May 27, 2005 6:34 AM PDT

Terrorist link to copyright piracy alleged

Counterfeit DVDs and cigarettes may be funding terrorists.

That's what the Senate Homeland Security committee heard Wednesday from John Stedman, a lieutenant in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department who's responsible for an eight-person team of intellectual property (IPR) investigators.

"Some associates of terrorist groups may be involved in IPR crime," Stedman said. "During the course of our investigations, we have encountered suspects who have shown great affinity for Hezbollah and its leadership."

Even though Stedman's evidence is circumstantial, his testimony comes as Congress is expected to consider new copyright legislation this year. An invocation of terrorism, the trump card of modern American politics, could ease the passage of the next major expansion of copyright powers.

Steadman said he saw Hezbollah flags and photographs of the group's leader in homes that he raided, coupled with anti-Israel sentiments on the part of those arrested.

But another witness, Kris Buckner, the president of a private investigation firm that looks into intellectual property violations, said: "I am also frequently asked if terrorist groups profit from the sale of counterfeit goods. I do not know the answer to that question." Buckner has, however, heard "subjects make anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish statements" on raids.

The 9/11 Commission never managed to link Hezbollah to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But the commission claimed that Iran and Hezbollah provided assistance to al-Qaida on other occasions, including joint training exercises.

Matthew Levitt, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who also testified, said that "Hezbollah depends on a wide variety of criminal enterprises, ranging from smuggling to fraud to drug trade to diamond trade in regions across the world, including North America, South America and the Middle East, to raise money."

Hezbollah has attacked U.S. forces in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia and Israelis in many countries.


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Just great
just great, there goes all of the copyright laws and the hope for more progressive, in a good way, copyright laws like other countries have. Good-bye all P2P programs within the next 2-4 years. Back to the underground it all goes again.
Posted by trashcansdflkhjsdf;lis (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Just one more reason...
The terrorists are winning. We now, as americans, are going to suffer more. Soon they will say terrorists like TV so if you own one you are a terrorist. After Sept 11 the country came together and said we will not let the terrorist take away our rights or our freedom but after a few years and everyone is going back to their normal lives is when it seems our freedoms and rights are slowly being stripped away. I would not want to see another attack on America and I agree with extra security but some of things that are happening or in the works is getting out of hand.
Posted by ZP (19 comments )
Link Flag
Terrorism link to software piracy? Doh!
Excuse me? Is this the kind of logic used by the Ministry of Homeland Security (MoHS)?

We went to a Terrorists house and found un-licensed software, ergo, downloaders have a link to Terrorists? They also eat rice, drink water and breath air. Wouldnt that mean that eating, drinking and breathing would be considered Terrorist acts?

I know that the government is desperate to justify the ridiculous expense of MoHS but this goes so far down the road of stupidity as to defy belief.

We need to act immediately! I have heard that Terrorists have used the words MPAA, RIAA, PETA, ABC, NBC, FOX, CNN, Donald Trump, Alec Baldwin, George Bush, Ted Kennedy and Homeland Security in their conversations and e-mails. This PROVES the linkage and in order to protect Americas interests and children, the Government must act immediately. The CIA, NSA, FBI and ASPCA should move to arrest all members of these Terrorist Organizations, seize all available assets and begin an exhaustive search of all their respective body cavities.
Posted by Olsparkee (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
I'm glad I don't belong to any of those organizations! :D
Posted by Sboston (498 comments )
Link Flag
What kind of story is THIS!!!! No unbiased review of the statement from the DoHS? Its news sites like this that are poisining our one "buys" crap online. If they are stealing it, they're stealing it for FREE (i.e. no profit to the terrorist). The DVD's they may be selling on the street might bring profit but P2P?!? Give me a break., you SUCK!! Prob the last time I come here for tech news I can tell you that.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Did you even read the story
While that was one of the worst written stories I've read on CNET, your criticism is baseless. The author only mentions counterfeit DVDs, there is never a mention P2P movie swapping or DVD theft which your criticism is based on. I also don't see any bias in the story, it was just trying to communicated about congressional testimony. However I do feel that the article was extremely poorly written. The last three paragraphs should have been dropped. They seem to be there to just pad the length of the article. They just are a rambling series of statements about terrorists.
Posted by dkwags (9 comments )
Link Flag
I bet they're bootlegging "Muslim Girls Gone Wild: Saddam's Harem Edition" Fingers and Toes EXPOSED! Too hot to show you here! Only 19.95! But wait! Like all good things in life, Girls Gone Wild comes in pairs! For a limited time get an all access pass to Osama's Afghan Cave Party! You won't believe your eyes! That's 2 DVD's and 2 WMD's for only 19.95! Infedel US currency gladly accepted!
Posted by Bob_Barker (167 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Of all the claims...
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Link Flag
Whenever someone invokes terrorism or 9-11 I know some bull is about to come behind it. Either they are demanding we give up more rights or demanding we take another inch of government/corporate screwing. Are terrorist being finance by movies? Maybe. But I'll counter, if the movies are easily availible online why would anyone pay for bootlegs thereby financing terrorists.

