Planted Evidence?

Update: The parties invovled in this reached a settlement
I’ve been having some Slashdot effects. Should work better now. On a sidenote, I personally think Piratbyran (freely translated “the piracy bureau” the Swedish so-called counter part of APB) blows just about as bad as the swedish bureau of anti-piracy. Downloading copyright protected material off BitTorrent isn’t cool, hip or trendy.. unless you’re 12 and revolting against the big bad world and your folks. Might be practical for some.. but no..it won’t make you cool, part of “the scene” or an awesome outlaw admired by the ladies or your fellow nerds (which might just be the same thing). Having an awesome hat like mine will however.

More details on the bust at the Swedish ISP Bahnhof on the 10th of March are emerging as the details of the internal report (swe) by Bahnhof and it’s Vice President, Jon Karlung, was released today. And with that the “pro-filesharing community” of Sweden is once again in great turmoil.

In the report an interview with a former employee (just left the company..) at Bahnhof admits being responsible for supervising the hardware of the FTP server. What is really curious however is the fact that the supposed infiltrator of the Swedish Anti-Piracy Bureau (their web is currently down because of the “intense hacking attacks” that have occured lately) the man who goes by the nick name “Rouge” has appearantly supplied the FTP with extensive hardware for costs up and around 20.000 SEK (roughly 2900 USD) and has been one of, if not the most, active member of the group of people who had access to the FTP nicknamed “Enigma”.

If you are interested in why there is such a fuss in Sweden about piracy lately, read more

Here follows the interesting part from the report, please excuse errors in spelling and grammar as I did this quite rapidly. Also please note that when refering to APB they are talking about the Swedish Anti-Piracy Bureau.

Interview with person 1, march 18, 2005

  • The interview with person 1 was conducted at his or hers apartment by Jon Karlung with Anders Haglund present. Person 1 is one of the companies UNIX-technicians and works with the installation of servers. Person 1 is an employee at Bahnof Internet since the end of January 2004.

Are you the man responsible?

I have been responsible for the hardware together with three other sysops. But to clarify, I was just responsible for maintaining and supervising the hardware and nothing else.

Who are the others

One of them is “Rouge” who is that infiltrator. I won’t tell you who the others are but I guarantee that they are not employees of Bahnhof.

Have you been doing this on scheduled working hours?

No. This is an entirely private thing that I’ve been doing.

How long have you been doing this?

This has been around since 2002 but at another ISP.

Which one?

*Name of an ISP*

Why the move?

In february or march 2004 when I began work at Bahnof I brought the server there since the bandwidth was better.

Where have the servers been located?

In the “lab” that we had access to.

When was the “lab” built?

It was spring 2004

How has this been kept a secret?

The “lab” was exactly that.. a lab. There we put together and took a part all kinds of machines. New servers that were to be installed were also rigged in the lab. This was done to no have to sit in your usual office space and work with a loud server. With all the servers that were running in there that were related to normal, legal tasks nobody noticed this one.

What material was available on the server?

All sorts. Movies, music and games.. sort of.

Who has been the sysop for this whole thing?

That’s Rouge.

Have you known him for long?

Yes, for four years. It’s a friend. I can’t believe he is doing this. It’s fucked up when a friend does this.

Does he work with computers and if so, where?

He has up until 2003 worked at a IT-consulting firm where he apparently was laid off. After that he has been running a company which sells motorcycles but it seems to have gone bankrupt. Maybe he has been low on cash. I don’t know.

How long has “Rouge” been doing this?

Several years. According to the logs I’ve looked at he has been an infiltrator for two years.

What is his part in this?

He has bough the hardware for around 20.000 SEK (approx 2900 USD). In march he wanted to submit another 800 gigabyte with a new hard drive. I told him that “Enigma” would probably not be up anymore. He was quite persistent about it. Just before the raid he kept nagging to me about it, that he would send more hardware if I wanted to. He said he wanted to know since he had bought all the stuff for it before. I never answered him. Now I understand why he was in such a rush. I think it’s also important to tell you that a lot of what has been in the newspapers is incorrect. It’s been talks about 27 Terabyte worth of data. Can you comprehend how much that is? It’s practically impossible to get that amount of discs in a server that would not stand out from the others. I’ve also seen it mentioned that there were several TB’s worth of data send/received every day. That’s also completely false, that would have noticed in our network. The whole thing was about NOT being detected, it should be quite evidently so.. The fact is that only a small group of people could access this server, not thousands which some articles have stated, the amount of data was not that huge.

But this pseudonym “Rouge”, what has he done really?

He has been running the main channel – the Enigma server that is. He himself has been adding new users and been an active sysop.

What do you mean by “active”?

He has been the administrator of the server and he himself has been downloading and uploading data. He has been shuffling a lot of data on this machine.

But if he is an “infiltrator” then maybe he got the permission by the copyright holders to send and receive these files?

