Freedom of speach

CISA: the dirty deal between Google and the NSA that no one is talking about

One of the things that civil liberties activists like to lament about is that the general public seems to care more about Google and Facebook using their personal data to target advertising than the government using it to target drone strikes.

The reality is that both types of abuse are dangerous, and they work hand in hand.

It’s hard to find a more perfect example of this collusion than in a bill that’s headed for a vote soonin the U.S. Senate: the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA.

CISA is an out and out surveillance bill masquerading as a cybersecurity bill. It won’t stop hackers. Instead, it essentially legalizes all forms of government and corporate spying.

Here’s how it works. Companies would be given new authority to monitor their users — on their own systems as well as those of any other entity — and then, in order to get immunity from virtually all existing surveillance laws, they would be encouraged to share vaguely defined “cyber threat indicators” with the government. This could be anything from email content, to passwords, IP addresses, or personal information associated with an account. The language of the bill is written to encourage companies to share liberally and include as many personal details as possible.

That information could then be used to further exploit a loophole in surveillance laws that gives the government legal authority for their holy grail — “upstream” collection of domestic data directly from the cables and switches that make up the Internet.

Thanks to Edwards Snowden, we know that the NSA, FBI, and CIA have already been conducting this type of upstream surveillance on suspected hackers. CISA would give the government tons of new domestic cyber threat indicators to use for their upstream collection of information that passes over the Internet. This means they will be gathering not just data on the alleged threat, but also all of the sensitive data that may have been hacked as part of the threat. So if someone hacks all of Gmail, the hacker doesn’t just get those emails, so does the U.S. government.

The information they gather, including all the hacked data and any incidental information that happens to get swept up in the process, would be added to massive databases on people in the U.S. and all over the world that the FBI, CIA, and NSA are free to query at their leisure. This is how CISA would create a huge expansion of the “backdoor” search capabilities that the government uses to skirt the 4th Amendment and spy on Internet users without warrants and with virtually no oversight.

All of this information can be passed around the government and handed down to local law enforcement to be used in investigations that have nothing to do with cyber crime, without requiring them to ever pull a warrant. So CISA would give law enforcement a ton of new data with which to prosecute you for virtually any crime while simultaneously protecting the corporations that share the data from prosecution for any crimes possibly related to it.

There’s little hope for ever challenging this system in court because you’ll never know if your private information has been shared under CISA or hoovered up under a related upstream collection. In a particularly stunning display of shadyness, the bill specifically exempts all of this information from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act or any state, local, or tribal law.

The members of Congress who are pushing hardest for the bill, unsurprisingly, have taken more than twice as much money from the defense industry than those who are opposing it. These politicians claim that CISA is intended to beef up U.S. cybersecurity and stop foreign hackers from ruining everything, but, as their funders in the defense industry know well, it will really just give the government more data and create new opportunities for contractors to sell their data analysis services.

The world’s cybersecurity experts say that CISA won’t stop cyber attacks, but it will create a gaping loophole for law enforcement agencies from the NSA right down to your local police departmentto access people’s private information without a warrant. Systems like this have chilling effects on our willingness to be ourselves and speak openly on the Internet, which threatens our most basic rights.

The Internet makes a lot of good things possible, but it also makes it possible for corporations and governments to exploit us in ways they never could before. The debate over CISA is not about hackers, or China, or cybersecurity — it’s about whether we want to further normalize ubiquitous monitoring, warrantless surveillance, and unfettered manipulation of our vulnerabilities, or if we want to protect the Internet as a promising platform for freedom and self expression.

Sydney Lindt Cafe siege: ISIS have declared war, it is now our time to declare war on them!

ISIS, with what they have done in Australia, is a call to arms! We can no longer afford. to sit on our asses watching our militarizes unsuccessfully, attack ISIS militants, from the air, it is in fact time to send in our troops, and kill every last one of these cultists of death. And as for us in The UK, now is the time to to deal with the Islamist s in out own country, we sit ideally by and watch them try and pull our democracy apart, and we do nothing, well the time has come to deal with radicalization of the Islamic youth and either deport these people, or put them in prison, we must no longer give in to the teachings of Islam, the burka and all other face covering clothing must be banned, the continued expansion of mosques must be stooped, and they must all be treated as if they are the enemy until we rid this and all other countries of radical Islam. As Sir Winston Churchill said the days of appeasement can no longer be allowed to continue.

