We've noted in the past how the very aggressive Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN seems to have a problem with stealing computers
. The group, which is a private, industry-backed group, seems to fancy itself as some sort of law enforcement adjunct, despite the fact it has no actual legal authority. This has created problems in the past, when the courts have questioned why the police seemed to rely
solely on BREIN's questionably collected evidence, rather than doing their own investigation. And some lawsuits have even been dismissed
for relying too much on BREIN's highly questionable evidence.
So, by now, you would think that BREIN would be a bit more careful these days not to pretend it has more legal powers than it does. However, the group only seems to go further and further. Last week, it came out that BREIN was able to "seize" a group of servers from a small South
African American ISP
without any legal basis at all. It just convinced the data center, WorldStream, to simply hand them over. The ISP, Alejandra Transporte SA, who has nothing to do with the warez topsite that BREIN insisted were using those servers, was not at all happy and went to court to complain about the fact that a bunch of its servers had been stolen, causing massive damages to its business
. The court granted the request to get the servers back from BREIN, but is quite worried that BREIN went through the private contents on some of the servers, completely in violation of privacy laws.
It seems this entire lack of any sort of due process and private industry groups stealing servers and domains with little basis is a growing trend. It sounds like Alejandra Transporte is considering taking further legal action against both BREIN and WorldStream. I'm curious if the usual defenders of seizures think that this particular seizure was warranted?