What To Do If Prosecuted For Sharing Culture: STFU

Every now and then, somebody is prosecuted for sharing culture in violation of the copyright monopoly. Here’s what you should know if you’re worried of that happening to you.

The most important thing to know is that it won’t happen to you. The copyright monopoly lobby likes to publicize every case to ridiculous proportions. Back in reality, outside of copyright monopoly math, more people get struck by lightning each year than get prosecuted for sharing culture.

Let’s take that again, because it is important: mathematically, you stand a higher risk of being struck by lightning than of being prosecuted for sharing culture. (Note that this does not apply to people who annoy Hollywood on purpose, which is a separate and much more serious crime.)

But on the astronomically odd risk that you should be struck by lightning prosecuted for sharing culture, you need to know the next important thing: every conviction I’ve seen of copyright monopoly violation in direct sharing cases has been due to a confession.

Again: every conviction has relied on a confession.

In other words: do not confess to sharing culture in violation of the monopoly (in a prosecution situation, that is – everybody is assumed to be a good citizen and share; it’s nothing much to “confess to”, really).

You need to understand what the Police will tell you in order to try to get that confession. They’ll say that the copyright monopoly violation came from your IP address. They’ll say that they found the shared material on your hard drive.

None of that matters. Again: it doesn’t matter if they find something on your hard drive that matches your IP. The crime isn’t having the bits of data – the crime is transferring the bits of data. That distinction is crucial. Actually, it’s not even enough to transfer the data: you need to have transferred it in a way that violates the monopoly, and far from all copies do that.

The police need to show that you, personally, transferred this bitpattern in a way that violated the copyright monopoly. That’s practically impossible to prove. Having the bitpattern on your hard drive is not a crime in itself, except in North Korea.

Preferably, you shouldn’t say anything at all in an interrogation situation. If you feel you have to say something, ask the Police if there’s any coffee and cookies.

But if you’re still worried, there are two easy things you can do. Karma points for both of them.

The first thing to do is to encrypt your whole hard drive, which is a good thing to do anyway. For Windows and Mac, you can use TrueCrypt to do this. You’ll get a password prompt as the computer boots, and after that, the encryption is transparent. For GNU/Linux, you get the option of encrypting the whole drive when you install the operating system; I’m sure there are ways of adding encryption afterwards. On Android, you can encrypt the whole drive, too: it’s part of the screen lock menus somewhere.

As the police will turn off your computer the first thing they do in a raid to prevent you from erasing evidence, they will also lock themselves out of said evidence on power-down. They’ll lie to you afterwards and claim that they found X, Y, and Z on your hard drives, again hoping for a confession. They didn’t. You can just smile at them and say nothing.

You don’t have to justify having an encrypted hard drive to the Police or anybody. This is tremendously important. If you’re asked why it’s encrypted, you don’t have to feel threatened in the slightest; it is entirely within your rights to protect your data from intruders, legal or otherwise. This is true in all countries that I know of except for North Korea, Iran, and the United Kingdom. You can smile and shut up or just shrug your shoulders and say “because I felt like it”. Or, for that matter, change the subject and ask if there’s any more coffee.

The second thing to do is to have an open wireless network. This is also a matter of being a good neighbor. I have two wi-fi networks, one closed and one open (most modern routers allow this). Both egress on the same IP address toward the net, so if somebody is sharing culture from this IP address, it could be me or any of my 50-or-so neighbors in range. And with an encrypted hard drive, there’s nothing even suggesting it was me in an astronomically unlikely raid scenario.

Of course, sharing wireless bandwidth with my neighbors when they may need it is also a matter of practicing what I preach; sharing is caring.

This latest defense – the open wireless defense proved so successful in Denmark that the copyright monopoly lobby even stopped suing people sharing culture, because they couldn’t get any convictions. They’re now trying other avenues. (This was regardless of whether there even was an open network, as civil lawsuits don’t confiscate equipment in a police raid.)

So in summary, an encrypted hard drive is little extra work but will mean that the confidences placed in you are safe in a raid scenario, and an open wireless network will negate any connection between you and your IP address. Anybody accusing you of sharing culture in violation of the monopolies won’t be able to get a shred of evidence of it, even with a full-scale police raid.

(In reality, outside of copyright math, the encrypted hard drive is much more likely to protect your data in a case of burglary than a police raid – and the open wireless is much more likely to benefit you with better neighbor relations.)

