Download Busts

When someone gets tapped for illegal downloads (be it ch!/d pr()n, pirated music & movies, whatever), how exactly do the authorities know who is downloading what?

Like, does some FBI agent have some ch!/d pr()n or pirated movie available for download via some filesharing service, and he watches the ISPs of who’s downloading and he goes from there?

Or do the authorities attempt to download and go after the providers of the illegal content, like, say, some 16-year-old with 10,000 pirated songs or some perv with ch!/d pr()n?

NOTE: Standard disclaimers apply. You are not my lawyer, I am not your client, blah blah blah. ANOTHER NOTE: I am most definitely NOT asking how to illegally download any content, or advocating for the illegal downloading of content, or how to evade the law so that I CAN download illegal conent, or any such thing. Gah.

Generally, people get busted due to chatroom stings – FBI agents pretending to been children or child porn providers – or because someone stumbles onto a cache of it on someone else’s computer. Usually if someone is chatting up a minor, he has child porn on his computer; the police can get a warrant to search it.

There have also been cases where authorities traced credit cards of people who signed up at child porn sites (usually when they go after the owners of the site).

You keep using that strange phrase (emphasis added). Do you perhaps mean child porn? Is there some reason you’re afraid to write it?

Did you read the rest of his post?

btw: terrorism bombs jihad 9/11 hi feds, thanks for reading!

It would appear that ch!/d pr()n is even more dangerous than child porn. You don’t want to get involved in that stuff.

Would someone actually sign up for ch!/d pr()n (man, that is hard to write) with their own credit card? That seems pretty boneheaded.

I’ve known people who would have bought weed on credit cards if they could. They understood that it was illegal, but it’s not, like, really illegal illegal, you know?


I thought it was standard netiquette to deliberately misspell “porn.” Something to do with searches, or something.

And here I was hoping the thread would instruct me on how I could download say a bust of Homer to my computer and have some sort of automatic sculpting machine reproduce it for me.

My brother was busted by the RIAA for illegal downloads. They tracked it through a glich in Limewire, or so they say. He ended up paying over $3000, they originally wanted over $60,000.

When i got busted, it was for UPLOADING a copy of Norton AV or something, via a p2p system.

I had downloaded it, it went into my share/upload folder (as is how it usually works), someone from Norton went out to find who was sharing it, they connected to my IP to download it, and I was snagged.

All that happened was that presumably Norton looked up who owned the IP, contacted Adelphia, Adelphia matched my name up with the IP, and shut me down.

I then called Adelphia to figure why I was shut down, and the tech I spoke with said “er, holdon” and transferred me to their security department where someone explained that I had been caught uploading. While it wasn’t their policy to give my name to the party who I had pissed off (Norton), it was their policy to shut us off for a bit.

They basically told me not to do it again, sent a big packet of rules in the mail, and turned me on again shortly thereafter.

P2P: There are a few methods here. Usually the police arent involved as its a civil matter. So lets say you host a torrent for a movie. Well, the media company that defends its copyright joins the torrent and logs all the IPs uploading data. They then send a DMCA notice to their ISP which will reveal who you are to them so they can begin the lawsuit.

Data illegal to even possess: Stuff like porn featuring minors are managed by the police as it is a criminal matter, not a civil one. They may infiltrate a ring, host materials with alluring file names but no criminal content, receive tips, insert trojans on targets, etc.

Sorry Im a bit new to this site and dont like reading… but can someone please truthfully answer a quick question I have? It does not protean to “child porn” what so ever. However, I would like to know if whatever music I download from lets say “the pirate bay” can be tracked to me and would I get arrested? I am a “senior seeder” but I never heard of the police watching who is torrent downloading at the time of downloads… Is that true? Can I get arrested for music and are they currently watching who seeds and downloads? Even for past downloads? :eek:

The copyright infringement of which you speak is unlikely to be treated as a criminal matter in most jurisdictions, so no, the police probably aren’t going to be tracking your downloads. However, if someone brings a civil suit for copyright infringement against the server, a court could compel them to turn over their records to the prosecution. These records might include a list of IPs and what they downloaded or uploaded. The prosecution might then identify the ISPs responsible for these IPs, and in turn subpoena their records. And those records might show that your computer was using a certain IP at a certain time, thereby implicating you in the alleged copyright infringement. The prosecution might then elect to join you to the case as a defendant, or launch a separate case against you. Again, this is all likely to be handled in civil, not criminal, court, so you are unlikely to be arrested (unless it’s for contempt of court). Most likely you will just be threatened with bankruptcy if you don’t come to some “agreement” to “compensate” the copyright holders for their “loss”.

