back to article Choke on it! Brit police squeeze pirate site advertising money trail

The intercepting of advertisements served on dodgy pirate sites has begun to choke their revenue by 70 per cent, according to the City of London police, vindicating the policy of following the “money trail”, rather than an individual infringer, said the police and trade groups. Tactics include harassing the seedy ad networks …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ads on dodgy sites can be a vector for malware

    So how is it I've never had a virus from an ad on a porn, pirate or warez site (which I do visit regularly) yet several supposedly not dodgy sites including eBay tried to infect me last week?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ads on dodgy sites can be a vector for malware

      How do you know you havn't?

  2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

    The intercepting of advertisements served on dodgy pirate sites has begun to choke their revenue by 70 per cent, according to the City of London police, vindicating the policy of following the “money trail”, rather than an individual infringer, said the police and trade groups.

    To me, at least, that first sentence has a very different meaning to what the rest of the article describes. Based on that, I initially thought CoLP had spent out on some DPI kit and managed to get it onto ISPs networks.

    I'd have had a major issue with that......

    As for the tactics they appear to have used, I'm not convinced public money, or a theoretically public resource (the City of London Police) should be involved in enforcing private interests, but it does sound like the approach they've taken is the least-bad way of doing things.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Enforcing private interests is what the City of London police do - its the only reason they still exist (as a separate force from the Met).

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      This is the City of London, which is owned by business interests. In terms of resident population, it is the smallest city in England with a population of 7,535 as of the 2011 census, though the day-time population is much larger, about 300,000. It is also the only city where businesses have a vote. They vote for 80 out of the 100 representatives on the council.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Either way, allowing a "private" police force is a very bad idea. Resources spent on this would be much better spent in other areas.

  3. Tromos

    Kill two birds with one stone

    Stop piracy - shut down the advertising industry.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kill two birds with one stone

      Stop piracy - shut down the advertising industry

      Although that idea has some merit (less reasons to profile people, closing down a side channel for malware, saving buckets of the bandwidth YOU pay for etc etc - it's a long list), the problem is that advertising is for some sites the main source of revenue - I believe El Reg is one of them.

      There is maybe scope for a new ad space reseller that is NOT profiling (so not Google), and that does filters its ads so no active content slides along such as Flash or dodgy scripts. Heck, I'd disable AdBlock on that site because it would mean I don't face months of Zalando-only ads because the missus once looked at a pair of shoes for a few seconds. I may even see something interesting that I *am* interested in, which curiously doesn't seem to happen with the targeted ads.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kill two birds with one stone

      "Stop piracy - shut down the advertising industry."

      That would a pretty severe effect on Google's revenues then.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Kill two birds with one stone

        That would a pretty severe effect on Google's revenues then.

        Cool. A win - win scenario. When do we start?

      2. Tromos

        Re: Kill two birds with one stone

        "That would a pretty severe effect on Google's revenues then."

        It might even bring them into line with the amount they declare for tax purposes.

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Facepalm

    ‘fishing in a cesspool’

    Do they really think that people searching for wank fodder are going to pay attention to ads ?

    1. Turtle

      @Pascal Monett Re: ‘fishing in a cesspool’

      "Do they really think that people searching for wank fodder are going to pay attention to ads ?"

      No, of course not, but if the ads are there then the ad networks and the websites get paid just the same.

      Lexus might be a luxury car but clearly they're not smart enough to indulge themselves with the luxury of having admen who know how to spend money wisely.

      1. e^iπ+1=0

        Re: @Pascal Monett ‘fishing in a cesspool’

        @Pascal Monett Re: ‘fishing in a cesspool’

        "Do they really think that people searching for wank fodder are going to pay attention to ads ?"

        Hell yeah, after seeing what was going on the bonnet of that Lexus, I want won two.

  5. TeeCee Gold badge
    Coat

    Aha!

    an advertisement for Lexus cars washed up on a bestiality site.

    So even the advertisers have a problem with targeted advertising now?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Aha!

      it wasn't even a bestiality piracy site! they should keep the money!

  6. Your alien overlord - fear me

    "PIPCU set up a secret list of infringing sites,... , so advertisers couldn’t plausibly claim ignorance "

    So if it's a secret list, this means, by definition, it's a secret. So,yes, I do claim ignorance.

  7. K Silver badge
    Devil

    90% of people who find a "reputable" supplier

    Would also run an ad blocker..

    I do.. i did.. i mean my friends told me!

  8. Camilla Smythe Silver badge

    Self Regulation?

    "To counter this, the ad biz’s self regulator, the IAB (or Interactive Advertising Bureau, which develops industry standards, conducts research, and provides legal support for the online advertising), worked with PIPCU, the publicly funded private policing agency based in the City of London."

    So IAB Tosspots. Given you make Billions a year, and boast about it, why don't you and your members go spend some of it 'self regulating'/'self policing' yourselves rather than blowing it off lobbying for your free ride in order to fuck all over everyone else's bandwidth allowance and then using tax payers money to divert Plod from their supposed proper job?

    Shit on a stick. Plod is meant to be sorting out the paedophiles and the terrorists. What the fuck are they doing dealing with shite like you?

  9. P. Lee Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    re I've never seen Coca Cola or Apple advertisements on a hardcore pornography or pirate site

    I've never seen a Coca Cola or Apple advert on el reg.

    Coincidence? I think not!

  10. skeptical i
    Meh

    If "[d]isrupting advertising is a vital part of Operation Creative"

    (from CoPL website), how do we get more of that? I don't have a problem with the idea of adverts, per se (if that's what keeps sites up and running, I guess it's a necessary evil), but I DO have a problem with having to choke down dozens of the damn things while waiting for the relative paucity of content on some news sites to load.

  11. veti Silver badge
    Angel

    "I've never seen Coca Cola or Apple advertisements on a hardcore pornography or pirate site."

    Me either. Isn't Adblock wonderful?

  12. abubasim

    Just a comment on the chosen picture for this story: it's Richard E Grant in How to Get Ahead in Advertising from 1989. I will be watching this film tonight.

  13. Ralph B

    Not Fair

    How are Lexus supposed to reach their core demographic if they can't advertise on dodgy websites?

  14. Clyde

    If they can do if for the "pirate" sites

    Why can't they do the same for the really annoying ones - the sites that feed spam ?

    All those payments to "men's health" sites and Russian wives and god only knows what else.

    Spam is fed by credit card payments through payment processors and dodgy banks. Like the City of London.

    Kill spam and you'd get to be king of the world if you wanted.

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