Giganews Scores Legal Victory for Usenet

Jan. 2017 update – Giganews has once again prevailed in the court of appeals over Perfect 10. Cheers to the Giganews team on their continued efforts.You can read the full verdict from the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Here’s a view of the conclusion in which the court of appeals affirms the district court’s decision. Read Giganews related blog post to learn more about the legal victory and their response.

Giganews legal victory

Feb. 2014 update – Last week Giganews scored a legal victory for Usenet.  The case involved Perfect 10 suing Giganews for copyright infringement.  They contended in part that Giganews was not protected by the DMCA Safe Harbor provision and that they were willfully distributing copyrighted content owned by Perfect 10.  The case started back in 2011 and recently brought a nice victory for Giganews and the Usenet community in general.

We’ll touch on a few of the issues brought forth in the Perfect 10 vs. Giganews case.  You can learn more by reading the verdict here.  It’s only 21 pages and is an interesting read for anyone who has ever wondered just how DMCA is supposed to work.  As it turns out Giganews is right in line with what the DMCA and Safe Harbor were meant to protect.  The case set some nice legal precedent to help protect Usenet providers in the future.

In reading the judgement you can tell that the judge wasn’t impressed by the case presented by Perfect 10.  They were very sloppy in their arguments.  Which isn’t all that surprising given their previous loses in court.  They seem hell bent on suing technology companies.  Trolling can be a lucrative business these days I suppose.  Instead this case helped define what expectations Usenet providers will have in terms of DMCA requests.

We’re not going to spend time explaining the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) because the judgement goes into detail for those who want to learn more about DMCA and Usenet.  Instead I want to share some of the arguments Perfect 10 made in the case along with the court’s response.  We’ll start with how Perfect 10 presented Giganews with takedown requests and then move on to some of the other issues in the case.

How Not to Present a DMCA Takedown Notice

Giganews has a page on their site that clearly defines the information they need for DMCA notices:

  1. Clear identification of the person or entity submitting the DMCA Notice.
  2. Clearly stated relationship to the copyright holder (self or authorized agent).
  3. Message-IDs for all articles the DMCA Notice is requesting Giganews take down. Please keep in mind some files are large enough to be posted across several Usenet articles; these are called multi-part posts. Be certain to identify by Message-ID all articles you want taken down.
  4. Clear statement, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that you are copyright holder, or authorized to act on behalf of the copyright holder.
  5. A “physical or electronic signature” of an authorized person to act on behalf of the owner. This is fulfilled by a name and a physical address that the authorized individual can be contacted should someone wish to contest your notification.
  6. While not legally required by the DMCA, including “copyright violation” in the subject line of your email will flag your DMCA Notice and bypass spam categorization.
  7. Submit the Notice to, the email address we have registered with the Copyright office pursuant to Section 512(c) of the Copyright Act.

Did Perfect 10 follow those instructions?  Not at all.  According to the court documents Perfect 10 presented Giganews with a series of screenshots.  The images showed them using a newsreader to search for related content.  They sent that information over to Giganews and told them to remove everything related to those searches.  Nevermind that they didn’t provide the message ID’s for the articles to be deleted.

You can think of the message ID on a Usenet post like you would a URL for a web page.  In order to remove content from a news server the provider needs to know exactly what to delete.  A screenshot of a search performed in a newsreader isn’t at all adequate.  Imagine trying to deal with that kind of notice to find and remove specific posts.  There are so many flaws in that approach.  Thankfully the court agreed.

Yet another issue in the case was whether or not Giganews properly dealt with repeat infringers.  This is important to falling under safe harbor protection.  Something that technology companies like Google as well as Usenet providers rely on.  Giganews was able to show that they warn users after the first notice and terminate their account after any subsequent notices.  That’s their stance on dealing with repeat infringers.

Again the court agreed with Giganews.  At question was why Giganews hadn’t kicked off more users.  That really comes down to the decentralized nature of Usenet.  Just because Giganews receives a DMCA notice and removes content doesn’t mean it was posted on their service.  What if the content was posted by an Astraweb customer.  Giganews certainly can’t terminate their account.  Once again the court understood and agreed.

