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    Facebook’s underground obituary pages / Rest of World · Thursday, 11 February - 11:00

When Letícia Werle’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer a few years ago, she and her sister were forced to make a series of difficult decisions. That included deciding what to do about their mother’s Facebook page. Both sisters agreed to delete the profile after her death, thinking it would be too painful to encounter her lingering presence online. Werle’s mother had used the internet to...


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    ‘Copyright Trolls’ Enter Brazil Demanding Money from Suspected Pirates / TorrentFreak · Wednesday, 2 December - 20:10 · 4 minutes

copyright troll In recent years, millions of BitTorrent users around the world have received settlement demands from copyright holders.

These so-called “copyright trolling” efforts have been a common occurrence in countries such as Germany, Sweden and the United States. More recently, it started in Brazil as well.

The Usual Suspects

While the letters are sent from another continent, the key players involved are familiar names. The allegedly pirated films, such as Hellboy, Angel Has Fallen, and Rambo: Last Blood, are linked to companies that chase down alleged pirates in several other countries.

Brazilian news site Canaltech wrote an excellent report on the latest copyright troll invasion. The publication spoke to one of the targets, identified as YF, whose mother received the settlement demand as she is the household’s registered Internet subscriber.

“I never thought it would happen to me. My concern was to solve the case on my mother’s behalf, but I was wondering how [the lawyers] got access to all the information they required to send the notification,” YF said.

First Court Case in 2019

As it turns out, the personal details were obtained in court, where the copyright holders requested information on thousands of alleged pirates. While this largely went unnoticed until recently, the related court proceedings got underway last year.

In July 2019 the UK-registered company “ Copyright Management Services LTD “, sued Algar Telecom in a Rio de Janeiro court, requesting the ISP to disclose the personal details of several suspected pirates. Since the number of targeted IP-addresses was relatively small, the case remained under the radar.

The same can’t be said for the case that the rightsholders filed in São Paulo this year, targeting subscribers of Claro, a much bigger ISP. Instead of going after a small number of users, this case revolves around more than 50,000 uploads of pirated films.

Guardaley Provided Evidence

These public torrent uploads are tracked by the German outfit Guardaley, which is another familiar name. GuardaLey was behind the record-breaking The Hurt Locker and The Expendables lawsuits in the US and is providing evidence for cases all around the world.

In court, Copyright Management Services used the evidence, which is little more than IP-addresses and timestamps, to request the personal details of the subscribers linked to these accounts. The court eventually signed off on this, after which Internet provider Claro shared a massive database of personal information.

Subscribers Exposed

Initially, the spreadsheet with 70,000 entries, including personal details, was posted in the court docket that could also be accessed by third parties including journalists. That document was redacted after complaints but the copyright holders have full access, of course.

Soon after, the information was used to send settlement requests to the alleged pirates. In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Brazilian Pirate Party , the copyright holders request a settlement fee of 3,000 Brazilian Real ($575).

A settlement letter (credit: Pirate Party )

brazil settlement troll

This settlement amount is disproportionate, according to YF. Especially since commercial piracy operations are operating throughout Brazil, apparently undeterred.

“I did not make a profit from the film, while there are large pirated film sales operations in any city. Compared to these, I am a small fish,” YF said. The accused pirate did reach out to the law firm offering to pay 1,000 Real instead, but that offer remains unanswered.

Educating Pirates

Rafael Lacaz Amaral, who represents the rights holders, informed Canaltech that his law firm is merely passing on data and sending out letters. The lawyer does, however, stress the ‘educational’ message of the settlement campaign.

“The objective is to make people aware that there is an investment being made in the production and also in the protection of these works, for which to copyright infringers are held responsible”, Amaral explains.

How to Respond?

Opponents counter that this campaign isn’t about education, but about monetization. These types of legal threats can be quite intimidating and some people may simply choose to pay up to avoid trouble, even when they’re innocent. After all, hiring a lawyer to fight the claims isn’t cheap either.

The other option would be to completely ignore the requests. The settlement offers are made out of court and according to the local Pirate Party , no file-sharers have been sued directly, yet.

“Our recommendation is that people do not give in and do not pay. As the old saying goes, don’t feed the trolls,” a Pirate Party member informed Canaltech.

This ‘ignore’ tactic has worked in other countries, but there are no guarantees. However, now that this campaign is out in the open we expect more legal experts will join in with advice and recommendations.

While our understanding of Brazilian law and legal proceedings is limited, it can pay off for defense lawyers to look at Copyright Management Services and the rights it owns or controls. Earlier this year, the Danish High Court dismissed several cases filed by the same company, concluding that it produced no content, distributed none, and wasn’t in a position to sue.

