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July 23, 2011

Aaron Swartz arrested and charged for downloading JSTOR articles

Aaron Swartz arrested and charged for downloading JSTOR articles

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Wikimedia-logo.svg This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz, a fellow at Harvard University’s Center for Ethics and an open source programmer involved with creating the RSS 1.0 specification and more generally in the open culture movement, has been arrested and charged with wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer, and recklessly damaging a protected computer after he entered a computer lab at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts and downloaded two-thirds of the material on JSTOR, an academic journal repository.

According to the indictment, Swartz is accused of sneaking a laptop into MIT, hooking it up as a guest on the MIT network, and then running a script to download files from JSTOR. After being caught, Swartz returned the hard drive containing the downloaded documents to JSTOR who intend not to pursue civil litigation against him, but he has been indicted by the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts. He has been bailed on a $100,000 unsecured bond after pleading not guilty to all charges.

Swartz had previously downloaded around 20% of the U.S. Government’s PACER database of court decisions, prompting the FBI to investigate his actions. In 2006, Swartz ran for the Wikimedia Foundation’s Board of Trustees and also wrote an influential essay on “Who Writes Wikipedia?”.

Following Swartz’s indictment, Greg Maxwell, a contributor to Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons, has published a torrent on The Pirate Bay containing 33Gb of papers from the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society that were published before 1923 and are thus public domain in the United States, but previously only available at a cost from JSTOR.



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May 3, 2010

Wikinews interviews Brittany Phelps, administrator of the United States Pirate Party

Wikinews interviews Brittany Phelps, administrator of the United States Pirate Party

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Monday, May 3, 2010

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Wikinews reporter Peter Coti interviews Brittany Phelps, administrator of the United States Pirate Party, who talks about her job and her goals.

Interview

Unites States Pirate Party Logo

Wikinews waves Left.pngPeter CotiWikinews waves Right.pngWho are you and what do you do?

Wikinews waves Left.pngBrittany PhelpsWikinews waves Right.pngFor the past three months, I’ve been the administrator of the United States Pirate Party. In general, I direct and oversee the activities of the USPP. At the moment, my most challenging task is to cultivate state parties across the US. Without them, the national party is essentially insolvent.

Wikinews waves Left.pngPCWikinews waves Right.pngWhat is the Pirate Party?

Wikinews waves Left.pngBPWikinews waves Right.pngThe United States Pirate Party is a relatively new party in the U.S., currently undergoing a revival after having been founded a few years ago. We are similar in nature to the various Pirate Parties found internationally, though we differ somewhat in platform and formation.

Wikinews waves Left.pngPCWikinews waves Right.pngWhat are the goals of the Pirate Party?

Wikinews waves Left.pngBPWikinews waves Right.pngWe are dedicated to protecting Americans’ rights to privacy, freedom of information, reforming the patent and copyright systems, and ensuring government transparency.

Wikinews waves Left.pngPCWikinews waves Right.pngWhat are some things you personally want to change about the government?

Wikinews waves Left.pngBPWikinews waves Right.pngThere are a great many things I could bring up in regards to changing in the government, so I’ll keep it to my three greatest concerns: Transparency, privacy, and ballot reform. Firstly, transparency is required from our government in all but the most dire situations. President Obama seemed, at first, to be promising in this regard, but again and again since he took office, he has proven that hope to be ill-placed. ACTA is hidden from FOIA requests, more light is not shed about torture techniques, and numerous bills, most memorably the recent health care reform, are not brought to light for the promised number of days–how is this transparency?

My second qualm, privacy, is boiled down very simply–as technology grows, so does the ability to invade the privacy of citizens for the sake of a potential safeguard. This route is far from affective [sic] in its proposed function. We should take the time to find more effective ways to reduce crime without invading the privacy of law-abiding citizens. Not doing so is to treat each and every American as a criminal without a trial.

And, thirdly, ballot access. While not necessarily a plank of our platform, it is a challenge that the USPP will have to face early on. There is a long standing idea that the United States has two political parties, and that’s it, end of story. I can’t help but wonder of these people–do you think that the country was founded between these two parties alone? We are a nation of many people, with many ideas and many opinions. To try and simply this to a black and white dichotomy does a disservice to the nation and its people. There are shades of gray.

Wikinews waves Left.pngPCWikinews waves Right.pngHow did you get involved with the party?