One other issue we found interesting had to do with peering.  Since Usenet is decentralized it relies on peering between news servers.  User generated content is copied between those servers.  Perfect 10 questioned whether or not the copying of data should be considered copyright infringement.  The judge sided with Giganews in that data being copied between servers in being done on behalf of the user that posted it.

This is a clear victory for Giganews and the Usenet community in general.  Cheers to the Giganews team for defending Usenet and setting some important legal precedent.  That’s a great way to kick off the new year.

You can visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet and join us on Twitter @NewsgroupRevs.

Giganews FBI and CIA Hoax

This time around Giganews is an FBI operation (source: cryptome).  Last year the CEO of Giganews was running the company for the CIA (source: alt.usenet.kooks newsgroup).  Either story would be very disturbing if true.  If I believed for one second that either the FBI or CIA story was truthful I wouldn’t have any issue writing about it.  In 2009 I wrote about a Giganews employee who posted false reviews and comments to popular websites.  In short I’m not a Giganews supporter or affiliated with them in any way.  While you’ll probably find the FBI and CIA stories entertaining they just aren’t true.  Treat them as you would any other hoax.

Giganews FBI Hoax

Usenet is notorious for famous hoax like the April Fool’s Day Kremvax hoax.  On April 1, 1984 Piet Beertema posted that the Soviet Union was going to join Usenet.  The post was to have come from Soviet leader Konstantin Chernenko.  The Kremlin Usenet site was to be named Kremvax.  Year’s later Vadim Antonov had a subdomain placed on the first legitimate Soviet Usenet site – showing that the April Fools’ Day prank had a lasting impact.

The Kremvax hoax was funny.  It didn’t hurt anyone.  It was a harmless April Fool’s hoax.  This isn’t the same.  The Giganews FBI hoax and last year’s CIA hoax are both potentially harmful to their company and Usenet as a whole.  Social media is starting to pick up the story which will likely drive it forward even more.  If you believe the information is true then by all means ignore my post.  Otherwise please share it so that others aren’t drawn in by the sensationalism of the stories.

Visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet.  Follow us @NewsgroupRevs for the latest deals.

Giganews Recommends Password Change

Usenet fans should feel good about their providers as we haven’t heard of any being vulnerable to Heartbleed.  As least for their own websites and NNTP services.  Giganews Dump Truck online storage service was patched on April 8th.  The Golden Frog team took quick action to patch their SSL libraries to protect against the bug.  They also recommend that members change passwords.  That applies to all Giganews customers.

Giganews Dump Truck

Here’s Giganews response to Heartbleed as posted on their blog:

How Does Heartbleed Affect Giganews Customers?

With the recent announcement of the Heartbleed Bug, many customers have asked if Giganews’ services were affected and whether customers need to take any action. Rest assured all Giganews services are currently safe from the Heartbleed Bug. VyprVPN and the Giganews website have not ever used SSL libraries vulnerable to the TLS heartbeat exploit. Golden Frog patched Dump Truck’s SSL libraries on April 8, 2014, and new SSL keys for the service were generated and deployed successfully. However, due to the nature of the bug, we still recommend all customers change their password, especially if you have used Dump Truck. Change your password »

Are Giganews Customers using VyprVPN Apps Safe from the Heartbleed Bug?

Golden Frog’s apps use OpenSSL 1.0.1e, which is vulnerable to the Heartbleed Bug, for OpenVPN connections. However, even though the apps use a vulnerable version of OpenSSL, customer information is not at risk. To be compromised, the apps would need to connect to servers that send malicious heartbeat packets. VyprVPN apps only connect to VyprVPN servers, which do not send malicious packets. Even if the VyprVPN apps were somehow tricked into establishing a connection with a malicious server, the apps do not possess any information they are not already sending to the server. There is nothing a malicious server could gather from the client that it wouldn’t receive anyway.

Golden Frog will be preparing updated versions of the apps that use non-vulnerable versions of OpenSSL, but at this time, Giganews customers are not at risk using the existing versions of the apps.

What is the Heartbleed Bug?

The Heartbleed Bug is a bug in OpenSSL’s implementation of the TLS heartbeat extension. When exploited, it allows an attacker access to the contents of the SSL server and client memory. This memory may include the SSL keys, the content of the data traversing the connection, and usernames and passwords transmitted or stored within the memory of the client and server. Because of the complete compromise of the SSL session and secret key data necessary to keep communications secure, this is considered an extremely critical bug. A full overview can be found at

What Action Do I Need to Take?

