Post from: TorrentFreak
In these Internet and file-sharing times, it seems unthinkable that we could ever be in the position of any media becoming ‘rare’ again. No matter where material appears, it always seems to end up on the Internet and, once there, it is copied time and time again to every corner of the globe. Losing a movie, song or TV show forever should be a thing of the past – but it hasn’t always been that way.
With today’s compression and hard drive technology, we can store hundreds of movies in a very small space indeed, but before the mainstream uptake of digital technology, storing video or music was a very expensive and resource-hungry task. Recent news from the BBC gives us a taster of how difficult things had become for them in the 1960’s, with the public broadcaster finding itself squeezed by lack of funds and lack of storage space, and even having to resort to erasing TV shows it had previously made.
One such TV show that suffered was Dad’s Army, a sitcom about the Home Guard in World War 2. The series ran for a huge 80 episodes on TV and made further appearances on radio, film and stage. The show pulled in 18 million viewers an episode during the 1970’s and still appears on TV today. Last night a very special episode aired on the BBC.
Room at the Bottom, an episode presumed lost by the BBC when it was erased to save space and money over thirty years ago, appeared on TV last night. The original show was in black and white (the color version was erased, along with the audio) but experts recreated the color version from the black and white source. But what about the lost audio?
Ed Doolan MBE is a presenter on BBC Radio WM, but back in 1969 before he worked for the BBC, he was a very naughty boy. Using a reel-to-reel tape recorder, Doolan recorded many shows, including the audio from the ‘lost’ episode when it first aired, and has kept the recording ever since. Today, far from hauling him over the coals, the BBC has used Doolan’s illicit copy to help bring the show back to life.
Last night, millions of Dad’s Army fans enjoyed the ‘lost’ episode of their beloved show and you can bet that not a single one would be calling for Doolan to be sued. In the end, the ‘good’ in his piracy leads to enjoyment for millions, and that can never be a bad thing.
It’s only when we lose something that we truly appreciate its full value and, thanks to file-sharing and the Internet, we are now in the enviable position of never having to apply the words ‘rare’ or ‘lost’ to any media ever again. And even though companies want to make media less accessible with their DRM, in the longer term, no-one will thank them for locking away history.
Operation Highlights Increased Law Enforcement Cooperation Between United States and European Union
WASHINGTON – Today, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey, speaking after a joint United States and European Union (EU) ministerial meeting, highlighted ‘Operation Joint Hammer’ – the U.S. component of an ongoing global enforcement operation targeting transnational rings of child pornographers. The operation already has led to the arrest of more than 60 people in the United States involved in the trade of child pornography; a number that the Attorney General remarked was likely to increase. Thus far, 11 child victims have been identified through Operation Joint Hammer.
‘It should come as news to no one that crimes against children have been an area of special focus for the Department of Justice, and an area of great success,’ said Attorney General Mukasey. ‘Through initiatives such as Project Safe Childhood, we have increased prosecutions of those who abuse and exploit children by over 30 percent in the last two years. Through a series of national media campaigns, we have made great strides in making parents and young people aware of the dangers. And most important, through cooperation with other law enforcement agencies such as our partners in the European Union, we have identified – and in many cases, saved – hundreds of children depicted in images and videos of sexual abuse.’
Operation Joint Hammer was initiated through evidence developed by European law enforcement and shared with U.S. counterparts by Europol and Interpol. The European portion of this global enforcement effort, ‘Operation Koala,’ was launched after the discovery of a handful of people in Europe who were molesting children and producing photographs of that abuse for commercial gain. Further investigation unveiled a number of online child pornography rings – some of which hosted dangerous offenders who not only traded child pornography, but who themselves sexually abused children.
In one case, European law enforcement officials discovered that a father was raping his young daughters and offering a photographer across the continent an opportunity to photograph these sexual attacks. Identification of the father led to the discovery of a commercial Web site maintained by the photographer, which he used to sell the images of the sexual abuse of those children along with many other images of other children whose sexual exploitation he commissioned. Law enforcement has determined that the customers of the Web site were located in nearly 30 countries around the world, including the United States.
