In 2004 when Peter Charleton was a senior Counsel he was brought before Dublin District Court for attempting to pervert the course of justice, the attempt at criminal prosecution against Charleton had been made by a convicted prisoner who alleged that Charlton while representing the State in a criminal case had lied and misled the Court of Criminal Appeal. However, as there was no recording equipment or stenographer required in CCA hearings at that time no summons were issued by the District Court, that case against Charleton resulted in recording equipment being placed in the CCA and now all such matters are fully recorded and so slight of hand by State prosecutors is not so easily done.
Peter Charleton would be rewarded for his service to the State by being appointed a High Court Judge, Peter is one who does not easily tire of the glare of the media, and on a junket to the USA in 2009 Peter told the story of how cyber-terrorists made threats against him. If the threats were real then they are shameful, however, if one suckles on the nipple of the gutter press for sustenance then one must also expect that one day that media will be used against you. HIGH COURT judge Mr Justice Peter Charleton was the subject of threats on the internet after he issued an order in 2009 requiring Eircom to block the Pirate Bay website, he has told a US conference.
Pirate Bay is a controversial Swedish website that provides links to locations where copyrighted material such as music can be downloaded for free. Its activities have been the subject of numerous lawsuits.
He said that one day after his ruling, “senior officials from the Courts’ Service contacted me. Senior members of An Garda Síochána wanted to meet with me. I said yes.
“Over tea they told me that my judgment had not gone down well in places like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, among others. These are places where there is no control at all on the internet, or so I was told.
“I was regarded as a traitor, would you mind, to freedom of expression on the internet. Threats were made that my life would be ‘wrecked by computer’. The people in question, the cyber-terrorists, were proposing to hack into my computer to get my credit card and other details, order any number of pizzas for my greedy gut and get call girls to turn up to my door and plant child pornography on my work computers.”
The first case involving illegal downloads was EMI -v- Eircom, which was settled. The deal involved the music industry reporting to Eircom instances of illegal downloading, then Eircom, using the IP numbers of the downloader, would write to the person concerned warning them that if they continued to download copyright material they would be cut off after “three strikes”.
The settlement also included an undertaking from Eircom that it would not oppose an injunction to block down the Pirate Bay website.
Mr Justice Charleton said he granted the injunction on the basis that European law demanded it, but he had not looked closely enough at the transmission of the European directive into Irish law. “That decision caused an international hullabaloo in cyberspace. It passed over my head. Viruses as well, of course. Certain precautions were taken. One precaution was to put up firewalls. These work so well that my computer is so slow that I have stopped using it. So, they did get their revenge.”
He said he also took the precaution of telling senior members of the judiciary about the threat, one of whom responded: “Dear me, Peter, are you not taking this too seriously?”
Mr Justice Charleton said it had been the Garda who took it seriously and contacted him. The judge also said he wanted to tell his colleagues so that if anything happened, such as a pornography scandal on his computer, he wanted an alibi, to which the colleague replied: “In that case, I’m happy to be your alibi.”
Mr Justice Charleton revealed the threats at a lecture earlier this year on copyright piracy and the internet at Fordham University in the US.
This is an interesting article. I know copyright material does get download I'm personally wish there were areas where royalty free, lot's of royalty free media can be placed for people to use because it seems sometimes to me everywhere you look it's copyright material.
Cyber Terrorist threats are real as we have seen them in the past. Developed industrial countries in the future are going to rely even more on computers then we do today if something is done about it right now the impact that these threat present will be more then just something bothersome. The threat could maybe cause chemicals in the water supply to be placed in dangerous about effecting lots of people's lives as just one example.
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