Is the MPAA using hackers to illegally fight piracy?
Wired Magazine has an interview of a hacker who claims he was promised money, cars, a house, even Hollywood power if he helped to “save” the industry from piracy. Computer hacker Robert Anderson claims that the MPAA tasked him to hack into TorrentSpy – one of the many bit torrent sites – and illegally provide the entertainment industry with confidential information of bit torrent users. Cloaking his abilities in secrecy, Anderson apparently assured the MPAA that he had an informant which could intercept email communications of the p2p network. The informant was Anderson who had already hacked into the TorrentSpy servers by guessing the password. But Anderson didn’t stop with P2P file sharer information.
He claims he also provided the MPAA with detailed banking, advertising and other confidential information on Torrent Spy. He was even able to intercept and disrupt email communications. Anderson also claims that the MPAA tasked him to set up a fake Bit Torrent site which the industry could use to monitor and disrupt file sharing of pirated movie files.
The facts came out in a lawsuit against the MPAA brought on by TorrentSpy’s founder, Justin Bunnell. And even though the contract Anderson signed with the MPAA stipulated the information be garned legally, according Bunnell’s lawsuit, the MPAA legal director Dean Garfield assured Anderson “’We don’t care how you get it.'” But once they got the information they wanted, the MPAA appears to have cut Anderson loose, reneging on the promise of fame and fortune, and prompting Anderson to go straight to Bunnell.
The MPAA doesn’t deny hiring the computer hacker, admitting that they paid Anderson the sum of $15,000 for information that the MPAA claim they didn’t know was stolen. Yeah right. You hire a hacker because of his social skills?
Photo Credit: Activision’s Hacker II: The Doomsday Papers