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shamu726 posted a topic in FileSharing NewsThe MPA, Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, Homeland Security's National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center and other groups have signed an agreement to collaborate on content protection efforts and launch a new public awareness campaign to deter citizens from engaging in IPTV, general streaming, and torrent-based piracy. In 2017, the MPA joined forces with dozens of entertainment industry companies to form the huge anti-piracy coalition Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE). Two years later, the MPA bolstered its already considerable ranks with the addition of Netflix, an existing ACE member. Together with Amazon, the Hollywood studios and their partners are now engaged in legal action to bring down as many piracy platforms as they can, with a focus on IPTV and streaming. Thus far, however, ACE and MPA actions have lacked a visible or obvious connection to law enforcement and government entities. A corresponding, coordinated public awareness aspect has been missing too but that all changed this week with the announcement of yet more partnerships at a very high level. MPA and Partners Sign MoU With ICE IPR Center Late Wednesday, Homeland Security’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that its IPR Center, the MPA, ACE, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center plus industry marketing group CTAM, had formed a broad coalition to pool their content protection efforts. During what is described as a virtual ceremony, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by Derek N. Benner, Executive Associate Director for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Karyn Temple, Senior Executive Vice President and Global General Counsel for the MPA. The stated aim of the new partnership is to use the combined resources of the groups to support Homeland Security Investigations and the IPR Center’s digital piracy investigations, including resource and information sharing with external anti-piracy groups. “Now more than ever, collaboration and partnerships between content creative industries and law enforcement agencies are essential to combat digital piracy and protect consumers,” Benner said. “Through this partnership, the IPR Center and its private sector partners will implement an aggressive multi-layered strategy to restore the digital ecosystem, educate consumers on the dangers of illegal streaming, enforce the nation’s intellectual property rights laws, and dismantle criminal enterprises that operate on the internet – thinking they are untouchable and above the law.” Public Awareness Campaign Alongside the signing of the MoU, the new coalition also launched a brand new public service awareness campaign. While the anti-piracy groups and law enforcement bodies tackle large-scale pirates using legal mechanisms, they hope to convince consumers of illicit content – who keep these services alive – to stop using them. Via the new ‘StreamSafely‘ portal, it’s hoped that the visual entertainment industries can convince mainly IPTV and streaming users to stop frequenting pirate services. The approach will come as no surprise. MALWARE! MALWARE! MALWARE! After perhaps growing more than a little bit tired of attempting to get pirates to think of the creators, the latest trend is to get pirates to think of themselves. The main goal of this campaign is no different and the StreamSafely portal is neck-deep in warnings about malware. Indeed, there are a number of videos, presented by TV host and journalist Katie Linendoll, among others, claiming that signing up to a piracy site or service is a dangerous thing to do. If users want their machines infected, bank details, social security numbers, and indeed their entire identities stolen by criminals, piracy is the way to go, the site claims again and again. But will consumers find the message credible? While the message is nothing new and may have some merits in certain circumstances, the alleged scale of the problem isn’t supported by much evidence. While the campaign links to various reports that claim malware is a problem, the site nor these linked papers provide any hard specifics to support the numerous claims. PSA’s are designed to be simple and easy to consume but many tech-savvy consumers aren’t easily swayed. This could be countered by providing precise evidence and specifics of malware and identity theft in relation to pirate platforms. It would also send a powerful message if malicious services were actually named alongside details of what they have supposed to have done. To date, this hasn’t happened. Nor have there been any efforts to explain the precise mechanisms through which these alleged dangers manifest themselves. Taking this important step would build confidence that the campaign is about protecting consumers, not just copyright holders. It would also have the desired deterrent effect. There are literally no downsides. The Campaign Does Have its Merits There are certain aspects of the StreamSafely campaign that aren’t up for debate. Given their very nature, legal services such as Netflix are absolutely safe to use and users can be very confident indeed that any personal or financial information provided to the platform won’t be criminally abused. The other issue, and this is a big one, is the unreliable nature of the illicit streaming market, particularly IPTV. Experienced users of such services tend to dig in their heels at this point and argue that they have few problems, but most consumers aren’t so savvy. Services do go down and people do lose money, sometimes considerable amounts. “Seemingly inexpensive piracy devices, apps or websites often get shut down for distributing pirated content, leaving users in the lurch,” the campaign says. It’s a message that will resonate with thousands of IPTV and app-based pirates whose services have disappeared and taken their money. The malware angle needs much more work. Next Post Source: TorrentFreak