Wikinews waves Left.pngBPWikinews waves Right.pngI got involved last fall after hearing of the success of our European counterparts in their elections. I was certain that someone had started a Pirate Party in the U.S., but was surprised that I hadn’t heard about it already, so I went looking. And here I am.

Wikinews waves Left.pngPCWikinews waves Right.pngDo you think you have a chance against other parties?

Wikinews waves Left.pngBPWikinews waves Right.pngI have no disillusions about it being difficult, but I am convinced that we have the capability to do so, yes. Furthermore, I welcome the challenge.

Wikinews waves Left.pngPCWikinews waves Right.pngIf you could change anything right this second about the government what would it be?

Wikinews waves Left.pngBPWikinews waves Right.pngI think if I had the opportunity to change anything, it would be one of the three that I covered in question 4. I’m inclined to say ballot access, considering the immediate impact it would have for the USPP and other smaller parties, but transparency and privacy would be close contenders.

Wikinews waves Left.pngPCWikinews waves Right.pngCould you take this test, and let us know where you stand on the political spectrum?

Wikinews waves Left.pngBPWikinews waves Right.pngAfter taking the test, I got a 60%/40%, which put me just inside the zone for a “Centrist”. Sounds about right.

Wikinews waves Left.pngPCWikinews waves Right.pngAnything else you want to add?

Wikinews waves Left.pngBPWikinews waves Right.pngJust today we launched a new website, as part of our effort to restart the movement in the United States, so I invite all who read this to waltz on over to our website and take a look. Thanks for reading!

Related news

  • “”Avast ye scurvy file sharers!”: Interview with Swedish Pirate Party leader Rickard Falkvinge” — Wikinews, June 20, 2006

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This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.


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July 1, 2009

File sharing site The Pirate Bay sold

File sharing site The Pirate Bay sold – Wikinews, the free news source

File sharing site The Pirate Bay sold

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Internet
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The Pirate Bay logo

Popular file-sharing site The Pirate Bay was sold yesterday for 60 million Swedish krona (£4.7 million). Swedish gaming company Global Gaming Factory (GGF) was the purchaser, paying half the price in cash and the rest in shares of the company.

In April 2009, the owners of The Pirate Bay, Frederik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Carl Lundstrom and Peter Sunde, were found guilty of copyright infringement, fined SEK30 million and sentenced to a year in jail. They are currently appealing the sentence, with allegations the judge, being a member of various copyright protection lobbies, was not impartial.

GGF has plans to start paying for copyright content linked from the site, although it is unclear exactly how this will work at the moment.

Peter Sunde was quoted as saying, “We feel that we can’t take The Pirate Bay any further. We’re in a bit of a frozen situation where there’s not much happening and there are neither people nor money to develop things.”

Hans Pandeya, the head of GGF, said in a statement, “We would like to introduce models which entail that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site. Content creators and providers need to control their content and get paid for it.”

It is also unclear what will happen to the newly launched site, The Video Bay. Launched by The Pirate Bay founders, it will offer streaming of copyrighted content.



Related news

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
The Pirate Bay trial
  • “Swedish court finds administrators of The Pirate Bay guilty of contributory copyright infringement” — Wikinews, April 17, 2009
  • “”Avast ye scurvy file sharers!”: Interview with Swedish Pirate Party leader Rickard Falkvinge” — Wikinews, June 20, 2006
  • “US accused of sinking The Pirate Bay” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
  • “The Pirate Bay and Piratbyrån raided” — Wikinews, May 31, 2006

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April 25, 2009

Pirate Bay case: Internet group attacks websites in \”Operation Baylout\”

Pirate Bay case: Internet group attacks websites in “Operation Baylout”

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Internet
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  • Wikinews interviews Asaf Bartov, Head of Wikimedia Grants Program and Global South Partnerships
  • Google shuts down Google News Spain
  • Wikinews interviews Mario J. Lucero and Isabel Ruiz of Heaven Sent Gaming
  • Parts of internet break as ‘512k day’ reached by routers

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Anonymous, the loosely defined online activist group most known for organizing mass protests against the Church of Scientology, has begun a campaign against the websites of entities associated with the prosecution in the Pirate Bay Trial, Wikinews has learned.

Anonymous stages a masked protest against Scientology in Washington, DC last year
Image: Lewis Francis.

