London Police Order Registrars To Shut Down A Bunch Of Websites Without Any Legal Basis; Threaten Registrars If They Don't Comply

from the due-process-matters dept

Just a few months ago, the City of London Police announced that it had set up a special " Intellectual Property Crime Unit" -- which was immediately, and gleefully, welcomed by the legacy record labels. The whole thing seemed fairly bizarre, given that copyright should generally be a civil issue, and even when it's a criminal issue, at best it should be a federal issue, not a local police issue -- especially when you have local police who almost certainly don't understand the basic nuances of copyright issues. However, in what appears to be an effort to justify their existence, the City of London IP Crimes Unit has jumped into the deep end without looking. Beyond quickly arresting some folks, this week they demanded that EasyDNS take down a website for a BitTorrent search engine, claiming copyright infringement, based on their claims alone.
They did not present a court order. They did not present a conviction. They just told EasyDNS to do it -- and (worse) threatened EasyDNS with punishment for not obeying, claiming (falsely) that it could lose its accreditation as a domain registrar. EasyDNS's Mark Jeftovic, who is incredibly well-versed in these issues (having spoken out previously on bogus domain name seizures) posted a fantastic response, which we're going to post at length. There's more than this, but it's worth reading the whole thing.

Who decides what is illegal? What makes somebody a criminal?  Given that the subtext of the request contains a threat to refer the matter to ICANN if we don't play along, this is a non-trivial question. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I always thought it was something that gets decided in a court of law, as opposed to "some guy on the internet" sending emails. While that's plenty reason enough for some registrars to take down domain names, it doesn't fly here.

We have an obligation to our customers and we are bound by our Registrar Accreditation Agreements not to make arbitrary changes to our customers settings without a valid FOA (Form of Authorization). To supersede that we need a legal basis. To get a legal basis something has to happen in court.

The request also suggests we look at the whois contact information for the domain (which looks perfectly valid) and go ahead and suspend the domain based on invalid whois data. Again, there's a process for that, you have to go through the ICANN Whois Inaccuracy Complaint process and most of the time that doesn't result in a takedown anyway.

What gets me about all of this is that the largest, most egregious perpetrators of online criminal activity right now are our own governments, spying on their own citizens, illegally wiretapping our own private communications and nobody cares, nobody will answer for it, it's just an out-of-scope conversation that is expected to blend into the overall background malaise of our ever increasing serfdom.

If I can't make various governments and law enforcement agencies get warrants or court orders before they crack my private communications then I can at least  require a court order before I takedown my own customer.

Furthermore, Jeftovic notes that the police ordered him to redirect all of the traffic to a different site that promotes some content services that the entertainment industry likes, and noted that this was a fairly obscene form of intimidation for the sake of local protectionism of favored industry players:
In other words, they are ordering us to take down competing websites, with no legal basis, hijacking the traffic, and redirecting it to competing commercial services, all of which are based out of (guess where?) London, UK.
This whole thing is fairly stunning, and Jeftovic even suggests he wasn't sure it was real at first, though the headers from the email suggest that it's legit. Furthermore, it appears that this was not a one-off situation. TorrentFreak is reporting that the City of London Police sent out a bunch of these letters to various registrars, targeting a variety of sites -- with no evidence that there's a court order, or indeed any court case at all, with all of them. And while EasyDNS isn't complying, it appears that many other registrars did get intimidated into shutting down these sites.

The thuggish behavior and lack of due process isn't that surprising. Combine a "respect my authority" law enforcement mentality, with people who don't have much (or any) experience with the nuances (or history or purpose) of intellectual property issues, and you're going to get this kind of overreaction. Add to that the likelihood that the legacy industry helped provide the extreme (and wrong and misleading) version of copyright law, and is it any wonder that the police seemed to just start demanding websites be pulled down willy nilly just because the police think they're illegal?

If you only were to hear the legacy movie studios' and record labels' version of things, copyright is about establishing their very important business model, and anything that threatens that must be illegal. If you see a service that enables some form of infringement, well, that must be illegal, too, right? Of course, they won't realize that copyright is not about establishing a business model for those gatekeepers, that blaming tools & services for the actions of their users is a recipe for killing innovation, and (most importantly) that these things are rarely black and white. And that's why you have due process.

