Halt...In The Name Of The MPAA/RIAA/FBI/NSA! [Updated: Hoax]

from the you're-in-trouble-now dept

See update below. GeneralEmergency writes "I was performing a Google search on the phrase "this website has been closed" recently, and the sixteenth result was a link to http://vxbinaca.beevomit.org/party_van/ where you get treated to the following (which you may want to read before clicking):
"This website has been closed by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, in association with the United States National Security Agency, the Motion Picture Association of America, and the Recording Industry Association of America; pending a federal investigation.

Your visit to this URL has been logged. Please stay where you are. You will be contacted for questioning regarding the investigations related to this website. Any attempt to evade questioning will be considered obstruction of justice, and is subject to fines and imprisonment, pursuant to 18USC1510(a).

The owner(s) of this site will no longer be available for comment. For inquiries or if you wish to assist in this investigation, please contact:

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Attention: Internet Investigation Unit
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 7350
Washington, DC 20535

(202) 324-3000

iiu@fbi.gov"
My first thought was, "OK....Ummm...Wait for how long? I was really thinking about going to Lowes this afternoon for a new tube of Loctite."

But the more I thought about this apparent method of "Honey Pot Trap" investigation, assuming it is genuine, the more silly this seems. If they were serious about this site being an investigatory tool, you would think that they would have the basic internet common sense to use a robots.txt file to keep Google (and other polite netizens) from indexing the site. Moreover, it only takes one guy like me to stumble across a site like this, post it's URL elsewhere obfuscated as a TinyURL, and their little honeypot get overrun with ants!

If the F.B.I. is not serious about this method as an investigation tool, then why put up silly threats like this?

You can also find plenty of other sites that Google says contain the text string "This website has been closed by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation."

Guess I'm in big trouble now! I'll let you know if any suits show up on my doorstep!"


I actually don't believe this is a honey pot at all. Just a bogus threat tactic. It's the same message that goes up on every file sharing site that eventually gets taken down. Four years ago, we wrote about the same message on the front of Grokster's site. It's a blatant (and bogus) scare tactic, and pretty ridiculous as well. It is a bit silly that (1) the FBI and NSA allow their names to be posted with the RIAA and MPAA (2) that they imply just visiting the site is somehow illegal and worthy of being logged followed by a "visit" and (3) that they somehow think this is effective. Update: As pointed out in the comments, the particular site singled out above is a hoax... but really isn't all that different from the site that actually did go up on the Grokster page...

Filed Under: copyright, criminal, file sharing, honeypots, law enforcement
Companies: mpaa, riaa


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jan 2010 @ 4:47pm

    Re:

    http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2007/12/27/the-strange-truth-about-the-fbi-logo/

    "If you’ve ever looked at the FBI Anti-Piracy logo and thought that it would make a great deterrent for your Web site or other creative work, think again.

    The logo, first announced in early 2004, is only for members of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

    Unauthorized use of the logo as part of an anti-piracy campaign is punishable by up to one year imprisonment and is considered to be a form of impersonation. In fact, the law is so strict that I can not, comfortably, even display the logo on this this site as Title 18 Section 701 makes it illegal to even be in possession of such a logo, thus why I used a parody logo in its place."

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