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Monday, September 27, 2010

Adult Video Sharing List Leaked

The personal details of thousands of Sky broadband clients have been leaked out on to the internet, alongside a list of pornographic movies they are said to have shared online.

Details the full names and addresses of over 5,300 people thought by law firm ACS. Law to be illegally sharing lustful films.

It appeared online following an attack on the ACS. Law website.

The UK Information Commissioner said it would investigate the leak.

Privacy expert Simon Davis has called it " one of the worst breaches " of the Data Protection Act he had ever seen.
The documents appeared online after users of the message-board 4chan attacked ACS:Law's site in retaliation for its anti-piracy efforts.

The firm has made a business out of sending 1000 of letters to alleged net pirates, asking them to pay compensation of about £500 per violation or face court.

It uses third party firms to scrub the net looking for possible violations of music and film copyright.

Armed with IP addresses   which can discover the internet connection used in any copyright violation. Its lawyers can then apply for a court order to get the physical address of the PC from the service provider whose network has allegedly been used for the file-sharing.

The  investigation in August found a number of people expressing they were wrongly charged by ACS  Law of illegal file-sharing. UK consumer grouping Which? says it has also received a number of complaints. Many contest that IP addresses can be spoofed.

ACS  Law is below investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority over its role in sending letters to alleged pirates.
The leak contains around one thousand confidential e-mails , along with the list , which was an attachment on one of the messages.

The collection was then uploaded to file sharing site, The Pirate Baywhere it is being shared by hundreds of users.

The private e-mails include personal agreement between Andrew Crossley who runs ACS. Law - and work colleagues, as well as lists of potential file-sharers and information on how much the firm has made through its anti file sharing actions.

While some of the e mails, detailing the internal working of the company, may prove embarrassing, the leaking of an unencrypted document - that lists the personal details of more than 5,300 BSkyB Broadband subscribers alongside a list of adult videos they may have downloaded and shared online - could be a breach of the Data Protection Act.

 Mr Crossley said there were "legal issues" surrounding the leak.

We were the matter of a criminal attack to our systems. The business has and remains intact and is continuing to trade.

Mr Crossley said he would not comment directly on the contents of individual e-mails.
Simon Davis, from the watchdog Privacy International, said he would be demanding the Information Commissioner to "conduct a full investigation" and hoped it would be "a test case of the Information Commissioner's new powers".

You rarely find an expression where almost every expression of the Data Protection Act (DPA) has been breached, but this is one of them.

It fits perfectly for the term 'egregious misuse' of personal data.

A representative for the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) told that it " takes all breaches of the DPA very seriously ".

"Any organisation processing personal data must ensure that it is kept safe and secure.

"The ICO will be contacting ACS:Law to establish further facts of the case and to identify what action, if any, needs to be taken."

BSkyB is yet to make an official argument on the matter, but said it was investigating the breach.

The attack on ACS. Law is the current in a number of high-profile attacks by piracy activists.

Last week, hackers temporarily knocked out the websites of the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The attacks were declared on notorious message-board 4chan and were reportedly in retaliation for anti-piracy efforts against file-sharing websites.

Users of 4chan are known for online activism and direct action. "Operation Payback", as it was known, was reportedly revenge for the MPAA and RIAA's action against The Pirate Bay.

The group has declared it will continue to target other sites involved in anti online piracy activity.


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