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Canada Piracy The Media

NewsCorp/NDS Sets Up Operation To Expose Canadian Pirates; What Could Go Wrong? 95

Posted by timothy
from the boarding-eh dept.
Presto Vivace writes "Murdoch's Pirates is a business book that reads like a thriller. The chapter excerpted in the Sydney Morning Herald explains how Operation Duck, an effort to discover the identify Canadian pay TV pirates, went horribly wrong. 'By October 25 Oliver had been in Toronto four days and had programmed a swag of pirate cards, using a program he had ripped off another pirate hack. And he had been paid a lot of money. That evening, he met with two piracy dealers in a car and programmed a few cards for them with his portable programmer box, to demonstrate that it worked. The following night Oliver received a call from a friend in London, a partner in his old piracy ring, who was sleeping with a woman who worked for Federal Express. 'He told me, these guys [from the previous night] sent a parcel to Larry Rissler,' Oliver recalls. Rissler was a former FBI agent who headed the Office of Signal Integrity—the operational security division—of DirecTV, and he had been hunting Oliver for some time. One of the dealers Oliver had met was a Rissler informant and he had despatched a re-programmed smartcard by FedEx to his boss. The parcel would be with Rissler early the next morning—if it wasn't already there.' The story reads like some perverse blend of James Bond and the Pink Panther. It is just amazing."
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NewsCorp/NDS Sets Up Operation To Expose Canadian Pirates; What Could Go Wrong?

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  • Reading TFS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by oodaloop (1229816) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @10:26AM (#41817663)

    The story reads like some perverse blend of James Bond and the Pink Panther.

    Well, TFS reads like a chinese instruction manual. What the hell? Piracy dealers? Discover the identify?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by mcmonkey (96054)

      The story reads like some perverse blend of James Bond and the Pink Panther.

      Well, TFS reads like a chinese instruction manual. What the hell? Piracy dealers? Discover the identify?

      Apparently my mod points didn't survive Sandy, so QFT.

    • by crazyjj (2598719) *

      Reading the summary, I'm reminded of numerous scenes in "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" where someone tries to read Charlie's dyslexic writings.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @10:44AM (#41817917)

      loose translation:

      Dude X was selling counterfit decoder rings.

      Mr Man McManniman wasn't happy about this and so orchastrated a cunning plan to catch him, Operation: DUCK

      Operation: DUCK was foiled by Dude X's super sexy cohort, Hennry "The Horn" Hornison, when he managed to seduce a Delivery one, Miss Baggage.

      Miss Baggage had information that Phil Squealer, who Dude X had recently met and shown his ring making device to, had sent a ring to Mr McManniman...

      Can Dude X get to the package before it's opened?

      Will The Horn manage to handle anymore baggage?

      Why exactly is Mr Man McManniman so manly?

      Find out in next weeks thrilling installment of "Meglomaniacs Eye Patch!!!"

      • by mcmonkey (96054)

        loose translation:

        Dude X was selling counterfit decoder rings.

        Mr Man McManniman wasn't happy about this and so orchastrated a cunning plan to catch him, Operation: DUCK

        Operation: DUCK was foiled by Dude X's super sexy cohort, Hennry "The Horn" Hornison, when he managed to seduce a Delivery one, Miss Baggage.

        Miss Baggage had information that Phil Squealer, who Dude X had recently met and shown his ring making device to, had sent a ring to Mr McManniman...

        Can Dude X get to the package before it's opened?

        Will The Horn manage to handle anymore baggage?

        Why exactly is Mr Man McManniman so manly?

        Find out in next weeks thrilling installment of "Meglomaniacs Eye Patch!!!"

        Punchline: Be sure to drink your Ovaltine.

    • by CdBee (742846)
      Agreed, worst-written article I've seen in a long time. More to the point the link is to an excerpt that required a lot of prior knowledge of the case - where I find myself coming up short.
  • Just Amazing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Antipater (2053064) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @10:26AM (#41817667)
    I don't read many thrillers - does this really qualify as the kind of writing that is "amazing"? It looks to me like a contest entry to write the word "piracy" as many times as possible in a single paragraph.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      He's just trying to pirate the smurfs with his piracy of the word piracy in the piracy. What's piracy with that?
    • by Chickan (1070300)
      He must be trying to win a Rory, you know, for the most gratuitous use of the word "Belgium", err "Piracy", in a series screen play.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    So, this is a work of fiction then?

    Or are they saying things like, "The Liberal pirates who like to steal from the job creators...."

    How many of these pirates had their phones tapped?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @10:29AM (#41817727)

    had programmed a swag of pirate cards

    Are we talking about children's card games here?

  • by gallondr00nk (868673) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @10:30AM (#41817737)

    Is a synopsis of a story that reads like a cocaine monologue.

  • What went wrong? (Score:5, Informative)

    by hawguy (1600213) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @10:31AM (#41817749)

    I read the summary twice, and skimmed the (long) article it links to, but couldn't figure out what went so horribly wrong. Did 007 capture the SPECTRE bad guys?