Termed “Operation Baylout”, the group claims that hundreds of volunteers are taking part in coordinated efforts to jam the websites of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry and MAQS, a law firm working with the prosecution in the Pirate Bay case. As of Friday evening MAQS’s website read “Our website is currently under attack and we have therefore decided to shut it down until the attack ceases.”

The group is also coordinating efforts to jam the fax lines of the MPAA’s anti-piracy office and of prosecuting attorney Monique Wadsted.

Andrew Norton of Pirate Party International rejected the attacks, saying, “While we can’t condone these acts, it does show there is a wealth of feeling that opposes the decisions and actions of this trade body. Perhaps if this trade group [the IFPI] was not so focused on increasing their members’ short-term profits, and focused on long term growth and giving customers what they have wanted for the last 10 years, we would not all be in this situation now. However, if people really want to make a difference, and get a result, then they should be supporting their local pirate parties, which will give a lasting result, by providing a government that is more resistant to the lobbying efforts of the IFPI and their ilk.”

While one participant told Wikinews that he or she had taken part in the Church of Scientology protests, and while websites announcing the attacks claim to be affiliated with Anonymous, the decentralized and informal nature of the group makes it difficult to verify whether the attacks are a “legitimate” Anonymous operation.

Some seven hundred to one thousand users took part in an April 20 distributed denial of service (DDOS) “raid” against the IFPI’s website, taking it down for several hours.

The group makes use of Anonymous’s tactics from Project Chanology in coordinating raids. Ideas for targets are proposed in open discussion forums on a range of websites, mainly spinoffs of 4chan, although both participants Wikinews spoke to expressed disdain for that site particularly. When an idea finds favor with a significant portion of the group, it quickly — sometimes within four hours — evolves and is elaborated through a number of IRC channels. As a plan develops, word is put out to other members, and when enough people are assembled, the members activate customized but rudimentary programs downloaded from popular anonymous upload sites such as RapidShare to their home computers. These programs, “Epic Fail Cannon” and “Bayloutlazer”, execute a UDP ping flood against the target website. Most participants are by and large not computer experts, instead relying on the instructions and programming skills of others.

The group also coordinates its efforts through Anonymous’s message boards and one message announced, “Do local coordinating for individual cells on their respective Chanology boards.” Posters to those boards express common themes in support of The Pirate Bay: against censorship, for freedom of information and in personal concern about being jailed for internet piracy.

However, most participants are casual rather than dedicated members, involved “for lulz” — cheap entertainment at the expense of others.

One participant quoted to Wikinews the following statement from 888chan.org, a message board where the Baylout raids originated: “Project Chanology began as an online attack against Scientology because they fucked with our Internets. Nothing more. 2) It has since morphed into a caricature of itself, in which moralfags genuinely think it’s all about destroying an evil cult. We couldn’t care less about how evil they are except that they fucked with our Internets. 3) The lulz value of Project Chanology now lies in the fact that Anon has managed to personal army thousands of people into destroying our enemy for us. People will go to great lengths to participate and contribute to a “cause” when they don’t know they’re the victims of a very grand and subtle troll. The lulz is not in what they do but in the fact that they are being PA’d by Anons. This moralfag personal army in turn trolls everyone who takes them seriously, because they take themselves seriously, without ever being aware of the fact of the troll themselves. It’s pretty slick tbh.”

It is, however, entirely possible that this assertion is itself a bluff.

Coordinated attacks against Swedish government and media industry websites have become commonplace in retaliation for legal actions against The Pirate Bay.

The group plans its next raid to take place at 12:00 GMT on April 26, against the IFPI’s Swedish website. Previous attacks on websites have been attributed to the same group. On January 20, 2008 Anonymous claimed responsibility for attacking the Church of Scientology’s website which resulted in an arrest. In October 2008, Dmitriy Guzner, aged 18, admitted to the DDOS attack on the Church and pleaded guilty to computer hacking.



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April 17, 2009

Swedish court finds administrators of The Pirate Bay guilty of contributory copyright infringement

Filed under: Archived,Copyright,Crime and law,Internet,Sweden,The Pirate Bay — admin @ 5:00 am

Swedish court finds administrators of The Pirate Bay guilty of contributory copyright infringement

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Friday, April 17, 2009

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A court in Sweden has found at least four administrators of the file-sharing site The Pirate Bay (TPB) guilty of being “accessories to copyright infringement.” The court ordered Carl Lundström, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, and Peter Sunde to serve at least one year in prison and pay damages of US$3.5 million (€2.7 million).

