Guardian: File Sharing Site Was Really Bait For “Pirates”

I’m not advocating file sharing, but I’m afraid this applies to other areas:

A high-profile file-sharing site has been revealed to be a year-long pirate “honeypot”, collecting data on users, file hosters and websites.

The revelation, which had users of the forum up in arms, accompanied the purchase of the UploaderTalk (UT) site by US-based anti-piracy company Nuke Piracy.

A honeypot is a facility, in this case a site, run under false pretences that encourages criminal behaviour in an effort to collect incriminating data.

“That’s right – the biggest swerve ever,” the operator of UT, known only as WDF, said in a statement about the purchase of the site. “I, WDF, work for the anti-piracy people!”…

It is unclear what WDF or Nuke Piracy, a private anti-piracy firm, intends to do with the data collected. Nuke Piracy, based in Arkansas, USA, clearly states on its website that it uses “proprietary and unconventional methods we do not discuss or disclose our methodologies, processes, and procedures publicly.”

It is likely that Nuke Piracy will use the data as part of its anti-piracy actions, collected from UT and possibly WJunction as well, given that WDF had access to sensitive data on the site as a senior management including user accounts.

“I work for Nuke Piracy now, this is very bad for anyone profiting from piracy,” proclaimed WDF.

So my question is, what about “privacy” programs of private email providers? How do I know that hushmail.com, for instance, is not a CIA front?

But even more importantly, if UploaderTalk was a “honeypot,” isn’t Facebook and Twitter the same thing? Have we been more or less manipulated into spying on ourselves and providing vast amounts of private data that would never have been possible to collect without the internet?