Monday, March 14, 2005

Swedish ISP Raid Fallout: Anti-Piracy Site Hacked, Email Online, Mole Discovered

Last Thursday the Swedish ISP Bahnhof was raided by the anti-piracy organisation Antipiratbyrå (APB) with assistance of the Swedish Enforcement Administration. Yesterday the site of Antipiratbyrå was hacked and still is. A group named the "Angry Young Hackers" was able to retrieve emails from the APB server and posted some correspondence between the APB, its lawyer and spokesman Henrik Pontén and MPAA's Dean Garfield:
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2005 9:29
To: Tilbury, Chad; Seymour, Dan; Winter, Craig
Subject: Swedish pirates busted!

Hi guys!

After 2 years of infiltrations our work finally paid of today with a
successful raid on Sweden's oldest and largest ISP named Bahnhof.
Bahnhof has been a source for top level piracy for several years and hosting some of the biggest and fastest servers in Europe.

From: Garfield, Dean
Sent: Friday, March 11, 2005 12:02 PM
To: Ponten, Henrik
Cc: Tilbury, Chad
Subject: FW: EREC-05-007: Sweden: Authorities seize major pirate servers at Stockholm ISP

Henrik, this is truly phenomenal. We are all very proud of you. I am sure you are a bit unpopular with the pirate community in Sweden right now. Great work.
Note that the APB's initial email was literally taken over by the MPAA in a response to Reuters on the Swedish raid.

Apparently the hackers also posted personal information on an informant used by the APB, which allegedly had been the administrator of one of the seized file servers. It's unclear what the role of this mole was in the raid. In the meantime the fallout is getting ugly. Pontén has been threatened online ("We demand Pontén's blood") and says he has become a target of SMS terror and abusive phone calls and was forced to hire personal protection.

Coinciding with the Swedish fallout MP3-player supplier Jens of Sweden and Jonas Birgersson, the founder of broadband supplier Bredband2, have reported the Anti-Piracy Agency to the Swedish Data Inspection Board (SDI). The basis of their complaint is that "it is illegal to archive information that purports to, and can be linked to, individual data (i.e. IP-numbers that can be linked to subscribers) and to try to link this to criminal actions." To make the whole situation just a little more explosive they label the ABP tactics "the equivalent of Stasi registration":
"The Anti-Piracy Agency's method of spying on, secretly registering and threatening people may have been encouraged in the former East Germany, but must be banned in modern Sweden."
Forget tranquil forests & lakes. Forget the reason. It's a Viking fest up North and this party has just started.


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