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Tory MP blames ISPs for Sony Pictures movie hack

Mike Weatherley, MP for Hove and Portslade has called on ISPs to take some responsibility for wide scale hacks, like the recent Sony Pictures leak. 

The hack has seen films including Brad Pitt vehicle Fury downloaded over a million times on BitTorrent. 

The source of the hack is unknown, with some pointing the finger at North Korean agents and others suggesting that it was an inside job. 

Tory MP blames ISPs for Sony Pictures movie hack
Who’s responsible?

Despite this, Weatherley, who also acts as a special advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron on intellectual property issues, has called on ISPs to shoulder some of the blame. 

In an email to file sharing news site TorrentFreak, Weatherley said: “Piracy is a huge international problem. The recent cyber-attack on Sony and subsequent release of films to illegal websites is just one high-profile example of how criminals exploit others’ intellectual property.”

“Unfortunately, the theft of these films – and their subsequent downloads – has been facilitated by web-hosting companies and, ultimately, ISPs who do have to step-up and take some responsibility.”

Weatherley hasn’t elaborated on exactly how ISPs might do this. Following pressure from the current government, all of the UK’s major ISPs – that’s BT, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and EE – now offer customers content filters at the point of sale

Filters can be used by parents to block access to sites featuring things like adult content, gambling and social networks but they can also be used to block access to sites suspected of facilitating file sharing. 

The big ISPs have also agreed to sign up to a voluntary code of practice, which sees them sending letters to customers suspected of illegally accessing content. 

£3.5 million is being spent by the UK Government on this letter writing campaign over the next three years. 

In addition to writing letters, the City of London’s anti-piracy unit PIPCU is busy tracking and shutting down UK-based piracy operations. Since April 2014, PIPCU claims to have stopped 2.5 million visits to pirate sites thanks to domain suspensions. 


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