Everybody pirates: RIAA, Homeland Security caught downloading torrents

Summary:Since the release of a website that monitors nearly 20 percent of all public BitTorrent downloaders, even more pro-SOPA figures have been found downloading copyrighted material.

Earlier this week, it was found that employees of major copyright holders Sony, Universal, and Fox were all found to have illegally downloaded content through the BitTorrent network.

Today, two prominent figures in the online piracy fight were also found to be seemingly undoing all of their employers' hard work in the fight against online piracy

Perhaps it just goes to prove that everybody pirates?

(Source: ZDNet)

The Recording Industry of America (RIAA) is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Hollywood, working on behalf of the record industry. It's also one of the main proponents behind SOPA, the controversial anti-piracy act currently working its way through Congress.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does what it says on the tin. Part of its remit is to seize domain names controlled or managed by the U.S. government or U.S.-based firms to crack down on online piracy.

It would therefore be highly ironic should one find that employees of both the RIAA and the Dept. of Homeland Security should be found to be illegally downloading copyrighted material through peer-to-peer networks.

But the RIAA in particular will be feeling the heat when its workers arrive at the office on Monday morning.

According to TorrentFreak, entire series episodes have been downloaded from BitTorrent sites, as well as software, and even gangster-rap music by the music industry representative body.

Last week, one Russian website, YouHaveDownloaded, opened its doors as it claimed to track around 20 percent of all public torrent downloads. You can check your IP address -- as well as others -- against the database to see if you or prominent others are found illegally downloading copyrighted material.

From an search-engine optimisation (SEO) perspective, Stephen Chapman discussed how users who wish to remain anonymous -- and potentially out of the public eye of this site -- can do so when downloading content from the web.

Considering it's the RIAA who wants to disconnect pirates from the web, I suppose it shows that almost everyone is at risk from SOPA should the bill go through -- even one of the key outfits pushing for the bill.

Though over 200,000 people work for the Dept. for Homeland Security, it is no surprise that at least someone within the government department is downloading content illegally.

But one person alone can shame the collective entity, and any 'breach' like this would be vital ammunition for anti-SOPA advocates.

Related:

Also read:

Topics: Government : US, Government

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.