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  5. Following last Monday’s raid of the notorious Alaba Market where three suspected pirates were arrested, the taskforce set up by the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) against unauthorized distribution/uncensored and unclassified movies, on Wednesday, increased its arrest to four, while on Thursday, it also confiscated a container-load, consisting 103 sacks of DVDs of different titles, believed to have been imported from China. The 8-man taskforce made up of largely members of the Film and Video Producers and Marketer Association of Nigeria (FVPMAN) alongside the Nigeria Police, on Monday, arrested three men – Ndu Celestine, Okechukwu Ikuagwu and Austine Ugokwe – and confiscated several film titles and machines said to be worth N50million. The suspects were immediately taken to Abuja from the Area E Police Command, Festac Town. Some of the film titles include, ‘Ayamma’, ‘Wedding Party’, ‘Three Wise Men’, ‘30-Days In Atlanta’, ‘A Trip to Jamaica’, ‘Lekki Wives’, ‘Wives On Strike’, ‘Jennifer’s Diary’ and ‘Fifty’. The fourth suspect popularly called Mayor is said to be the assistant Financial Secretary of the Fancy and Furniture section of Alaba International Market, where CD and DVD business holds sway. The raid was spearheaded by the Executive Director of NFVCB, Alhaji Adedayo Thomas; notable film marker, Gabriel Okoye, aka Igwe Gabosky; Chairman of FVPMAN, Emeka Aduah and film marketer and lawyer, Nobert Ajaegbu. Speaking to newsmen at the Area E Police Command on Monday, Adedayo described the unlawful distribution of uncensored intellectual properties, and piracy as a serious economic crime. He said: “We are saying no to unwholesome, unclassified and uncensored content visa-a-vise piracy. Piracy is a serious economic crime. What they are doing to intellectual properties is worse than what you can imagine. “We had warned them to stop the unlawful act. Unfortunately, they didn’t stop and we promised the stakeholders and those concerned within the film and creative industry that we are going to start action. So, this is one of the actions that we have promised them, and it is going to be continuous because now, we have the full support of the police. It makes our job easier; the lawyers are ready to prosecute.” According to Okoye, “majority of the stakeholders have been rendered prostrate by the activities of the pirates, and no more operating, some of them have gone broke. “If you go to Alaba where our business used to thrive, the situation is not the same, as cosmetics and phone accessories sellers have taken over because the pirates have driven us away and feeding fat on our sweat. They have even started investing in hospitals and other businesses while the creative industry is getting broke.” Continuing, he said, “The Bank of Industry floated a loan scheme for people to come and take and produce contents to engage Nigerians to be productive, but all those who took the loan are owing the bank. These films are genuinely produced but before my company, G-Media could release them, they had been pirated and we have been tracing most of these people who have been hiding themselves inside Alaba. Imagine Alaba operating as if it is a sovereign state of its own.” One of the suspects, Austine Ugokwe from Anambra State when questioned by our reporter said he was innocent and was set up by his Liberian friend called Mr. Obi. “I was set up by someone. It was a friend Mr Obi who usually comes from Liberia that called me to come and he directed me there and immediately I got there, I saw taskforce people, and they arrested me. I am a business man, I sell Nylon and CDs,” he said. When asked how he got to know Mr. Obi, he said “he buys blank CDs from me.” On his part, Celestine Ndu said “I’m being accused of piracy. I was arrested because I was trying to help someone to package his goods (CDs). “I am not the one doing it, I was just helping the owner to package it. The owner calls me to help and he gives me some money. Mr Bassey the man who called me to come and package the CDs for him is not my boss. I don’t know where he lives; I only know his shop in Alaba, shop GJT28.”
  6. HBO has endured an uncomfortable bummer of a summer of hacks and episodes of original series leaking out into the internet wild, including from its tentpole “Game of Thrones” franchise. The cyber-chaos — whether driven by money, mischief, malice or just plain mistakes — may well continue: It’s possible that whoever was behind the massive hack of the programmer’s networks perpetrated in July has additional data dumps in store. The anonymous hacker, who has called himself “Mr. Smith” in some communiques, has demanded millions in ransom payments from HBO. But how much has HBO really been harmed? Observers say that the Time Warner-owned network hasn’t sustained any serious blows to its finances or reputation, especially compared with the 2014 cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment that nearly pulled the studio under. “In the pantheon of hacks and corporate fallout from them, HBO is getting off light so far to date,” said Stephen Beck, managing partner of management consultancy cg42. HBO has had a string of digital headaches: The hack has resulted in the release of a “Game of Thrones” script and episodes of HBO shows including “Ballers” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Separately, two “Game of Thrones” episodes have been pirated before their premiere this season — episode 4, attributed to employees of a vendor working with HBO partner Sky India; and episode 6, which leaked online after it was inadvertently published by HBO’s European services. And on Wednesday night, a notorious hacking gang hijacked HBO’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. Those may be an unfortunate confluence of events, or it could be that HBO has been singled out for attack. “Once you’ve been compromised, you’re seen as someone who’s been attacked and has a vulnerable,” said Dimitri Sirota, co-founder and CEO of BigID, a security software vendor. It’s impossible right now to determine the full cost of the hack, because even HBO might not know the full extent of what’s in the 1.5 terabytes of data the hackers claim they’ve stolen, said Tim Crosby, senior cybersecurity consultant for Spohn Security Solutions. A security contractor enlisted by HBO disclosed that the hackers got their hands on “thousands of internal documents.” With any data breach, there are costs for legal reviews, security remediation, and forensics investigations. “It’s unfortunately become a cost of doing business today,” said Mark Lobel, principal in PwC’s U.S. advisory practice and leader of its cybersecurity team for the technology, media and telecom sector. “These types of attacks against media companies are happening a lot, and many are not reported publicly.” Still, the damage from the hacks and the other leaks appears to be limited. In fact, “Game of Thrones” scored the series’ best-ever ratings for the Aug. 6 airing even with the leak three days beforehand. Season to date, “GOT” episodes are averaging nearly 30 million viewers across all platforms, 38% more than the same point in time versus last season. HBO half-hour comedies “Ballers” and “Insecure,” both of which had episodes leaked by the hacker, have both set record highs for viewing on Sunday nights this summer, according to the network. Experts say it’s unlikely HBO has lost subscribers or that its brand has been tarnished. “They have some public sympathy – they didn’t do anything wrong,” said Carl Folta, an entertainment PR veteran. “They are the victims here.” A big difference between the Sony and HBO hacks is that in HBO’s case, there hasn’t been much private email or employee personal information divulged. The hacker group did leak about a month’s worth of emails from one senior HBO executive. But the contents of those haven’t been published, as Sony’s emails were — which corroded the studio’s relations with talent, employees and partners. (HBO CEO Richard Plepler has told employees that the network doesn’t believe the email system “as a whole” has been compromised.) In many ways, the HBO leaks arguably have been unpaid promotion for the network. The latest episode leak even spawned a trending hashtag on Twitter, #FakeGameOfThronesSpoilers, on Thursday. “Obviously, no company wants their proprietary information stolen and posted online,” said Beck. “But this amounts to free marketing.” Recall the quip from Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, who said on an earnings call in 2013 that piracy of “Game of Thrones” was “better than an Emmy” in terms of driving buzz. HBO, for its part, has said it is not in communication with the hacker