TL;DR: TrueCrypt or LUKS. Open wireless. STFU.

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. He lives on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany, roasts his own coffee, and as of right now (2019-2020) is taking a little break.


  1. Jonatan Lindgren

    Very good article. I’ve discussed this with my friends sometimes too, but it’s nice to have it layed out so clearly.

  2. Ryan J

    Can’t the police force you to hand over the encryption keys if your hard drive is encrypted anyway?

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      Nope, not in any country. Same thing as with a physical safe: the Police can try to force their way into it, but they can’t force you to produce a key.

      In the United Kingdom, however, you can go to jail for five years for not disclosing encryption keys, the only country on the planet I know of with such a law. Do note that this applies whether the data in question is actually encrypted or not: if you can’t produce the nonexistent keys to your whitenoise file from the radio telescope, you’re sent to jail.

      1. JörgenL

        Note that TrueCrypt has a few tricks that could alleviate things even if you are required to give up keys. For example creating hidden volumes inside the “empty” part of a disk volume, so you could have one “visibly encrypted volume” and another “invisible” encrypted volume inside the “empty” part of that outer volume. That means that you safely could give up the key to the outer, visibly encrypted volume, but there is no way to prove that there exists another invisible volume with a separate password inside the “empty” part of that volume. And there even is a possibility to create a whole hidden OS in a similar way… Read more at the TrueCrypt website. If I lived in the UK I would definitely look into that.

        1. Cesar

          If I understood correctly what Falkvinge said, in the UK they could require you to produce the TrueCrypt hidden volume key even if you do not have a hidden volume.

        2. Iridesce

          You might want to check out Jacob Appelbaum’s take on giving any key to anyone:

          Jacob Appelbaum (Part 1/2) Digital Anti-Repression Workshop – April 26 2012 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHoJ9pQ0cn8 )
          – Check out his comments regarding plausible deniability and TrueCrypt ~1:02:15

      2. jimbo

        goes to show exactly what the UK governments think of the people. we’re now on par with N.Korea and Iran! not bad for a democratic country to be in the same class as dictatorships, eh? plus out on our own as far as getting a prison sentence for protecting data. the other side of the coin is we’re expected to secure wireless internet connections. seems like the usual situation. when it suits government/authority, it suits, when it dont, it dont! the UK is now one of the worse so-called democracy’s to live in as far as freedom, privacy and copyright/file sharing is concerned. still dont understand the point of being in the EU when a country can carry on doing it’s own thing

      3. Ohyran

        Can’t you do the skeleton-woman defence? Just claim you’ve forgotten it and “could they please help with cracking it”? 🙂

        Just as an aside – never ever ever ever ever, no matter what, talk to the police during an interrogation. The less said the better as any lawyer can tell you. They can taunt you, claim its some kind of “admission of guilt” but its not, silence doesn’t carry any weight in a courtroom. Silence. Don’t try to be clever, cops are trained at this, you’re not. Just silent. Ask for legal counsel.

    2. sabik


      In some countries, the court can force you to hand over the encryption keys, but that’s an entirely different situation. It’s very important to distinguish the different parts of “the authorities” when in trouble…

      In some countries, the police will apply rubber-hose cryptanalysis, of course.

  3. simon

    Could you elaborate on the no encryption in the UK comment? I haven’t heard anything that would suggest that before…

    Also, what happens if you claim that you forgot your password when they ask?

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      See 2.1 above.

  4. Aelius Blythe

    Thanks for this. It’s really good to know.

    One warning, though – ask the police if there’s coffee (lol!) ONLY after asking if there’s also a bathroom! Apparently, cops love to give you one but not the other….

    1. LennStar

      Well, just down with your trousers and go on.

      If they charge you for assaulting an officer for this, I’m quite sure the judge would be impressed with this interrogation.

    2. Jim

      Could you argue the police are keeping you in false imprisonment in this situation?

  5. John

    I can’t imagine the police being smart enough to turn off a laptop. They will probably just close the lid putting it to sleep. They are not in the job for their technical abilities surely?

    1. Paul Zagoridis

      Police get trained in handling the chain of evidence. If this is an investigation for an alleged computer crime, the officers will know how to secure the evidence.

      1. Rick Falkvinge

        Your comment is an adamant assertion that doesn’t rhyme well with reality. My experience is that the processes may work against non-technical people who run Windows – i.e., the processes are made for the majority of cases they encounter.

