Given the confluence at this moment in time of discussions about “piracy’ both offline and online, as well as concern over conficker and cybersecurity, and the fact that movie “piracy” is a concern of the FBI and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, I wonder how long before cybersecurity and digital piracy are fully articulated with one another as issues of national security.
“Unfortunately, the recent leak of the Fox film ‘Wolverine’ provided a stark backdrop to the impact that digital piracy has on the large investments that producers make in creating state-of-the-art films,” said Rep. Howard Berman, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, who oversaw a congressional hearing on piracy after the leak.
“During our hearing in Los Angeles, director Steven Soderbergh said that in 2007, the entertainment industry generated a trade surplus of $13.6 billion,” Berman added. “Imagine what those numbers would be if we could rein in piracy.”
Keith Bolcar, special agent in charge of the FBI’s cyber division in Los Angeles, said agents and their partners as “doing everything we can to keep up with the learning curve of technology, hopefully just as fast as our criminal subjects.”
The FBI meets routinely with studio representatives to share intelligence, to discuss strategy and to detect and fix vulnerabilities in security measures, he said.
Malcolm said the association is conducting a lot of outreach to universities and Internet service providers to help them address piracy that occurs over their systems.
The issue is global, Malcolm said, as evidenced by pending litigation in France that would shut down Internet accounts of illegal downloaders.
The association is in litigation against an Australian service provider, iiNet, to try to establish the legal parameters of its responsibility in policing its system, Malcolm said.
Berman, D-California, said advances in technologies that enable filtering and other anti-theft tools will help curb piracy. So will creating more sites where viewers can legitimately access movies, shows and music, such as Hulu and the recently announced Vevo, a partnership between Universal Music and YouTube.
“Given how pirated materials often damage computers with viruses, spyware and other problems, consumers will continue to embrace the innovative, legitimate sites that are becoming more and more available,” Berman said.
The Internet is no longer just an essential channel for commerce, entertainment and information. It has also become a stage for state control Ã¢â‚¬â€ and rebellion against it. Computers are becoming more crucial in global conflicts, not only in spying and military action, but also in determining what information reaches people around the globe.