and that its priorities are to maintain transparency with employees and partners about the incident. “We’re not going to comment every time a new piece of information is released,” the network said in a statement Sunday. “The hacker may continue to drop bits and pieces of stolen information in an attempt to generate media attention. That’s a game we’re not going to participate in.” Industry analysts say HBO has done a good job in responding quickly with public and internal messaging. One of the mistakes companies that have been hit by a data-security breach often make is that they release partial or inaccurate information, said PwC’s Lobel. “They release a hypothesis and not facts,” he said. “That just extends the story. In many cases the hackers are trying to kill you by a death by a thousand cuts.” As for HBO’s decision to offer a $250,000 payoff to the hacker, aiming to fend off the release of any purloined episodes or information, experts say there’s no right answer in what to do in this case. A source familiar with the matter confirmed that the offer of the “bug bounty” was a stall tactic by HBO as it assessed the situation. Some experts say it’s never advisable to make payouts to cybercriminals, although they say that does sometimes happen quietly. “It’s the same reason U.S. government doesn’t pay ransom for kidnapped Americans,” said Brian Pearce, COO of Beyond Security, which sells network-vulnerability testing tools. “It paints a giant target on not only on the back of the company, but the entire industry they’re in.” Other say offering payments to hackers can be a reasonable step to negotiate a settlement to limit the fallout, or to figure out if the attackers really have anything of value. Additionally, the tactic of offering payment might be part of an effort to gather more info about the hackers so that law enforcement can track them down. In any case, internet-borne threats will continue. Tools that cybercriminals have access to are very user friendly and easily available. With a monetary incentive, they will be relentless. “Your adversaries are getting smarter, so you have to get smarter,” said BigID’s Sirota. The “Game of Thrones” script provides a lesson in architecting a data-security defense, according to Sirota. The Wall, the huge barrier of ice in the north of Westeros, doesn’t stop the White Walkers from breaking through. In the same way, in trying to protect their networks, “Companies try to build bigger walls and deeper moats, but there will always be ways to get around that.” Sirota recommends deploying a variety of more agile and intelligent defenses, such as “honeypots,” which are false targets designed to attract an attacker and trap them. The HBO hack and related events have once again spurred media and entertainment companies to consider how susceptible they are to similar attacks. The real danger is believing they are safe, said Spohn Security’s Crosby: “There are lots of people who will forget this. They’re more interested in focusing on something else.”
  7. "What we have is a sweeping request for every single file we have" in relation to DisruptJ20.org, said Chris Ghazarian, DreamHost general counsel, according to the Washington Post. Web provider DreamHost has just two days before the company lands in court to fight the US Department of Justice's "overbroad" request for information on users who visited the group's site, a move targeting demonstrators who took part in the #DisruptJ20 movement, activists say. The warrant was served to the hosting company on July 17, and the government is seeking all information related to that particular website. "But the Fourth Amendment was created to prohibit fishing expeditions like this", he said. A hearing in Superior Court in Washington was scheduled for Friday, but has been postponed. The company Dreamhost warns people that the information they are requested to release could be used to identify those who used the websites to express their political speech, an act protected by the First Amendment. Robert Cattanach, a former lawyer in the Justice Department's civil division with an expertise in cybersecurity, said the loads of "raw data" sought by the government is "too unmanageable to be useful" and was likely a first step in an attempt to ultimately identify protesters. In April, the U.S. attorney's office in Washington DC filed a single indictment charging more than 217 people with identical crimes, including felony rioting. They've been nothing but supportive and helpful throughout, and we're honored to have them in our corner. Federal prosecutors have always been looking for information, including social media account information, related to the Inauguration Day arrests and those involved. Stephanie Lacambra, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which advocates for digital privacy and advised DreamHost early in the case, believes that the company "did the right thing in standing up for its users". "I can't conceive of a legitimate justification other than casting your net as broadly as possible to justify millions of user logs", senior staff attorney Mark Rumold told the Guardian. "What they would be getting is a list of everyone who has ever been interested in attending these protests or seeing what was going on at the protests and that's the troubling aspect". Wide-reaching warrants for user data are sometimes issued when the content of a site is illegal such as pirated movies or child sexual abuse imagery, but speech is rarely prohibited. This isn't the first time the organization has had to defend those protections this week. In addition to the thousands of people who protested peacefully that day, there were a relatively small number of people who broke windows, set a limousine on fire, threw rocks at police and, in one case, "sucker punched" prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer. After public outcry over the administration's overreach, CBP dropped the request.
  8. INTERNET regulators in China have warned online services, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., against carrying illegal content such as virtual private networks (VPN) that help users bypass its censorship actions. On Thursday, the Cyber Administration of China named Alibaba’s Taobao Internet bazaar as among five services that needed to rectify related issues immediately, Bloomberg reported. Users had told the regulator they found “controlled substances”, including VPNs used to access foreign websites, for sale in Taobao. According to Bloomberg, the warning came amid Beijing’s clampdown on restricted Internet usage in the lead-up to the prominent Communist Party Congress scheduled for later this year. The congress is expected to see President Xi Jinping consolidate his authority. In a statement, Taobao, the country’s largest online marketplace, said it was unclear what the regulator meant by illegal substances, as such content would cover items ranging from drugs and pornography, among others. It did, however, maintain it would continue its efforts to bar illegal products, in line with its policies. “Taobao forbids the listing or sale of any products that are forbidden by applicable law,” Alibaba was quoted as saying. “We screen and remove product listings from third-party sellers which violate our marketplace rules.” China held a drill on Thursday with Internet service providers to practice taking down websites deemed harmful, as the country’s censors tighten control ahead of a sensitive five-yearly political reshuffle set to take place later this year. Internet data centres (IDC) and cloud companies – which host website servers – were ordered to participate in a three-hour drill to hone their “emergency response” skills, according to at least four participants that included the operator of Microsoft’s cloud service in China. Earlier this month, China’s Public Security Ministry called for the drill “in order to step up online security for the 19th Party Congress and tackle the problem of smaller websites illegally disseminating harmful information”. Xi has overseen a tightening of China’s cyberspace controls, including tough new data surveillance and censorship rules. The drill asked Internet data centres to practice shutting down target web pages speedily and report relevant details to the police, including the affected websites’ contact details, IP address and server location. China has been tightening its grip on the Internet, including a recent drive to crack down on the usage of VPNs to bypass Internet censorship, enlisting the help of state-owned telecommunication service providers to upgrade the so-called Great Firewall. In late July, Apple removed VPN apps from its app store, while Amazon’s China partner warned users not to use VPNs.
