Speaking with Guardian Unlimited primarily regarding piracy counter-measures, Peter Anaman, a senior internet investigator for legal firm Covington and Burling has admitted that his organisation has infiltrated unnamed private BitTorrent tracker sites and shares their method of gaining access;
“Many groups didn’t start off as private. They became private because they felt threatened, so we were able to get in when they were open” he said.
Anaman indicated that his company maintains a network of contacts who help it gain access to additional private sites, although he isn’t forthcoming about what happens while they’re there, other than information gathering.
With a nod towards the increasing difficulty of getting a membership on certain private BitTorrent trackers Anaman added, “Once you’re in, you never take action. You just listen”
In 2005, a successful infiltration operation masterminded by the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) led to the shutdown of the EliteTorrents BitTorrent tracker after they breached the Family Entertainment Act with their involvement in the internet pre-release of Star Wars: Episode III.