I wouldn’t know. But he has among other things sent stuff by Microsoft for the game console X-box and also for the Playstation 2. I can’t believe he has been granted the right by APB to spread that. Besides he has been running a lot of stuff over the Bahnhof net that he has not had permission to do.

So you’re saying that it’s really APB themselves who is behind this?

All I know is that Rouge has been one of the most active persons behind this. He has been buying the hardware and carrying them himself to Bahnhof and me. He has also for a long time been taking care of everything. He has been shuffling a lot of data via the Bahnhof net. My role primarily involved taking care of the hardware for the machine. But Rouge has been involved in recruiting new members. The absurd thing about all of this is to switch the topic.. Imagine IOGT-NTO (a swedish association against alcohol & drugs) paid someone to map the illegal distribution of alcohol to minors by, for a period of two years, themselves paying a person to conduct this illegal distribution of alcohol while reporting information back to IOGT-NTO.

Has anyone else in the personal at Bahnhof been involved in this?

No, but there might of course be people who themselves have downloaded material. I don’t know anything about that though.

Have you anything to add about “Rouge”?

I last met him in february 2005 when he was at the Bahnhof Bar (a bar connected to the office). He later joined my for a beer downtown. A couple of other employees were there with us. He is simply a friend who sold me out.

But how can you be so naive that you do this stuff? Don’t you realize that you have caused the company great costs and also put us in harms way?

I don’t have an answer for that one.. This is a “scene” – it’s like a contest in a limited circle. We’re perhaps a couple of hundred persons doing this in total. It’s a couple of technicians from other ISP’s and it’s ordinary people. On the server there has been a max of about 100 active users. It’s just between them the material have been circulated. Nowhere else. We haven’t made any money of this at all, it’s all just about a private thing we’ve been running. It’s hard to describe it but it’s basically not about the movies or the material itself that’s interesting. Its a race that’s about sending large files in the shortest amount of time possible. The contest is about shuffling huge amounts of data between us quickly. By doing this you get scores depending on how good you are.

Finally – have you got anything actually proving what you are telling us is the truth – is there any evidence or documents? Why should I believe you?

Yes, I have saved the log files with “Rouge”. As recent as the 8th of march he wrote that he had already sent new hardware and that I should be a pal and help him out since he had bought so much stuff already for the machine. I also have log files where you can see that he has been doing the activities I’ve mentioned from Chello and his home. You’ll get the log files from me so you can for yourselves see. In there there are IP-numbers and comments that prove that he is deeply involved in these activities.

The interview with person 1 is concluded. He has after the interview sent us log files as evidence of what he is saying concerning the infiltrator from the Swedish Anti-Piracy Bureau.
From http://isp.bahnhof.se/nyheter/Utredningsrapport.pdf
Translated by moi, Lars

A very complete list of logfiles have been publicly available, showing the activites of the supposed infiltrator’s Rouge: http://isp.bahnhof.se/nyheter/Loggfiler.zip

For Swedes the swedish blog Kommenterat has interesting things to say about this.. the most being which crimes APB has commited if what’s stated in the report is true. Fraud, producing evidence, etc are among the plausible charges.

8 thoughts on “Planted Evidence?”

  1. 1.These log files could have been made up.
    2. The data inside may have another content as the filename indicates.
    3. It is common for an infiltrator to act as the other members in the group do, in some countries this is legal. Not to mention he may have had the right to upload that stuff.
    4. You screw others by tolerating a warez server, you tolerated fraud. You deserve to be screwed to.

  2. Sure they could, but the logfiles can easily be verified. With his ISP ;)

    Of course it could.. but I think stating that is sort of stating the obvious. Personally I don’t think was Brahms Third Symphony in extra extra fine quality :)

    It’s not legal anywhere as far as I know if you are not part of a, by the nations goverment, sanctioned group of people hired to uphold the law. Which certainly is not the case here.

    Finally I think it’s ‘arguments’ like yours in nr 4 there that’s gonna make us humans extinct if anything. Eye for an eye and stupid shit like that. Anyway, it’s beside the point.

  3. I’d wish that someone could translate this article: http://www.sourze.se/default.asp?itemId=10457688 into English. It gives another interesting point on the whole piracy/filesharing discussion that is going on in Sweden right now. The author didn’t want to do it, since he didn’t see the relevance and the interest from the rest of the world. But he has given his permission to anyone who want to translate it… If my english were just a little bit better… :/

    Good work on the report, Lars. Please translate the Sourze article as well! I would just f-k it up…..

  4. Hey thanks for the feedback.

    The article you’re talking about I find full of inconsistencies. He is talking about a delegalization of filesharing per say which would hit non-commercial artists, who share their music willingly online..now why this has anything to do with the current discussion flies right by me?

    Nobody is talking about outlawing P2P or filesharing per say. At least not in Sweden and at least not yet.

    Furthermore, talking about Mp3.com as a resource and using it as an example also feels somewhat..outdated as there are, atleast in my opinion, reasons beyond them ‘selling’ out that eventually made them fail.

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