Pirate Bay hits the road, angles for encryption


Piratbyrån and their hearties from The Pirate Bay are on a pan-European summer journey that will end at the Manifesta art biennial in Italy, but in the meantime they’ve been hard at work lobbying for total network encryption, a system that would protect users of a network (say, a P2P network) from deep packet inspection and other forms of activity analysis.

The system by which this will be achieved is called IPETEE, and it works by replacing the basic operating system network stack and doing all encryption and decryption itself. More details can be found in the IPETEE technical proposal.

Ars Technica pointed out numerous holes in the scheme, noting that most torrent apps already have encryption options. IPETEE applies to more than just torrents, though, so the larger problem is that encrypted packet still need source and destination IP addresses, meaning that one of the most crucial things you’d want to keep private (your destination site) is still accessible.

OiNK uploaders’ bail extended


The six people arrested by British authorities for uploading files to the OiNK torrent network, all out on bail, have had the period of their bail extended. Charged with conspiracy to defraud the music industry, the woman and five men as well as OiNK operator [Alan Ellis] have been ordered to report to the police on July 1st, where their bail will be formally extended for another 27 days. According to TorrentFreak, sources close to the case believe that the police are still building their criminal case, which accounts for the bail extensions. They could have civil charges levied against them, but current British Law cannot prosecute individuals for illegal filesharing unless it is done for profit.

Web based bittorrent support

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We recently came across a new bittorrent service called Torrent Relay that features an innovative yet simple function: it allows you to download torrents to web-enabled devices like the PlayStation 3 and iPhone. Torrent Relay works by having the user surf to their site using the web-enabled device and upload a local copy or enter the url of a torrent file. The file is downloaded as normal, only all the work happens on Torrent Relay servers. It works especially well with Mininova, using torrent IDs from the site instead of the torrent’s URL. Once Torrent Relay has the completed file it sends it to the web-enabled device. It is not without a few kinks, however, as it only seems to be able to download a single file from a torrent whether or not it contains more than one, and it has a size cap of 400MB for that file. That limit means you’re probably just going to be watching television and not grabbing ISOs, albums, or movies. Far from perfect, but how else are you supposed to watch Battlestar Gallactica on your iPhone?

OiNK Arrests


British authorities have reportedly begun arresting users of OiNK. Last week at least one person was arrested for seeding a single album on the now-defunct torrent index. The user was questioned by police and then released on bail.

Though it is not new for record companies to engage in civil action against users of filesharing networks, legal experts who have commented on the case are puzzled by what – if any – criminal charges can be filed against filesharing defendants. It is unknown if any further arrests have been made.