        All you have to do is step outside of that box.

        True, there are tools like Encase. But they require you to get some kind of access to the computer – either bypassing the screen lock or rebooting. Bypassing the screen lock isn’t happening. And on reboot, the data s gone.

        1. Arik

          Unfortunately this is not the only possibility.

          There is a technique called the “Cold Boot Attack” which involves:

          1. Unscrewing the back of the laptop while still on or sleeping
          2. Spraying the memory with evaporative coolant reaching its lowest operating temperature
          3. Physically removing the memory and immediately placing it in another machine, which is immediately powered up
          4. Booting into a small OS and reading the RAM

          There is available research showing that most of the memory can be preserved using this process and disk encryption keys have been successfully extracted from the memory using this technique.


          — Arik

      2. LennStar

        That is the theory. In RL things are otherwise in 98% of the cases.

        There even was an incident where a person with a truecrypted computer went to his computer after the police was in.
        The officer asked: What are you doing?
        person: Why, turn it off, of course. Surely you want to take the copmuter with you?
        officer: Then go on.

    2. ChrisB

      Actually the proper move is to unplug a computer from the power source if the computer is being used as evidence.

      This way the OS does not “shutdown” and everything is as it was the moment cop pulled the power cable.

      Then from there they clone the drive (encryption included)

      So no cop should put the lid down, or turn off a computer, they should kill power to harddrive.

  6. Wingnut

    How can we protect ourselves in the UK? 🙁

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      JörgenL has a great suggestion in comment 2.1.1 – look into TrueCrypt’s dual-layer encryption. It’s like an home alarm center with two codes, one disarm code and one duress code, where the second appears to disable the home alarm but in reality tells the alarm center you’ve got a gun to your head.

      In the same way, TrueCrypt can be made to appear to unlock the hard drive without actually doing so. Check the Hidden Volumes feature if you live in the UK. (This is slightly more complicated than just encrypting the system drive, but not much so.)

      1. Wingnut

        Hi Rick,

        Thanks for your advice, same to Jorgen L. I will check these out. And, I’m sure you have heard many times, but – really, you have done an excellent job on the ACTA campaign. You are a hero..


      2. Jon Severinsson

        Except, of course, if the police get it into their head that you have an hidden volume, you’ll go to jail for not decrypting it for them. However, that is true whether you actually have one or not, so is not realy an argument against using one. 🙁

    2. Jörgen L

      see 2.1.1 above.
      Also see “Plausible deniability” on the TrueCrypt site.

  7. tiger97a

    thanks for all the great words of wisdom, i just encrypted my hard drives like you wrote about as this had been bothering me as i have about 5TB stored and was getting worried about it being so easy to get to it but now feel a lot better, lets share more as i have really gotten involved in this cause and let more of us know how to better help to keep this cause going strong.

  8. ZastDerg

    Can you give us a hint on how to encrypt the hard drive? In words that a person with low experience with computers can understand? Or will that perhaps be a future article? Thank you either way.

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      If running Windows:

      Install TrueCrypt.

      Start it.

      Under the System menu in TrueCrypt (second item from left in the menu), select “Encrypt System Partition/Drive”. Go through dialogs and let it work to completion. That can take a while. You can continue working while it does, just don’t turn off the computer by yanking power.

      Afterwards, your hard drive will be encrypted.

      For more, see this page or google for “truecrypt encrypting system drive”.

      1. Rene

        How do you feel about Windows own Bitlocker technology? I read some comparisons on the web suggesting it is a little faster than Truecrypt – but what about trust?

        1. RedSch Pt

          In the matters of data encrypting I do not trust closed source software, like Bitlocker (Windows technology), you can’t see the code therefore you can’t guaranty if there are any back-doors or any unintentional exploits.

          See more info about open-source advantages in the TrueCrypt faq:

        2. LennStar

          I think Bitlocker has an MS key with which MS can decrypt everything.

          But even when not: Don’t trust closed software.

  9. Vanish

    In the case of an open wireless you can still be made liable in germany as “disturber” (germ. “Störerhaftung”). The federal court of justice ruled in 2010 that anyone using wireless needs to take reasonable steps to protect it from unauthorized access of third parties (i.e. encrypt it), even though without having to make sure that the protection is up-to-date at all times. Running open wireless can lead to a cease-and-desist (with according costs), yet you’re not liable for “damages”.

