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      Brazil riots trigger widespread content bans on Facebook, YouTube / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 10 January, 2023 - 17:44 · 1 minute

    A view of a broken window after the supporters of Brazil's former President Jair Bolsonaro participated in an anti-democratic riot at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil on January 9, 2023.

    Enlarge / A view of a broken window after the supporters of Brazil's former President Jair Bolsonaro participated in an anti-democratic riot at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil on January 9, 2023. (credit: Anadolu Agency / Contributor | Anadolu )

    Claiming “election interference” in Brazil, thousands of rioters on Sunday broke into government buildings in the nation’s capital, Brasília. The rioters relied on social media and messaging apps to coordinate their attacks and evade government detection, The New York Times reported , following a similar “digital playbook” as those involved in the United States Capitol attacks on January 6, 2021. Now, social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube have begun removing content praising the most recent attacks, Reuters reported , earmarking this latest anti-democratic uprising as another sensitive event requiring widespread content removal.

    Disinformation researchers told the Times that Twitter and Telegram played a central role for those involved with organizing the attacks, but Meta apps Facebook and WhatsApp were also used. Twitter has not responded to reports, but a Meta spokesperson told Ars and a Telegram spokesperson told Reuters that the companies have been cooperating with Brazilian authorities to stop content from spreading that could incite further violence. Both digital platforms confirmed an uptick in content moderation efforts starting before the election took place—with many popular social media platforms seemingly bracing for the riots after failing to quickly remove calls to violence during the US Capitol attacks.

    “In advance of the election, we designated Brazil as a temporary high-risk location and have been removing content calling for people to take up arms or forcibly invade Congress, the Presidential palace, and other federal buildings,” a Meta spokesperson told Ars. “We're also designating this as a violating event, which means we will remove content that supports or praises these actions.“

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      Twitter est accusé de restreindre volontairement Telegram et Mastodon / Numerama · Monday, 12 December, 2022 - 16:15

    Twitter ne retourne aucun résultat concernant la requête Telegram. Et certains tweets liés à Mastodon sont marqués d'un bandeau d'avertissement. [Lire la suite]

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      Telegram transmet des données confidentielles dans une affaire de violation de copyright / JournalDuGeek · Sunday, 4 December, 2022 - 14:00


    En Inde, Telegram a transféré aux autorités les noms d'administrateurs de plusieurs chaînes, leurs coordonnées téléphoniques et les adresses. Ils étaient accusés d'avoir enfreint des droits d'auteur en revendant du contenu sans autorisation.

    Telegram transmet des données confidentielles dans une affaire de violation de copyright

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      Telegram Copyright Takedowns Breed a Hydra of Z-Library Bots / TorrentFreak · Friday, 2 December, 2022 - 08:36 · 3 minutes

    hydra With nearly 12 million books, Z-Library advertised itself as the largest repositories of pirated books on the Internet.

    The site had millions of regular readers who found a wealth of free knowledge and entertainment at their fingertips.

    This success was vigorously interrupted last month when the U.S. Government seized the site’s main domain names . The problems were later exacerbated when two alleged Russian operators were arrested as part of a criminal investigation.

    Pirates Seek Alternatives

    Despite the gravity of the accusations, the public demand for pirated books hardly waned. Social media platforms, TikTok in particular , are crawling with young people eager to gather knowledge, but less capable of paying for books.

    In recent weeks, this situation has triggered a search for Z-Library ‘alternatives’. Some simply went to ‘Zlib’s’ darknet site on the Tor network, while others experimented with IPFS . These sites are just as illegal, of course, but harder to take down.

    The troubles have also pushed activists trying to fill the knowledge gap under the spotlight. Anna’s Archive , for example, launched a search engine that can find pretty much any book on shadow libraries, but there are other solutions too.

    Telegram Bots

    On Telegram, “ultrascientist” and freedom fighter ‘Nexus’ stepped up with an advanced book download bot.

    “Z-Library books are now available in @libgen_scihub_6_bot. Most credits go to Anna PiLiMi team which managed to preserve Z-Library books before recent events,” Nexus wrote, illustrating the move with a militant photo.

    nexus announcement

    These types of download bots are nothing new on Telegram. Z-Library already had its own dedicated bot and many alternatives were also available. But, with rightsholders and the U.S. authorities paying close attention, announcing a new version amidst the controversy was quite a bold move.