  9. Recent court rulings seem to favor Amazon and Google in the ongoing battle over Internet censorship. AFP asked a professor who specializes in Internet law to explain how such tech giants are legally allowed to censor the Internet. As readers and supporters of American Free Press and its sister publication The Barnes Review are well aware, books and videos considered to be verboten by the reigning tech giants have been removed for sale or distribution from these companies’ bookstores and websites. “In early March, to the shock and dismay of free speech advocates around the world, Internet retail giant Amazon caved to pressure from special interest groups and mainstream news outlets and quietly pulled at least 100 political and historical books from its website,” wrote Paul Angel recently in AFP. Prior to this mass book banning, YouTube, the video-sharing website created by three former PayPal employees in 2005 and bought by Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion, has come down hard on videos on AFP’s website, by sending a shot across our bow in the following email: As you may know, our Community Guidelines describe which content we allow—and don’t allow—on YouTube. Your video ‘Jewish Groups Shut Down Canadian Newspaper’ was flagged for review. Upon review, we’ve determined that it violates our guidelines. We’ve removed it from YouTube and assigned a Community Guidelines strike, or temporary penalty, to your account. We encourage free speech and defend everyone’s right to express their points of view, even if unpopular. However, YouTube doesn’t allow hate speech. Sometimes there’s a fine line between what is and isn’t considered hate speech. If you’re not sure whether or not your content crosses the line, we ask that you don’t post it. This is the first strike applied to your account. We understand that users seldom intend to violate our policies. That’s why strikes don’t last forever—this strike will expire in three months. However, it’s important to remember that additional strikes could prevent you from posting content to YouTube or even lead to your account being terminated. The video cited, “Jewish Groups Shut Down Canadian Newspaper,” was simply an audio interview this reporter conducted with Dr. James Sears, editor-in-chief of Your Ward News, a quarterly local newspaper distributed in Toronto, discussing the fact that Jewish groups had complained to Canadian politicians about Sears’s newspaper. In response, Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada Judy Foote ordered Canada Post to stop the distribution of the paper, which was called “anti-Semitic” and “racist” by its critics. Naturally, Foote would not make such a move unless someone complained, and that someone, as is clearly documented, was Jewish groups. So there was nothing “hateful” about the interview. Sears was just explaining what happened. YouTube attacked some other videos as well, claiming they were not “advertiser friendly.” This is quite odd, as the videos merely discussed a very hot topic: the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting. These videos, which were simply audio interviews adapted to video format, can garner income, depending upon how many views or listens they accumulate. YouTube would have none of that with this video: Hi American Free Press, Thanks for submitting your video(s) for monetization. We didn’t approve your video(s) for monetization because the content in your video(s) or video details may not be advertiser-friendly. If you believe that the content in your video is advertiser- friendly, you can request an additional review below: “Wolfgang Halbig Gains Some Ground” Please note that review times may vary, and YouTube reserves the right to make the final decision whether to monetize a video. All videos are subject to our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines, and may be removed from the site if they don’t meet those standards. Thanks, The YouTube Team AFP received a nearly identical warning when it came to the interview we conducted with Dr. James Tracy titled “Firing of Professor for Sandy Hook Beliefs Cowardly.” NO RECOURSE Do booksellers and content creators have any recourse if Amazon and YouTube remove content they deem to be “offensive”? The short answer is “no,” as this newspaper discovered via an email exchange with one of the nation’s top Internet law professors. Eric Goldman is a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law in California, where he teaches and publishes in the areas of Internet law, intellectual property, and advertising and marketing law. This reporter became acquainted with Goldman via an article he wrote for Forbes entitled “Can YouTube ‘Remove and Relocate’ User Videos Capriciously?” The article makes reference to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which is central to understanding why these tech giants can do as they wish. The act was part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which amended or repealed sections of the Communications Act of 1934 and was the first major overhaul of U.S. telecommunications policy in nearly 62 years. It allows Internet service providers (ISPs) and other service providers to restrict customers actions without worrying about being found legally liable. Specifically, the act states: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” Section 230 had its beginnings in protecting children, and was passed in part in reaction to 1995’s Stratton Oakmont, Inc. v. Prodigy Services Co., “which suggested that service providers who assumed an editorial role with regard to customer content, thus became publishers, and legally responsible for libel and other torts committed by customers.” Section 230 was passed to allow service providers to delete and monitor content without becoming publishers. The court stated in another lawsuit, Zeran v. America Online, Inc., (where the plaintiff, Kenneth M. Zeran’s phone number was posted on an Internet bulletin board that glorified the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, which Zeran had no connection to or involvement with) that: Congress enacted § 230 to remove the disincentives to self-regulation created by the Stratton Oakmont decision. Under that court’s holding, computer service providers who regulated the dissemination of offensive material on their services risked subjecting themselves to liability, because such regulation cast the service provider in the role of a publisher. Fearing that the specter of liability would therefore deter service providers from blocking and screening offensive material, Congress enacted §230’s broad immunity ‘to remove disincentives for the development and utilization of blocking and filtering technologies that empower parents to restrict their children’s access to objectionable or inappropriate online material,’ and ‘the amount of information communicated via interactive computer services is . . . staggering.’ The specter of tort liability in an area of such prolific speech would have an obviously chilling effect. It would be impossible for service providers to screen each of their millions of postings for possible problems. Faced with potential liability for each message republished by their services, interactive computer service providers might choose to severely restrict the number and type of messages posted. Congress considered the weight of the speech interests implicated and chose to immunize service providers to avoid any such restrictive effect. AFP asked Goldman about the significance of Section 230. “Section 230(c)(2) is directly relevant by providing websites with a safe harbor for removing content they consider objectionable,” he explained. “The website’s terms of service are also highly relevant, such as where the sites say they can terminate accounts or delete content at their discretion.” Since Section 230 allows these companies to censor any material they wish, AFP asked if it is foolish for someone “to piggyback on the audience aggregated by third party intermediary publishers,” like YouTube, since “the cloud service provider’s policies and practices can easily moot those investments with little recourse, judicial or otherwise.” “I don’t think it’s foolish at all,” Goldman said. “Usually, content producers must rely on third party intermediaries for ‘distribution,’ i.e., to reach a broader audience. However, if the distributor has the contractual and legal right to pull the rug out from under the content producer at any time, then the content producer either needs to accept that contingency or bargain for a better deal.” AFP asked what would be an example of “the contractual and legal right to pull the rug out from under the content producer at any time.” “A clause like, ‘We can terminate your account or delete your content at any time in our sole discretion,’ ” he explained. It’s worth emphasizing that Goldman inexplicably disagrees with the argument that Amazon and Google, which operate as virtual monopolies when it comes to book sales and advertising on the Internet, should not censor media companies, given that even Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., conceded to Business Insider recently, “[Google] was founded under the principles of freedom of expression, diversity, inclusiveness and science-based thinking.” AFP finally asked Goldman about Amazon’s book banning binge and if Section 230 allows Amazon to get away with this. “Probably, but we may not need to get that far,” he said. “Retailers are not required to put any particular item on their shelves.” Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him. Dave is the producer of an upcoming full-length feature film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See erasingtheliberty.com for more information.