    1. Gene Poole

      Just as a follow up to that, to the best of my knowledge, there are no regulations prohibiting the name of your wireless network…for example, were I to encrypt my wireless and name it “Password=abc123” then that would (in theory at least) be entirely my right as a free citizen. It’s encrypted, just really, really easy to crack.

      1. Vanish

        While this hasn’t been tested yet, I doubt it would go over well, as the underlying idea is that you should try to prevent unauthorized access. Providing the password in the name isn’t exactly prevention.

        1. DRetta

          What if I authorize access for everyone? That in itself is a way of ensuring that no one without “authorized access” can get in. – unauthorized people don’t exist.

          Publishing the password in the name is a sign of offering authorization.

      2. DavidXanatos

        In Germany you are already fucked when you run only WEP encryption,
        you have to use WAP with a sufficiently random password, every thing short of that and you are responsible for any civil offence committed through your IP address.
        Germany suxxx eDonkey bolls.

        1. Vanish

          Well, a combination of VPN and bittorrent still is pretty safe for sharing. And Tribler seems to work towards a pretty hard to break anonymity solution; they’d have to make any kind of proxy illegal in order to stop that.

        2. DavidXanatos

          I don’t think tribbler is doing it right, I’m afraid that it will not scale as their other solutions.

    2. Logicus

      I wonder. Reasonable steps? For me that could be like Rick said. 1 locked wifi on my router , 1 open. What would the law say? Ive protected my network reasonably..

  10. larry

    australian parliament is considering new laws to add an offense for failing to assist in decryption (ie not handing over your password)

  11. RedSch Pt

    And don’t forget to encrypt your communications.


    Search for ECHELON.

    In particular the “Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System” [1].
    This EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT REPORT deals on the existence of a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications (ECHELON interception system)

    Note that this report was submitted in 11 July 2001. In 11 years I wonder what new monitoring systems were devised.

    How often do you hear (if ever) to encrypt your communications?

    [1] Schmid, Gerhard (2001-07-11). “On the existence of a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications (ECHELON interception system), (2001/2098(INI))”

  12. Anyone

    the Open WiFi won’t work in Germany, since the subscriber (the one that pays for the internet) is accountable (see Störerhaftung http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/St%C3%B6rerhaftung )

    in Germany the burden of proof is also reversed in copyright cases, you have to proof that you DIDN’T download something (which is impossible to do unless you have very specific logs), you are guilty on accusation and can be convicted even if you don’t have a PC or even an internet connection

    so yeah, Germany sucks, no wonder the Pirates get 8% there.

    1. Vanish

      No, actually you don’t need to prove you didn’t download.

      First off, it’s the upload that makes you liable, not the download. Downloading is no criminal offense and thus won’t enable anyone to get your IP from your ISP, so it’s reasonably safe. It’s the upload that is the problem, but is also an elemental part of the bittorrent technology. If a court is presented with sufficient proof that something has been shared from your IP, it’s up to you to provide proof that it wasn’t you, and that you’re not responsible.

      Germany sucks on many fronts, but this particular area is not worse than in many other countries, and slightly better than in some.

      1. Rick Falkvinge

        No, actually you don’t need to prove you didn’t download.
        First off, it’s the upload that makes you liable, not the download. Downloading is no criminal offense

        Hmm… two things here:

        1) What’s criminal or not varies between countries – downloading has been criminal in Sweden since 2005. (Which was one of the three reasons for the start of the PPSE, by the way.) Therefore, it’s very hard to base a globally valid reasoning on what’s criminal and not.

        2) The distinction between upload and download is an entirely arbitrary one as you do both at the same time.

        1. Vanish

          The distinction here is as follows: If you download something (i.e. data is being sent downstream from a remote source to your computer) without having the according license to actually acquire that data, it is a civil misconduct, which makes the rights-holder of said data eligible for damages against you. If you upload something (i.e. in theory share it with an unknown, but possibly large number of people) without the proper license to do so, you infringe upon the copyrights of whomever the data you share is attributed to, and since this is seen as a much harsher misconduct, creates a criminal liability besides the civil liability. The courts will usually only issue a warrant for IP adresses in the case of a criminal liability, which is why “downloading” (like from a cyberlocker, usenet, email, etc.) is fairly safe.

        2. DavidXanatos

          you are wrong in most civilized countries (so all in Europe except Germany) it is needer a civil or a criminal offense to download stuff without holding the license to do so.

