ACS:Law could face massive fine over Sky Broadband porn data leak

28 September 2010

internet

Since the story broke yesterday evening, we’ve all been having a giggle about the leaking of a list of Sky Broadband customers who have been allegedly sharing porn films online – unless you’re a Sky Broadband customer who has been sharing porn films online of course.

EDIT: News has just broken of another leaked list, including details of a further 8,000 Sky Broadband customers along with 400 PlusNet customers.

Shockingly, the list is said to include names, addresses and in some cases, credit card details of people who may or may not have been sharing torrents of bongo films online.

The list appeared on the website of law firm ACS: Law who have been accused of targeting innocent internet users with letters to people who they claim are file-sharers, demanding payments on behalf of copyright holders.

ACS: Law are currently under investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority over their tactics and now they could face the wrath of the Information Commissioner’s Office over the freshly-leaked list, with a fine of up to £500,000 a possibility.

Christopher Graham of the ICO said: “The question we will be asking is how secure was this information and how it was so easily accessed from outside. We'll be asking about the adequacy of encryption, the firewall, the training of staff and why that information was so public facing. The Information Commissioner has significant power to take action and I can levy fine of up to half a million pounds on companies that flout the [Data Protection Act]."

If you know or suspect that you might have been on this list, the advice is to keep an eye on your credit card transactions as they could be targeted by cyber-fraudsters. You should probably brace yourselves for letters and phone calls from opportunists who are out to make a quick buck out of you – a very different kind of quick buck to the one you were hoping to see when you downloaded those films. You dirty bastard.

Also, if you’ve received a threatening letter from a solicitor about your downloading activities, you could do worse than having a look at the BeingThreatened website for advice on what to do next.

TOPICS:   Broadband

19 comments

  • Alexis
    That Being Threatened website is BOLLOCKS. 1. It IS a scam. They're begging letters and they've plucked an arbitary figure out of the air to try and make a quick buck. £500 in each instance. The amount demanded has to be in relation to the actual losses incurred. If you download a CD you might well be liable for the wholesale price - a fiver. 2. Are you guilty? Did you commit the alleged infringement or do you think you may have committed it? You are guilty if you committed the alleged infringement yourself or authorised someone else to commit it using your connection. Sorry, the advice and information on this site is only for the innocent. If you are guilty, we can only advise you to get a solicitor. No, if you are 'guilty' you ignore them. Because it is a scam. If they want to take 10,000 people to court it will cost them hundreds of thousands of pounds. And there's no money in that when you end up getting peanuts back instead of the random £500 figure they have chosen. Even if you are innocent, you ignore them. IT IS A MAIL SCAM.
  • Ben
    Just to clear up a few facts..... Said list of individuals did not appear on the ACS:Law website. The ACS Law website was targeted and attacked by members of the 4Chan message board (they also found out the name of that bint from Coventry...you know Cat-Bin-Woman). One of them hacked the site and stole the List, which was then uploaded to The Pirate bay for all to see. And to agree with the sentiments above, if you receive a letter from ACS, tell them to stick it! They don't have a leg to stand on!
  • The B.
    "ACS:Law could face massive fine" The key word there is could, to my knowledge the ICO have prosecuted approximately no one in it's entire existence, it's another turd that Labour set up to create more jobs.
  • Chris F.
    actually, no - it seems ACS Law hosted the whole file on their site as a "backup" (which is ludicrous in itself), by all accounts it was easily obtainable by anyone for a while, until they (he?) took the site offline, whence it appeared on pirate bay. either way, having seen choice excerpts from the emails (none of the personal data though, I'm not a thief, nor am i bothered what anyone else downloads should they so wish) the solicitor guy seems a bit of a twat. there's a few emails between him and his ex-wife which made me chuckle!
  • Chris F.
    ah, seems Anonymous targetted the site with a DDoS attack, which took it offline - and then the numpty put up the backup file. what a total spaz lol
  • SimonB
    I hope someone gives them a proper roasting. A dozy chap in my work fell for their rubbish and paid up around £500 for an accusation of downloading a single Scooter track. Anyone knowing you had downloaded Scooter is punishment enough, £500 was a major problem to a guy on a little over minimum wage supporting a wife and two kids (one of whom has cerebral palsy).
  • StuPid
    Most of the new list appear to be £295 for downloading Cascada - Evacuate the Dancefloor, but only 35 people appear to have paid that - from 8040 people. He does seem to be a very nasty man though so if he disappears back under his rock many people will be happy.
  • Alexis
    All these people need to issue claims through county court to get their money back. They just need to admit the download (which they admit by paying), but that the amount claimed is not a genuine pre-estimate of loss incurred.
  • Paul C.
    I seriously hope that ACS are now fined for not keeping customer data encrypted. From what I understand - it appears that broadband providers are now looking very reluctant to give out such personal information about their customers if their data is not respected. But they are obviously caught between a rock and a hard place on this one because if ACS bring a court order to them - by law they HAVE to provide the accused's details. Andrew Crossley is (allegedly) a cunt that preys on the vulnerable and tech-unsavy - which is absolutely deplorable. A vulture of the highest order. http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/49267000/jpg/_49267143_4chancross.jpg
  • Natasha
    It may be a "giggle " to some of you ..however my names on the list..and I am NOT a sky broadband customer..I used to have a sky tv package which I ditched in favour of Virgin , but the only internet access Ive ever had is via a Vodafone dongle..which hardly gives enough bandwidth for normal surfing let alone downloading. Im seeking legal advice with a view to a calim for defamation of character, im a 52 year old Grandmother and Im NOT amused at being publicy accused if illegally downloading pornography.
  • Paul C.
    Hi Polish spammers!
  • Hayley V.
    I downloaded the ACS Law email list from http://acslaw.blogspot.com/2010/09/breaking-news-andrew-crossleys.html which seems to list loads of sources. From the emails it's clear to anyone with an IQ in double figures that what Crossley has been practicing is nothing short of legalised extorsion. The internet has known this for months, now everyone knows. Take him to the cleaners!
  • tin
    Nobody else suspicious that so far they've just found Sky subscribers? Noted how there's a number of emails in particular posted so far that involve Andrew Crossley negotiating deals with 3rd parties? Anyone like to hazard a guess that Sky have a cosy deal where they take a fee for handing over subscriber details on request? They need to make money out of the service somehow don't they? Also £100 says they didn't hand over the details encrypted.
  • HotUKSandra
    Oh, and he did business with many, many ISPs. Call yours and make sure they do a full investigation.
  • Did B.
    [...] in the week, news broke of the ACS:Law data leak; it was a database of thousands of Sky Broadband customers that had allegedly been involved in P2P [...]
  • tin
    Now that *IS* a surprise.. £65 quid a go (for less than 1000). http://torrentfreak.com/acslaw-anti-piracy-law-firm-torn-apart-by-leaked-emails-100925/#comment-714963
  • NO W.
    Nobody can stop me from downloaind torretns, ill fight these fuckes all the way, you aint getting any of my money!!! up yours
  • Google, B.
    [...] The ICO was granted the powers (detailed here) to act “as both a sanction and a deterrent against non-compliance with the statutory requirements”, and can impose fines of up to £500,000 on a company that either knowingly contravened the Data Protection Act or “ought to have known that there was a risk”. Clearly there have been no serious breaches of the Data Protection Act in recent months. We can’t think of one. Nope, not one. Not a single one. None at all. [...]
  • ACS:Law B.
    [...] file sharing has dragged out forever, with sweet little in the way of action, unless you count their cack-handed handling of personal data. Now they’re attempting to make good on their threats and take people to court. The key word [...]

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