If you have used Dump Truck we highly recommend you change your password. To change your password visit this page:

  • Log in to your Control Panel
  • Click Change Username / Password
  • Type your new password
  • Click the Change Username / Password button

At Giganews we take your privacy and security seriously. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact our 24x7x365 support team via email or live chat.

We’ll keep you up to date if we hear of any other related vulnerabilities.  If you use a VPN provider we also have a VPN Heartbleed list tracking the responses from a number of leading online privacy services.

Giganews Hits 2000 Days Retention

Giganews hit a new milestone earlier today when they achieved 2,000 days of binary retention.  Not that other providers are all that far off.  With a number of companies set to hit 2,000 days in a week or so.  Giganews is celebrating their new record with an infographic that details some of their other achievements over the years.  We were just getting started when they hit 100 days of retention in 2007 and have been around ever since.

Giganews 200 days binary retention

Here are a few of the milestones we remember from years past:

  • Passed 100 days of retention in 2007
  • Added server farm in Hong Kong in 2008
  • Passed a year of binary retention in 2009
  • Rolled out VyprVPN privacy service in 2009
  • Released Mimo Usenet browser in 2010
  • Hit 1,000 days of binary retention in 2011
  • Rolled out Dump Truck online storage in 2011

The last couple years look a little quiet on the infograph.  I know last year was a time of growth for their VyprVPN service.  They expanded the network by adding servers in several new countries.  Along with the release of VyprVPN 2.0 apps.  With the growth in online privacy services they are focusing on that market as well.  Congratulations to the Giganews team as they continue to expand retention and innovate into other areas.

Giganews VyprVPN 2.0 Client

Giganews Diamond and Platinum members now have access to the new VyprVPN 2.0 apps.  Golden Frog released them yesterday after a month or so of beta testing.  You’ll notice a fresh new user interface design.  Along with some advanced features like the new speed graph and IP location map (for Android users).  You can read the related Giganews post to learn more about VyprVPN 2.0.  Including links to download the client.

Giganews VyprVPN 2.0

You can access VyprVPN as a Giganews member if you have one of their top tiers:

  • Giganews Diamond – $29.95 a month with VyprVPN Pro
  • Giganews Platinum – $19.95 a month with VyprVPN Basic

Here are the differences between the two VPN plans:

  • VyprVPN Pro – 2 connections, OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, NAT firewall
  • VyprVPN Basic – 1 connection, PPTP

You can visit our VPN review site to see how VyprVPN stacks up against other leading providers.  If you already have a Giganews Diamond or Platinum account then we definitely suggest you take advantage of VyprVPN.  I think you’ll find it to be on par with other leading privacy services.  Their 2.0 client release adds some additional features.  We like the new user interface design and speed graph.  Visit for more info.

Giganews Diamond Giveaway

Giganews is celebrating a new milestone.  They recently surpassed five years of binary retention.  To celebrate the achievement they are giving away five Diamond accounts.  The winners will enjoy a year of Giganews Diamond access which includes their Usenet service along with Mimo browser, Dump Truck online storage and VyprVPN.  Visit their giveaway page to learn more.  The winners will be chosen on August 15th.

Giganews Diamond Giveaway

A couple weeks ago we wrote a post about Usenet providers passing the 1,800 day retention mark.  As of today Giganews is at 1,827 days.  That’s about 10 days ahead of other industry leaders.  Not the wide margin of years ago but then again Giganews has expanded in other areas during that time.  First adding their Mimo Usenet client.  Followed by VyprVPN online privacy service.  Their latest addition being Dump Truck storage.

Enter the Giganews Diamond giveaway by August 14th and check their site on August 15th to see if you won.

Visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet.  Follow @NewsgroupRevs for the latest promotions.

New Giganews VyprVPN Server Locations

April has been a very busy time for Giganews and their partner VyprVPN.  So far this month VyprVPN has added servers in Sweden on April 2nd, Denmark on April 9th and Switzerland on April 16th.  With two weeks still left in the month we’ll see if the trend continues.  With the latest network expansion, Giganews Diamond members now have access to VPN servers in 10 countries.  Which country will they bring up next?