          In countries like Austria or Switzerland the law even explicitly states that it is your right to use any data obtained in any way for your personal use.

          It is also your right to copy the stuff to all your friends, without having to have any license for that.

          You are only prohibited from making copy’s available to the public.

  13. Datavetaren

    BTW, you probably don’t need to open your wi-fi in practice. You could just say that you SOMETIMES open it up now and then.

  14. Fredrik

    Pick a good passphrase when encrypting: https://xkcd.com/936/

  15. Jesper

    To my knowledge, Truecrypt does NOT do system encryption (i.e., the whole disk) on Macs running OS X. I wouldn’t mind being wrong though; Truecrypt feels safer than FileVault – which is the built-in full disk encryption on OS X.

    1. Zacqary Adam Green

      That’s correct, TrueCrypt doesn’t do full-disk encryption on OS X. Nor does FileVault pre-Lion: it just encrypts your Home folder, and is easily crackable.

      Lion’s FileVault, on the other hand, is pre-boot full-disk encryption of your OS X partition. As far as I can tell it uses AES, and there’s no known evidence that it’s insecure. Yes, it’s an Apple product, but it’s theoretically possible that a large corporation could release a security product without any backdoors in it.

      There’s also PGP disk encryption for Macs, but I’m less familiar with it. David House from the Bradley Manning Support Network recommends it, though.

  16. MRP

    Could you elaborate on drive-encryption on Android? I have not found anything regarding this on my phone (Samsung Galaxy Mini, Android 2.3.4).

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      AFAIK, it appeared in Honeycomb. I have a full-disk-encrypted Android tablet (the ASUS transformer). So your Android 2.3 would not have that.

  17. more advice

    The old Nintendo DS (note: not the DSI) would only connect to open wifi networks (ie no encryption). Maybe the day before this incident happened your cousin/nephew/niece/friends children came around and wanted to play pokemon on the internet. You turned off the security settings on your router and forgot about it until a few weeks later when you noticed your internet was running slow and you figured one of your neighbours must have been using it to do some uploading on your connection. So you remembered to put encryption back on.

    Those neighbours are bastards! If only you knew which neighbour it was you’d have gone round and played hell!

    1. Lee

      That is incorrect the original DS connects to encrypted networks in the normal way.

      1. Anonymous

        No, the Nintendo DS can not connect to WPA encrypted networks in any way shape or form. It’s WEP and open only.

        According to nintendo.com at least.

        WEP is the only one that works, and is pathetically easy to crack.

        1. Anonymous

          Exactly this. And it would be perfectly reasonable for someone who normally uses WPA to turn off security for an hour or two rather than reset the router’s security to WEP and then have to reconfigure it again to WPA (and very easy to “forget” to reactivate security) 🙂

        2. Autolykos

          While a perfectly plausible story, it won’t help you. You’re still responsible for anything illegal happening over your network.
          It’s Catch-22: Either you secured your network adequately, then you can’t prove *you* didn’t do it, or you failed to secure it, then you’re responsible because of that.

  18. Janne Paalijarvi

    Also, always when leaving computer remember to lock the screen. If you are leaving the premises for longer time you should also shut down the computer completely. The police may take a photograph of a live screen during their raid; sometimes it contains too much incriminating evidence.

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      I find that trying to remember an action to be taken, like locking the screen when you leave, doesn’t work in practice. You need to set the computer to take the action for you.

  19. Anonymous

    Assuming you run a NAS or any other kind of large storage device that is not very suited for encryption (I’m guessing it would be pretty heavy on the CPU, and playback of H264 content would be affected) – imagine a scenario where cops scan your hard disk and conclude that the hashes of your media files correspond to the hashes of scene releases. How would you explain getting a hold of those?

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      Most NASes today have full-disk encryption, too (like QNAP), that lock the disk on power loss. It doesn’t affect playback in the slightest, nor is it noticeably affecting the NAS CPU.

      Also, the point is that you shouldn’t try explaining how the files got onto your hard drive. Any statements can only be used to prove your story wrong. The burden of proof is on the copyright monopoly enforcers, and they have to prove that you transferred the file there in a monopoly-breaking manner.

      1. Anonymous

        But if the file hashes match, isn’t that enough “proof ” that you somehow got it through a monopoly-breaking manner? How could you legally get a hold of scene releases?