TorrentFreak reached out to a representative of the copyright holders to hear their side of the story, requesting more information, but at the time of writing we have yet to receive an official response.

From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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    U.S. and UK Help Brazil to Seize Pirate Site Domains in ‘Operation 401’ / TorrentFreak · Friday, 6 November - 21:26 · 2 minutes

operation 401 Last year, Brazilian law enforcement conducted a large anti-piracy campaign codenamed ‘Operation 404,’ referring to the well-known HTTP error code.

With help from international law enforcement, the authorities took down at least 136 sites, 100 apps, and arrested eight suspects.

Operation 401 #2

This week, Brazil’s Ministry of Justice announced the second wave of Operation 404. With 25 search and seizure warrants in hand, law enforcement officials have blocked or seized the domain names of 252 pirate sites and 65 pirate streaming services.

In addition to the blocking orders, the warrants also require search engines to deindex several domain names while social media networks are asked to disable related accounts. This is an ongoing process.

The operation was coordinated by Brazil’s Secretariat of Integrated Operations (SEOPI), which is part of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security. The Brazilian authorities received help from US and UK law enforcement which actively participated in the anti-piracy campaign.

US DoJ Seizes Domain Names

The US Department of Justice confirmed its involvement. Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division notes that these types of operations help to protect content creators.

“By seizing these domain names, law enforcement has disrupted the unlawful reproduction and distribution of thousands of pirated television shows and movies, while also cutting off the profits to unlawful actors willing to exploit the hard work of others for their own personal gain,” he said.

The US authorities seized the domain names of torrent sites,, and, which are now showing a prominent seizure banner instead.


According to an affidavit in support of the U.S. seizure warrants, these domains provided “free access to copyrighted content to website visitors all over the world, including released and pre-release feature-length movies and television shows.”

Aside from the three domain names released by the US authorities, not much is known about the targeted sites.

There are no reports of confirmed arrests either. Brazilian media sources have released footage of the various raids that were conducted across ten states. These raids resulted in the confiscation of computers, phones, guns, documents, as well as significant amounts of cash in various currencies.

brazil seized

In addition to regular pirate sites, streaming subscription services were also targeted, but no names have been released in public.

UK Involvement Linked to ETZV and

In the UK, the PIPCU unit of the City of London Police was involved. The UK officials likely helped to seize one or more domain names, but we have yet to receive official confirmation.

Operation 404 coincides with domain seizures of popular torrent sites, and The .io registry is managed by the Internet Computer Bureau, which is a British company.

TorrentFreak has learned that the .io registry suspended and following an order from UK law enforcement so it is certainly possible that these sites were targeted as part of the same operation.

From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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    Brazil hits 80,000 deaths as more leaders test positive for COVID-19 / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 21 July, 2020 - 15:19

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro gives the thumbs up to supporters from the Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, on July 20, 2020, amid the new coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by EVARISTO SA / AFP) (Photo by EVARISTO SA/AFP via Getty Images)

Enlarge / Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro gives the thumbs up to supporters from the Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, on July 20, 2020, amid the new coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by EVARISTO SA / AFP) (Photo by EVARISTO SA/AFP via Getty Images) (credit: Getty | EVARISTO SA )

Two more high-ranking government officials in Brazil have tested positive for COVID-19 as the country’s epidemic exceeded the grim milestone of 80,000 deaths—a toll second only to deaths in the US.

Earlier this month, Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro announced he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Bolsonaro has consistently downplayed the threat of COVID-19, referring to it as a “little flu” and urging local leaders to lift restrictions aimed at reducing spread of the disease. Prior to testing positive, Bolsonaro had been seen in public appearances amid crowds of people, sometimes shaking hands and not wearing a mask.

Now, Citizenship Minister Onyx Lorenzoni, a close ally of Bolsonaro, and Education Minister Milton Ribeiro each announced on social media that they have also tested positive. Brazil’s national security adviser, Augusto Heleno, and the minister of mines and energy, Bento Albuquerque, had previously reported testing positive, according to NPR .

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    Brazil pulls all coronavirus stats, then releases incompatible numbers / ArsTechnica · Monday, 8 June, 2020 - 21:47

Image of a man waving from a crowd.

Enlarge / For Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, shown here without a face mask, public health precautions are for other people. (credit: EVARISTO SA / Getty Images )

Outside of the United States, Brazil has the largest number of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections; it's behind only the US and UK in terms of confirmed COVID-caused deaths. Meanwhile, its leader, President Jair Bolsonaro, has frequently minimized the risks posed by the pandemic and has frequently been photographed taking minimal precautions—going without a face mask and hugging supporters.

Complicating his country's policy response, Bolsonaro has also fired his health minister in the midst of the pandemic, only to see his replacement quit after a month on the job.

