|Home » Industry Watch
Henrik Pontén Does It Again
There are no limits for those with no shame.
STOCKHOLM (Radsoft) -- It wasn't more than a few minutes after midnight 1 April 2009. Henrik Pontén's Antipiracy Bureau started their new attack. Logging into a private FTP server they had no lawful right to access they downloaded a dozen ebooks.
The following morning Pontén and his perennial coconspirator Peter Danowsky turned up at the court in the Stockholm suburb of Solna and petitioned for the identity behind IP 22.214.171.124.
Rather lacking in credentials when it comes to computer and Internet technology, Pontén and Danowsky put together an informationsföreläggande detailing what they insisted was clear evidence of illegal file sharing on a major scale.
There was only one problem. The FTP server they attacked was private. It was protected by password. Visitors were required to have accounts to log in. Henrik Pontén's people didn't have a lawful account to access the server.
Henrik Pontén, the Antipiracy Bureau, and indirectly Peter Danowsky as an accessory committed a crime.
The 'evidence' provided by Pontén and Danowsky in their petition consisted of a number of screen dumps of a Windows FTP client known as FlashFXP. The screen dumps showed FTP directories on the left and files on the right. They also had a printout from a program known as CommView. This printout was provided in order to ascertain exactly what IP they'd been connected to when they downloaded the ebooks.
Obviously no one thought of performing an ordinary DNS resolution.
Worse still: the CommView printout showed only that the supposed FTP server at 126.96.36.199 was connected to IP 192.168.150.3 - which is in an IANA range reserved for internal use.
There was no 'evidence' the FTP server had in fact communicated with anyone on the 'Internet'.
NetRange: 192.168.0.0 - 192.168.255.255
NetType: IANA Special Use
Comment: This block is reserved for special purposes.
Comment: Please see RFC 1918 for additional information.
Rickardsson on Pontén
André Rickardsson is a former security consultant for the Swedish security police and the Swedish department of state. Rickardsson objects strongly to the tactics of Pontén and his friends.
'Danowsky claims the evidence points to widespread file sharing but I claim the opposite - that no file sharing has occurred and that the evidence actually proves the Antipiracy Bureau are guilty of data intrusion against a private FTP server and theft of a dozen files.', wrote Rickardsson in SvD.
Rickardsson - as many others who've looked at the 'evidence' - points to the fact there's no sequitur between a number of Windows screen dumps and evidence of file sharing - especially when the FTP server in question was password protected and thereby private (and theoretically used for anything but file sharing).
Pontén as always refuses to reveal his methods or sources. Rickardsson says it's a good bet Pontén is doing the same thing he always does - finding likely infiltrators and paying them handsomely to turn on their own.
But even 'borrowing' a legitimate account is illegal under the circumstances and Pontén and Danowsky know it.
Brokep on Pontén
Peter Sunde's seen the story too and he spares no words about Pontén.
'In a disgusting way it's amusing to see how some people think they're above the law only because they're annoyed with a social structure they can no longer control or for that matter even understand. So yes, I express myself exactly as so many before me: the Antipiracy Bureau are guilty of crimes perpetrated on a commercial basis. And I still haven't taken up the SEK 600,000 (US$75,000) paid to Peter Bergström aka 'Rouge' for planting evidence in the Bahnhof scandal', wrote Sunde on his blog.
There's already a long list of issues the 'inner circle' have swept under the carpet or tossed in the circular file. Four individuals seem to be at the centre of this collusion.
- Henrik Pontén - legal adviser to the Antipiracy Bureau financed by the international movie and music lobbies. Pontén was after someone at Swedish ISP Bahnhof for years but could get no evidence despite having an infiltrator on the inside. In the end he gave up waiting and gave 'Rouge' (Stockholm policeman Peter Bergström) a huge number of CDs and DVDs to upload to a new 'colo' account at Bahnhof. His plan backfired.
- Peter Bergström - Stockholm policeman who helped Pontén infiltrate Bahnhof and planted evidence on their servers. Bergström has also functioned as a link between Hollywood and the Stockholm authorities in the raid on The Pirate Bay.
- Jim 'Söze' Keyser - another Stockholm policeman who worked in the preliminary investigation of The Pirate Bay and for six months was in the employ of Warner Bros. Complaints against Henrik Pontén invariably end up on Keyser's desk - he summarily tosses them in the 'circular file' and they're totally ignored.
- Peter Danowsky - local representative of Hollywood who often collaborates with Pontén. Cited several times during the trial of TPB for questionable and unethical behaviour.
'For every day that passes they become more and more like a real mafia', says Peter Sunde.
Europe has allowed itself to be swept along in a panic reaction to try to end all evil by increasing the level of surveillance and control over the entire population. We Europeans should know better. It is not twenty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and there are plenty of other horrific examples of surveillance gone wrong in Europe's modern history. The arguments for each step on the road to the surveillance state may sound ever so convincing.
But we Europeans know from experience where that road leads, and it is not somewhere we want to go. We must pull the emergency brake on the runaway train towards a society we do not want. Terrorists may attack the open society, but only governments can abolish it.
- Pirate Party: Politics and Principles
Red Hat Diaries: Henrik Pontén's Miscarriages of Justice