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So I did it. For fame and money

So I did it. For fame and money

Young Robert Anderson tells for the first time how the MPAA (Motion Pictures Associates of America) promised him money and power on the sole condition that he reports as much confidential information as possible on TorrentSpy, the well-known search engine for BitTorrent content.

According to what Anderson himself revealed to Wired, in early 2005 the geek was out of an unexciting business relationship with Justin Bunnel, founder of TorrentSpy. After a short time, embittered by the circumstance, Anderson sent the MPAA an explanatory document, complete with a PowerPoint presentation, in which he declared himself available to collaborate with the strong anti-piracy arm of the structure and in which the crucial role – in the eyes of MPAA – of TorrentSpy was clearly highlighted.

After some time, MPAA came forward: “We really need someone like you. We could give you a job, very well paid, a house, a car, whatever you need … if you save Hollywood for us, you will become rich and powerful. ”

Words of a certain weight, especially if addressed to a young man of just over twenty years like Anderson, as indeed i $ 15,000 that MPAA offered him in exchange for inside information on TorrentSpy. At that time, in fact, the search engine was – as other times, however – in litigation against MPAA, which had filed a complaint for copyright infringement, which resulted in a counter-complaint by TorrentSpy, complete with authorized wiretapping, presented by the founder Justin Bunnel ; he stated, in support of his thesis, that the information passed to MPAA by Anderson was been obtained illegally .

On this contrast there have been, needless to say, a series of “back and forth” episodes, in which each of the counterparties declared that they were unaware of the facts revealed by the other: MPAA, for example, despite never having denied having hired Anderson to obtain confidential information, however, has always claimed not to know that the information was stolen.

Thus, Anderson followed up on his adventure, during which he was able to take advantage of both a few fluke like guessing a TorrentSpy administrative password with all the advantages of the case, both get hold of the sources by TorrentSpy, submitting to MPAA as extremely useful for his resolutions (always aimed at combating piracy) to implant a fake BitTorrent site (a fake site, whose real purpose is to take possession of names, passwords and anything else possible). Needless to say, MPAA spokesperson Elizabeth Kaltman has always argued that such intent there never was and that the claims of those who support it are false .

The contract, signed between Anderson and MPAA, in its clause that is also singular prohibits both parties signatories to “disclose the existence of this agreement to anyone”. Agreement specifying how information of interest to MPAA “includes (but does not limit the interest of the principal) names, addresses and telephone numbers of the owners of TorrentSpy.com”.

Subsequently, the relationship between Anderson and the MPAA experienced moments of uncertainty. Paul Ohm, a graduate student in law specializing in computer crime at the University of Colorado, with skepticism about Anderson’s position said, “It’s hard to say with a clean face that you can get that data. rightfully. The alarm bells should have been ringing a long time ago. ”

On the legal front, there have therefore been further disputes, the last of which is still ongoing. In it the last measure that the judge imposed on TorrentSpy was the obligation to start to record in the logs all traffic directed to your network, originating from American IP addresses, and deliver everything to MPAA in pretrial discovery (a sort of preventive, precautionary examination).

This is not the only MPAA anti-piracy news page, which this time sees an Anderson go from a brilliant figure at the center of attention to an element that suffers the storm along with the others. MPAA, moreover, openly declares, even in the pages of Wired, its zero-tolerance (it means zero tolerance as we do but, for the Anglo-Saxons, although having a similar meaning, it is understood in a much more severe way) on piracy and, in this regard , the network is full of events.

Marco Valerio Principality