        I guess I could say (not to the cops, but to the judge, when asked) a friend gave me 6TB worth of video and I don’t know where it came from, but I’m not sure if that’ll hold up in court.

        Maybe it’s also worth listing the possible downsides of encrypting your disks, such as file recovery after a crash, …

      2. Anonymous

        But if the file hashes match, isn’t that enough “proof ” that you somehow got it through a monopoly-breaking manner? How could you legally get a hold of scene releases?

        I guess I could say (not to the cops, but to the judge, when asked) a friend gave me 6TB worth of video and I don’t know where it came from, but I’m not sure if that’ll hold up in court.

        Maybe it’s also worth listing the possible downsides of encrypting your disks, such as file recovery after a crash, …

        1. exilus

          maybe ou bought them or someone else did and gave you his hard drive. their are many possibilities

  20. Anonymous

    Care to comment on what exactly was stolen?

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      I assume this refers to the rage-and-namecalling comment that I just deleted per the troll policy. Don’t necessarily expect a response, much less a coherent one.

  21. filip

    what happend to?:
    You have the right to remain silent.
    Anything you say or do can and will be held against you in a court of law.
    You have the right to an attorney.
    If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.
    Do you understand these rights I have just read to you?

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      That process is specific to the United States.

    2. sabik

      People ignore it when it’s read to them? The police are practiced at getting people talking?

      (Note also what isn’t in that statement: anything you say cannot be used in your favour in a court of law. It can only be used against you. That’s the rules of evidence…)

      1. Rick Falkvinge

        Hmm… perhaps I was misjudging. The Miranda process, which you quote above, only exists in the United States. It is not relevant to Europe or the rest of the world, because there is no such thing as Miranda there.

        You would typically still have the right to a defense lawyer and a right to shut up, but that process during arrest does not exist as such.

        1. Neil

          In the UK it goes like this: “You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something that you later rely upon in Court”.

          Not sure if that covers encryption keys or not!

  22. LennStar

    Rick, you have a few logical flaws in this.
    One was already pointed out in the comments, the german “Störerhaftung” – it is not advisable to have an open Wifi.
    Then a bit mathematics:
    There may be fewer convicted for sharing then struck by lightning, but there are also fewer people that share then go out of their house even when lightning occurs. (Of course, there are severel other, more important factors)
    There may be only a few convicted people, but millions of cease and desist or such like. I think 6 Million (=8%) of germans got a costly letter because of sharing.

    But in one you are 100% right:

    1. Vanish

      Well, in all fairness, the math still works in Rick’s favour: With open wireless, you’re liable for cease-and-desist. Without open wireless, you’re liable for cease-and-desist, and damages. Sound like a no-brainer for open wireless, to me.

    2. King Curry Master Blaster

      What if you are outside, on your laptop, downloading when its raining and there is lightning, AND your doing all this while playing golf using the laptop to keep stats on your game AND you are on a hill section on the first hole wearing a solid silver suit?
      Don’t forget to factor all that in when calculating for me. Cheers! 🙂

  23. davidsonharvard

    hi if i have open wifi idont understand so the IP address mean router and not each pc in specifity . so asingle address to 50 pc shared together ami right .

    1. Guest

      While your spelling is atrocious, yes, a router shares a single IP address with every computer connecting to it. E.g. if you have fifty computers connected via your wireless network, to the outside world , it appears that only one connection is there.

  24. Tzar

    “every conviction I’ve seen of copyright monopoly violation in direct sharing cases has been due to a confession.”

    How about this one? http://torrentfreak.com/retired-computerless-woman-fined-for-pirating-hooligan-movie-111222/

  25. Anon

    Excellent article and very good comments and advises; thanks a lot guys!

  26. Anon

    Excellent article and as well as comments and advises; thanks a lot guys!

  27. […] was some surprise at yesterday’s post about the fact that the United Kingdom will send its citizens to jail for up to five years if they […]

  28. […] smo do iznenađujućeg zaključka u komentarima jučerašnjeg posta na Falkvingeovom sajtu u vezi činjenice da je Velika Britanija efektivno proglasila enkripciju […]

  29. Anonymous

    One word:
    By using secure means of communicating with others you greatly reduce the (admittedly, already tiny) risk of having very stressful times.

