One of the companies used by the French government to track pirates has been hacked. Trident Media Guard monitors P2P networks as part of France’s ‘HADOPI’ anti-piracy measures.
Suspected illegal file-sharers are sent three official warnings when identified by firms like TMG, after which they are reported to a judge who can hand out a range of punishments, including disconnecting them from the Internet.
According to reports in France TMG has been deliberately targeted by ‘hacktivists’ in a similar way to UK law firm ACS Law, that was forced out of business following a hack by the ‘Anonymous’ group.
Ironically the news came as the French government claims that the three-strikes anti-piracy system is starting to have an impact, with half of 1,500 people surveyed saying the new copyright protection initiative had encouraged them to use legal content services. Also, 72 per cent of those who knew someone who had received a warning letter as part of the three-strikes process saying they had stopped or dramatically reduced their use of file-sharing networks.
According to reports, the Hadopi office is now sending out 5,000 warning letters a day to suspected file-sharers, with the second-strike letters starting to go out in January.