Late last night, an email leaked to advocacy group Fight For The Future detailed how Github—the code repository Microsoft bought last year for $7.5 billion—would be renewing its contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency at the forefront of carrying out the Trump administration’s xenophobic war on immigrants that’s left at least seven children dead and tens of thousands more in cages. As corporations are wont to do, Github issued a blog post to respond to this unfavorable and now-public information by stressing just how much Github absolutely hates renewing the contract for the Github Enterprise Server license it was under no obligation to renew (but did anyway)! In his own words, here’s Github CEO Nat Friedman (emphasis ours throughout): Like many Hubbers, I strongly disagree with many of the current administration’s immigration policies, including the practice of separating families at the border, the Muslim travel ban, and the efforts to dismantle the DACA program that protects people brought to the U.S. as children without documentation. The leadership team shares these views. These policies run counter to our values as a company, and to our ethics as people. We have spoken out as a company against these practices, and joined with other companies in protesting them. Oh, so Microsoft must have twisted Githubs arm on this one— Our parent company, Microsoft, has also publicly opposed these same policies. Weird decision to renew this contract then, if both Github and its owner think the agency it’s selling access to is morally compromised and actively carrying out a racist agenda. Who knows, maybe this contract was lucrative and the silver lining is that the money will go towards ending climate change or something. Both the original purchase, as well as the recent renewal, were made through one of our reseller partners. The revenue from the purchase is less than $200,000 and not financially material for our company. Now I’m truly confused. Is anyone else confused? We will donate $500,000—in excess of the value of the purchase by ICE—to nonprofit organizations working to support immigrant communities targeted by the current administration. Hallmarks of the moral high ground: enabling the exact groups you publicly oppose for negative returns. GitHub does not have a professional services agreement with ICE, and GitHub is not consulting with ICE on any of their projects or initiatives. GitHub has no visibility into how this software is being used, other than presumably for software development and version control. They’re really torn up about this, guys. While ICE does manage immigration law enforcement, including the policies that both GitHub and Microsoft are on record strongly opposing, they are also on the front lines of fighting human trafficking, child exploitation, terrorism and transnational crime, gang violence, money laundering, intellectual property theft, and cybercrime ... [the on-premises GitHub Enterprise Server license] could be used in projects that support policies we both agree and disagree with. ...just absolutely sickened to be a part of this ecosystem of nativist family separation. As a matter of principle, we believe the appropriate way to advocate for our values in a democracy is to use our corporate voice, and not to unplug technology services when government customers use them to do things to which we object. Unplugging technology services is one of the few major tools a technology company has at its disposal to oppose the misuse of that technology. One could almost assume Github and Microsoft are not entirely serious in their stance against ICE. Our voice is heard better by policymakers when we have a seat at the table. When you consider Microsoft actively seeks—and makes considerable revenue from—government contracts, the math of a -$300,000 agreement with a loathsome agency in exchange for “a seat at the table” makes a lot more sense. Microsoft does not want to be seen as directly profiting off concentration camps where dozens have already died in U.S. custody. It also doesn’t want to oppose those detention centers vociferously enough to lose contracts to competitors that are less sickened by the business opportunity presented by blood and soil nationalism. This isn’t solely my read on Github’s limp response, it’s also the opinion of several of the company’s employees who saw fit to write a response to Friedman’s blog post. As their letter, obtained by the Washington Post, states: GitHub has held a “seat at the table” for over 2 years, as these illegal and dehumanizing policies have escalated, with little to show for it. Continuing to hold this contract does not improve our bargaining power with ICE. All it does is make us complicit in their widespread human rights abuses. We cannot offset human lives with money. There is no donation that can offset the harm that ICE is perpetrating with the help of our labor. Source