“The Stockholm district court has today found guilty the four individuals that were charged with accessory to breaching copyright laws. The court has sentenced each of them to one year in prison,” said a statement released by the court.

The Pirate Bay logo

Despite the ruling, TPB says it will not be shut down and file sharing operations will not be affected. “Stay calm — Nothing will happen to TPB, us personally or file sharing whatsoever. This is just a theater for the media,” said a spokesman for TPB. The spokesman also added that TPB “cannot and will not” pay the damages. TPB is expected to file an appeal.

The trial lasted two weeks, and ended on March 2. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Bros. and Columbia Pictures among others. Investigators say at least 33 specific films and songs posted on TPB were tracked by authorities.



Related news

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
The Pirate Bay trial
  • “”Avast ye scurvy file sharers!”: Interview with Swedish Pirate Party leader Rickard Falkvinge” — Wikinews, June 20, 2006
  • “US accused of sinking The Pirate Bay” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
  • “The Pirate Bay and Piratbyrån raided” — Wikinews, May 31, 2006

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February 12, 2008

Finnish internet censorship critic blacklisted

Finnish internet censorship critic blacklisted

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Screenshot showing DNS-server is updated to point one domain to the police censorship page, but another domain is not treated the same.

The Finnish police have added Finnish hacker Matti Nikki’s website lapsiporno.info criticizing Internet censorship to Finland’s new national child porn filter. The blacklisting was noticed when Finland’s second largest Internet service provider Elisa started blocking the page today. More of the ISP’s are expected to join the filtering when their blacklists are updated from the police’s master list.

The banned site has been a harsh critic of Internet censorship over the last three years. It contains information and news about how censorship has been discussed and developing in Finland. Although the site’s provocative name is lapsiporno.info (“childporn.info”) there is no child porn on the site – the content is mainly text.

Tekniikka & Talous magazine asked Commissioner Lars Henriksson of Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) why the page was censored. His answer was that he cannot discuss individual sites, but said that sites which are linking to child porn pages are also within the scope of the law. This interpretation, however, seems to conflict with the actual laws, the scope of which was supposed to be only sites with illegal pictures in foreign countries.

On Wednesday, NBI confirmed that site was censored because it published and maintained an incomplete version of the Finnish child porn blacklist. Nikki’s list contained roughly two-thirds of the 1500 blacklist entries, and it was created by scanning a large amount of sites and logging the censored pages.

The scan also found that the top three results of a Google search for “gay porn” are blacklisted, and that most of the blocked sites are actually physically located in the United States or the European Union.

Leena Romppainen of Electronic Frontier Finland commented that “The local authorities have taken no action on these sites. Therefore, either the sites do not contain child pornography or the NBI has not informed the local authorities. Both of the alternatives are equally scary.”

Matti Nikki’s opinion is that the majority of the censored sites are legal adult sites and that the police are not doing that much research when they are deciding which sites to block.

Internet censorship has been a hot topic in Finland as of late. There have been proposals of extending Internet filtering to Internet gambling sites, sites related to terrorism and violence, and torrent-tracker The Pirate Bay.

Wikipedia
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Lapsiporno.info



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September 26, 2007

Torrent tracker Demonoid.com down, possibly shut by Canadian Recording Industry Association

Torrent tracker Demonoid.com down, possibly shut by Canadian Recording Industry Association

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Unconfirmed reports are claiming that Demonoid, a popular semi-private torrent tracker, has been shut down by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA). If true, this would be the latest in many shutdowns of peer-to-peer websites by anti-piracy groups. Earlier this week, trackers Torrentbox, isoHunt, and Podtropolis were disabled for visitors in the United States due to a lawsuit by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

Demonoid is one of the largest torrent trackers on the internet, second only to The Pirate Bay, and tracks over a million torrent files. The site has recently moved its servers from the Netherlands to Canada in June after a Dutch piracy group BREIN subpoenaed Demonoid’s ISP, demanding that the site be taken offline.

The site founder and administrator Deimos has not commented yet regarding the shutdown. Both the tracker and the website are inaccessible as of September 26 at 0700 UTC.