    Nexus’s Z-Library addon for the bot was welcomed by many people but when rightsholders took notice, they clearly didn’t like what they saw. At least one sent a complaint to Telegram, which pulled the popular @libgen_scihub_6_bot bot offline.

    Those who try to access it today will get a notification informing them that the “bot is unavailable due to copyright infringement.”

    bot not available due to copyright infringement

    Telegram isn’t decentralized so any copyright-infringing channel or bot can easily be taken offline. This isn’t limited to books; we have seen dozens of IPTV-related channels disappear as well, some of which had more than 100,000 users.

    Enter the Hydra

    Nexus isn’t giving up that easily though. Instead of offering a single bot, they created a bot that allows anyone to create their own book download bot. This opens the door to a hydra of book download bots, which isn’t easy for rightsholders to track.

    “Assholes inspired by Z-Lib troubles are sending claims about the book bot. We have the answer – now you may create your own book bot,” Nexus writes, explaining their motivation.


    Creating a personal book download bot is indeed quite simple for those who have some basic knowledge of how Telegram bots work. These bots can even be totally private, making them harder to trace.

    Nexus shared a hydra image with his announcement. In piracy circles, people regularly bring up the “hydra,” a mythical multi-headed creature that can easily regenerate when a head is chopped off. In this case, shutting down one bot would lead to many new ones.

    The resilience of this bot is yet to be tested but rightsholders are already paying close attention. They will do everything in their power to find a weak spot and will likely find law enforcement on their side.

    That said, the opposition against the Z-Library takedown is real, and making the problem go away isn’t as straightforward as some might have believed.

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

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      Telegram Discloses Personal Details of Pirating Users Following Court Order / TorrentFreak · Wednesday, 30 November, 2022 - 12:02 · 2 minutes

    With over half a billion active users around the globe, Telegram is one of the most used messaging services.

    The application is particularly popular in India, where more than 20% of its user base resides. This includes a small subset of rather persistent pirates.

    Telegram doesn’t permit copyright infringement and generally takes swift action in response to complaints. This includes the removal of channels dedicated to piracy but for some copyright holders that’s not enough; they also want to know who the copyright-infringing users are.

    Rightsholders Request User Data

    In India, this resulted in a legal battle against Telegram that began in 2020. The case in question was filed by Ms. Neetu Singh and KD Campus. The former is the author of various books, courses, and lectures, for which the latter runs coaching centers.

    The rightsholders complained about the infringing activity and the messaging service properly addressed it. The court became involved because Telegram refused to hand over information that could identify the alleged pirates and channel operators.

    In late August, the Delhi High Court sided with the rightsholders. Judge Prathiba Maninder Singh ruled that Telegram had to share all identifying information it has on file. This includes the phone numbers, IP addresses, and email addresses of uploaders and channel operators.

    Telegram Complies

    A new court filing reveals that after a period of quiet, Telegram has indeed complied with the order. While Telegram says that some of the requested data is no longer available, it shared everything it could, under seal.

    “The said data, which is in the form of a chart, has been perused by the Court. It shows that the names of the admins, the phone numbers, and IP addresses of some of the channels as are available with Telegram have been filed,” Judge Singh writes.

    telegram data

    The Judge says that this data may be shared confidentially with the rightsholders and should only be used for the present lawsuit. However, in a somewhat confusing statement, she stresses that the information in question can also be shared with the Government and police.

    “[N]either the Plaintiffs nor their counsel shall disclose the said data to any third party, except for the purposes of the present proceedings. To this end, disclosure to the governmental authorities/police is permissible,” the order reads.

    Objections Failed, Precedent Set

    The original disclosure order was issued despite fierce opposition. One of Telegram’s main defenses was that the user data is stored in Singapore, which prohibits the decryption of personal information under local privacy law.

    The Court dismissed this argument on the basis that the ongoing infringing activity is related to Indian works and will likely be tied to Indian users. And even if the data is stored elsewhere, it could be accessed from India.

    Telegram also brought up the Indian constitution, which protects people’s privacy, as well as the right to freedom of speech and expression. That defense was unsuccessful too.

    The Court’s initial order appears to have set a precedent as it’s now widely cited. Last week, the Delhi High Court ordered Telegram to hand over data in another piracy case, and the precedent was also cited in a defamation case involving YouTube.

