.9 percent of votes, well above the four
percent required to win a seat.

In the 2006 general election, held eight months after it's creation, the
Pirate Party won just 0.6 percent of votes.

"They have been very lucky because The Pirate Bay verdict came at the
same time as the start of the election campaign, but I think The Pirate
Party had the potential to grow anyway," a political scientist at
Gothenburg University, Ulf Bjereld, told AFP.

"The Pirate Party has taken advantage of a new cleavage in Swedish
politics, about civil liberties, about who should have the right to
decide over knowledge, and that's not a left-right cleavage," Bjereld said.

"The traditional parties have been sleeping, they have underestimated
the political potential in these issues," he added.

The European parliament election, with little at stake in Sweden and a
low turnout expected, is considered the perfect opportunity for an
election sensation, according to experts.

"People tend to think there are very few differences between the parties
in the EU elections. If you could have a (unique) profile there, it's
easier to succeed," said Toivo Sj?ren, head of the Sifo polling institute.

The typical Pirate Party supporter is a young, male internet buff.

According to Sifo, some 13 percent of people under 30 plan to vote for
the party, compared to seven percent of those aged 30 to 49, and only
three percent of those over the age of 49.

The party garners some 10.5 percent support among male voters, but only
1.5 percent of women.

"It's a 'geek' party," admitted Brian Levinsen, a 31-year-old member,
attending a recent campaign meeting in Stockholm.

"We use Twitter, Skype, we use blogs," explained Jan Lindgren, the
party's campaign director in Stockholm.

"There is always someone (from the party) online, even at 2 or 4 in the
morning," he added.

Many members say they joined not only because they are die-hard fans of
the internet and filesharing, but because they fear a "Big Brother" society.

"Sweden was built on protecting the freedom of its citizens. This pact
is now disappearing," said Levinsen.

"They want to impose controls on what we're saying, like in China or in
North Korea. We're not there yet, but we're on the way," said Robert
Nyberg, a 29-year-old demolition worker clad in a purple tee-shirt
bearing the party's black flag.

The Pirate Party, which has sister parties in 20 countries, is also
standing in the European elections in Poland and Germany.

An estimated 375 million voters across the 27 nation bloc will elect 736
deputies for a five-year term at the parliament, which has an important
role passing pan-European legislation and the EU commission's annual budget.

David Guyatt
06-18-2009, 09:29 AM
The battle for movie middle earth continues:


Download pirates to launch new weapon
Asher Moses
June 17, 2009 Page 1 of 2 Single page view
New illegal download tools are being tested to beat movie and music police.

One of the largest sources of pirated content, BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay, this week began testing an "encrypted virtual private network'' that purports to offer anonymous downloading for 5 euro a month. The Pirate Bay said it planned to open up the service to people around the world within a month.

Also launched this month is a free software tool, BitBlinder, which like the Pirate Bay tool, hides users' unique IP address while they are downloading files using BitTorrent.

A digital forensics consultant said the tools would make it a lot harder to trace illegal downloaders. But the lawyer involved in the landmark piracy cases against iiNet and Kazaa expressed doubts.

The news comes as copyright holders ramp up their pressure on the internet industry and the Federal Government, hoping to develop a policy that compels ISPs to disconnect customers who repeatedly download content illegally.

The Department of Broadband has this month been meeting with ISPs in an effort to "brief the [Communications] minister [Stephen Conroy], on, possibly, how to introduce a P2P [peer-to-peer] illegal downloading policy for those ISPs who are prepared to 'voluntarily' agree with some yet to be decided ... 'guidelines"', Exetel CEO John Linton revealed on his blog.

"I assumed they were looking to find some way of addressing copyright infringement along the same lines that the UK government has done," Linton wrote.

Already, the movie and music studios employ digital spies to intercept BitTorrent traffic and record instances of Australians transmitting copyrighted content illegally.

This information is then forwarded on to the relevant ISPs, along with demands by the content owners that the ISP warns or disconnects the offending customers.

So far, ISPs have been reluctant to act against customers based on mere accusations by film and music studios, and have either ignored the angry letters or passed them on to police.

This led the movie studios to launch a landmark legal action against iiNet, saying it didn't do enough to prevent customers from downloading movies illegally.

If iiNet loses, all ISPs could be forced to disconnect customers identified by the movie studios as illegal downloaders. Such a policy could also be enacted if the content industry convinces the Government to pass legislation that forces ISPs to act.

But the Pirate Bay and BitBlinder tools have pre-empted these developments.

Digital forensics consultant Graham Thompson said the tools would "make it a lot harder" for the online investigators to identify and trace illegal downloaders. And even if an act warranted further tracing, this would be impeded by interception laws in various countries and a warrant would likely be needed.

The anonymising software bounces data around the world to cloak the address of the original sender.

"It's a lot harder to show it's you doing it, which is what an anonymiser does in the first place, it anonymises things," he said.

But Thompson said while the anonymiser software would make it difficult for online investigators to pick you up in their daily BitTorrent trawling, if police physically searched your computer they would easily find evidence of illegal downloading using forensic analysis.

"Anonymising software has been around for 10 years and it's never got in the way of an investigation in order to identify who was responsible for something occurring online," said Michael Williams, partner of law firm Gilbert + Toben.

Williams is running the movie studios' case against iiNet and in 2006 helped secure a multi-million dollar settlement for the music industry by running the case against file sharing service Kazaa.

The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft said: "AFACT has no doubt it will be able to track users of such [anonymising] software, and when found, use of the software will certainly suggest culpability on the part of the person trying to hide their online activity."

In Britain, new powers given to the country's communications regulator, Ofcom, this week forced British ISPs to notify customers who are illegal downloaders that their conduct is unlawful, and in some cases penalise them.

The goal, outlined in the Digital Britain report, is for British ISPs to cut illegal file-sharing on their networks by 70 per cent within a year.

A spokesman for Australia's Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, said the recent meetings with local ISPs did not necessarily mean Australia was heading down the same path as Britain.

"Online content piracy is an issue that governments and industry are grabbling with right around the world," the spokesman said.

"We have said on numerous occasions that we have been encouraging dialogue between copyright holders and internet service providers for some time in order to try and reach and agreed way forward."

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said: "If the Minister wants to institute some sort of [anti-piracy] measure, use the case of internet filtering as how not to do it - get out and consult and be transparent."

Peter Lemkin
06-18-2009, 06:42 PM
I don't know what technology they plan to use, but from what I know, though far from an expert on cyber-cryptology, only groups like the NSA et al. would be able to see the IP address if they use the latest encryption technology.....but.....the internet could be fairly quickly redone in some of the protocols used in order to negate this. The battle is engaged!