The existence of many thousands of pirate-focused sites and applications available on the Internet today shows that there’s no shortage of skilled individuals interested in the piracy scene.
On the other hand, there’s also no shortage of copyright holders and anti-piracy groups keen to disrupt their activities using any means at their disposal. At least on the ‘battlefield’, these opposing parties are not entirely dissimilar, with a shared interest in piracy but always at the expense of the other.
An example can be found at Danish anti-piracy group Rights Alliance. While their arch-rivals are beavering away developing the next Popcorn Time, Kodi add-on, TV app, or YouTube-ripper, Rights Alliance wants to keep up with all of these developments so that strategies can be put in place to deal with them.
“We are dealing with an area that is always evolving and where the people behind the services we try to stop are creative and often very technically proficient. This places great demands on us, as we must proactively follow the latest trends in the online marketplace for illegal content sharing and adapt our activities accordingly,” a job listing posted this week explains.
“Here you will have a big role to play, as you need to keep an eye on the new technologies and help find solutions to obstruct their functionality and organize our enforcement strategy.”
The successful candidate will also be required to dissect ‘pirate’ apps and the systems behind them. This is so the anti-piracy organization can present an analysis to law enforcement and in some cases, the courts.
“One of the other important tasks of the position will be to ‘reverse engineer’ technology / computer programs so that the functionality can be described and explained to judges and authorities. In addition, there will be ample opportunity for programming of crawlers, plugins and other automation tools,” the listing reads.
This is only part of the responsibilities for the position of IT Investigator, however. Leveraging data collected from publicly available sources, the candidate will be expected to unmask the often anonymous entities behind piracy tools and services, as well as those who use them to obtain copyrighted material.
“Our work requires a great deal of investigative efforts on various internet forums and platforms, and your work will therefore largely be to use OSINT and other investigative tools to describe the methods and uncover the identities behind the operators of platforms and people who illegally share our members’ content,” Rights Alliance adds.
While the anti-piracy group says that an “ethical hacker” or computer scientist could have the necessary qualities for the job, there are numerous cases where former pirates have changed sides. So, for fun, we approached someone who previously built and ran a torrent site and tracker, to see if he could ever be tempted by a job offer from the ‘other side’.
“I’m good thanks (lol) but you can see why someone like me might be a good fit. Some might balk at the idea but given the chance to do what we like and get paid for it in a new environment could be really interesting,” he explained.
“My problem would come at the end watching someone in court because of my work so I’ll pass if you don’t mind. Anyway, I don’t want them Googling me.”