  10. Because these days, you never know. The internet has revolutionized our lives in numerous positive ways, but it also has an unpleasant side. Sensitive personal data may be compromised leaving you vulnerable to fraud, extortion and unwanted advertising. There are a number of steps you can take to keep your personal information secure, reduce the risk of a breach, and ensure a safer and more enjoyable browsing experience. Leave Your Social Media Profiles Incomplete When you create an account on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, you will be asked to fill out certain personal information. They require this data to ensure you have a more personalized experience. Yet, what is good for them is not necessarily good for you. If any of the information is not mandatory (and the majority usually isn’t), you should not provide it. Even when you do avail the requested data, examine the platform’s privacy options so you can hide information that you do not want in the public domain such as date of birth, phone number and email address. Protect Your Hardware Install a credible antivirus software on all your devices to guard against malware. Also, configure your laptop, PC, tablet, and smartphone to prompt you for a password or passcode when it boots up or wakes from sleep. It’s natural to trust your family and the people you live with. However, your laptop can be stolen or lost. A password makes it harder for thieves to extract your data. You can also install an app on your tablet or phone that will show your gadget’s location and allow you to remotely delete the data on it. Private Browsing Many websites and online advertisers are keen on knowing your browsing habits, online purchases, preferred social networks, and socioeconomic status. By gleaning information about you, they can better target ads and present to those that are more likely to entice you to buy. Private browsing can make it harder to figure you out. It was pioneered by Opera but is now available on all major web browsers. The private browsing setting deletes session history, temporary internet files, and cookies when you close the browser tab. For even greater privacy, you can surf the web using a proxy server or a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Strong Password A strong password makes it harder for your account to succumb to a brute-force attack. The ideal password should have a mixture of letters, numbers, symbols and be at least eight characters long. In the past, one needed a password for each website they subscribed to. That has significantly changed now with a growing number of sites allowing you to register and sign in using your social media profile such as Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus. Nevertheless, there will still be instances when you’ll require a fresh password for some sites. Using the same password on multiple sites may expose you to phishing and social engineering attacks in the event a third party gets hold of it. To eliminate this risk as well as the difficulty of remembering multiple passwords, use a password manager. Two Factor Authentication Strong passwords are good; 2-factor auth is even better. Initially a preserve of enterprise applications, two-factor authentication is now available on popular websites such as Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, and Dropbox. This means once you provide your user id and password, you’ll be required to key in a one-off code that’ll be sent to your phone. Some online services will have you enter this dynamic code each time you log in while others will only prompt you for the code when you’re accessing the site using a new browser or an unfamiliar device. Follow these five steps and you’ll be in a better position to prevent your most sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands.
  11. After the Charlottesville rally, major online companies like Google are barring white nationalist groups and figures from using their platforms. After the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, over a Confederate monument, internet companies are making it difficult for white supremacist groups to organize online. Neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer was booted from web host GoDaddy after the rally. GoDaddy tweeted the site violated its terms of service. The Daily Stormer then tried to move to Google and then a Russian domain, but both hosts rejected the site. Twitter and LinkedIn also canceled Daily Stormer-related accounts, and YouTube has cracked down on accounts associated with alt-right figures. White supremacists aren't being allowed to express themselves through song, either. Spotify is purging white supremacist music from its archives. And Pandora said it's making sure there's nothing like that on its service. This was a trend before the "Unite the Right" rally even started. Airbnb deleted accounts of users it suspected were trying to book rooms in Charlottesville before the event. White supremacists aren't just being blocked from posting on the internet. They're also being blocked from profiting from it. Crowd-funding sites like Patreon and GoFundMe blocked the accounts of alt-right figures and groups, forcing some to use a knockoff called Hatreon.
  12. “This year may finally be the year that global investors put Chinese internet companies alongside American giants like Facebook and Amazon,” Paul Mozur writes (paywall) in the New York Times. The reason: record-breaking revenues of two companies, internet technology and social media leader Tencent and ecommerce behemoth Alibaba. Mozur notes that both have “valuations that hover around $400 billion,” while Amazon.com and Facebook stand only a little ahead at $470 billion and $490 billion, respectively. Both Chinese giants have to deal with something their American competitors do not, however: censorship. - Tencent, along with other internet companies that run social media platforms, is facing a crackdown on content that authorities said violated cyber security laws, but is more likely politically motivated. - Alibaba’s Taobao and four other ecommerce platforms were instructed on August 17 to conduct “self-examination and correction” for allowing the sales of VPNs, Reuters reports. - Intellectual property China says its bullet train technology was stolen, days after U.S. trade probe move / SCMP “Developing countries had ‘spied on and stolen’ China’s fast-train technology to get the competitive edge at the expense of Chinese companies.” - Sexism China tech workers wanted: Women need not apply / WSJ (paywall) - Young entrepreneurs Tech publication gives nod to Chinese brains / Caixin - Southeast Asia China’s growing its share of Southeast Asia’s infrastructure pie / Bloomberg - Foreign investment in China China orders ministries to open up more of economy to foreign investors / SCMP - Debt Prominent China debt bear warns of $6.8tn in hidden losses / FT (paywall) - China Unicom China Unicom shares still halted amid confusion over $12 bln fundraising / Reuters China shows how not to sell $11.7 billion in shares / Bloomberg - Advertising Alibaba, Tencent lead China’s rise in global digital ads / Bloomberg
  13. Beijing - The Chinese government has issued a warning to websites that are selling virtual private networks (VPNs). The country outlawed the sale of VPN except those approved by the government in July. While many articles speak of China having outlawed all VPN's in July that is not technically correct. What it did was require all VPN services to be certified and licensed by the government. This would require them to agree to censor those websites the government blocks. Businesses and individuals would still find VPN services significant for security purposes. However China has issued a warning to websites that are selling VPNs. The Cyberspace Administration of China demanded that five different website remove vendors who sell VPNs that are not government approved. The VPNs are used to evade what is called the Great Firewall of China. Even such common websites as Twitter and Facebook are blocked by the Great Firewall. VPN's also keep ones Internet activity private from the government or others who might be spying on you. They are important for both both businesses and individuals. One of the websites that received the warning is Alibaba's Taoba which is China's largest online retailer. The Cyberspace Administration ordered that the sites "immediately carry out a comprehensive c,lean-up of harmful information, close corresponding illegal accounts and submit a rectification report" according to Reuters. The government also ordered Apple to remove all VPN apps on its Chinese stores. Presumably they were all not government approved VPNs. The VPNs that are being banned are able to route traffic through routers overseas that are free of the filters China used to block sites such as Twitter and Facebook. GreenVPN already stopped service as of July 1st in China after being ordered to cease operating. However, other popular services may also be blocked by now. The Chinese government has also intervened on its own local media platforms such as Weibo where it has blocked "negative talk". The Chinese government requires all VPN services to apply for a licence, which will not be granted unless the service agrees to the government censorship policies. They have set a deadline of February 1 next year for all three of China's mobile operators to block all unlicensed VPN services. The Ministry of Information Technology said back in January of this year that the VPN and cloud computing market was undergoing "disorderly development" and there was an "urgent need for regulation norms". Russia also has recently passed legislation that will have effects similar to that of China's new rules.