Hostages display Islamic flag as up to 13 people are held by armed man

The building the café is in also contains a number of state government bodies

Up to 13 people were being held hostage by at least one armed man in a chocolate shop and café in Sydney, according to reports.

Staff and customers were forced to hold what appeared to be a black Islamic flag against the window of the Lindt Chocolat Café, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The flag is believed to be the Shahada, which carries a message that is translates as: “There is no deity of worship except God (Allah), and Muhammad is the messenger of God.”

“The police operation is underway, urging people to avoid the area while it’s under way,” a police spokesman told

Armed police officers were seen outside the café with their guns drawn, and a man with a backpack inside the cafe could be seen walking back and forth in front of the glass doors. The building it is in contains a number of state government bodies.

Police closed roads in the area and also stopped some trains from running after the alert was raised at about 9.45am on Monday local time. The newsroom at broadcaster Channel7, which is about 30 metres away, was evacuated.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s office released a statement: “New South Wales Police and the Australian Federal Police are currently responding to a reported hostage-taking incident in Martin Place in Sydney.

Police closed roads in the area and also stopped some trains from running after the alert was raised at about 9.45am on Monday local time.Police closed roads in the area and also stopped some trains from running after the alert was raised at about 9.45am on Monday local time.

“I have spoken with NSW Premier Mike Baird and offered him all possible Commonwealth support and assistance.

“The National Security Committee of Cabinet has also convened for briefings on the situation.”

“This is chilling,” said Kylie Gillies, host of Channel7’s The Morning Show as she watched events from the studio.

Her colleague Shelly Horton, a journalist with the station, tweeted: “Terrifying siege in Martin Place. Those poor hostages. My @themorningshowon7 @sunriseon7 friends have been evacuated.”

There were varying estimates of the number of people inside the story from as few as four to 20.

Earlier on Monday, police arrested a 25-year-old man in the city as part of operations to disrupt the flow of money and fighters to conflict zones such as those in Iraq and Syria.

There was no indication by authorities that the two incidents were in any way linked.

Police close a street where a cafe is being used to hold hostages in the central business district of SydneyPolice close a street where a cafe is being used to hold hostages in the central business district of Sydney

Australia is on high alert for attacks by radicalised Muslims or by home-grown militants returning from fighting in the Middle East, having raised its threat level to high and undertaken a series of high-profile raids in major cities.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said that at least 70 Australians were fighting in Iraq and Syria backed by about 100 Australia-based “facilitators”.

Reuters contributed to this report

ISIS DOGS: Enslaving, having sex with ‘unbelieving’ women, girls is OK, even Children!

Graphic Message to ISIS from Middle Eastern Feminists

ISIS documents condone rape, slavery

Watch this video

Can you take non-Muslim women and children captive? Yes, says ISIS.

Can you have sex with them, even prepubescent girls? Yes, according to the Islamist extremist group.

Can you sell them or give them as gifts to others? The answer is yes, once again.

People in Mosul — the Iraqi city now under control of the group calling itself the Islamic State — got these and other messages loud and clear after sunset prayers Friday, when armed men handed out a color-printed pamphlet “Question and Answers on Female Slaves and their Freedom,” three residents told CNN.

ISIS ushers in a revival of slavery

“People started gathering in small groups chattering about this (document),” said one of the men, whom CNN didn’t name for security reasons. “Most are shocked, but (we) cannot do much about it.”

The document was first printed in October or November, then later posted on an ISIS website. It has gotten more publicity recently because of the Middle East Media Research Institute, an independent Washington-based nonprofit whose advisory board includes former National Security Agency Director Michael V. Hayden, onetime CIA Director James Woolsey and ex-U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The idea that ISIS is kidnapping, selling and raping women and children is hardly surprising. Many such accounts have surfaced since the group began its often brutal run through Syria and Iraq, including chilling stories from members of the Yazidi religious minority. And these are on top of other horrific allegations, such as the killings and mistreatment of innocent civilians simply because they didn’t subscribe to ISIS’ extreme take on Sharia law.

