30-minute time limit to surf the net (SHENANIGANS!)

March 31, 2010

Sources: T’nA Flix, Empflix (WARNING: Porn sites, NSFW)

Time Limit Warning

A rather ominous warning to visitors that their stay may be restricted because of “changes” to “Internet Data Fair Usage Mandate to ISP Policies & Regulations 2007 act (r11734) brought into effect by the International Consortium of Global Data Infastructures.” [sic]
But why are only two sites (part of the same company) issuing such a warning, and collecting signatures for a petition?

Time’s Up? A pair of porn sites that stream flash (FLV) videos have a rather ominous warning to visitors that they may be forced to restrict a visitor’s stay to only 30 minutes total per 24-hour period or risk having their sites taken offline. They also include a link where you can “sign a petition” to voice an objection over the time restrictions. At the time of this post, the two sites have collected over 18K signatures (10,800 for T’nA, 8000 for Empflix).

It looks like these two sites are fighting a good fight… IF this shit is real. But there seems to be something off about this petition drive.

 

No shit, Sherlock. Whatever gave me the idea that this may be shenanigans? Let’s check the signs…

  • Two against the law. T’nA and Empflix are both part of the same company; YoungTek Solutions Limited, based in Cyprus, Greece. Why only these two site are worried about the time restrictions? Why has no other streaming site… especially YouTube… posted something similar on their sites? Do these guys have some sort of inside information? Or did they just pull this out of their asses in an attempt to attract attention… or something else?
  • Dateline, the first of… whenever. According to their posts, the restrictions are to start “the 1st of next month.” The way I read it, they must mean April 1 (April Fool’s Day). It can also mean May 1 (May Day). It’s odd that they don’t specify the exact month when the restrictions are to start; Just an ambiguous “1st of next month.”
  • Something smells phishy in the Mediterranean. I haven’t signed any online petitions (yet), but I’ve seen the form before. They do ask for an email address (”required for signature”), probably as a form of double-opt-in feature (you give a legit email address, a link is sent there, you click to verify), and while they say they won’t spam you, your email will probably be circulated to those who will. If you’re trying to harvest emails to spam but the email-phish baiting isn’t working like it once was, you need to find other ways to get those addresses. What better way than an online petition that plays on surfer’s fears, especially this day and age.
  • Missing links. I did some searching for the stuff mentioned in the banner, like the bill mentioned, and the organization that instituted the “changes.” What I found was absolutely DICK. Well, almost dick…

    A search for the bill did lead me to copywrite.org and their post of the Fair Use Act of 2007 (HR 1201), but I doubt that’s the bill causing the trouble. A link to the bill they mentioned, and to the changes they’re mentioning, would help a lot. Also, what the fuck is this “International Consortium of Global Data Infastructures,” and what is their homepage? AND WHO DID THE SPELL-CHECK???

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    April Fool me once… There’s just too many unresolved issued about that banner and petition drive to say this is legit. I have to call shenanigans.

    There is a possible reason why these sites are concerned for their operations: ACTA. With the super-secret ACTA treaty still being worked on, there is the possibility of ISPs, along with end-users, to be heavily punished for “copyright violations,” including permanent banishment from the net. Streaming sites like T’nA and Empflix have movies, from short commercial-length trailers to possible DVD rips of full movies. Those rips may be giving the ‘flix sites the sweats, as they can be considered “pirated” in some circles. Even so, why aren’t other streaming sites showing similar warnings and having petition drives? Are they trying to remove the rips, or going along with the restriction silently, or are they doing nothing just to tell the MPAA/RIAA mobs to go fuck themselves?

    This petition drive may be nothing more than a sick joke, but it can also serve as a warning. There are forces out there determined to control the internet and the vast data fields. Filters and firewalls are only the beginning. Will meters be next? Today, you can go anywhere and visit anyplace for any amount of time you want at any moment. Tomorrow, you may visit any one site no longer than 30 minutes per 24 hour period. Then, only 30 minutes per 24 hours to surf the whole internet. And then… no more internet for you.

    This post has been filed under War for the Nets, News as Cyberpunk by Mr. Roboto.

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