    A full copy of the order from the Delhi High Court that confirms the data handover, is available here (pdf) , courtesy of Live Law

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

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      Aurora, le voleur de mots de passe que l’on n’a pas vu venir / Numerama · Tuesday, 29 November, 2022 - 14:25

    Ce stealer, un logiciel malveillant destiné à dérober des infos, a rapidement été adopté par des collectifs de pirates. Le malware passe par diverses chaînes d'infections : des faux sites ou des vidéos sur les réseaux sociaux. [Lire la suite]

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      Qui protège le mieux vos messages privés entre TikTok, Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter et les autres ? / Numerama · Monday, 28 November, 2022 - 07:25

    Protonmail mail chiffré chiffrement

    Les applications et les réseaux sociaux fournissent des niveaux de sécurité variables pour les messages privés. De base, il y a toujours du chiffrement pour sécuriser les discussions pendant leur transport sur Internet. Mais pour ce qui est du chiffrement de bout en bout, c'est très hétérogène. [Lire la suite]

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      Telegram Piracy: Police Target 545 Channels & Eight Suspected Admins / TorrentFreak · Monday, 10 October, 2022 - 08:41 · 5 minutes

    Telegram The mainstream file-sharing scene is well-known for its public-facing websites and forums but underneath all of that, chat channels have always played a big role.

    Internet Relay Chat (IRC) was a popular option when BitTorrent sites ruled the waves. Many sites had channels serving as community hubs on one hand, and portals to the latest files on the other. IRC’s relatively steep learning curve helped to stunt its own growth but for modern-day equivalents such as Telegram, there are no such problems.

    After IRC first appeared in 1988, it took more than 20 years for the most popular networks to peak between 100K to 200K users. After just nine years online, Telegram now has 700 million active users each month. Channels are used for every type of discussion imaginable, with piracy facilitation and distribution some of the fastest-growing trends. As a result, copyright holders have yet another battle on their hands.

    Italy’s War on Telegram Piracy

    Since at least 2019 , Italian authorities have targeted Telegram channels linked to illicit IPTV services and movie and TV show piracy , but protection of literary works is becoming increasingly common.

    In 2020, complaints from the Federation of Newspaper Publishers (FIEG) over the illegal distribution of newspapers, periodicals, and books, led to an emergency order requiring Telegram to shut down 19 channels or face blocking itself. A year later, FIEG said it had taken down more than 300 Telegram channels offering similar content.

    A major anti-piracy operation carried out last week shows that even more work needs to be done.

    Journalist Organization Demands Action Against Pirates

    In order to work legally in Italy, journalists must obtain registration from Ordine dei Giornalisti (Order of Journalists, ODG), a state-approved body that has been responsible for regulating the profession since 1963.

    While registration and regulation of journalists is controversial, ODG is seen as a champion of its members’ rights. In addition to protecting writers in their negotiations with publishers, ODG works to ensure its members are paid fairly. The organization also seeks fair competition in the marketplace where piracy is seen as a disruption.

    A memorandum of understanding signed two years ago by ODG and government law enforcement agency Guardia di Finanza was designed to send another message on behalf of its members; journalism plays a key role in democracy and pirates shouldn’t be allowed to undermine either.

    In early 2020, ODG filed a complaint at the Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Court of Milan. The regulator said that Telegram and WhatsApp groups were mass distributing PDF copies of newspapers and periodicals on a daily basis. Since this piracy harms ODG members, shutting down pirate channels would be a proportionate response. The authorities listened and dozens of channels were blocked.

    Latest Response From Specialist IT Unit

    Gruppi Sportivi Fiamme Gialle is the sports division of the Italian police force, competing in athletics, rowing, skiing and disciplines including judo and karate. Fiamme Gialle IT specialists werecredited for identifying 6,500 pirate IPTV users and according to the Guardia di Finanza of Rome, they’ve recently been tracking down those pirating ODG members’ works too.

    “The investigations carried out by the specialists of the Fiamme Gialle led to the identification of a much wider illegal network than the one envisaged in the complaint,” a statement from GdF reads.

    “This allowed the unmasking of a consolidated system of unauthorized sharing and dissemination, not only of newspapers and magazines published by the main Italian editorial groups, but also television schedules, TV series and other paid entertainment content, distributed via the internet by the major streaming platforms.”

