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Court Dismisses TorrentSpy’s Lawsuit in Incident of Hacking

TorrentSpy, a BitTorrent search engine, filed a lawsuit in 2006 against MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) accusing it of tapping the search engine's e-mails and for violating wire intercepting laws. But court tossed out the lawsuit.

The court documents said the MPAA started to posses the private e-mails after Robert Anderson first approached the association. Anderson used to be a business associate of TorrentSpy's founder, Justin Bunnell. He allegedly made an unauthorized access to TorrentSpy's e-mail account and modified the system in a way that all inbound and outbound

In June 2005, when Anderson contacted the MPAA's senior legal counsel, Dean Garfield, he told him that an informant supplied Anderson with TorrentSpy's e-mails.

However, the US District judge could not find any instance of violation of the federal Wiretap Act by MPAA, as attorneys of TorrentSpy had alleged. The MPAA admitted in court that it hired someone for $15,000 to get the private e-mails of the executives of TorrentSpy.

Morally, it is wrong to read others' e-mails. And getting such e-mails from a third person should have made it alarming, said Lorrie Cranor, an associate research professor and Internet privacy expert at Carnegie Mellon University. News published this comment on August 28, 2007.

Court has ordered TorrentSpy to log information relating to its users. But to avoid complying with it, TorrentSpy has shut out all its US users. TorrentSpy said that it excluded the US users not because of the court proceedings but in case of an unpredictable international legal affair and as per its own rules of data protection.

TorrentSpy has opted for this move to preserve the site's integrity and to intentionally avoid logging any user as per its promise, said TorrentSpy's lawyer Ira Rothken. News published this on August 29, 2007. However, there was some influence by the court directive on its decision. TorrentSpy objected to the decision, which court rejected soon after the company started excluding American users on 29th August 2007. TorrentSpy is planning to appeal to a higher court.

Related article: Court Acquits Student From Generating Fake Boarding Passes

» SPAMfighter News - 9/12/2007

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