Once again the government/corporation is letting the terrorism boogyman out the closet to use to its benefit.
Posted by Darryl Snortberry (96 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hey, that's it!
Do your part to fight terrorism, download a pirated movie today!

(I wonder if that excuse would hold up in court? ;-)
Posted by Marcus Westrup (630 comments )
Link Flag
P2P users are terrorists
the activities of P2P users are clearly a threat that could lead the world to World War 3 ;o)

the evidence is that Ben Laden was a former Napster user
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
IS already happening. Look at the middle east. Look at tensions between Americans and Muslims. We're gonna be in this war until one of us is nuked into oblivion. I say we strike first.
Posted by (461 comments )
Link Flag
I call Bullsh*t!
Come On! Just as predicted, whenever we want the unstoppable
powers of Homeland Security to get involved, we just have to hint
that there may be some terrorist involvement.

Your rights have been usurped!
Posted by m.meister (278 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bombing the Baldwins
Yeah and the Oscars were postponed after 9/11 because
"Terrorists" were going to bomb the Baldwins.
Posted by DemiHampster (29 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"Hey, Billy, you know what sucks about being a Baldwin?"

Posted by Bob_Barker (167 comments )
Link Flag
Serious Business, Folks!
The real terrorists in this article are the IP Mobsters who are coercing congress to take away your basic human rights. If you value the fair use rights of property you buy and the freedom to make creative use of it, you should be shaking in your boots. This comic sheriff is a real threat. We all need to be inundating congress with letters to demonstrate that we are concerned about the trend to a lack of balance in copyright law.
Repeal the Digital Monopoly Conservation Act
Posted by Frihet (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Duh. You think?
Gee, what a surprise. So all you people out there who have a DVD burner or use P2P, you are an evil-doer I guess.

So why would they only be concerned about DVD's? Wouldn't the "evil doers" be willing to counterfit anything? This is so dumb, but hey, I guess we have to protect the revenue stream of Star Wars and Marlboro.

So now will this allow the MPAA and the RIAA to invoke the Patriot Act and haul little kids who are downloading MP3's from Kazaa off to some unnamed camp in order to protect the homeland? But wait, wasn't someone just saying that the real hotbed of counterfit DVD's and such is mainland China? What am I missing?
Posted by (274 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Mideast Oil = Terrorism
We are DOOMED if our government actually thinks that pirated movies are a bigger terrorism threat than the U.S. sending bilions of petro-dollars to Mideast countries. Where do they think the Saudis got the money to build those terrorist training camps (madrasas) from?

If we assume our government is not this stupid, and is merely using 9-11 as a cover story to appease the entertainment industry, then that is even worse. It shows just how low they will go, and how stupid they think the American public really is.
Posted by Stating (869 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Where did the money come from?
The US gave many millions of dollars to Bin Laden, armed and trained him.
Posted by pcLoadLetter (395 comments )
Link Flag
SUV & Oil = Terrorism
A better link to terrorism is the SUV and Middle Eastern Oil. Maybe congress should shutdown General Motors or Ford, Mobil Oil or Chevron, and make it illegal to own a HUMMER!
Posted by tbeckner (56 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I am glad
that my dad retired after 36 years from the LA Sherrifs deaprtment. This moron just made the LASD look really stupid. The LAPD has always looked dumb. Now, so do the sherrifs.