    Police Obtain Authority to Search and Shutdown

    Under the coordination of the Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Court of Milan, the Technological Fraud Unit of the Guardia di Finanza of Rome obtained authority to shutdown the pirates’ Telegram channels and carry out searches against suspects.

    The seizure order relates to 545 Telegram ‘resources’ suspected of distributing copyrighted content and individuals said to be involved in their operation. In five areas of Italy – Lombardia, Piemonte, Veneto, Emilia Romagna and Campania – searches were conducted against eight people. GdF describes them as the suspected administrators of channels linked to criminal copyright infringement offenses.

    Telegram Piracy Channels Were Very Popular

    GdF say that the targeted Telegram channels had over 430,000 subscribers who paid nothing to join channels but were monetized by the administrators in other ways.

    The first method involved the administrators pasting links into their channels that referred users to e-commerce sites. When these links were followed and products were purchased, a percentage was kicked back to the administrators.

    The second method is described as “sponsorship” where advertising banners were placed on the allegedly-infringing channels in return for payment from the advertiser. Information related to these sponsorship deals is still online and shows the interconnected nature of the channels targeted by the police.

    Which Channels Were Blocked?

    The channels haven’t been officially named by the authorities but information obtained by TorrentFreak allowed us to identify a key channel in the investigation, confirm it had been banned by Telegram, and then find other connected channels that received the same treatment. (Data credit: )

    The Riviste Gratuite (Free Magazines) channel launched in September 2020 and a year later had 30,575 subscribers. The channel reached a peak of 41,046 around October 9, before being blocked by Telegram for copyright infringement.

    Other channels in the same niche also banned last week include eBook Free House (55,000), Epub Gold (28,500), and Giornali Gratuti (21,800).

    As pointed out by GdF, the system their specialists uncovered offered more than just pirated newspapers and magazines. In the end, offering content other than that reported by ODG failed to keep them online.

    Whether they offered movies and TV shows or other content in Italian, House Streaming (29,000 subscribers), Il Cinema Notturno (34,000), and APK Plex (100,500), were all blocked along with many others.

    Who Sponsored The Channels?

    The banned channels listed above (plus others not documented here) all targeted Italy, with Italian-focused content. Their tendency to keep mentioning each other in their respective channels made them very easy to spot.

    The huge amount of data available from Telegram (not to mention basic Google searches) shows they had connections with ‘ Sponsor Cultura ‘, which appears to be acting as some kind of agent for potential advertisers.

    One offer lists the channels @RivisteGratuite, @GiornaliGratuiti, @RivisteInternazionali and @AppPlexFree (three of which are now blocked). It states that they reached 115,000 members/20,000 visuals per day, and offered a 15:00 to 20:00 (5 hours) time slot for 40 euros. Other offers are openly visible on Telegram.

    This sponsor isn’t banned, and neither are the many other Italy-focused magazine channels that still exist on Telegram. Another round of takedowns should be expected in the not-too-distant future.

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

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      Telegram has a serious doxxing problem / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 21 September, 2022 - 14:24 · 1 minute

    Telegram has a serious doxxing problem

    Enlarge (credit: Eugene Mymrin / Getty Images)

    Burmese influencer Han Nyein Oo rose to prominence in 2020, posting memes and gossip about Burmese celebrities on Facebook to an audience that grew to several hundred thousand people in Myanmar by early 2021. Then, after the country’s military seized power that February, he lurched rightwards, becoming a full-blooded supporter of the junta, which has killed more than 1,500 people and arrested thousands more in bloody crackdowns.

    He was soon banned from Facebook for violating its terms of service, so he moved to Telegram, the encrypted messaging app and social sharing platform. There, he posted messages of support for the military, graphic pictures of murdered civilians, and doctored pornographic images purporting to be female opposition figures. Often, these were cross-posted in other channels run by a network of pro-junta influencers, reaching tens of thousands of users.

    This year, Han Nyein Oo moved on to direct threats. Opponents of the junta planned to mark the anniversary of the coup on February 1 with a “silent strike,” closing businesses and staying home to leave the streets abandoned. On his Telegram channel, Han Nyein Oo raged, asking his followers to send him photos of shops and businesses that were planning to shut. They obliged, and he began posting the images and addresses to his 100,000 followers. Dozens of premises were raided by police. Han Nyein Oo claimed credit. He did not respond to a request to comment.

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