  14. Worried about Internet companies snooping on your online browsing? You might turn to something called a virtual private network to protect your privacy. But researchers say these networks can themselves be insecure. Earlier this year, the federal government rolled back rules that would have prevented Internet service providers from tracking your activity online. Comcast, AT&T and other providers are now allowed to track and sell your personal data too — with much less fear of regulatory action. (Major providers insist that they don't sell their customers' browsing histories.) One solution is a VPN, which is like a dark, secret tunnel you use to go from your computer to a website. While you're inside the tunnel — clicking on Instagram photos or checking your bank account — third parties can't see what you're doing. The data are encrypted. There are lots of reasons people around the world use VPNs: to hide location, to access work networks, even to avoid government censorship. But Loraine Kanervisto, a software engineer in Seattle, says she downloaded a VPN on her computer and cellphone because she doesn't want her Internet provider spying on her. "The more I read about how much power my Internet service provider is getting, the less inclined I am to share that data with them willingly," she says. NPR reached out to six popular VPN companies and all have seen double-digit increases in downloads since Congress repealed Internet privacy rules. Ryan Dochuk, co-founder of TunnelBear, says his company had a 200 percent increase in the usual amount of people joining from the U.S. in March, when the federal rules were rolled back, and demand continues to be strong. "Before, where there were services that might collect a chunk of your browsing habits, like Google or Facebook, this change allows U.S. ISPs to collect 100 percent of your Web browsing and sell it to third parties," he says. Internet providers handle customer privacy in different ways. Some say you have to opt in for them to sell your data. Nuala O'Connor, president of the Center for Democracy & Technology, a privacy advocacy group, says because of Internet-connected devices, providers can see more than the websites you browse. "The Internet is in everything — increasingly in your house, in your smart water meter, in your refrigerator, in your toothbrush. The Internet service provider to your home knows a whole bunch of stuff about you," O'Connor says. So, who cares whether Time Warner Cable or Verizon knows when I turn off my lights or whether I stock my fridge with Swiss or cheddar? For one thing, those data points can be used to target advertising, O'Connor says. And she worries the government or private companies could use the information to deny services, like health insurance — or even water. "You can think of water rationing in certain parts of the country being enforced via your smart water meter or your other devices," O'Connor says. "So it's a level of intrusion into the home and into your daily lives that we think people should be really mindful of and guard against." Some VPNs promise anonymous browsing for free or just a few dollars a month; they claim not to share your data. But these services don't always deliver on their promises. "If you're not careful with choosing your VPN service provider, the medicine might be worse than the illness," says Nick Feamster, a computer science professor at Princeton University. He says tens of millions of people have downloaded VPNs — and many don't realize they're not as secure as they claim. In the first major review of VPN providers, researchers from across the globe tested nearly 300 free VPN apps on Google Play. What they found was alarming. Nearly 40 percent injected malware or malvertising. And nearly 20 percent of the apps didn't even encrypt user traffic. This month, the Center for Democracy & Technology filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission alleging the VPN Hotspot Shield collects data and intercepts traffic. If true, that would be a direct violation of claims by the company's policy to "never log or store user data." Amid all the VPN angst, the app TunnelBear is fighting for its reputation. To verify it is committed to protecting user security, the company became the first in the industry to complete a third-party audit. Feamster, with Princeton, says that's very encouraging — even though the most recent audit turned up some vulnerabilities. Experts say the safest option is to set up your own VPN server and connect to it, or use Tor to browse the Web anonymously. But Feamster admits most people won't do that. For now, he suggests researching a VPN before using it and to think of it as a supplemental tool, not a privacy solution. He advises reading the VPN service provider's privacy policy to see whether it collects or retains any user information that could be traced back to you — and if so, for how long.
  15. Game Of Thrones fans are going to ridiculous lengths to flood the internet with fake spoilers after the leak of the latest episode from the new season. Yesterday, fans were terrified of the accidental release of the episode ahead of its Monday (NZ Time) broadcast would lead to spoilers being unleashed. But using the hashtag #FakeGameOfThronesSpoilers a series of highly amusing tweets have drowned out the chatter from yesterday and proved that deep down, under all the Westeros fighting and fear of Winter coming, they just want to have a laugh. Mocking long running plot points from George RR Martin's fantasy epic to a cameo by a certain ginger-haired singer, the zingers are a pretty amusing way to end what has been a difficult week for fans of the show, torn by whether to watch illegally or wait until Monday.
  16. The internet is one of the most integral resources we have in today’s society — it’s the platform on which we connect with others, conduct business, perform research, and much more. Now, after a recent vote by Congress, your internet privacy — everything you browse, say, and do — is at stake. But there is hope to reclaim your freedom to use the internet securely, and it comes in the form of newly proposed state legislation that would ensure online privacy rights for consumers. In March, Congress voted to kill regulations issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that required internet providers to get customers’ consent before tracking or selling browsing histories. The repeal of these regulations will allow internet providers to boost revenues by selling or sharing data on customers’ browsing histories. Scary, I know. In response, California legislators, alongside more than a dozen other states, engaged in an effort to restore some of the internet privacy protections that Congress rolled back earlier this year. The California bill, which is slated to reach the floor this September, would prohibit an internet service provider (ISP) “from using, disclosing, selling, or permitting access to customer personal information” except when the consumer has given explicit “opt-in” consent “which may be revoked by the customer at any time.” Under the proposed law, ISPs would also be prohibited from refusing service to customers who don’t provide consent, mirroring previous provisions put in place by the Obama-era FCC in 2016 Customers are more than a source of data to be sold. And this California bill helps illuminate how ISPs should treat customers and their data. ISPs are the only companies with full access to everything consumers do online, including every site they visit, every path and click as they move between sites, not to mention the full array of apps and services consumers touch. Even with encryption, URLs and endpoint information can be used to determine a disturbing amount about customer behavior. If that sounds like a gross overreach, it is even more so when providers aren’t required by law to handle that information responsibly with regard to privacy. As it is, current law allows ISPs to essentially spy on their customers without their consent. Backers of this law compare ISPs to platforms like Google or Facebook, otherwise known as “edge providers,” which provide a free service. Backers argue that it isn't fair for ISPs to face stricter privacy laws than edge providers. But the fact is that using Facebook and Google, two free user services, and relying on your ISP for internet connection, a paid connection service, are simply not comparable. Imagine, for example, phone carriers advocating for the right to analyze telephone calls and sell data from what they hear. No phone calls — not even one with your spouse or child — would be safe. That would be extremely uncomfortable for consumers and likely discourage them from using a phone service altogether. The disturbing implications of abolishing internet privacy rules go far beyond how the internet is used. By selling customer data, larger ISPs could capture more of the market, albeit unfairly, leaving smaller ISPs in the dust and harming what little competition exists. A decrease in internet access competition will be bad for consumers, as competition is what drives companies to provide the best possible service to consumers at the lowest possible price. The bottom line is that private information should be kept private, both for the good of the consumer and for the overall health of the internet ecosystem. With Congress stripping away consumer privacy protections, it’s up to states push back against the repeal of federal policies that protect basic consumer rights. California and other states have already taken the first step toward making that a reality. Now the question remains: Will other states follow?