Yazidi women ‘treated like cattle’

And that’s the thing about ISIS: Its militants have justified their actions — like the beheadings of journalists and aid workers — in God’s name.

Even then, it is rare to see its rationale laid out as plainly as in “Question and Answers on Female Slaves and their Freedom.”

In the document, for instance, it is explained that capturing women is permissible if they are “nonbelievers.” It adds, “Female slaves are the women that Muslims took from their enemies.”

Much of the pamphlet talks about ISIS’ policy on having sexual intercourse with a female slave, something that the group cites the Quran to justify.

Armed men distributed this pamphlet Friday to worshipers in Mosul, outlining what\'s permissible to do with non-Muslim captives.
Armed men distributed this pamphlet Friday to worshipers in Mosul, outlining what’s permissible to do with non-Muslim captives.

“If she was a virgin, he (the owner) can have intercourse with her immediately after the ownership is fulfilled,” ISIS explains. “If she was not a virgin, her uterus must be purified (wait for her period to be sure she is not pregnant.)”

There are other rules as well, like that two men who co-own a captive can’t both have sex with her and that a man can’t have intercourse with his wife’s slave.

As to girls: “It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn’t reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse,” the document reads. “However, if she is not fit for intercourse, he (the owner ) can only enjoy her without intercourse.”

The Q&A is clear that, young and old, the captors have full control of their captives.

As such, the ISIS document claims, “It is permissible to buy, sell or give as a gift female captives and slaves, for they are merely property.”

In response to the question of whether a female slave can buy her freedom, the answer is, “Yes she can.”

The document also says that freeing a slave is something a sinner who has committed an act like unintentional murder or perjury can do for his sin to be forgiven. Alternative actions are fasting for two consecutive months or feeding hungry people.

It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn’t reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse.
ISIS pamphlet on taking captives

The pamphlet sets a few other guidelines, such as that a captive mother can’t be separated from her young children and that an impregnated captive cannot be sold. Beating a female slave for discipline is OK, but beating her for pleasure or as a form of torture is not.

There are fewer rules for the captives themselves, though the ISIS pamphlet does identify one thing as “the gravest of sins” — running away from one’s master.

This document marks the most detailed, albeit not first, justification for enslaving nonbelievers, as defined by ISIS. Time and again, the group cites the Quran and its view of Sharia law.

“ISIS is drawing these rulings from ancient Middle Eastern and Mediterranean codes of conduct for war and prisoners,” said Abbas Barzegar, professor of religious studies at Georgia State University.

“Muslim leaders and lay practitioners the world over continue to condemn ISIS and find its alien interpretation of Islam grotesque and abhorrent. Unfortunately, in the context of failed states and civil wars most sane voices are often the most drowned out.”

None of ISIS’ rationalizations hold up, Seton Hall University law school Professor Bernard Freamon wrote on last month.

“This argument is plainly wrong, hypocritical and astonishingly ahistorical, relying on male fantasies inspired by stories from the days of imperial Islam,” said Freamon. “It is also an affront to right-thinking Muslims everywhere and a criminal perversion of Islamic law, particularly its primary source, the glorious Quran.”

Islamic State’s top tweeter Mehdi, Arrested in India. One less ISIS mouth piece, Lets get the rest!

Graphic Message to ISIS from Middle Eastern Feminists

The young engineer behind a popular pro-Islamic State (IS) Twitter account @ShamiWitness

‘Jihadi tweeter’ operating main pro-ISIS English language account is arrested by Indian police after being exposed by Channel 4 !

Biswas is accused of being behind the now-suspended pro-jihadi Shami Witness Twitter account 

“On the basis of credible intelligence inputs … we have apprehended Mehdi Masroor Biswas from his apartment,” said director general of police LR Pachuau.

The mobile phone — the one that he apparently used to tweet thousands of jihadi posts to his 17,000 followers on Twitter — was confiscated along with a laptop and other documents for evidence.

Police said 24-year-old Mehdi from a Kolkata suburb working with ITC in Bengaluru didn’t probably have any direct links with the terror group which controls swathes of Syria and Iraq as part of its campaign to create an Islamic caliphate.

“He appears to have been only majorly active in the virtual world,” said Bengaluru police commissioner MN Reddi.

