TorrentSpy accuses MPAA of hacking

Counteroffensive

The company behind the TorrentSpy search engine has countersued the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) over allegations that it hired a hacker in order to spy on it.

Valence Media claims the MPAA paid an unspecified individual $15K to break into its systems and snoop for intelligence, SecurityProNews reports.

The hacker was given carte-blanche to obtain "dirt" on Valence Media by whatever means at his disposal by an intermediary acting on behalf of the MPAA, Valence Media alleges in a lawsuit (PDF) filed with the US District Court for the Central District of California.

The hacker was supposedly promised he would never be held accountable for actions, which allegedly came as part of a wider "dirty tricks" campaign. According to the lawsuit, the MPAA's agent told the hacker that the MPAA planed to pay private investigators to rummage through the garbage of TorrentSpy founder Justin Bunnell and leading executives at Valence Media.

The hacker allegedly went on to obtain an Excel spreadsheet detailing TorrentSpy expenses covering the first half of last year along with confidential emails and details of invoices sent to clients.

TorrentSpy, a site which indexes Torrent files, providing links to downloadable content, was among the BitTorrent search engines sued by the MPAA in February 2006 over allegations it facilitated copyright infringement. TorrentSpy's legal response certainly pulls no punches. ®

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