Eurojust and Europol brought together law enforcement officers from many of the affected countries, including the United States, to share information about possible customers of the Web site located in their countries and to coordinate enforcement actions against these child pornographers. With close cooperation from European law enforcement, U.S. law enforcement has been able to identify a number of the U.S.-based customers of the Web site. Further investigation into those targets resulted in the identification of a number of Internet-based trading sites dedicated to the sharing of child pornography. A number of the U.S. targets belonged to more than one site, revealing an inter-connected web of underground child pornography trading.
‘Operation Joint Hammer illustrates the effectiveness of international cooperation and the speed with which we can move to protect children, identify those who prey on them and bring them to justice,’ said John P. Torres, Acting Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ‘Those who produce, distribute and buy images of child pornography cause more children to be damaged. As a member of the Virtual Global Taskforce, ICE works globally every day to stop this from happening.’
‘This case is an extraordinary example of the good and important cooperation between U.S. and E.U. law enforcement. Together we have made results to the disadvantage of evil child molesters and to the benefit of a large number of innocent victims,’ said Max-Peter Ratzel, Director of Europol.
‘The Internet has connected all of us into one world without oceans and boundaries,’ said Shawn Henry, FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director. As a result, cyber crimes present a challenge that can only be effectively confronted with strength and dedication exhibited daily by law enforcement agencies around the world working in close coordination. As today’s announcement demonstrates, we are making significant progress. We are proud to be partners in Operation Joint Hammer and I commend the many law enforcement personnel who contributed to its success.’
‘The Postal Inspection Service is proud to have participated in this multi-agency initiative,’ said U.S. Postal Inspection Chief Postal Inspector William R. Gilligan. ‘Through Operation Joint Hammer, those who used the Internet and the U.S. mails to traffic in child pornography were identified; huge amounts of child pornography have been seized; scores of individuals have been arrested, and, most importantly, many children have been rescued from further sexual abuse and exploitation.’
To date, U.S. law enforcement, including federal, state and local authorities, have through close cooperation, filed numerous charges, and more are expected as investigations continue. Significantly, a number of the child pornography traders identified through this operation had been sexually abusing children themselves, sometimes producing images of their sexual abuse. Thus far, work by U.S. law enforcement has resulted in the identification of 11 child victims.
Operation Joint Hammer is the result of close coordination between the FBI, DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), along with European law enforcement, including Europol and Eurojust. In addition, numerous U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, as well as CEOS trial attorneys, have been handling the prosecution of the targets identified by these numerous investigations.
By Terry Frieden, 13 December, 2008
WASHINGTON (CNN) — More than 170 people around the globe, including at least 61 in the United States, have been arrested in a major operation targeting international child pornographers, officials said Friday.
Operation Joint Hammer has rescued 11 girls in the United States, ages 3 to 13, who were sexually abused by child pornography producers, U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey and representatives of the European Union said at the Justice Department.
Dozens more were located in Europe, including several young female victims in Ukraine.
Authorities found connections between producers, distributors and customers in nearly 30 countries as a single investigation grew to a global inquiry into the dark corners of brutality and child abuse.
The investigation, code-named Operation Koala in Europe, was developed when investigators determined that a pornographic video found in Australia had been produced in Belgium.
‘This joint EU-U.S. coordinated effort began with the discovery in Europe of a father who was sexually abusing his young daughters and producing images of that abuse,’ Mukasey said.
Further investigation showed a number of online child porn rings. Some included dangerous offenders who not only traded child pornography but also sexually abused children, the officials said.
Agents are still attempting to locate child victims whose images have appeared in photos and videos, and more arrests are expected as the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Postal Inspection Service continue the investigation.
A Postal Service official said ringleaders primarily targeted prepubescent female victims to satisfy their customers but noted that other groups produce photos and videos of boys and girls of all ages — or even infants.
‘For this subset, that’s what turns them on,’ the official said.