  17. Flava Works maintains it has "ample evidence" that Mark Juris knowingly uploaded videos to file-sharing sites like Gay-Torrents.org. A porn company is suing Marc Juris, the openly gay president of WE TV for $1.2 million, claiming he knowingly distributed its videos to file-sharing torrent sites. In court documents Flava Works, which specializes in videos starring models of color, claims Juris joined its site as a member, then downloaded various videos and illegally uploaded them on peer-to-peer file-sharing sites including Gay-Torrents.org and GayTorrent.ru. “Marc Juris was issued a cease-and-desist over alleged sharing and was urged to settle out of court [but he] refused,” Flava Works CEO Phil Bleicher told JRL Charts. “We have ample evidence to prove that its him—from matching emails, IP, logs and usernames—and he continued to share our copyrighted works.” Bleicher claims Juris (above) filed a countersuit under a John Doe pseudonym, claiming Flava Works blackmails its subscribers by filing boilerplate lawsuits and threatening to out them as customers. “Capitalizing on the social stigma of its own product, Flava Works has apparently discovered a lucrative side business: extorting money from former subscribers by threatening to expose them as consumers of gay porn,” claimed “Doe” in a complaint filed Tuesday. “Even if the accusation is false, most users reluctantly pay rather than be outed in court documents as a gay porn user—especially if the victim has chosen to keep his sexual orientation private.” A porn company is suing Marc Juris, the openly gay president of WE TV for $1.2 million, claiming he knowingly distributed its videos to file-sharing torrent sites. In court documents Flava Works, which specializes in videos starring models of color, claims Juris joined its site as a member, then downloaded various videos and illegally uploaded them on peer-to-peer file-sharing sites including Gay-Torrents.org and GayTorrent.ru. Flava Works “Marc Juris was issued a cease-and-desist over alleged sharing and was urged to settle out of court [but he] refused,” Flava Works CEO Phil Bleicher told JRL Charts. “We have ample evidence to prove that its him—from matching emails, IP, logs and usernames—and he continued to share our copyrighted works.” Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for WE tv Bleicher claims Juris (above) filed a countersuit under a John Doe pseudonym, claiming Flava Works blackmails its subscribers by filing boilerplate lawsuits and threatening to out them as customers. “Capitalizing on the social stigma of its own product, Flava Works has apparently discovered a lucrative side business: extorting money from former subscribers by threatening to expose them as consumers of gay porn,” claimed “Doe” in a complaint filed Tuesday. “Even if the accusation is false, most users reluctantly pay rather than be outed in court documents as a gay porn user—especially if the victim has chosen to keep his sexual orientation private.” Phil Bleicher/Facebook But Bleicher (above) says he has ample evidence that Juris and others are guilty of infringing on his company’s copyrights. In 2012, his company received a $3 million judgment after suing other torrenters. “Flava Works models and staff spend countless hours producing our high quality videos and images only to have a few people steal them and distribute to these illegal file sharing websites. This will stop, one lawsuit at a time.” Juris is credited with reviving WE, and transitioning it from a women’s interest channel to a platform for broader reality programming, with shows like Braxton Family Values, Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars and Growing Up Hip-Hop.
  18. Rightscorp Applauds Recent Ruling in Favor of Protection Against Copyright Infringement SANTA MONICA, Calif., Aug. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Rightscorp (OTCQB: RIHT), a leading provider of data analytics and litigation services, as well as copyright infringement protection services to support artists and owners of copyrighted property, in a series of increased media attention around copyright infringement, is pleased to highlight a recent federal judge's ruling supporting the indictment of Artem Vaulin, the alleged founder of KickassTorrents (KAT). As reported by the Hollywood Reporter, Mr. Vaulin is currently serving jail sentence in Poland after being charged last year by U.S. authorities with running one of the world's most popular websites facilitating illegal peer-to-peer sharing of movies, television shows, songs and video games. Rightscorp CEO Cecil Bond Kyte commented, "We are extremely pleased with the judge's ruling clearly stating that it is an illegal offense to distribute copyrights without authorization. KAT is recognized as one of the world's biggest online piracy sites, responsible for allegedly distributing more than $1 billion worth of illegally copied films, music and other content. We believe reporting on these and other related news will educate our shareholders, clients, and partners on Rightscorp's value to the entertainment industry." About Rightscorp, Inc. Rightscorp (RIHT) is a leading provider of data and analytic services to support artists and owners of copyrighted Intellectual Property (IP). The Company's patent pending digital loss prevention technology focuses on the infringement of rights to digital content such as music, movies, software, books and games and ensures that the rights of owners and creators are protected. Rightscorp works closely with its clients to develop programs of education and notice, and as necessary to pursue copyright infringers for their illegal file sharing activities via notifications sent through Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The Company's technology identifies copyright infringers, who are provided information about copyrights and the importance of Intellectual Property and offered a reasonable opportunity to terminate their activities and pay a nominal settlement option that is generally a fraction of the statutory minimum in an effort to avoid the need for expensive litigation.� With minimum statutory penalties of $750 and up to $150,000 per infringement, Rightscorp's technology and process of notice allows all parties to efficiently and economically address copyright infringement without the costs and burdens of litigation.� Based on the fact that 22% of all Internet traffic is used to distribute copyrighted content without permission or compensation to the creators, Rightscorp's technology and process provides one of the best and most cost efficient means of addressing this issue for both the artists and those who have infringed their works. http://www.rightscorp.com/� Safe Harbor Statement This press release may include forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this press release, including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company's anticipated financial position, business strategy and plans and objectives of management of the Company for future operations, are forward-looking statements. When used in this press release, words such as "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend," and similar expressions, as they relate to the Company or its management, identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs of the Company's management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to the Company's management. Actual results could differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors not limited to, general economic and business conditions, competitive factors, changes in business strategy or development plans, the ability to attract and retain qualified personnel, and changes in legal and regulatory requirements. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of the Company with respect to future events and are subject to these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to the operations, results of operations, growth strategy and liquidity of the Company.� All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to the Company or persons acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by this paragraph.