Some within the company have suggested that it all simply is a case of heavy maintenance.



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January 15, 2007

Internet pirates want their own nation

Internet pirates want their own nation – Wikinews, the free news source

Internet pirates want their own nation

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Spoken content icon This article features in a News Brief from Audio Wikinews:

Picture of Sealand.

Location of Sealand.

The Pirate Bay, a file-sharing website based in Sweden, seeks to purchase its own island nation in an attempt to escape copyright laws. A group of people has launched a campaign to collect money via the Internet to acquire a former British sea platform situated in the North Sea, six miles (9.6 kilometers) off the British coast.

The Pirate Bay states that the platform, named Sealand, will give users an easy way of sharing files protected by copyright in other nations. According to the statement made on the website, those who invest in purchasing Sealand will receive citizenship in it.

The platform was occupied in 1967 by the associates and family members of Paddy Roy Bates, a former radio broadcaster and former British Army Major, who now form its royal family. Prince Roy and Princess Joan Bates and their son Prince Regent Michael are willing to sell the platform for £65m. The royal family claims that it is independent and outside of any country’s jurisdiction.

The sovereign status of the platform is disputed. The Government of the United Kingdom extended the territorial waters from 3 to 12 nautical miles after 1987, placing Sealand in its jurisdiction. However, Prince Roy simultaneously expanded the territory of Sealand and claimed continued independence. (See Sealand on Wikipedia.)

Hired estate agents from Spain estimate the price of the floating island to be about 504 million pounds. The Swedish website mentioned that it was looking for alternatives to acquire Sealand. It also mentioned that if the “Internet-pirate” community is not able to buy Sealand, it will look for another small place to claim as its own.

The Pirate Bay website was closed for some time in May 2006 due to Swedish police raids. The site was later re-opened from the Netherlands before moving back to Sweden.

Related news

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
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  • “The Pirate Bay back online” — Wikinews, June 3, 2006
  • “US accused of sinking The Pirate Bay” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
  • “The Pirate Bay and Piratbyrån raided” — Wikinews, May 31, 2006

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June 3, 2006

The Pirate Bay back online

The Pirate Bay back online – Wikinews, the free news source

The Pirate Bay back online

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Saturday, June 3, 2006

The Pirate Bay logo.svg

Swedish BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay is back online following the Swedish police raid of their office on May 31.

Pirate Bay has previously announced on their website that they “will be up and fully functional within a day or two”. A Pirate Bay spokesperson identified as brokep told Slyck News that if necessary, they’d reopen in another country. The reopened website is currently hosted in the Netherlands.

The web page titles have been changed to The Police Bay and the indexing capability is reduced, with the search function disabled, though this is expected to change. All searches are now returned with the error message:

No hits due to politics
The search function will be back later today

Searches can still be done with Google and other search engines by adding site:thepiratebay.org to the search. Most attempts at downloading .torrent files resulted in 404 Not Found error messages during the first hours after the site went back online, however torrent downloads seem to be working fairly well now.

Currently 11:00 a.m. June 6 EDT, The Pirate Bay seems to be back and operational, but downloads still aren’t working too well; you may be able to, you may not. There’s probably a lot of traffic right now.


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June 2, 2006

Hackers hit Swedish police website

Filed under: AutoArchived,Crime and law,Internet,Sweden,The Pirate Bay — admin @ 5:00 am

Hackers hit Swedish police website – Wikinews, the free news source

Hackers hit Swedish police website

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Friday, June 2, 2006

Polisen vapen.svg

Hackers have brought the Swedish Police Service’s website down. It is suspected this might be retaliation for the raid on The Pirate Bay on May 31.

The police’s website went down on late June 1, after a Denial of Service attack sent large amounts of traffic to the site, causing it to crash.

Police spokesmen Lars Lindahl said today that a link with The Pirate Bay “is quite possible, but that is only speculation.” He added that a criminal investigation has started.

It was later revealed a 17-year-old student, who claims “it only took 10 minutes”, carried out the attack that kept the site down for almost a day.

Related news

  • “The Pirate Bay and Piratbyrån raided” — Wikinews, May 31, 2006
  • “US accused of sinking The Pirate Bay” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
  • “The Pirate Bay back online” — Wikinews, June 3, 2006

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