The City of London IP Crime Unit has only been around for a little over three months. One hopes that they'll actually learn something before pulling these kinds of censorious, abusive and thuggish stunts in the future. And, while we're at it, it seems reasonable to call for shutting down the whole unit in the first place. IP crimes are not an issue for an ignorant metropolitan police force. The unit never should have been set up in the first place, and this little cowboy censorship action highlights why the unit deserves to be quickly retired.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 5:31am

    Before certain people come in and vomit their usual idiocy, be aware of these facts.

    This is a police body issuing orders to parties to shut down and censor other parties all WITHOUT A COURT ORDER. Not only that, but in the case of EasyDNS, it's a BRITISH police body demanding action from a CANADIAN domain registrar to redirect a website based in SINGAPORE (I did a WHOIS search) to competing websites based in LONDON, or the police would complain to ICANN, a body based in the USA.
    Again, no courts involved.

     

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  2.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 5:49am

    One thing I loved in that letter that in the article.

    What gets me about all of this is that the largest, most egregious perpetrators of online criminal activity right now are our own governments, spying on their own citizens, illegally wiretapping our own private communications

    So effing true.

     

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  3.  
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    DannyB (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 7:28am

    Re:

    Don't forget their corporate paymasters.

    Also, it is amazing how the lessons of human history are never learned and history repeats itself.

     

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    billy, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 7:40am

    , skhkggh

     

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    billy, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 7:41am

    Re: Re:

    nobody cares.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 7:44am

    WHICH "City of London" is this?

    The private corporation that owns and controls the financial district besides activities in it, or the governing body of the city of London, England?

    Since "City" is capitalized, I'll assume it's the corporation. -- And if so the assumptions of others about who's doing the evil are simply wrong: it's a corporation, directly.

    Mike, disambiguate so we all know who to revile.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 7:44am

    Tough times for your pirate pals Masnick. You must be sad.

     

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  8.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 7:44am

    This is a serious abuse of power and an idiotic waste of tax payer money at a time when other vital services are being cut.

    The UK is becoming more and more authoritarian every day. As a libertarian, nothing is scarier.

     

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  9.  
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    Pragmatic, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 7:47am

    Re: Re: Re:

    That's the problem.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 7:47am

    London, once you visit it you never forget the stench of pee under all those bridges.

    Filthy but lovely.

    The police though is not, grumpy bastards.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 7:56am

    Re:

    You know, if it's so cut and dry that all these sites are "pirate" sites, then why circumvent the court system?
    Surely, such a black and white issue would be a slam dunk in the court system.

    Care to comment on that?

     

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  12.  
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    Pirate Pal, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 7:56am

    Re:

    Yeah so tough. Private trackers everywhere, PirateBay, Kickass Torrents, and thousands of other trackers. Usenet is still flowing strong. Millions of file lockers, IRC channels, sneakernet, etc.

    Pirates sure do have it tough.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 7:57am

    Re: WHICH "City of London" is this?

    WHAT difference does it make?

    Is the "request" any less illegal?

     

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  14.  
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    Glen, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 7:57am

    Re:

    What is sad is the abuse of power. There is no court order!! Of course you and your thug buddies don't really care about that do you?

     

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  15.  
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    PaulT (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 8:08am

    Re: WHICH "City of London" is this?

    "Mike, I was confused and I can't do my own research even though I know the City Of London Police aren't the same as the Metropolitan force, you show their logo clearly and you referred to them correctly throughout the article! Please let me pretend you were somehow misleading people, lest I have to defend yet another extra-judiciary abuse of peoples' rights based on accusations alone and admit that you're right about a subject!"

    Does that sum it up?

     

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  16.  
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    Baldaur Regis (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 8:11am

    Fucking Weasels

    Disclaimer
    While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of any information or other material contained in or associated with this document, it is provided on the basis that PIPCU and its staff, either individually or collectively, accept no responsibility for any loss, damage, cost or expense of whatever kind arising directly or indirectly from or in connection with the use by any person, whomsoever, of any such information or material.

    In other words, we're the law, do what we say or we'll file complaints with your licensing authority. Oh, and if we're wrong, you're on your own.

    The only proper response to this letter is "Piss off."

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 8:13am

    City of London vs. London

    The "City of London" is not the same as London!