Police said he used to post Twitter messages after office hours, cheering the IS’s advances in Iraq and Syria, and mocking its enemies. “He was particularly close to the English-speaking terrorists of IS and became a source of incitement and information for the new recruits trying to join IS,” Reddi said.

A case registered against him for abetting war against the state.

But his parents in Kolkata said he was being framed. “He is religious but not a fanatic to join a terrorist group. He didn’t go to a madrasa and doesn’t even know Arabic,” said mother Mamtaz Begam.

Britain’s Channel4 on Wednesday night revealed Mehdi as the man behind the Twitter handle @ShamiWitness that was described as a “leading conduit of information between jihadis, supporters and recruits” with 2 million views each month.

But Reddi said Biswas never recruited anyone or facilitated any such activity in India, and had never traveled outside India.

Reports suggest Mehdi was seeking cheap thrill as he was drawn into the IS propaganda machine that promotes its conquests, inspires sympathisers and attracts new recruits through the social media. The IS uses Hollywood-style film clips and other elements to attract disaffected but plugged-in young Muslims like Mehdi, a regular man who shares “jokes, pictures of pizza dinners with friends and Hawaiian parties at work” on his Facebook account.

His arrest prompted IS to launch a “Free Shami Witness” campaign while Kurdish fighters in Syria celebrated the news.

“Bengaluru ruthless Police arrest brother Mehdi Masroor Biswas as owner of @ShamiWitness twitter acc,” wrote IS Tweeter handle, @IS_WorldPress, drawing immediate response from the group’s supporters across the world to free him at any cost.

“We all miss #ShamiWitness twitter isnt the same without his news,” tweeted JanissaryFighter (?@SaifAlRasheed97).

Kurdish fighters, the IS’s bitter enemies, uploaded morphed pictures of Biswas behind the bars, wearing Santa Claus hats.


Leaked documents reveal in detail how Hollywood plans to take on piracy in the years to come. One of the top priorities for the MPAA are cyberlockers and illegal streaming sites, with lawsuits planned in the UK, Germany and Canada. Torrent sites are a medium priority, which the MPAA hopes to fight with criminal prosecutions, domain seizures and site blocking.

mpaa-logoThe Sony Pictures leak has caused major damage to the Hollywood movie studio, but the fallout doesn’t end there.

Contained in one of the leaked data batches is a complete overview of the MPAA’s global anti-piracy strategy for the years to come.

In an email sent to top executives at the major Hollywood studios earlier this year, one of the MPAA’s top executives shared a complete overview of Hollywood’s anti-piracy priorities.

The email reveals key areas of focus for the coming years, divided into high, medium and low priority categories, as shown below.

The plan put forward by the MPAA is the ideal strategy. Which elements are to be carried out will mostly depend on the funds made available by the studios.


For cyberlockers and video streaming sites the MPAA plans to reach out to hosting providers, payment processing companies and advertising networks. These companies are urged not to work with so-called rogue sites.

Part of the plan is to create “legal precedent to shape and expand the law on cyberlockers and their hosting providers,” with planned lawsuits in the UK, Germany and Canada.

Cyberlocker strategy

Other top priorities are:

Apps: Making sure that pirate apps are taken down from various App stores. Google’s removal of various Pirate Bay apps may be part of this. In addition, the MPAA wants to make apps “unstable” by removing the pirated files they link to.

Payment processors: The MPAA wants to use government influence to put pressure on payment processors, urging them to ban pirate sites. In addition they will approach major players with “specific asks and proposed best practices” to deter piracy.

Site blocking: Expand site blocking efforts in the UK and other countries where it’s supported by law. In other countries, including the U.S., the MPAA will investigate whether blockades are an option through existing principles of law.

Domain seizures: The MPAA is slowly moving toward domain seizures of pirate sites. This strategy is being carefully tested against sites selling counterfeit products using trademark arguments.

Site scoring services: Developing a trustworthy site scoring system for pirate sites. This can be used by advertisers to ban rogue sites. In the future this can be expanded to payment processors, domain name registrars, hosting providers and search engines, possibly with help from the government.

Copyright Notices: The MPAA intends to proceed with the development of the UK Copyright Alert System, and double the number of notices for the U.S. version. In addition, the MPAA wants to evaluate whether the U.S. Copyright Alert System can expand to mobile carriers.


