Pirates of anonymity

The perils of assuming you are anonymous.

ACS: Law, a law firm based in Great Britain that tracks down alleged illegal file sharers for the porn industry, saw its database compromised over the weekend by members of the Internet forum 4chan. In addition to private e-mails and financial data belonging to the law firm, the names of people whom ACS: Law has accused of downloading unauthorized copies of porn movies were also revealed.

That sounds bad enough. But it gets worse.

The blog Torrentfreak reported that among the information posted to the Web were e-mails from people pleading for mercy and “married men who have been confronted with allegations of sharing gay porn.”

Unfortunate, no doubt. Here in Cambodia, such high-tech attempts at tracking down online pirates seem remote. Untoward political speech and affronts to culture still remain the Kingdom’s most offensive topics. A few crude attempts appear to have been made at limiting information in this vein. Though like many law enforcement efforts, that crackdown too proved short-lived and of questionable success. Real-world piracy — that is, the millions of bootleg $2 music and software disks available in every local market — is still a much bigger problem, and costs the country far, far more money.