ACS:Law are ACS:Screwed

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by 0dev, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. 0dev macrumors 68040

    0dev

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #1
    For those who don't know, ACS:Law is a British lawfirm which makes a fortune by scaring people into paying them money for allegedly pirating content they've probably never even heard of. The content they cover includes games, music, and adult films.

    So, their site got DDoS'd, which took their site down for a few hours and ended up corrupting it. They restored from a backup, but said backup also had e-mails on it. Since these people are complete idiots, the e-mails were uploaded to a public location on the server. The e-mails - containing classified details about how the scammers do their business as well as details of people they threatened - were then shared, in perfect poetic justice, via a torrent.

    Now they face a possible £500,000 fine and this only adds to ongoing investigation into them. Not only that, but their ISP's now cut them off (again, check the poetic justice) because they didn't encrypt their e-mails.

    Sky has now stopped all business with ACS:Law... There's a big client gone!

    To make things even better, this leak is showing weaknesses in the Digital Economy Act and only adds to the case against that horribly rushed piece of crappy legislation.

    What a great day this is! :D

    Links:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technolo...ak-shows-weakness-of-Digital-Economy-Act.html
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11434809
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11425789
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11418962
    http://www.acs-law.org.uk/index.php - this is their official site, which as of now, is down
     
  2. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    While I agree with your sentiment that it is good such a shady practice has had its comeuppance, a few points:

    - Sky were in no way a client of theirs. Nor were BT/Plus.net. They both co-operated only to the extent that they didn't turn upto court hearings where ACS applied for Court Orders to reveal customer data - so ACS won by default (whereas Virgin and Talk Talk have openly said they'll fight ACS at court hearings, which is why ACS have never tried against them). Indeed, both Sky and BT/Plus.net charged ACS fees for doing this, as they are legally entitled to do. ACS's clients are a few companies hired by the copyright holders to enforce their copyright.
    - The 'reward' of the leak for lawyers (and the SRA) isn't the loss of 13,000+ peoples information, it's the internal communication. For example, breaching the Solicitors Accounts Rules, contacting legally represented individuals directly (BIG no no) talking about "wrong footing" the SRA, stating they'll pursue people who are deaf, dumb and blind etc.
    - The real jackpot for lawyers is e-mails from ACS's QC (barrister) telling them their case is a load of twaddle, and all they could recover in court is the cost of the infringed material itself; i.e. the price of a DVD.
    - About 30% of people who received a letter paid the settlement demanded. Terrible.
    - Not one penny of the £600,000 recovered so far has gone to the artists or producers of the content. All has gone to ACS and the copyright companies.
    - We can't forget that 13,000 people are now exposed to identity theft, damaging/loosing their relationship/work due to being exposed for downloading gay porn. And one ACs employee has had all the nitty gritty details of her divorce (and her legal concerns and arguments) made very public for everyone to see, including her soon-to-be ex-husband.

    There's plenty of other interesting points, but I won't bore...

    AppleMatt
     
  3. BertyBoy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    #3
    As I read on the BBC News site originally, there was a large volume of their internal and "custmer" emails made public on their site and in the torrent.

    On some of the emails, were unencrypted Excel attachments, not even password protected, that contain the full name, address and account details of a large number of Sky customers with the titles of adult films each is mean to have shared illegaly.

    From the article, it appears there are 3 such attachments, the first details some 5,000+ Sky broadband customers, then some 8,000+ BSkyB broadband customers, then some 500+ PlusNet broadband customers.

    Can't understand why those who put the files up on piratebay didn't doctor the attachments to include all the partners of ACS Law and their home addresses (available from Companies House) and some choice "mae-up" adult film titles.
     
  4. 0dev thread starter macrumors 68040

    0dev

    Joined:
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    127.0.0.1
    #5
    Fantastic! No more cooperation from PlusNet either. Bye bye ACS:Law :p
     
  5. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    I have been following this news story since the initial DoS attack by Anonymous, and I for one am pleased fragility of the Digital Economy act.

    ACS:Law were only out to catch those without the technical knowledge to either protect there WiFi connection, or to mask what they are doing on the interent. By doing this, ACS:Law 'attacked' those who did not have the knowledge to defend themselves.


    This quote from Plus Net sums up how I feel!
     
  6. 0dev thread starter macrumors 68040

    0dev

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #7
    And on a similar note...

    The European Commission takes the UK to court for failing to comply with EU rules on internet privacy.
    < http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11443734 >

    I know the DEA dosen't rely on direct monitoring of our browsing, but mass collecting our IPs and falsely accusing people of piracy isn't too good either, hopefully this will start to bring up even more questions about it, and it'll definitely stop more Phorm wannabes from sucking up our Internet activity.
     
  7. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
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    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    #8
    Just a group of scumbags making a living out of a grey area and scaring people with their legal masquerade. Copyright and file sharing isn't an area for enforcement, it's an area for debate, change, progression and balance.
     

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