Over this past weekend, companies that are actively against P2P suffered a major blow when someone infiltrated a Media Defender employee's email account. A torrent that is almost 700MB in size was uploaded with the entire contents of said person's mailbox. The emails inside revealed more than just private company information such as names, addresses, and phone numbers of employees but also the company's strategies in its war against copyright violators.
P2P clients are hard to ignore today. With the proliferation of client programs and networks, media corporations have targeted them in order to help slow the spread of copyrighted works across the internet - but they can't do it alone. Instead, they hire outside companies to track files, send DCMA notices and, in this particular case, spread false torrents and websites to catch those that have participated in file sharing. One of the leading companies of such tactics is Media Defender.
Media Defender hasn't really had the best track record with the internet savvy among us as it poisons torrents and has even tried to set up a false video sharing website in order to catch users uploading and downloading copyrighted media red handed.
Once the company had been caught creating that false service, it denied the whole thing
stating that it was an internal project that was never meant to go online. No matter how much the company denied it though, full information about the project and loads more eventually came out into the open this weekend when the huge file containing thousands of emails
was leaked onto the Internet.
The emails detail the "miivii.com" project as well as its next stage in evolution after it was discovered to be run by Media Defender, a collaboration with the New York Attorney General to help catch people involved with sharing child pornography, and even the company's strategies when it comes to poisoning and tracking P2P networks.
The leak is definitely going to cost the company a pile of money in order to keep the trust of any companies that it has a working relationship with and could potentially bring about legal ramifications over the child porn issue. Part of the system that is being worked on apparently monitors P2P networks for files and records IPs of users that are located in New York. That's not all though, as there are also servers that download copies of the files to retain for evidence. With the server being held by a private company instead of a Government agency, Media Defender could possibly wind up in court itself.
This is certainly a lot of interesting reading, albeit very time consuming. I'll be trudging through the documents over the next couple of days to see just what all Media Defender has been up to, but with such a massive load of information available, look for it in a series of forum posts with a roundup near the end of the week here in the news discussion. If you feel up to grabbing a copy for yourself, you know the usual places to get a hold of it - but don't expect it to go unmonitored for long.
In the meantime, discuss with us the ripples in the P2P community that you think this might cause. Head on over to the forums
or leave your thoughts in the comment section below.