  19. A coalition of several artist groups has sent a letter to the RIAA, accusing the group of ignoring the moral rights of songwriters. In a recent response to a US Government consultation, the RIAA argues that it would be "complex" to always attribute writers for their work, on streaming services for example. However, the artist groups stress that their rights shouldn't be trumped by metadata concerns. Most people who create something like to be credited for their work. Whether you make a video, song, photo, or blog post, it feels ‘right’ to receive recognition. The right to be credited is part of the so-called “moral rights,” which are baked into many copyright laws around the world, adopted at the international level through the Berne Convention. However, in the United States, this is not the case. The US didn’t sign the Berne Convention right away and opted out from the “moral rights” provision when it eventually joined. Now that the U.S. Copyright Office is looking into ways to improve current copyright law, the issue has been brought to the forefront again. The Government recently completed a consultation to hear the thoughts of various stakeholders, which resulted in several noteworthy contributions. As it turns out, the RIAA doesn’t want artists, such as songwriters, to have moral rights. Crediting everyone who’s involved in making a song can be confusing and complicated the group notes, arguing against the addition of a new statutory attribution right. The RIAA highlights that it would be costly for streaming services to credit everyone involved in the creative process. In addition, they stress that the likes of Spotify might not have the screen real estate to attribute all creators, without ruining the user experience with long lists of names. “If a statutory attribution right suddenly required these services to provide attribution to others involved in the creative process, that would presumably require costly changes to their user interfaces and push them up against the size limitations of their display screens,” the RIAA writes. These comments don’t sit well with songwriters and other creators around the world, who feel that the RIAA is putting trivial metadata issues above their rights. In a protest against the RIAA’s stance, several songwriter groups around the world are now joining hands to show their discontent. The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA), Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC), Songwriters Guild of America (SGA), Music Creators North America (MCNA), Council of Music Creators (CMC), and several others, have sent a strongly worded open letter to the RIAA accusing the record label group of betrayal. “The RIAA’s argument prioritizes the inconvenience of dealing with accurate metadata over the principle of the protection of the rights of the people upon whose work the music business is built,” the letter reads. “More fundamentally, RIAA’s comments are taken by many in the music creator community as a betrayal of our joint commitment to expand opportunities for creators. Unfortunately, this divergence of views gives our common adversaries an opportunity to divide our community.” The groups warn that without proper attribution, songwriters and other contributors risk not receiving any compensation for the work they do. This puts the RIAA in the same camp as those who want to weaken copyright in general, the letter notes. “Without accurate metadata, contributors to a work risk not getting paid. That’s a moral dilemma intrinsically linked to the issue of moral rights — and on this issue the RIAA has now aligned itself with those who seek to enfeeble IP rights.” The RIAA’s stance goes even further than that of Creative Commons and the “copyleft,” according to the groups. “Even anti-copyright groups like Creative Commons understand the importance of attribution. If the RIAA is seen as less artist-friendly than Creative Commons, the copyleft and all who seek to undervalue our work will benefit.” While Creative Commons has more flexible views on copyright than the average entertainment industry company, describing it as “anti-copyright” goes a bit far. Still, the groups send a strong message to the RIAA, that the organization’s stance on moral rights is abhorrent. The songwriter and artist groups stress that the RIAA might shoot itself in the foot, as it’s distancing the people it needs to further its interests around the globe. As for the metadata problems, they believe that the streaming platforms and other services will come up with a proper solution eventually. “We believe there’s no doubt music platforms will come up with innovative and effective ways to give credit. Certainly there’s no need to set expectations at rock bottom as the RIAA did in their comments,” the groups write in their letter. The groups urge the RIAA to revise its views and start collaborating with creators to address specific implementation problems. The record labels and creators should stand together as one, instead of going against each other. It will be interesting to see if and how the RIAA responds to the critique. While the US Government has yet to decide on the moral rights issue, in other countries the attribution right is taken very seriously. Just recently, a District Court in Isreal awarded a local music composer $223,000 in statutory damages because his name was removed from the credits of an online kids animation series. https://torrentfreak.com/artists-protest-riaa-for-trampling-on-their-moral-rights-170817/
  20. 2017.08.17 - 关于庆祝站长喜得贵子的公告   庆祝站长喜得贵子,管理组决定全站Freeleech一周;并于8.18日零时至8.25日零时开放邀 请。即日起,邀请发放实施连坐制度,并禁止在公告场合(包括但不限于贴吧、微博等)发放邀请。连坐封禁依情 况而定,上不封顶,下不截止,望诸位珍重。 祝福戳这里 ====HDChina管理组==== 2017.08.17 - Notice about the celebration of the stationmaster hi hi son   Baby boy celebration owners, management group decided to go all stations Freeleech one week ; and to 8.18 days zero to 8.25 open invitation to zero hour. With immediate effect, invitations are made to the implementation of the sit system and the invitations are not permitted at the time of announcement (including but not limited to posts, microblogs, etc.). Sit tight according to the circumstances, not on the cap, not cut off, hope you treasure. Blessing poke here ==== HDChina management
  21. Scammers will need to find new tricks. In a bid to promote "authentic communication," Facebook will now demote clickbait stories that present static images as video along with images with fake playback buttons in them. While the former practice just ends up confusing users, the latter actually tricks people into clicking through to a website. Both techniques are frowned upon by the social network, which says it wants to "improve the integrity of information on Facebook." Facebook has been working to halt the spread of hate speech and fake news for a while now. It shut down an internal forum for harassment earlier today, recently started using AI to detect fake ads, began adding facts to fake news shares, acquired a startup's technology to fight video piracy, disabled modified link previews, and added a set of educational guides to counter fake news. The company has had its missteps, of course, like when it shut down a black activists account for posting threats that she herself had received.
  22. Movies produced unlawfully and replicating machines seized from the suspects were estimated at N50 million. An anti-piracy raid conducted in Alaba Market, Lagos, has led to the arrest of three film pirates who have been replicating movies protected by the law. This was following a visit to the commercial hub by the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) on Monday. Premium Times reported that movies such as "The Wedding Party", "30 Days in Atlanta", "Jenifa’s Diary", "A Trip to Jamaica", "Wives on Strike" and other hit movies were part of the works unlawfully produced by three men confirmed to be the pirates. Replicating machines and films seized by the suspects, Ndu Celestine, Okechukwu Ikuagwu and Austine Ugokwe, were estimated at a sum of N50 million. Gabriel Okoye, who was part of the group that conducted an inspection at the market had this to say: “The activities of the pirates crumbled the distribution companies and the N500 million I had already collected from BoI; I could not pay back till date. The Bank is now trying to take over all my property which I used as collateral. So, this is a big win for Nollywood." This will come as a welcomed development for film producers who have been left to rue their loss due to the activities of pirates. They can now nurture hope of a future which will see them get deserved reward for their hard work and dedication to their career.