  30. davidsonharv

    hi idont understand if u make an open wifi as recomended then they say they cant know u between 50 user but is this mean that the router has an IP address , what i know is that each pc has an ip and still obvious

    1. Anonymous

      each PC has an internal IP address (which is only used by the router to identify where to route the data to). Only the router has an internet address*

      * – usually. some ISPs offer you a range of static IP addresses which you can assign to each computer. But it’s very unusual for a residential ISP to do this.

  31. […] комментариях ко вчерашнему посту все удивились тому факту, что в Англии шифрование […]

  32. PiratJenkins

    This might be dangerous if you are in Germany. With the so called “Störerhaftung” you are responsible for everything done on your internet connection. So if you have an open WiFi and someone gets prosecuted for sharing over that connection, it is YOU, no matter if you can prove that you didn’t actually commit the “offence”

  33. ZV43

    I don’t understand communication encryption. How does the person on the other end decrypt? What about if I’m posting a comment on an article like this? Is not the message free for anyone to read? What about if I’m chatting on Facebook, any way to encrypt that?

    1. Sascha

      You can use Tor, which encrypts your surfing on the web. If you use, for example, Tor to access this website to post your comments here nobody will be able to identify your IP.

      If you use Tor, you can use the free email-Provider tormail.org. After this, nobody can try to go to your email Provider to obtain your emails.

      You can also tell the people to use torchat for communication with you. Then, you can chat and exchange files, everything encrypted, and the IP hidden from the other side too.

  34. Alan

    a special case of the general “don’t talk to the police” principle.

  35. grizewald

    By far the most important piece of advice in Rick’s excellent article is the one least commented on here. STFU!

    Every single person convicted of file sharing here in Sweden was stupid enough to confess to the police during interrogation. The best thing to say during interrogation is nothing at all. Even ‘no comment’ is not needed. Just keep your mouth shut, regardless of what is said to you. The police are allowed to lie to you during interrogation, so just keep quiet. The onus is on them to give a prosecutor evidence to prove to a court that you are guilty, not for you to make it easy for them.

  36. Lee

    Hi. Just found your website. I guess the point of using the phrase “sharing culture” is used because you don’t like to use the word “copyright violation” or even worse “stealing.” My only reaction is to wonder if you know how much you hurt creative people when you steal the fruits of their labor? Or do you simply not care?

    1. Sascha

      An incorrect question – it presupposes that copying information is stealing.

  37. Frosty

    Surprised to read the bit about it NOT being within my rights to encrypt my hard drive in the UK. Can somebody please elaborate?

    1. David

      Well this seems odd to me, when arrested we are read our rights as:

      “You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”

      Which seems to suggest we do not have to hand over the encryption key when asked, otherwise it would be a direct violation to these rights. Regardless, I’ve not heard great things about TrueCrypt, it seems somewhat flawed. I’ve heard Mac’s FileVault is harder to crack, and as long as the user is not logged in, it seems failsafe. (All from a few quick Google searches).

  38. donjoe

    Actually, AFAIK Romania does have a law specifically prohibiting you from holding a copy of a material you don’t have the “rights” to hold. So it’s not just a problem of transfer in every country and depending on your legislation the encryption part could be even more important to get right.

  39. David

    You are awesome dude. Keep up the fight and the good blogs! Read em all, love em all….


  40. Andrew

    A funny thought crossed my mind.
    1) Suppose, you have an encrypted hard drive (or any other storage device).
    2) During some procedure it is taken from you by law.
    3) You refuse to give decryption keys.
    4) However, your storage gets classified as a vital piece of evidence and, therefore, is subjected to forensic analysis.
    5) Does p.1 and 3 mean that you just provided a wildcard for the investigation? I.e. since your storage contains a “random” bit pattern it can be “decrypted by some elaborate technique” into anything one may wish.
    6) After p.5 you are charged with virtually anything: copyright infringement, IP theft, CP, etc. — because “decryption procedure” found it.
    Now you are either charged with bullshit or you provide decryption key, in which case you are still charged with bullshit because “storage had a hidden TrueCrypt container”.
    Or is this scenario impossible? (:


  41. Anonymous

    “civil lawsuits don’t confiscate equipment in a police raid”.

    This is good to know. I know that the copywrong industry has stopped prosecuting people under criminal law here in Germany, they are only using the civil law for this purpose. So I don’t have to fear police raids. And I don’t need to fear the lawsuits either because it’s unlikely that I get convicted. If I get convicted, I’ll just wait for lightning to strike me.

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