Torrent Site User Who Transferred 120TB of Pirated Content Avoids Prison

A torrent site user accused of downloading and uploading at least 120TB of movies, TV shows, eBooks, music and software, has avoided an immediate prison term. The 28-year-old was arrested as part of a police operation against DanishBytes. A member of the same site was sentenced earlier this month after he uploaded Netflix content obtained using hacked credentials. TorrentFreak reports: Early November 2021, Denmark’s Public Prosecutor for Special Economic and International Crime (SOIK) announced that six people had been arrested following criminal referrals by Rights Alliance. All were members and/or operators of ShareUniversity and DanishBytes. Prosecution of site operators is not uncommon but when it’s deemed in the public interest, pirate site users can also face charges. Every case is unique so criteria differ, especially across national borders, but when evidence shows large volumes of infringement, successful prosecutions become more likely. That was the case when a former DanishBytes user was sentenced last week. According to Danish anti-piracy group Rights Alliance, the 28-year-old man was a regular site member and wasn’t involved in running the site. That being said, evidence showed that for the period January 2021 to November 2021, he downloaded and/or uploaded no less than 3,000 copyrighted works, including movies, TV shows, music, books, audiobooks and comics.

Information released by the National Unit for Special Crimes (NSK), a Danish police unit focused on cybercrime, organized crime, and related financial crime, reveals that the user’s traffic statistics interested prosecutors. “During the period, the man downloaded no less than 100 TB and uploaded no less than 20 TB of copyrighted material,” NSK says. BitTorrent trackers operating a ratio model usually insist on a better ratio of downloads to uploads but DanishBytes’ situation was out of the ordinary.

The site launched in January 2021 in the wake of other sites being shut down, so had to get going from a standing start with no users. Even when arrests were being made, the site still had a relatively small userbase, which can limit opportunities to upload more. That may have been a blessing in disguise. Faced with the evidence, the man decided to plead guilty and was sentenced last week at the Court in Vibourg. In common with similar prosecutions recently, he received a suspended conditional sentence of 60 days’ probation, 80 hours of community service, and confiscation of his computer equipment. The case against the DanishBytes user began with a Rights Alliance investigation and a referral to the police. As part of his sentence, the man must pay the anti-piracy group DKK 5,000 (US$600) in compensation but Rights Alliance director Maria Fredenslund is focused on the deterrent effect of another successful prosecution.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

UK Ditches Ban On ‘Legal But Harmful’ Online Content In Favor of Free Speech

Britain will not force tech giants to remove content that is “legal but harmful” from their platforms after campaigners and lawmakers raised concerns that the move could curtail free speech, the government said on Monday. Reuters reports: Online safety laws would instead focus on the protection of children and on ensuring companies removed content that was illegal or prohibited in their terms of service, it said, adding that it would not specify what legal content should be censored. Platform owners, such as Facebook-owner Meta and Twitter, would be banned from removing or restricting user-generated content, or suspending or banning users, where there is no breach of their terms of service or the law, it said.

The government had previously said social media companies could be fined up to 10% of turnover or 18 million pounds ($22 million) if they failed to stamp out harmful content such as abuse even if it fell below the criminal threshold, while senior managers could also face criminal action. The proposed legislation, which had already been beset by delays and rows before the latest version, would remove state influence on how private companies managed legal speech, the government said. It would also avoid the risk of platforms taking down legitimate posts to avoid sanctions. […]

The revised Online Safety Bill, which returns to parliament next month, puts the onus on tech companies to take down material in breach of their own terms of service and to enforce their user age limits to stop children circumventing authentication methods, the government said. If users were likely to encounter controversial content such as the glorification of eating disorders, racism, anti-Semitism or misogyny not meeting the criminal threshold, the platform would have to offer tools to help adult users avoid it, it said. Only if platforms failed to uphold their own rules or remove criminal content could a fine of up to 10% of annual turnover apply. Britain said late on Saturday that a new criminal offense of assisting or encouraging self-harm online would be included in the bill.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Linux Kernel Gets More Infrastructure for Rust, Increasing Interest in the Language

Linux 6.1 (released last month) included what Linus Torvalds described as “initial Rust scaffolding,” remembers this update from SD Times But now, “work has already been done since the 6.1 release to add more infrastructure for Rust in the kernel, though still none of the code interacts with any C code.”

And there’s still no actual Rust code in Linux:

“You need to get all those things that can make sure that Rust can compile, and you can do the debugging and all these things,” explained Joel Marcey, director of advocacy and operations for the Rust Foundation, “and make sure that the memory safety is there and all that sort of stuff. And that has to happen first before you can actually write any real code in Rust for the Linux kernel itself.”

Marcey explained that Linux is going to be doing this inclusion very piecemeal, with lots of little integrations here and there over time so they can see how it is working. “I would imagine that over the next year, you’re going to see more small incremental changes to the kernel with Rust, but as people are seeing that it’s actually kind of working out, you’ll be able to maybe, for example, write Linux drivers or whatever with Rust,” said Marcey….

According to Bec Rumbul, executive director of the Rust Foundation, Rust being added to the kernel is an “enormous vote of confidence in the Rust programming language.” She explained that in the past other languages have been planned to make it into the kernel and ended up not getting put in. “I think having someone with the kind of intellectual gravity of Linus Torvalds saying ‘No, it’s going in there,’ that kind of says an awful lot about how reliable Rust already is and how much potential there is for the future as well,” she said.

Rumbul believes that there will be an increased interest in the language, which is still relatively new (It first made its debut in 2010) compared to some of the other languages out there to choose from. “I suspect that because Rust is now in the kernel, and it’s just being talked about much … more widely, that it will seem like an attractive prospect to a lot of people that are looking to develop their skills and their knowledge,” she said. Rumbul hopes people will also be inspired to participate in the language as contributors and maintainers, because those are some of the less popular roles within open source, but are extremely critical to the health of a language, she explained.
The Rust Foundation also launched a new security team in September to ensure best practices (including a dedicated security engineer). Their first initiative will be a security audit and threat modeling exercises.

“We want to basically shore up,” Rust operations director Marcey tells SD Times, “to ensure that Rust itself is actually as secure as we always say it is.”

In this year’s Stack Overflow Developer Survey, 86.73% of developers said they love Rust.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.