BitTorrent is categorized as a medium priority. The MPAA wants to emphasize the role of BitTorrent in piracy related apps, such as Popcorn Time. In addition, illegal torrent sites will be subject to site blocking and advertising bans.

BitTorrent strategy

Other medium and low priorities are:

Search: Keep putting pressure on search engines and continue periodic research into its role in facilitating piracy. In addition, the MPAA will support third-party lawsuits against search engines.

Hosting: The MPAA sees Cloudflare as a problem and is developing a strategy of how to deal with the popular hosting provider. Lawsuits against hosting providers are also in the agenda.

Link sites: Apart from potential civil lawsuits in Latin America, linking sites will only be targeted if they become “particularly problematic.”

In the email the MPAA’s top executive does not consider the above strategies to be “final” or “set in stone”. How much the MPAA will be able to carry out with its partners depends on funds being availble, which appears to be a subtle reminder that the studios should keep their payments coming.

“…the attached represents priorities and activities presuming online CP is adequately resourced. Your teams understand that, depending upon how the budget process plays out, we may need to lower priorities and activities for many sources of piracy and/or antipiracy initiatives,” the email reads.

The leaked strategy offers a unique insight into Hollywood’s strategy against various forms of online infringement.

It exposes several key priorities that were previously unknown. The MPAA’s strong focus on domain name seizures for example, or the plans to target cyberlockers with lawsuits in the UK, Germany and Canada.


After delivering a major blow to torrent sites during October, Google must’ve thought the MPAA would be pleased. Instead, however, the MPAA issued a ‘snarky’ press release. According to a leaked email, the press release so infuriated Google’s top brass that the company ended cooperation with the MPAA.

Each week Google removes millions of ‘infringing’ links from search engine results at rightsholders’ request, 9.1m during the last documented week alone. In the main Google removes these links within hours of receiving a complaint, a record few other large sites can match.

But no matter what Google does, no matter how it tweaks its search algorithms, it’s never been enough for the MPAA. For years the movie group has been piling on the pressure and whenever Google announces a new change, the MPAA (and often RIAA) tell the press that more can be done.

By most standards, this October Google really pulled out the stops. Responding to years of criticism and endless complaints that it’s one of the world’s largest facilitators of pirate content, Google came up with the goods.

“We’ve now refined the signal in ways we expect to visibly affect the rankings of some of the most notorious sites,” said Katherine Oyama, Google’s Copyright Policy Counsel.

“Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in search results. This ranking change helps users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily.”

Google’s claims were spot on. Within days it became clear that torrent sites had beenhit hard. Was this the tweak the MPAA had been waiting for?

Google seemed confident, in fact so confident that according to an email made public due to the recent Sony hack attack, the company contacted MPAA chief Senator Chris Dodd the day before to give him the headsup.

But if Google was hoping for a congratulatory public statement, they would need to look elsewhere. Instead of a warm reception the MPAA chose to suggest that Google knew it have been involved in wrongdoing.

“Everyone shares a responsibility to help curb unlawful conduct online, and we are glad to see Google acknowledging its role in facilitating access to stolen content via search,” the MPAA’s press release began.

The leaked emails reveal that Google responded furiously to the perceived slur.

“At the highest levels [Google are] extremely unhappy with our statement,” an email from the MPAA to the studios reads.

“[Google] conveyed that they feel as if they went above and beyond what the law requires; that they bent over backwards to give us a heads up and in return we put out a ‘snarky’ statement that gave them no credit for the positive direction.”

In response to the snub, Google pressed the ‘ignore’ button. A top executive at Google’s policy department told the MPAA that his company would no longer “speak or do business” with the movie group.

In future Google would speak with the studios directly, since “at least three” had already informed the search engine that they “were very happy about the new features.”

While the MPAA and Google will probably patch things up in future, the emails also suggest reasons why the MPAA might have given Google a frosty reception.

First up, the MPAA had no time to assess the changes Google had put in place, so had no idea whether they would work. Welcoming changes that fail to perform in future is clearly something the MPAA would want to avoid.

But intriguingly the emails suggest that the MPAA were trying not to affect another external matter from progressing.