    • I don't know what the happened there either, but I think this from TFA says all we need to know:

      Toronto is a mean town when you're looking for a bolthole. The operation was blown, and the agent was running. No ordered retreat here—this was panicked flight, strung out on adrenaline. Far beyond the threshold of fear and desperation, it is when the quarry knows his pursuers are close and all he wants in life is a place to go to ground.
      -Fairfax reporter Neil Chenoweth.

      This kind of gawful prose can only happen when you force a writer who didn't make the cut into a job reviewing books.

      • Toronto is a mean town when you're looking for a bolthole.

        I usually look for a bolthole in the center of a nut.

        • by CdBee (742846)
          For there ain't no Bolthole in all the world
          Like that dear little Bolthole of mine.
  • by dryriver (1010635) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @10:31AM (#41817761)
    Murdoch's NewsCorp makes Billions of Dollars in Profit/Revenues a year, and is one of the largest media companies in the world. Yet NewsCorp only pays about 4% in Taxes on all this income, thanks to an intricate network of hundreds of shell-companies in tax havens like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. Article to back this up: http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/276-74/6796-focus-pay-your-taxes-murdoch [readersupportednews.org] ---- So, Rupert Murdoch, perhaps you should pay your taxes properly before you go after anyone for "Piracy"? You owe multiple governments and territories hundreds of millions of Dollars in back taxes. --- Perhaps you should clean up your "Tax Piracy", before you go after hapless individuals for "Content Piracy"? --- Better yet, run your "archconservative" NewsCorp dinosaur biz into the ground for good, so more ethical, talented, objective news and content producers can fill the gap you leave in the market.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Murdoch's NewsCorp makes Billions of Dollars in Profit/Revenues a year, and is one of the largest media companies in the world. Yet NewsCorp only pays about 4% in Taxes on all this income, thanks to an intricate network of hundreds of shell-companies in tax havens like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

      So you're saying they are 100% in compliance with the law and are paying all their taxes?

      I'm more concerned with the Obama aides in the White House [investors.com] who owe back taxes. They all have security clearances, and an adversary could use that as leverage to extract intelligence or other favors.

      • I'm more concerned with the Obama aides in the White House [investors.com] who owe back taxes. They all have security clearances, and an adversary could use that as leverage to extract intelligence or other favors.

        You can't be blackmailed with public knowledge. "We'll tell your friends about you back taxes if you don't give us this document!"

        "Uh... that's on my website. What next, you're going to threaten to spill the beans on my porn collection?"

    • Profit and revenues are NOT the same thing. The article you linked to seemed to indicate that all of the tax avoidance (even thought they called it tax dodging) was perfectly legal. If that is the case, then your problem is not with NewsCorp, but with the politicians who wrote the tax loopholes that they take advantage of.
  • They would know.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @10:42AM (#41817897)

    After all, NewsCorp seems to have funded the design, manufacture, and distribution of hacked cards to bring down British DTV competition. (And were successful. Poor ITV) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17494723

    Not to mention illegally listening to voicemail...

    Maybe they should cut their piracy out first.

  • So the chick is a mole scanning millioms of incming packages a day?

    Crook: I just reorpgeammed cards for x and y.

    Guy on other end of phone in bed in London: Cool! Hey honey, he just reprogrammed cards for x and y.

    Crook: Telling your gf? Cool.

    GF: Those names sound familiar. While 10,000 packages whipped by on my shift tonight, I glimpsed their name on one. It was going to...hmmm...to person z.

    A little convenent.

  • Still... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    ...a better love story than Twilight.
  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @11:20AM (#41818347) Homepage
    AIUI, the unidentified (in the summary) Oliver was an ex-hacker working for NDS - the summary, such as it is, would lead to believe he was still an active hacker being pursued by this Rissler guy. Rissler didn't know he was NDS, and no-one at NDS seemed to want to tell him, hence the shenanigans.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @11:30AM (#41818475)

    Murdoch's NewsCorp was caught pirating DirectTV's cards. Claiming it was done by their NDS subsidiary, and was really to benefit Direct TV, misses the fact that NewsCorp and DirectTV were rivals in cable TV.

    Murdoch did it to damage Direct TVs business, it was behind the pirating to make selling Direct TV cards not worthwhile to sell.

    Proving you can program a card, doesn't get you an in with other people who can program cards. It makes you a competitor, a rival, someone who might like to rat them out at the first meeting. So this version of events doesn't make sense.

    1. The basic premis that Oliver was programming cards to get an in with other card programmers. Doesn't make sense.
    2. The girlfriend who has access to Fedex computers and tracks all packages and happens to known enough to make a connection. That doesn't make sense.
    3. The argument that Oliver ran from Direct TV because DirectTV wasn't 'trustworthy'... garbage. If he really had been investigating pirates, he'd hand over his info to DirectTV and they be fully behind him, and they're certainly not connected to the pirates of their own cards.
    4. The claims that NDS only knew him as 'Alex', why would they need to keep deniability if he was legit? Again bollocks.