    CGPGrey Explains the difference:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrObZ_HZZUc

     

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  18.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 8:17am

    Re: Fucking Weasels

    Not only that either. There's this legalese disclamer at the very end:

    This document uses the United Kingdom's Government Protective Marking System (GPMS) and has been graded as NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED. There are no specific requirements for storage or disposal and it can be considered as safe for wide distribution within your organisation. This can extend to its use for training or awareness programmes for staff. However, unless otherwise specified, this information is not intended for general public dissemination and should not be included on public facing websites, external mailing lists, social media or other outlets routinely used by you to deliver information to the public. We therefore request that you risk manage any onward dissemination in a considered way.
    (C) 2013 Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit
    Emphasis mine.

    Mike might not want to risk any trips to London anytime soon.

     

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  19.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re: Fucking Weasels

    Whoops. Emphasis apparently not mine. I thought I bolded this part: "... should not be included on public facing websites,..."



    Anyone else having trouble with HTML tags and the comment preview lately?

     

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  20.  
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    Scote, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 8:21am

    "PIPCU and its staff...accept no responsibility"

    Got to love the London Police Legal Disclaimer. All that hemming and hawing about what EasyDNS has to do under pain of prosecution by a city PD and at the end they deny any and all responsibility for their orderrequest:

    "While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of any information or other material contained in or associated with this document, it is provided on the basis that PIPCU and its staff, either individually or collectively, accept no responsibility for any loss, damage, cost or expense of whatever kind arising directly or indirectly from or in connection with the use by any person, whomsoever, of any such information or material. Any use by you or by any third party of information or other material contained in or associated with this document signifies agreement by you or them to these conditions."


    :-p

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 8:23am

    Re: WHICH "City of London" is this?

    You are a moron.
    City of London is the private corporation. The city itself is split up int 33 districts which each have a council who run their on patch.

    tl:dr look up basic info for yourself you lazy cretin.

     

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  22.  
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    zub, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re: Fucking Weasels

    I love the last line, that "(C) 2013 Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit".

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 8:25am

    Unfortunately the only surprising thing about this is that it wasn't from Britain's serious organised crime agency, which was what forced the redirects on rnbxclusive a few years ago now, claiming that not only copyright infringement had occurred but actual criminal activity in obtaining some of the copyright infringing materials. No case has been made to support that, nobody has been taken to court, nobody is serving jail time - at least not that the public is aware of.

    So, it was successful when it was the serious organised crime agency, maybe the city of london police just didn't have the same non legal balls to pull it off.

     

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  24.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 8:32am

    Re:

    Not only did you fail to read the article, you failed to read the first comment, which spelled out as simply as possible the jurisdictional nightmare the "request" to EasyDNS is.

     

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  25.  
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    MrWilson, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 8:36am

    Mike just hates it when due process is not followed...

     

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  26.  
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    jackn, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 8:42am

    Re:

    most americans hate when due process in not followed. I guess it is ok for england (or a rouge subset), but it also ok for those outside their reach to ignore, or even poke fun at.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 8:45am

    Re:

    Mike just hates it when due process is not followed...

    And rightfully so.

     

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  28.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 8:48am

    Re: Fucking Weasels

    The only proper response to this letter is "Piss off."
    Hmm, I thought the traditional response was "I invite the gentleman to review Arkell Vs. Pressdram"?

     

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  29.  
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    Nibiru, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 8:58am

    The Police "Request" is a waste of paper/bandwidth.

    Always demand a court order/warrant.

    The average police officer/civil servant is completely ignorant of the criminal code.

    Your best defense against authorities is silence...ignore them.

    If they accost you at gunpoint assert your right to remain silent.

     

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  30.  
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    techflaws (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 9:00am

    Re:

    Yeah, right. Cause that won't backfire at all.

     

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  31.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 9:13am

    If I were the guy who had received this bizarre demand, one that transcends national boundaries, I would have printed it out, wiped my arse with it, then mailed it back to the City of London Police after figuring out some way to charge them for the shipping costs...along with a note thanking them for the free toilet paper.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 9:19am

    Re:

    Did you know one of the nicknames for British policemen is "The Bill"?
    I think "billy" is a copper...