Do you know whether they just did it by the server records, or did they actually search his computer? All my stuff is encrypted, so if they have to actually find stuff in my possession, I think I’m OK (the post-it note with the password fell off the desk, and my dog ate it).

And technically, isn’t anyone who uses a torrent of any kind an uploader? I thought it’s just part of the software that you send pieces back and forth to fellow downloaders.

Anyone know if all you do is download from file hosting services (e.g. Hotfile or Rapidshare), and never upload anything, are you safe?

Generally, the RIAA and similar have a company that trolls for music to download. (There’s some controversy about this too, because in some jurisdictions to collect evidence for a lawsuit etc. you need to be a liensed private investigator, which this company was not.) They download stuff, collect the names of the files and IP addresses, and pass it on to the RIAA (or for movies, the MPAA).

In recent cases, some law firms have taken it upon themselves to chase down copyright holders and offer to sue on their behalf. One law firm in DC, IIRC, has sued thousands of John Does all over the country with one court case.

So almost never do they sue for downloads - just for uploads. Of course, for items like movies, where you use bit torrent, you are sharing for others to upload while you download. Even programs like Limewire will put your downloads into your share folder, so you may be sharing anyway; some of the programs indexed your entire drive to share all mp3’s unless you changed the settings. So you may be sharing unintentionally. That does not matter.

The RIAA etc. operate an extortion racket where they ask the ISP for who owns that IP record. Often, this is reliable information, so it’s not very often they sue a dead person, or a grandmother for downloading rap music. They offer a deal - pay us now, or go to court. As mentioned above, $3000 is a lot of money, but the current laws have been bought and paid for by RIAA/MPAA lobbyists and the penalties can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, plus tens of thousands for a lawyer (whether you win or not).

SOme ISP’s fight back and demand a subpoena to release your name. No problem, they file a “John Doe” suit - as mentioned above, they file one case ($350 for one filing fee) for thousands of Does together. A tame judge will sign the subpoena and they ask the ISP for your name, then drop the one Doe suit and refile against just you, and a couple hundred others whose names they got. If they had to file individually for every Doe at $350 then the extortion might not pay; but in blatant violation of civil procedure, most judges have not called them on this.

Once you are named, if you do not show up in court they get a summary judgement - you must pay, without the effort of them actually prsenting much of a case. If you fight back (Google “Jammie Thomas”) then they can do discovery, and this is when they can ask to see examine your hard drive etc. This is discovery for a civil suit, not the FBI breaking into your house and grabbing things. Ms. Thomas was blatantly guilty, but lied, wiped her hard drive, etc. They have date stamps, they can tell if the music was downloaded or ripped, and if it is different from what they downloaded. Keep in mind the “Oscar Wilde principle” - if you are guilty, it’s pretty stupid to demand to go to court. The only thing holding back Ms. Thomas now is that the judge has felt that hundreds of thousants in fines is inappropriate, despite what the law says.

Keep in mind this is a civil lawsuit, not a criminal trial. (Although they have recently bought an paid for the congresscritters to make such action criminal, thereby empowering the FBI to do their investigations for them for free.) In a civil trial, it’s whoever has the preponderance of evidence. They don’t have to prove beyond reasonable doubt you did it. They just have to prove you did so better than you can prove you didn’t. In civil suits, judges have seen ever weasel story - the “but I didn’t” convoluted excuses you pulled on your parents or teacher won’t work on the judge.
Child porn is a different matter - anything sexual and under 18 is a criminal offense (and if you are not sure it qualifies, do you want a public trial to find out for sure?) with severe consequences, inculding registering as a sex offender for the rest of your life.

The title of this thread is ambiguous at least three ways. I saw two when I decided to click it: was it a way of downloading busts (such as the bust of Homer mentioned above, although I had other kinds in mind) or was it a problem with downloading when the pipe broke. When I opened it, I learned the third interpretation.

Reading is kind of necessary for an all text message board. :slight_smile:

Punctuation and paragraph breaks also highly encouraged.

As to your question, technically, yes. Seeders are caught far more often than leeches. It’s a numbers game first and foremost…seeders have more shared files uploading at any given time, and seeding is going to be easier to trace and track.

So don’t do it…at least on a network which you don’t control completely, i.e. university, work, your parents house.



Mike’s not here, man.