    So what we have here is a work of fiction, to try to make News Corp look like good guys, at a time when they've been caught hacking phones.

    What they did was simple, their subsidiary had a contract to make cards and had been bought out by Murdoch, they then pirated DirectTVs cards to try to drive out their competitors. They hid the links between their card subsidiary and their pirate. He got caught.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @11:43AM (#41818639)

      In 2002, Canal Plus accused NDS of extracting the UserROM code from the MediaGuard cards and leaking it onto the internet.[15] According to The Guardian, the NDS laboratory in Haifa, Israel had been working on breaking the SECA-produced MediaGuard smartcards used by Canal+, ITV Digital and other non-Murdoch-owned TV companies throughout Europe. Canal Plus brought a $3 billion lawsuit against NDS but later dropped the action. News Corporation agreed to buy Canal Plus's struggling Italian operation Telepiu.[16][17]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NDS_Group

      "On 26 March 2012, the BBC programme Panorama broadcast that NDS employed computer hacking to undermine the business of ONDigital.[19] At the time, ONDigital was the primary TV rival in Britain of BSkyB, a News Corporation company. The accusations arise from emails obtained by the BBC, and an interview with Lee Gibling, the operator of a hacking website, who claims he was paid up to £60,000 per year by Ray Adams, NDS head of security.[20] UK broadcasting watchdog Ofcom is to investigate these claims.[21] These claims are vigorously denied by NDS and NewsCorp.[22]"

      • Following that link and looking around a bit, this whole story is still unravelling through the courts in several countries.
        From the FA: Twelve months later, Alex's offsider in Germany would be dead . . . That was "Tron"? His death made the news in Germany. At the time I thought the whole thing was simply too far-fetched but some of the other documents on the Net offer pointers to it being murder. News International has broken the law in several countries but a murder would be a new dimension.

  • fueling each other.
    This kind of positive feedback loop is not James Bond, it's Spy vs. Spy. [youtube.com]
  • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki@gmail . c om> on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @02:34PM (#41820705) Homepage

    Where DTV is effectively illegal...and you wonder why piracy is rampant on this stuff.

    http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/h_sf05562.html [ic.gc.ca]

    • No, no it isn't. It's not illegal to pirate Dish or DirectTV. It becomes illegal when you try to decrypt Bell or Starchoice signals. If you can, you can even subscribe to an American sat provider if you can convince them to sell you their service. You need an US address.

      Mind you, the RCMP has done a great in shutting down a lot of dealers in the gray market, because these devices are CAPABLE of getting Canadian sat provider signals illegally. Lots of choicr in the past. nagra3 may it harder as well.

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        No, no it isn't. It's not illegal to pirate Dish or DirectTV.

        You might want to go take a look at that there thing called the criminal code. Here, let me help.

        326. (1) Every one commits theft who fraudulently, maliciously, or without colour of right,

        (a) abstracts, consumes or uses electricity or gas or causes it to be wasted or diverted; or

        (b) uses any telecommunication facility or obtains any telecommunication service.

        Definition of "telecommunication"

        (2) In this section and section 327, telecommunication means any transmission, emission or reception of signs, signals, writing, images or sounds or intelligence of any nature by wire, radio, visual or other electromagnetic system.

        and

        327. (1) Every one who, without lawful excuse, the proof of which lies on him, manufactures, possesses, sells or offers for sale or distributes any instrument or device or any component thereof, the design of which renders it primarily useful for obtaining the use of any telecommunication facility or service, under circumstances that give rise to a reasonable inference that the device has been used or is or was intended to be used to obtain the use of any telecommunication facility or service without payment of a lawful charge therefor, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
        Marginal note:Forfeiture

        (2) Where a person is convicted of an offence under subsection (1) or paragraph 326(1)(b), any instrument or device in relation to which the offence was committed or the possession of which constituted the offence, on such conviction, in addition to any punishment that is imposed, may be ordered forfeited to Her Majesty, whereupon it may be disposed of as the Attorney General directs.
        Marginal note:Limitation

        (3) No order for forfeiture shall be made under subsection (2) in respect of telephone, telegraph or other communication facilities or equipment owned by a person engaged in providing telephone, telegraph or other communication service to the public or forming part of the telephone, telegraph or other communication service or system of such a person by means of which an offence under subsection (1) has been committed if such person was not a party to the offence.

        • Nope. That's why it's still a GRAY-market. There was even Supreme Court decision supporting this (you can look it up, since you have some cool googling skills).

          Show me a case where a CANADIAN citizen has prosecuted by a CANADIAN court for infringing against Dish and DirectTV. Lots of a default decisions in US courts for Canadians running sites, HW vendors and against US citizens pirating. Spend some time on http://satscams.com/ [satscams.com] to stay up to date. Usually Canadians get hammered (by the Canadian governm

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