     

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  33.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 9:40am

    Re:

    If they accost you at gunpoint assert your right to remain silent.
    Sadly, in the UK one does not have that right.

     

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  34.  
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    splenitive, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 10:03am

    This is not the police force you think it is

    I just thought I should point out an interesting fact about The City of London, and the City of London Police: They don't represent the whole of London.

    The City of London is a tiny little piece of land at the center of the larger London.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_London_Police
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_London

    So the people coming after him have even less status than the Metropolitan London police.

     

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  35.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 10:27am

    Re: This is not the police force you think it is

    I don't think it really matters exactly where this police body are located. They're recognised as an official police body by their national government (but with some differences according the wikipedia article if I'm reading it correctly), but are still basically cops, and still basically vastly exceeding their authority, not to mention jurisdiction, with all these "requests".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re:

    Care to comment on that?

    Yes. Because there's no need.

     

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  37.  
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    Baldaur Regis (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 10:35am

    Re: This is not the police force you think it is

    I'm trying to understand this distinction...this is something like the Chicago Transit Authority forming an IP Enforcement Unit? Or the Bumfuck, Kansas Police Department asserting extraordinary rendition powers over copyright pirates in Hong Kong? A joke, in other words...really, couldn't the MAFIAAs afford a scarier police force?

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 10:38am

    May contain satire

    Yes, because the Internet is the sole cause of crime. No, really, just look at Congress! IT's all because of the immoral porn, honest! If people paid their own way, we wouldn't be in this mess!

     

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  39.  
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    Richard (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Not only that - but if you read the full pdf from the City of London Police - you find that the purpose of the document is listed as "Website Disruption" and the owner of the document is "PIPCU Prevention and Disruption" and it is identified as part of Operation Creative.

    Since when has it been the role of any police force to disrupt the activities of people that they merely suspect are about to take part in criminal activity in order to prevent that activity?

     

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  40.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No need for those accused of a crime to have their day in court? No need for those accused of a crime to be tried by courts within their own country? No need for the City of London Police to even check whether or not domain registrars not based in the United Kingdom fall under their jurisdiction?
    You heard it first here folks. The courts are no completely unnecessary. Stand up and take a bow, you completely foolish ignoramus whose fantasy while masturbating is of him/herself licking the boots of someone from the copyright cartels.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 10:57am

    Just to clarify, this is the City of London police, not the London Metropolitan police. They are completely separate. The City of London police are basically a private police force for the financial district of London paid for by the British taxpayer.

    Oh, fun fact: only about 10,000 people actually live in the area policed by the City of London police but they employ over 1,100 people. A police force with over 10% the population of the people they are supposedly there to protect and serve.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    What.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 11:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No need for courts...just some guy accusing someone else.

    Got it.
    What could go wrong?

     

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  44.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Since when has it been the role of any police force to disrupt the activities of people that they merely suspect are about to take part in criminal activity in order to prevent that activity?
    Presumably shortly before, in that same parallel universe, they decided it was their job to enforce civil liability on behalf of corporations too.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 11:52am

    this another case of certain industries paying for something to be done in another country. the main reasons seem to be that the original country is giving up on the ridiculousness of what they have been doing. it's troubling that the UK has just taken the baton and is doing whatever it can against it's own citizens, all on the bias words of a self-interested industry, while all the while ignoring all facts from independent sources that dispute what the industries put out. the UK is also going down the same road that has been debunked so often now over the surveillance that has been going on. there is absolutely no excuse for what governments have been doing. the excuse of 'stopping terrorism' is known to all as complete bollocks and just a way to turn the country into a police state. if Cameron manages to get this into play before the next General Election in the UK, added with the way they are trying to stop payments to political funds (other than from businesses, where 99% of Tory donations come from and the new 'Gagging Law' that is about to be voted on for becoming law, then no other political Party will stand a chance. Miliband and other leaders, including Clegg and Farage need to take note of what is going on and think about how they are going to fair if this isn't stopped!!

     

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  46.  
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    Khaim (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 12:15pm

    EasyDNS full response

    I think you forgot a link to the EasyDNS post:
    http://blog.easydns.org/2013/10/08/whatever-happened-to-due-process/

     

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  47.  
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    Brazilian Guy, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re: WHICH "City of London" is this?

    Well, weird as it may be, this time ootb observation was actually useful for me, at least, as i never had heard about this City of London Corporation.

    Also, a small fact, i usually read TD in my smartphone, so i always view all comments.

     

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  48.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 12:38pm

    Re: EasyDNS full response

    No he didn't. See the blue " demanded that EasyDNS take down a website"? That's the link you just posted.

     

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  49.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 2:11pm

    Gotta love double standards

    IP 'enforcement': 'The law is good and to be upheld when it favors us, but bad and to be ignored when it doesn't.'

    What is it about 'IP protection/enforcement' people that causes them to avoid the courts as much as possible? Is it an allergy, a lack of knowledge, or simply that they know 99% of their actions won't stand up in court with even against the most basic defense on behalf of the accused?

    Given how desperate they are to avoid ever having both sides in a court almost every time, it's got to be one of those.

     

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  50.  
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    Sheriff Fatman, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 3:00pm

    Re: WHICH "City of London" is this?

    It's not a private corporation, it's a local council.



    It is one of the last of English local councils, possibly the last, to keep the old style of corporation (which in its broadest sense means any association of individuals with a legal identity distinct from its members, and in England used to refer to local government bodies more often than it did to private companies).



    It is thus a public body, though one with interesting quirks (like the fact that businesses get to vote in its elections, with a number of votes proportional
    to their number of employees).



    And City of London != London; think, loosely, New York County (=~ Borough of Manhattan) vs New York City.

     

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  51.  
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    Jake, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 3:01pm

    Just as a small point of clarification, this would almost certainly be a federal police matter rather than a local one if the UK actually had any federal police, but we don't. We usually tack the national-security stuff onto the London Metropolitan Police's budget and organisational structure because they're the guys who do security for most government buildings (or at least the bits the Army don't handle), and City of London Police get handed a lot of financial and electronic law-enforcement stuff because nearly all the big financial traders in this country are headquartered within their jurisdiction.

     

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  52.  
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    mudlock (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 4:06pm

    Re: Re: Fucking Weasels

    And this is an example of why the guy pointing out the difference between London and the City of London actually had a point.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 6:50pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Fuck witticism.

    average_joe just hates it when due process is enforced.

     

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  54.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 10:42pm

    Iím Conflicted

    This same EasyDNS guy is trying to get a patent on a business method.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Dave Z, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 10:51pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If there's no need to use the court system, then there's no need to do anything for you if you have a dispute with one of my customers, users, etc.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    name, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 12:41am

    nasty government

    What incredible arrogance. It is another symptom of the rapidly approaching police state of course and needs to be treated with the contempt it deserves - lob it in the bin. The police are not the only obnes who are swinging the lead. I came across another department - passports agency or whatever the idiots call themselves - which say that if you don't turn up for your "interview" and do not give at least 24hrs notice they will rip up your application and eat your application fee. They cannot be sensible and hang on to your application for a few months - like you might have been unavoidably directed elsewhere, a mission of mercy or an accident - no, the silly ph*ckers have to be punitive and whip your ass. Governments today have become NASTY. There is no other descriptor for it/them. It's clear to see. There's not much fun in life anymore - not unless you are one of the millionaire elite that is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    Billy (profile), Oct 10th, 2013 @ 4:12am

    Re:

    There is no more SOCA. It has been replaced with the National Crime Agency (NCA) since just Monday 7th October.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 5:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This time, that comment is actually appropriate. I'm actually giving it an insightful this one time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 8:05am

    Fascism at its best.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 8:06am

    Fuck you EasyDNS. Fuck you Corporation Police.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    David, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 8:37am

    The City of London Police Force is not just some little local cop shop. It is the UK's designated 'lead authority' on economic crime in general, and has recently been given a specific national role on IP crime. It is highly unlikely that they would have taken this action without getting top-level legal advice.

