That Didn't Take Long: UK MP Decides To Put The Blame For The Sony Hack On ISPs, Obviously

from the obviously dept

Well, that Sony hack that has alternatively been blamed on everyone from disgruntled ex-employees to current Sony employees to freaking North Korea is getting stranger. Most of the strangeness, or at least eyebrow-raising content, comes from some of the files pulled in the hack that are being distributed throughout the internet. Most notably, a 25GB torrent is making the rounds that purportedly includes everything from executive salaries, employee identifying information and compensation packages, and early comments on the torrent file that were postulating theories as to how all this happened appear to have been coming from Sony-linked addresses. It seems all too facile at this point to publically speculate that some very embarrassing information about internal Sony dealings will be coming to light in the coming days.

Perhaps the least noteworthy result of the hack is the release of some Sony films onto the internet, where they have been downloaded in somewhat large numbers.

As first reported here on TF, following the hacks last week several unreleased Sony movies leaked online. Fury, featuring Brad Pitt, was by far the highest profile and today we can confirm that the title has been downloaded by BitTorrent users more than a million times.

A million times on a torrent available worldwide? Meh. Still, everyone had to know that the making available of Sony films was not a crime that would go unnoticed by the industry, nor by the politicians they’ve bought that independently favor the entertainment industry. And since those politicians aren’t in any way interested in grandstanding or blaming the wrong people, you can imagine how carefully they’ve taken their aim to blame the appropriate parties for the crimes inflicted upon Sony.

Mike Weatherley MP, the recent IP advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron, has published several piracy reports including one earlier in the year examining the advertising revenue on pirate sites. He believes that companies with no direct connection to the hack or subsequent leaks should shoulder some blame.

“Piracy is a huge international problem. The recent cyber-attack on Sony and subsequent release of films to illegal websites is just one high-profile example of how criminals exploit others’ Intellectual Property,” Weatherley writes in an email to TF. “Unfortunately, the theft of these films – and their subsequent downloads – has been facilitated by web-hosting companies and, ultimately, ISPs who do have to step-up and take some responsibility.”

Got that? Piracy, a huge international problem, shouldn’t be dealt with directly. Instead, this enormous, mega-large super-problem should be indirectly tackled by forcing parties that took no part in the crimes to do…well, what exactly? Because this is the UK we’re talking about, where ISPs are already proactively blocking so-called infringing sites, and it hasn’t done a whole lot of good, since those blocks are easily subverted by proxies and other easily accessible methods. So what should ISPs, who’ve already cooperated thus far, be forced to do now?

The only answer from MPs like Weatherley appears to be: “MOAR!” Absent from his speech is any actual content, by which I mean solution. What does he want ISPs to do? More. More of what is already not working, the blocking of sites? Yes. How should this be done? Silence. Why would this be more effective than what’s being subverted today? Silence. Why? Because Weatherley likely knows that he’s pushing for something that doesn’t make sense.

Overall, it’s clear that forcing technology companies into shouldering blame for the actions of others is a difficult game and one that has yet to make any noticeable dent in piracy volumes. Still, that won’t stop rightsholders pursuing claims against them and influential characters like Weatherley pushing for reform.

Easier than going after the actual criminals or pushing for business model reform, I suppose.

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Companies: sony pictures

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Comments on “That Didn't Take Long: UK MP Decides To Put The Blame For The Sony Hack On ISPs, Obviously”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Thank you for remembering that. This is the same Sony that deliberately hacked a huge number of its own customers and is now whining about being hacked.

Well…FUCK Sony. I hope whoever did this destroys them and then goes after their personnel one by one, ruining their lives, destroying their privacy, and leaving them broke, homeless, and starving in gutters. They deserve it. They deserve to suffer unspeakable misery without the slightest pity or mercy, before finally dying of starvation and hypothermia in the darkness, alone.

Why, no, I’m not bitter…why do you ask?

beltorak (profile) says:

Re: Re:

well first off estimates are closer to a hundred TB, not 1.

second, this is a movie producing outfit, and several prereleases were exfiltrated. consider that it’s 2014 and it’s reasonable to assume that a lot of the digital touch up work is done at several locations, so pushing a few TB of 4k video edits across the wire every day (or even every couple hours) isn’t that uncommon. They shut down the corporate gym in the panic, because they had no idea what machines were compromised. so they might have had a pretty bad infestation of a couple of machines. almost would have to unless they are storing their employee health plans and contract negotiation records on the same servers as the next box office bombs.

Barney Fife says:

Re: Andy Griffith

Well, you didn’t hear it from me, but the word on the street is that newfangled telephone line hookup they got in Mount Pilot is the real reason that information got out.

As far as I know, Sarah was just another innocent pawn in the conspiracy that is the criminal enterprise that infiltrated the Mount Pilot municipality.

Things like this are bound to get further out of hand if we don’t take care of it now.

Nip it in the bud, Andy. You’ve got to nip it in the bud.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

By the statement, then there should be a lions share of the blame placed upon Sony.
If they had not made these films, placed them on accessible computers, had not ignore the standard practices to secure systems & data they never would have leaked.
If you want to assign blame to everyone else down the line, who might be totally unaware of their role, you need to start with those who created the problem in the first place.

DV Henkel-Wallace (profile) says:

Seems very clear to me who should be held responsible.

Piracy, a huge international problem, shouldn’t be dealt with directly.

Sounds sensible to me. Piracy is a real problem and people are getting killed. It funds terrorism.

I’m glad Weatherley is on it: “Unfortunately, the attacks on ships – and their subsequent looting – has been facilitated by refineries of marine diesel and, ultimately, shipbuilders who do have to step-up and take some responsibility.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Seems very clear to me who should be held responsible.

To be fair, he makes a great point. It shouldn’t be dealt with directly (enforcement). It should be dealt with competitively. I am a pirate, and I accept, even admit that it is a problem. However, if I have an ant problem, I’m not going to deal with it by crushing individual ants. (Copyright shakedowns). I’m not going to deal with it by painting my whole house and foundation in a polymer that seals cracks and makes getting in and out a pain for everyone involved, while ants burrow through it. (DRM) I’m not going to set fire to my house and burn everyone just cause I have enough money to buy a new house. (Legislation.)

No… I’m going to look at why the ants keep coming into my house (food debris all over the place, significant cracks and broken doors where they can slip in, etc) and fix each one.

Please… PLEASE Sony… start looking at why people are pirating, rather than just lamenting the fact that they are, and doing your best to ‘get rid of pirates’ rather than ‘gain paying customers’. EA, Ubisoft, Hell even Disney! All you guys, you used to, and sometimes still do make amazing stuff! But the best tasting cake in the world isn’t going to earn any buyers if you seal it in a lockbox scented in shit just to keep away any thieves.

Dave P says:


Oh dear. Yet another techno-ignorant politician who professes to be an advisor. Blind leading the blind, I would say. Might as well haul all car manufacturers up before the courts because some of their customers are driving dangerously, or any manufacturer of just about ANYTHING that could be abused and used in a dangerous manner that the maker never intended (fertilizer for bombs, for instance?). Someone needs to take these do-gooders and grand-standers to one side and give them a lecture on how the real world actually works.

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