Portuguese Government uses "honeypots" to deter copyright infringers
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Deutsch: Portugiesische Regierung nutzt "Honeypots" zur Abschreckung ...
In an attempt to scare alleged illegal downloaders, the Portuguese Ministry of Culture, through the General Inspection of Cultural Activities (IGAC), in collaboration with the Portuguese Phonographic Association (AFP), has decided to start using a so-called "honeypot".
"Honeypots" is a term that describes sites and services set up as traps with the purpose to lure people into downloading copyrighted files. Some filesharers believe that some of the lawsuits of the type pay-up-or-else against BitTorrent users partly came from such services that were actually set up by the copyright holders themselves.
Portugal's Government has proven the existence of honeypots. The protocol signed between IGAC and AFP was initially meant to create a framework for AFP to provide "anti-piracy" training to IGAC inspection officers. As the text of the protocol was not made public, the Portuguese Pirate Party filed a complaint to the authorities and the protocol was publicly released as required by FoI law.
The text includes, among other things, the promotion of a honeypot scheme where the music industry gives IGAC the right to upload tracks to file-sharing networks, thus setting traps to collect the IP-addresses of Portuguese file-sharers. The text of the agreement also shows that the main purpose of the collaboration is to influence public opinion through the media.
The file-sharers caught through this honeypot system will then be notified by their ISPs and may even face the disconnection of their Internet access due to a breach of the terms of service, even without solid evidence from the authorities. IGAC will rely on screenshots to prove what unauthorized material was shared, a piece of evidence that can be easily forged.
The Portuguese Pirate Party's opinion is that the Ministry of Culture is acting undemocratically and in favour the entertainment industry rather than in the interest of the citizens.
Portuguese Government Creates Honeypot To Combat Piracy (2.03.2011)
We are Attentive (only in Portuguese, 20.01.2011)