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Are UK Police Hacking File-Sharers' Computers? 177

superglaze writes "Following its takedown earlier this week of the music blog RnBXclusive, the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has claimed that "a number of site users have deleted their download histories" in response. Given that the site didn't host copyright-infringing files itself, how do they know? We've asked, but SOCA refuses to discuss its methods. A security expert has pointed out that, if they were hacking using Trojans, the police would themselves have been breaking the law. Added fun fact: SOCA readily admits that the scare message it showed visitors to the taken-down site was written 'with input from industry.'"
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Are UK Police Hacking File-Sharers' Computers?

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  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17, 2012 @04:09AM (#39071663)

    SOCA, How about a message from the people that pay you, "You are not above the law".

  • by deweyhewson ( 1323623 ) on Friday February 17, 2012 @04:10AM (#39071669)
    Never let the facts get in the way of good propaganda.
  • Commit or prevent? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17, 2012 @04:24AM (#39071723)
    These has been widespread suspicion that SOCA commits serious crimes. Whether it prevents them or captures the villains is also doubtful.
  • Serious? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Friday February 17, 2012 @04:33AM (#39071753) Homepage

    If SOCA, Serious Organised Crime Agency dealing with serious organized crime is fighting copyright infringement, then what is the agency called that deals with such things as mobsters, thieves, assassinations and illegal prostitution gangs? Those organized crimes aren't serious enough for SOCA? They sure are causing a lot more harm to the tax-payers.

  • by Nursie ( 632944 ) on Friday February 17, 2012 @04:33AM (#39071755)


    These cretins ought to be dealing with people traffickers, gang crime and other actual Serious Organised Crime.

    That they are taking down music sharing sites is ridiculous. The justification I heard recently was even more laughable. It was serious organised crime because it cost the record labels 15 million.

    Ah, record label mathematics, even better than cop math!

    I don't doubt that these sites are hives of illegal activity. What they are not is a serious threat to the British public, which SOCA should be concentrating on, not pissing into the wind trying to clamp down on piracy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17, 2012 @05:39AM (#39072025)

    What they did there was make a false allegation against him and anyone who downloaded music. He can't now get a fair trial because he's been accused of theft by the police publicly but they haven't brought a theft charge against him confirming it is a false claim.

    They prejudiced his trial.

    So what they need to do at this point is get back within the limits of the law, and stop propagandizing. The police have no place in society as a political campaign group.

    Also they need to recognize that RIAA now represents less than 30% of music sold, and that 2011 was the biggest year for music sales on record. Copyright infringement is copyright infringement, it's dealt with by copyright laws, not theft laws. The only input they should be seeking on a take down notice is LEGAL input on the LAWS as they stand in the UK. Nothing else.

    What will happen now, is those false claims they made will be used in court as evidence of police misrepresentation of evidence.

  • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Friday February 17, 2012 @06:01AM (#39072123) Journal

    ... it's legal, and you end up in jail

    When you hack cops' computers, it's illegal, and you end up in jail

    Head you lose, tail, you also lose

  • by Captain Hook ( 923766 ) on Friday February 17, 2012 @06:14AM (#39072177)

    Besides which, last I checked even the domain-specific js snoop didn't work anymore in FF or Chrome.

    Which to a clueless investigator who know that method once worked would look like everyone running the js script had deleted their histories because he wouldn't be getting any browser history hits.

  • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Friday February 17, 2012 @06:24AM (#39072225)

    Write them a letter if you are in the UK even. In fact, it'll probably be more effective.

    Personally for me, as a British citizen living in the UK, admittance by a police officer that my PC may have been hacked simply for visiting a site linked in a news article gives me all the justification I feel I need to submit a formal complaint to the IPCC and to my MP.

    Whether it has or not, and whether the officer knew what he was on about is neither here nor there, the fact he believes that it's legitimate policing needs to be stamped right out.

  • by dissy ( 172727 ) on Friday February 17, 2012 @07:45AM (#39072531)

    So basically their illegal shenanigans make the global news (including slashdot), and tens to hundreds of thousands of people world wide go clicking links in the article to see the take down notice.

    They interpret this as tens to hundreds of thousands of returning pirates, who must have cleared their cache and history!

    Now they get to claim the site was WAY more popular in members than it actually was, and some huge conspiracy is going on to keep them hidden and secret.

    In their minds, they are not doing anything wrong, and in fact are heros for this action.
    So why would anyone be upset at rights violations and want to see if the news stories are true?
    That's simply impossible. We are all long time members using the site to download trillions of songs, and we all clear our history daily to avoid getting caught, because their javascriptlet told them so.

    It's almost funny in a way

  • by BlueStrat ( 756137 ) on Friday February 17, 2012 @08:05AM (#39072621)

    It's simply not possible to stop it, or even slow it down that much.

    Sure you can. You underestimate the lengths they will go to.

    All they have to do, is to do away with the user-controlled general-purpose computer, the open internet, and any individual rights you were under the illusion of having.

    They're already well on the way to accomplishing all of those goals, while many cheer them on.


The relative importance of files depends on their cost in terms of the human effort needed to regenerate them. -- T.A. Dolotta