All of that took place, however, against a backdrop of detailed data about the known extent of the COVID-19 pandemic within the country, allowing Bolsonaro's public proclamations to be tested against the facts. Over the weekend, however, all of that data was taken down from government websites. After a brief hiatus, it was replaced by a simple tally of cases and deaths—only to see that replaced by a different set of numbers shortly afterwards.

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    Studies add to alarm over deforestation in Brazil under Bolsonaro / TheGuardian · Thursday, 28 May, 2020 - 05:00

Research published after video shows environment minister calling for deregulation while public distracted by Covid-19

Two studies have raised further alarm about deforestation in Brazil during the first year of the far-right president Jair Bolsonaro’s government.

One study showed the country lost 12,000 km 2 (4,633 sq miles) of forest last year and also provided important information about those behind deforestation. The other research flagged a 27% increase in the destruction of tropical forests in eastern Brazil.

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    Stacked coffins in mass graves: COVID-19 ravages Latin America / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 13 May, 2020 - 21:35

A man in protective gear kneels amidst makeshift headstones.

Enlarge / Nursing professionals light candles to honor the 84 nurse victims of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country amidst the coronavirus pandemic on May 12, 2020 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (credit: Getty | Miguel Schincariol )

As deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic begin to plateau and slowly decline in some parts of Europe and the United States, the devastation is reaching a fever pitch in Latin America.

Death tolls in cities and areas of Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador are reaching alarming levels—in some places five-times higher than normal death rates—according to an analysis by The New York Times .

While some of the official death tolls from the pandemic remain low, a review of mortality data by the Times reveals significant increases. The death counts include those directly from COVID-19 and also those from other causes—which in some cases may be due in part to people not being able to receive a standard level of care while health systems are overwhelmed during the pandemic.

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    Huge Anti-Piracy Operation in Brazil Targets Hundreds of Websites & Apps / TorrentFreak · Monday, 4 November, 2019 - 10:02 · 2 minutes

Authorities in Brazil have periodically attempted to disrupt piracy in the region, including actions such as ‘ Operation Copyright ‘ that targeted a large private torrent site in January.

Last Friday, however, it became clear that a much more ambitious operation had begun. Codenamed ‘Operation 404’ after the HTTP error of the same name, the action was announced by Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security.

During an early press conference detailing progress thus far, the Secretariat of Integrated Operations (Seopi) revealed that “136 websites and 100 applications” had already been suspended alongside the execution of 30 search and seizure warrants.

“After four months of investigation, it can be said that the action is a milestone for piracy in the country, which causes various damages to society,” said Alesandro Barreto, coordinator of Seopi’s Cyber ​​Operations Laboratory.

“I don’t know of another operation that has blocked so many apps and websites in one day. This is a very clear message and that the judicial police, through the integrated operation with Seopi, will act against this crime that cannot be tolerated.”

Operation 404

The authorities did not release the names of any websites or applications targeted nor specifically detail what “suspension” means in the context of any specific case. Suspensions can take many forms, from serious ones (raids and equipment confiscations, for example) through to ones that have a more limited long-term impact, such as blocking or domain seizures.

Details are fairly scarce but TF learned that a site known locally as Megacine announced that it had decided to close down following the operation. A notice now displayed on the football-focused site Futemax indicates that it is being blocked but is still online.

Blocked in Brazil

The Ministry of Justice states that at least in some instances it had worked with authorities in France, the United States and Canada to suspend domains, arrange “de-indexing from search engines” while suspending profile pages on social networks.

The operation is said to be receiving support from local anti-piracy groups including ANCINE (National Film Agency) and the National Council for the Fight Against Piracy (CNCP). Additionally, the US Embassy in Brazil, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the US Department of Justice have reportedly played roles.

While the early figures presented (136 websites and 100 applications suspended) were already significant, local media reports suggest that the number is increasing fairly rapidly.

Globo reports that 210 sites involved in the unlawful distribution of movies, TV shows and live TV have been targeted, in addition to the initial 100 apps that provide access to “illegal content streaming”.

Raids have been carried out in 12 states in Brazil and in six states, at least eight people have been arrested. Details include :

  • Warrant executed against a 33-year-old for the unlicensed distribution of TV signals (no arrest)
  • Warrant executed against an individual suspected of “stealing” a TV operator’s signals. Computer seized but no arrest
  • A 63-year-old man was arrested in São Paulo under suspicion of operating a website that broadcast TV channels in return for a US$7.50 per month subscription fee

Penalties for operating piracy sites or services in Brazil can reach four years in prison, more if other criminal aspects such as money laundering are involved.

According to the Ministry of Justice, up to 20 million households in Brazil access pirated content via the Internet but many citizens are said to have a poor understanding of which services are legitimate and which ones are not.

Source: TF , for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons .