IFPI Convinces ISP To Just Hand Over Hard Drives Of Torrent Site

from the that-seems-questionable dept

This is not the first time something like this has happened, but the IFPI somehow convinced Swedish hosting company Itstaden/ServerConnect to simply hand over the hard drives of one of its hosting customers, LimeTorrents. The IFPI apparently has been pressuring ServerConnect for moths, claiming that it could be liable for any infringement on LimeTorrents, but rather than filing a lawsuit, it simply said that ServerConnect should hand over the harddrives and it did. I’m curious how this is legal. It may depend on the specific contract ServerConnect has with its customers, but it seems that handing their hard drives over to a private party without any sort of court order almost certainly breaks the user agreement, if not local privacy laws.

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Companies: ifpi, lime torrents, serverconnect

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Comments on “IFPI Convinces ISP To Just Hand Over Hard Drives Of Torrent Site”

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28 Comments
Marcel de Jong (profile) says:

Reminds me of AlTransa vs BREIN

Similar thing happened in The Netherlands, where BREIN took the hard drives of an alledged torrent site.

The datacenter (WorldStream) that housed the serverracks of webhoster AlTransa, is located in The Netherlands, but that datacenter didn’t own the racks.
The owner of the racks (and the hosting party itself), Craig Salmond, resides in Costa Rica.

But, nonetheless, the datacenter gave over the servers to BREIN, after BREIN came by and threatened the datacenter people.

A single email was sent to mr. Salmond to notify him that his servers would be confiscated, on the suspicion of hosting a torrentsite called Swan.
No judge was involved with this server raid, making it a theft of hardware by BREIN, aided by Worldstream.

And instead of a police investigation, BREIN decided it would investigate the server hardware itself. Keeping up its claim that it found illegal content on the server hardware. But I think their actions make any evidence they bring forward in a court of law, out of the confiscated hardware, inadmissible, if it ever comes to a lawsuit.

Sorry, I only have links in Dutch on this particular story:
http://webwereld.nl/nieuws/105793/brein-moet-in-beslag-genomen-servers-inleveren.html

http://webwereld.nl/nieuws/105819/aangifte-tegen-brein-om-serverdiefstal.html

Greg G (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Agreed.

And this is the 2nd post that I’ve read today where there has been a typo.

Other one was in the title Blog Posts About Crusing Around The Caribbean On New Boyfriend’s Sailboat Leads To Alimony Reduction

Maybe it’s just me, but that probably should be “Cruising”.

Looks like Mike was probably kinda tired when he wrote those up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The term cloud computing was essentially a meaningless marketing slogan designed to distract people from the reality of handing data over to third parties. — Richard Stallman

And with both major crashes within one week, I hope it opens up people’s eyes. The carelessness of handing over sensitive data, not matter how legal, can come back to bite you in the ass pretty damn hard.

chris (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Another real life example as to why cloud computing is not seen by many as a viable solution.

i disagree. if anything, virtualized hardware will make it harder to track these things down.

think about it: a rack of 6 physical servers is actually running 120 rented servers. which of those 6 is actually running the site that you have a problem with? do you confiscate all 6 and knock 119 other servers offline while you figure out what the problem is? do you just confiscate the 1 server and take 19 others with it?

add to that a little forethought, say a non-US registered domain name for your questionable site (all of my favorite trackers are going to .me, .it, or .ph), good backups, and a second or third server in a different country with a different vendor, and you see the problem that seizing physical hardware presents.

chris (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Another real life example as to why cloud computing is not seen by many as a viable solution.

i disagree. if anything, virtualized hardware will make it harder to track these things down and keep these sites offline.

think about it: a rack of 6 physical servers is actually running 120-300 rented virtual servers. which of those 6 is actually running the site that you have a problem with? do you confiscate all 6 and knock 119-299 other servers offline while you figure out what the problem is? do you just confiscate the 1 server and take 19-49 others with it?

do you just have the vendor take the 1 virtual server offline and email the VHD/VDI files? this is where block crypto comes into play on the virtual server side.

add to that a little forethought, say a non-US registered domain name for your questionable site (all of my favorite trackers are going to .me, .it, or .ph), good backups, and a second or third server in a different country with a different vendor, and you see the problem that seizing physical hardware presents.

Tor (profile) says:

Re: Get out of jail free.

I’m quite (although not 100%) sure that evidence based on the contents of the hard drives is valid in a Swedish court. We have no concept of “objection, your honour” here. I think the evidence is practically only limited to materials that are not covered by a doctor’s or lawyer’s confidentiality.

For example, there is Swedish case law that establishes that if the police use wire-tapping based on suspicion of a certain crime and the tapped calls reveal a completely different type of crime, then that evidence may still be used in court.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Get out of jail free.

Sweden has a very rational evidence system.
Evidence is evidence. To ask someone to disregard evidence because it is obtained illegally would not contribute to better judgements. If the evidence was obtained illegally it is used as evidence, and the illegal act of obtaining it is prosecuted as whatever crime it may be.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Drives

> it seems that handing their hard drives over
> to a private party without any sort of court
> order almost certainly breaks the user agreement,
> if not local privacy laws.

Forget privacy laws. How about laws prohibiting theft of property? The drives don’t belong to the ISP. They don’t have any legal right to give them to anyone (save perhaps law enforcement with a valid warrant).

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