“We were also sensitive to the fact that Mississippi [Attorney General] Hood is expected to issue a [Civil Investigative Demand] to Google sometime this week; we did not want an unduly favorable statement by us to discourage AG Hood from moving forward,” the MPAA email reads.

In conclusion the MPAA felt that Google overreacted to their October press release and that the problems will eventually blow over. It’s certainly possible that relations have improved since the emails were written in October.


More than three days have passed since The Pirate Bay went down after a raid on a Swedish datacenter. While there is still no sign that TPB is preparing a comeback, several copies of the popular torrent site are drawing in hundreds of thousands of visitors.

pirate bayThe torrent community is still shaken up by the abruptraid on the Pirate Bay this week.

With millions of visitors a day TPB was one of the largest websites on the Internet and despite the police action its users remain hungry for fresh content.

We previously reported that other large torrent sites have noticed a significant uptick in traffic in recent days. However, many of TPB’s users are eagerly waiting for the original site to return.

Thus far it’s still unclear whether the site will return in the near future, if at all. Our queries to find out more remain unanswered for now.

Meanwhile there’s a ‘worrying’ development that Pirate Bay “copies” are gaining a lot of momentum. While none of these sites are associated with The Pirate Bay they are happy to welcome the extra visitors.

First a word of caution. None of the sites below are related to the “official” site and visitors should beware of scams and malware.

In recent days we have received more than a hundred tips from readers who announced that TPB has returned on the While this site does look familiar, it’s by no means an official incarnation.

In fact, as we highlighted earlier, the .cr domain used to be one of the many Pirate Bay proxy/mirror sites. It has no upload functionality nor can visitors sign up to add torrents. Interestingly enough (and adding to the confusion) the site’s operators started to populate the site with new content themselves a few hours ago.

The .cr domain, which was incorrectly promoted by several news media sites as an official comeback, previously redirected to, a site that used to charge people for access to torrents.

The .ee domain is another mirror site that’s getting a lot of new visitors. While the site removed its paygate shortly after the Pirate Bay raid, potential visitors should keep this history in mind.

As is true for most mirrors and copies, the .ee site mimics Pirate Bay’s appearance but doesn’t allow people to upload new files. Other mirror sites, some of which have added fresh content and convenient chat boxes, include and

These sites, like the ones above, are not connected to the original site. In fact, The Pirate Bay still has access to its .se domain name so there would be no reason to change that for a potential comeback.

Finally, there are also “copies” that make it clear that they’re not the new Pirate, for example, was launched by the people behind The operators told TF that their main motivation is to keep the torrents accessible, not to cause confusion.

“We saw a lot of topics where people are looking for something like this. For sure it has some bugs and glitches but we are going to improve it. The tool is for the users’ convenience till TPB comes alive again,” we were told.

If The Pirate Bay does indeed come back we will be the first to report it here. Until then, caution is warranted.



While there is still no sign of The Pirate Bay, another major torrent site is starting to recover following the police raid earlier this week. The popular TV-torrent distribution group EZTV is starting to upload new shows again as some of its servers come back online.

eztv-logo-smallEarlier this week Swedish police raided a nuclear-proof data center built into a mountain complex in the city of Nacka.

The target of the raid was The Pirate Bay but collateral damage caused several other torrent sites to go down as well. This included EZTV, the go-to place for many torrenting TV fans.

After nearly two days of downtime EZTV is slowly starting to crawl back up. TF spoke to the EZTV crew who confirmed that several servers are up and running again and that the site’s services are coming back online.

At the time of writing the main site is still offline. However, the upload bots are back in action and EZTV torrents are being uploaded again in other places such as and ExtraTorrent.

In addition, EZTV proxies such as can now connect to the site’s backend IP-addresses. This means that these are showing new uploads again, as can be seen below.

EZTV recovers

During the days to come EZTV hopes to recover fully and continue business as usual from the main domain.

For Pirate Bay users there is no positive news to report yet. The site remains offline and there are no indications that it will return in the near future.

There are several unofficial mirror sites that still work, but these have nothing to do with a possible comeback. These sites provide a minimal archive of old torrents, but there’s no new content being added as these all lack an upload feature.

For now, many estranged Pirate Bay users seem to be flocking to other popular torrent sites. ExtraTorrent informed TF that they saw a 90 percent surge in user signups following the raid, while the number of downloads increased by a third.