  23. The Game of Thrones hacking saga continues, but this time it's the HBO's and GOT's official Twitter and Facebook accounts got compromised, rather than upcoming episodes. As if the leak of episodes by hackers and the accidental airing of an upcoming episode of Game of Thrones by HBO itself were not enough, a notorious group of hackers took over the official Twitter and Facebook accounts for HBO as well as Game of Thrones Wednesday night. The hacker group from Saudi Arabia, dubbed OurMine, claimed responsibility for the hack, posting a message on both HBO's official Twitter and Facebook accounts, which read: "Hi, OurMine are here, we are just testing your security, HBO team, please contact us to upgrade the security," followed by a contact link for the group. This message was followed by another one, wherein hackers asked people to make the hashtag #HBOhacked trending on Twitter, which it did. Ourmine is the same group of hackers from Saudi Arabia that previously compromised social media accounts of major companies CEOs, including Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Facebook-owned virtual reality company Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe. In most of the cases, Ourmine hackers gain access to the social media accounts by credentials exposed in previous, publicly known data breaches. However, the hacking group does not seem to ever go beyond just demonstrating its ability to take over the account, without doing much damage to the accounts or its protected information. OurMine offers companies security against hacking, charging up to $5,000 for a "scan" of their social media accounts, site security holes, and other security vulnerabilities, and advertises its commercial services by breaking into famous accounts. HBO managed to remove the offending tweets shortly after the hackers posted them. Just yesterday, in a devastating blunder, HBO Spain accidentally aired Episode 6 of Game of Thrones season 7 five days prior to its official premiere. The popular entertaining company is also facing a threat from hacker or group of hackers who claimed to have obtained nearly 1.5 terabytes of information from HBO. Over two weeks ago, the unknown hackers dropped episodes of "Ballers" and "Room 104," along with a script of the fourth episode of Game of Thrones on the internet. This leak was followed by another dump of a half-gigabyte sample of stolen data, including the company's emails, employment agreements, balance sheets, and the script of the upcoming GOT episode, demanding a ransom—nearly $6 Million in Bitcoins. Although it was revealed that the company offered hackers $250,000 for extending the ransom payment deadline by one week, the proposal apparently failed to satisfy hackers, and they threatened to release more data every Sunday until the full ransom was paid.
  24. HBO doesn't need hackers to leak its widely watched "Game of Thrones" episodes, as it is sufficient enough to leak them by its own. In what seems to be a terrible blunder, HBO Spain appeared to have accidentally broadcast the next episode—Episode 6—of Game of Thrones season 7 five days before its official premiere. And as expected, the GoT episode 6 quickly began circulating online. HBO has recently been facing trouble from a hacker or group of hackers who claimed to have obtained nearly 1.5 terabytes of information from the entertainment company. Late last month, the unknown hackers dropped upcoming episodes of "Ballers" as well as "Room 104," along with a script of the fourth episode of "Game of Thrones" on the internet. The leak was followed by another dump of a half-gigabyte sample of stolen HBO data, including HBO's emails, employment agreements, and balance sheets, along with the script of the upcoming Game of Thrones episode, demanding a ransom—nearly $6 Million in Bitcoins. A recently leaked screenshot of an email from an HBO executive also suggested that the company offered hackers $250,000 and requested them to extend the ransom payment deadline by one week. Sadly, the proposal apparently failed to satisfy the desires of HBO hackers, and they threatened to release more data from its 1.5 terabytes of stolen data every Sunday until the complete ransom of millions of dollars was paid. However, the recent leak has nothing to do with hackers, and rather the new unreleased episode was accidentally broadcast by HBO Nordic in Spain for about an hour before it was removed, first spotted by Reddit users. The new GOT episode was purportedly available via the HBO's Spanish on-demand service. Here's what HBO has to say about the latest leak: "We have learned that the upcoming episode of Game of Thrones was accidentally posted for a brief time on the HBO Nordic and HBO España platforms." "The error appears to have originated with a third-party vendor, and the episode was removed as soon as it was recognized. This is not connected to the recent cyber incident at HBO in the US." Short footage and GIFs from the GOT S07E06 was started circulating on YouTube, Reddit, Instagram, Twitch and other streaming services. The episode 6 of "Game of Thrones" will officially be premiered on Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.
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  27. For several years CloudFlare has stood up to pressure from copyright holders, both in and out of court. The entertainment industry repeatedly urged the company to take action against the Pirate Bays of this world, and Cloudflare refused time and again, stressing that it doesn't "monitor, evaluate or judge" content on its clients' websites. That argument is now dead. “I woke up this morning in a bad mood and decided to kick them off the Internet.” Those are the words of Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince, who decided to terminate the account of controversial Neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer. Bam. Gone. At least for a while. Although many people are happy to see the site go offline, the decision is not without consequence. It goes directly against what many saw as the core values of the company. For years on end, Cloudflare has been asked to remove terrorist propaganda, pirate sites, and other possibly unacceptable content. Each time, Cloudflare replied that it doesn’t take action without a court order. No exceptions. “Even if it were able to, Cloudfare does not monitor, evaluate, judge or store content appearing on a third party website,” the company wrote just a few weeks ago, in its whitepaper on intermediary liability. “We’re the plumbers of the internet. We make the pipes work but it’s not right for us to inspect what is or isn’t going through the pipes,” Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince himself said not too long ago. “If companies like ours or ISPs start censoring there would be an uproar. It would lead us down a path of internet censors and controls akin to a country like China,” he added. The same arguments were repeated in different contexts, over and over. This strong position was also one of the reasons why Cloudflare was dragged into various copyright infringement court cases. In these cases, the company repeatedly stressed that removing a site from Cloudflare’s service would not make infringing content disappear. Pirate sites would just require a simple DNS reconfiguration to continue their operation, after all. “[T]here are no measures of any kind that CloudFlare could take to prevent this alleged infringement, because the termination of CloudFlare’s CDN services would have no impact on the existence and ability of these allegedly infringing websites to continue to operate,” it said. That comment looks rather misplaced now that the CEO of the same company has decided to “kick” a website “off the Internet” after an emotional, but deliberate, decision. Taking a page from Cloudflare’s (old) playbook we’re not going to make any judgments here. Just search Twitter or any social media site and you’ll see plenty of opinions, both for and against the company’s actions. We do have a prediction though. During the months and years to come, Cloudflare is likely to be dragged into many more copyright lawsuits, and when they are, their counterparts are going to bring up Cloudflare’s voluntary decision to kick a website off the Internet. Unless Cloudflare suddenly decides to pull all pirate sites from its service tomorrow, of course. https://torrentfreak.com/cloudflare-kicking-daily-stormer-is-bad-news-for-pirate-sites-170817/
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