    As to all the synthetic outrage about 'due process' and 'court orders', domain registrars, search engines, email providers, and other key internet actors routinely take action against spammers and malware distributors without a court order, either on their own initiative or in response to complaints. I don't recall Techdirt ever objecting to that. So why the double standard? Could it be that nobody likes spam or malware, but a lot of people like getting stuff for free?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 10:51am

    Re:

    Doesn't matter how good they are at cracking economic crime, the three major problems are
    1) Jurisdiction - A London Police force CANNOT give orders to anyone outside their area of operation. EasyDNS is based in Canada, and the site the police wanted taken down was based in and registered in Singapore, so you've got a police body who are nominally responsible for literally a square mile of turf (anything outside the City of London is under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police Service) demanding that someone on the OTHER SIDE OF THE ATLANTIC follow their orders, to take down a site based half-way across the planet.
    2) Economic collusion - The orders to EasyDNS were not just to shut down the site in question, but to re-route its IP address to "legal" commercial sites. The site in question is a Bittorent search engine, as in, functionally the same as Google (as long as you type in ".torrent" along with whatever you're searching for into Google). Imagine if the City of London Police had demanded from Google's DNS operator (and yes I know, they have their own DNS service) to shut down Google and re-route Google's IP address to a search engine based in the UK.
    3) Due Process. What do you mean synthetic outrage? The outrage here is real. If you take the time to read the email EasyDNS got, it has wonderful language like
    "We have identified the following domain(s) that we say are facilitating online crime.

    torrentpond.com"
    That is a police body unilaterally declaring that a site is guilty of a crime. Police ARE NOT supposed to say things like that. They are supposed to investigate and if necessary arrest yes, but no police force (at least in a nation that is supposed to be democratic) has the power to say you are actually committing a crime. They are supposed to say things like "You are under arrest for suspicion of committing XYZ". It is the courts, judges and juries, who are supposed to look at evidence gathered and then pronounce guilt.

    Lastly, it doesn't matter whether EasyDNS does things like this on their own, that has absolutely nothing to do with this. This is about a police body vastly exceeding its authority and jurisdiction, to threaten sites and businesses located half-way across the planet to help their buddies (the City of London police have long been known to be little more than private police for the businesses in that square mile).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Oct 10th, 2013 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re:

    Above was me. Thanks to being auto-logged out (hate when that happens) I can't claim the comment. Any help here Mike?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    DP, Oct 10th, 2013 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Re:

    Great comment. Just about sums it up with considerable accuracy. I would say that EasyDNS are quite within their rights to go tell our UK police to get stuffed. Looks like they have been studying the American legal model of making up the rules as they go along.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Oct 11th, 2013 @ 1:05am

    Re:

    "synthetic outrage"

    ...and here we see one of the major issues with this debate. Some people can't understand genuine concern, so they reject it out of hand.

    Let me tell you - any concern I note about all this crap is totally genuine.

    "I don't recall Techdirt ever objecting to that."

    Just because you don't recall it, that doesn't mean it didn't happen. A quick surface level search provides a few related stories about spammers straight off, there's probably a lot more if I had time to do your research for you:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20060831/111504.shtml (overbearing filters removing spams without notice)

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20060127/020231.shtml (difficulty categorising spam vs. legit emails)

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20031216/0931208.shtml (criticism of the CAN-SPAM law and how it won't be effective for its intended purpose)

    You might also notice that these articles are from 2006 and before. If you don't see many such articles since, it means that the problems have been addressed or are no longer relevant. The same will happen with the discussions on fair use rights, overbearing enforcement and removal of due process, if these stop happening.

    "So why the double standard? Could it be that nobody likes spam or malware, but a lot of people like getting stuff for free?"

    ...and here with have the same old lie - people are objecting so they must be pirates? No wonder this never gets anywhere, the strawman has been constructed and the windmills tilted at before the objections are even formed.

    My opinion is the same for any of these subjects - the law must be upheld, but not at the expense of the rights and freedoms of either legitimate businesses or innocent individuals. Stop making up lies about those of us who object and start addressing the real concerns.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Oct 11th, 2013 @ 4:28am

    Re:

    The City of London has a small resident population, but a huge working population, being our equivalent to Wall Street (and the predecessor of). So the police force is just as validly looking after all the employees and corporations contained in the Square Mile. Still doesn't justify them doing stuff with the same legality as enforcing NYC jaywalking tickets.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Oct 11th, 2013 @ 4:30am

    Re: Iím Conflicted

    In which case I expect the full force of patent law to land on him someday. But he should still have legal, due process.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    DP, Oct 12th, 2013 @ 10:48am

    Re:

    I see the usual troll has broke surface to feed again.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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