How can this guy say with a straight face that pirated DVDs contribute to the terrorists. Give me a break. How much did he get paid to say that? Did Glickman pay him?

The damn MPAA nad RIAA have enough money to pay Private Investigators. The local police and sherrifs should be doing their REAL job and protecting the people in their respective towns and cities.

The police, sherrifs, FBI, CIA, NSA, et al. should be doing their jobs of protecting this country from real threat s and not act as the lackies for Hollywood.
Posted by SteveBarry687 (170 comments )
Reply Link Flag
oil is the answer not pirated DVDs
As if the story can't get any dummer. I totally agree with the previous people who left their comment. Oil is what funds terrorism not piracy.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
The Hezbollah group is only considered a terrorist group to
Israel and America. They formed after Israel invaded Lebanon in
the early 80s. Of course they hate Israels, wouldn't you hate the
invaders of your country that kill your family and destroy your
home and your child's school? This is how American media
frustrates me. How can anyone be called a terrorist because
they defend their nation from invaders?
This is as crappy as the story written about the Homeland
Security prohibitting a store from selling counterfeit rubix cube
toys...gimme a break.
Posted by Microbreak (61 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The normal world calls those FREEDOM FIGHTERS
If anyone would attack my country Canada to rob our resources, I would not hesitate to nuke the invador who ever and where ever they may be. I do not need any financial backing to do that. I would not need my governments support either! The plain know-how is sufficient. Knowing that a single person can obtain material on the spot and within of the targeted enemy makes things like carrier rockets obsolete. A single dedicated person can bring even the USA to knees. My advise is to my fellow neighbours is: Watch your steps!
Do not take sides in others conflicts, it may bring you a big disaster if you do so! If you support some supressions it will hit back.
If you are democratic than listen to the sides involved. Comprehende?
Posted by cyberblatt (35 comments )
Link Flag
The ultimate desperation - The Terrorism Card
Apparently the government either thinks so little of the average intelligence of an American citizen or they couldn't come up with a way to simply say, "Hey, piracy is illegal whether you like it or not" - so they had to turn to the ultimate desperation card: Terrorism.

The terrorism card has been played out on the "war on drugs" (remember the "when you buy drugs you support terrorism" campaign?), renewed the egregious Patriot Act (under which my half-brother, though certainly not a saint, is in prison on FEDERAL - not State - charges for threatening his wife because under the Act such threats are considered "terroristic") and was used, though never proven, as the justification for war.

Once again, in the absence of any real reform, or even widespread enforcement, of current law they pull their last desperation act by declaring piracy as supporting terrorism in an attempt to blind the public and sway public opinion *on the backs of those who died on 9/11 and who continue to die in Afghanistan and Iraq*.

Posted by (38 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Just the profit gets outsourced as it follows the jobs
What a brainwashing goes on in the USA.
Some paranoids are running the show there?
You should change the name of your country?
Something like Western Israel. Ha ha ha... or how about "KSA" meaning "The Kosher States of America"
if you can not stand up to your rights than you deserve to be a slave. Declare all other faiths as terrorists. What a freaking country is that?
I guess you have a mirror at least to see who you are and where you are going!
Americans should take back the white House!
The sooner the safer!
What a bunch of yo yos, not willing to change that! Gee!
Posted by cyberblatt (35 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I wonder how big the check was
that the MPAA cut for this guy for his testamony.
Posted by mustangj36 (43 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Just Thinking!
This government wants me to believe that internet piracy of software, movies and music is funding terrorists and their organizations?

Sorry, but I got this real stupid thing I do called "thinking."

I'm glad I'm a black man because I knew from day one that the government and these big corporations are all full of ****.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag

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