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Pirate Bay Proxy Operator's Bank Account Seized

Pirate Bay Proxy Operator's Bank Account Seized

Today in international tech news: Dutch authorities seize the bank and PayPal accounts of a Pirate Bay proxy operator; Samsung plans to open a series of brand-specific outlets inside Best Buy stores; Australia tries out high-tech water fountains, and a Swedish judge says that Julian Assange is confused about extradition rules -- and then lauds WikiLeaks.

By David Vranicar
04/04/13 9:04 AM PT

The Netherlands has had the damnedest time blocking The Pirate Bay.

Taking a cue from the UK, as well as from Belgium and others, the Netherlands ruled last May that Dutch Internet service providers must block The Pirate Bay.

Alas, the ruling didn't quite do the trick, as people began offering proxies that afforded users circuitous routes to the piracy hotbed.

Dutch authorities have thus turned their attention to the proxies -- and their money.

The Dutch entertainment copyright group BREIN successfully lobbied for a Dutch bailiff to seize the bank account of a Pirate Bay proxy operator. The operator of the proxy, online at kuiken.co, had fought BREIN's demands to shut down, instead starting a crowdfunding campaign to cover his legal fees. But the courts are now upping the ante and going after money.

The purveyor of the site apparently wasn't notified of the seizure, and instead found out only after logging onto to his online banking account. BREIN confirmed that the seizure did indeed stem from its complaints.

In an interesting twist, BREIN also helped lock up the operator's PayPal account. That account, incidentally, is where the crowdfunded legal payments had been stowed away, which could complicate the upcoming litigation between the two sides.

[Source: Torrent Freak]

Samsung-Specific Departments Coming to Best Buy

Best Buy will turn over real estate inside its store to Samsung to create dedicated departments for its wares.

The in-house Samsung quarters, which will carry mobile devices, cameras and accessories, are scheduled to open in the second quarter as Samsung starts selling the Galaxy S4, the newest model of its flagship smartphone.

Unlike Apple, Samsung does not have its own stores in the U.S. However, the Best Buy mini-stores should help compensate: They will dwarf Best Buy's Apple sections and even allow customers to purchase products without passing through the main checkout lines.

There are expected to be 1,400 such Samsung departments; financial details have not been disclosed.

[Source: The Wall Street Journal]

Swedish Judge: Assange to US Unlikely

Sweden would likely be unable to extradite Julian Assange to the US -- if, of course, Assange ever were to end up in Sweden -- said Stefan Lindskog, a senior judge from Sweden's supreme court.

Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who is wanted on sexual assault charges in Sweden, is currently holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he sought refuge last summer in an attempt to avoid trial for sexual assault allegations in Sweden. He had claimed that he couldn't stand trial in Sweden without being extradited to the U.S., which is also seeking to prosecute Assange.

Australia-born Assange doesn't believe he can get a fair trial in Sweden and has said that once in Sweden, he would be extradited to the U.S.

However, in a talk at an Australian university, Lindskog claimed that Assange's logic is specious.

For Sweden to ship someone to the U.S., the judge said, the defendant must have violated a law in both countries. The basis for any U.S. charge would likely be unlawful communication of secret material, which is not a crime in Sweden, according to Lindskog.

WikiLeaks' leaks were "good for society," Lindskog went on to say, adding that it "should never be a crime to make known the crime of a state."

[Source: The Register]

Australia Tries Out High-Tech Water Fountain

The Australian city of Perth will test out a water fountain that operates via a smart card.

The "ProAqua" fountain, which dispenses both still and sparkling water, is already available in Europe and features LED technology to run advertisements during gulp breaks. The installation can also be solar powered.

[Source: The Age]


David Vranicar is a freelance journalist and author of The Lost Graduation: Stepping off campus and into a crisis. You can check out his ECT News archive here, and you can email him at david[dot]vranicar[at]newsroom[dot]ectnews[dot]com.


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