Most other sites that were hit by the raid remain offline. These include Torrage, the Istole tracker and Pirate Bay’s forum Suprbay. Torrent storage servie Zoink has fully recovered.



The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again. ‘The Maze Runner’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Nightcrawler.’ ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ completes the top three.

mazerunnerThis week we have three newcomers in our chart.

The Maze Runner is the most downloaded movie.

The data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. All the movies in the list are BD/DVDrips unless stated otherwise.

RSS feed for the weekly movie download chart.

Ranking (last week) Movie IMDb Rating / Trailer
1 (2) The Maze Runner 7.1 / trailer
2 (…) Nightcrawler (DVDscr) 8.2 / trailer
3 (1) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 6.1 / trailer
4 (3) Guardians of the Galaxy 8.5 / trailer
5 (…) This Is Where I Leave You 6.7 / trailer
6 (5) Fury (DVDscr) 8.0 / trailer
7 (…) Stonehearst Asylum 6.9 / trailer
8 (4) Predestination 7.6 / trailer
9 (6) Lucy 6.5 / trailer
10 (7) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 8.0 / trailer



If UK Internet users want access to most recent popular film content they’ll need to remember a lot of passwords. A new survey from KPMG has found that while overall availability is good, users wanting the best will have to use a patience-challenging 27 services.

filmDuring September a new media availability report hit the United States, shouting loudly about how most popular content is legally accessible online.

Released by research company KPMG and commissioned by NBC Universal, the report was praised by the MPAA and other similarly interested parties. Supporters said that the study provided yet more proof that studios are fulfilling their part of the consumer bargain by making content widely available.

Less than three months on and KPMG has just published the results of a second study into availability of content online. In common with the US-focused September report, ‘UK Availability of Film and TV Titles in the Digital Age’ was also commissioned by NBC Universal.

The study examined UK availability of the most popular film and TV titles across legal digital streaming and download services and according to KPMG, things looked good.

“This report found that the vast majority of the most popular and critically acclaimed film and television content is available from legal digital platforms,” the report begins.

The study found that as of December 2013, almost nine out of 10 of the 756 films reviewed were indeed available from online video services, which does sound like a great start.

When 2012’s box office hits were examined 100% were available online, dropping slightly to 98% for those released in 2011. All-time box office hits also had good exposure, with 96% available online. Even 2013’s top 100 hits fared well, with 77% available digitally.

These stats are admittedly a fairly impressive read, but the details take off some the shine. Accessing content online should be a relatively painless affair, but UK film fans are going to need quite a lot of patience if they want the broadest possible choice.

In fact, in order to access content at the levels detailed above, users will need to use to more than two dozen services, 27 to be precise.

“As at December 2013, 86% of the 756 unique films reviewed were
available via online video on demand distribution on at least one of the 27 service offerings studied,” the report reads.

When the researchers required that titles must be found on 5 out of 27 services, overall availability drops to 73%, meaning that more than a quarter of popular content is missing, even for consumers with five separate online movie accounts.

In the US version of the KPMG report, notable was the poor availability of content on services such as Netflix. The findings showed that just 16% of the films studied were available through on-demand subscription services (SVOD). The UK does quite a bit better.

“A relatively lower proportion of the most popular and critically acclaimed films were offered under the SVOD model (39%),” KPMG found.

The UK online subscription market has grown quickly over the past couple of years fueled largely by Netflix. Ofcom’s Communications Market Report 2014 revealed that revenue for online subscriptions for audio-visual content reached £111.7m in 2013, up from £63.5m in the previous 12 months.

Moving forward, Netflix’s growth faces similar challenges to that of its US-based service. According to KPMG, six out of 10 times consumers will not find the popular content they are looking for, meaning that additional payments to other services will be required.

The other issues relate to reducing piracy. While having content around 60% of the time is better than nothing, most pirated titles are recent releases that simply aren’t available on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon or other similar services.

And as far as Joe Public signing up to as many as 27 services in order to access most popular content, that isn’t going to happen in a hurry. An almost fully-comprehensive Spotify for movies might be a while off, but bringing one to market would simplify matters no end.

The report can be downloaded here.