VyprVPN Switzerland

We don’t currently use VyprVPN so we can’t speak to the quality or speed of the new servers.  If the past is any indication we would expect the servers are well suited to meet their users needs.  Let’s take a look at the VyprVPN server locations that Giganews Diamond members can now access:

  • United States – Austin, Los Angeles, Washington DC
  • United Kingdom – London
  • Canada – Toronto
  • Asia – Hong Kong
  • Frnace – Paris
  • Germany – Frankfurt
  • Netherlands – Amsterdam
  • Denmark – Copenhagen
  • Sweden – Stolkholm
  • Switzerland – Zurich

If you need access to servers in other countries then check out our VPN review site.  On we compare over 300 providers along with reviews, guides, free trials and the best deals.  It’s a lot like NGR.

Congratulations to the Giganews team in Austin and everyone else there.  If you haven’t already heard Austin has been selected as the next location for Google’s fiber Internet access.  Now that’s some fast Usenet!

Party with Giganews at SXSW Interactive

The Giganews team is based in Austin, Texas.  Which is also home to the much anticipated annual SXSW Interactive festival.  This year Giganews and Golden Frog are inviting SXSW Interactive attendees to join them for a “Take Back Your Internet” party.  Visit Golden Frog at booth #513 for your ticket to the party.

Giganews SXSW Party

Some of you might be wondering who Golden Frog is.  If you’re using some of Giganews premium features like Mimo, Dump Truck or VyprVPN then you know them better than you think.  They develop some of the innovative tools and services enjoyed by Giganews members.

Here’s some additional information we received regarding the party:

Join us at the Take Back Your Internet Party presented by Golden Frog and Giganews. Come mingle with members of the Giganews and Golden Frog teams and help spread the word that the Internet should remain open and free! VyprVPN and Dump Truck swag will also be available.

If you want to attend the party, you need a TICKET! Please stop by the Golden Frog booth at the SXSW Interactive tradeshow to get your ticket to the party.

What: Take Back Your Internet Party presented by Golden Frog and Giganews
When: March 11th, 6-10 PM
Where: The Hangar Lounge – 318 Colorado St. Austin, TX 78701
Music: Eagle Eye Williamson
Drinks: Open Bar
Cost: No cost to you – must have a ticket!
Party Ticket: Available at the Golden Frog booth #513 at SXSW Interactive tradeshow

Have a great time at SXSW Interactive and don’t forget to visit the Golden Frog booth for your ticket to the party.

New Giganews Dump Truck Apps

Giganews continues to work closely with the developers at Golden Frog to enhance the Dump Truck secure online storage for their users.  They first announced the service last year and have since completely redesigned the web app.  Along with adding desktop and mobile apps to the mix.  Covering Windows, Mac, iOS (pending approval) and Android apps.  All Giganews members receive at least 5 GB of Dump Truck storage.

As mentioned above Giganews offers their members free online storage to compliment their Usenet service.  Diamond members receive 30 GB of storage while other plans include 5 GB of secure backup space.  Need more than 5 GB?  Here are the options for adding additional storage space to your account:

  • 50 GB – $4.99 a month
  • 100 GB – $9.99 a month
  • 200 GB – $19.99 a month
  • 500 GB – $49.99 a month
  • 1 TB – $99.99 a month

We’ve tested a few backup services and all the big names (Google, Microsoft, Apple, Dropbox, Mozy, etc.) have their own advantages and limitations.  We’re not going to make comparisons since you’re not likely shopping for storage service but rather utilizing your Giganews account to it’s fullest.  With that said Dump Truck is definitely a worthwhile offering.  They store multiple copies of your files securely and allow you to share access with friends and family at your discretion.  The service isn’t perfect but it will definitely get the job done.

You can visit the Giganews Dump Truck page to download the Windows or Mac software.  Log into your Giganews account through their site to access the web app.  The iPhone / iPad (iOS) app will be available soon.  Pending Apple’s approval.  The Android app is available for free now from Google Play.

Visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet.  Follow us @NewsgroupRevs for the latest deals.

Usenet Providers Pass 1,500 Days of Binary Retention

Several Usenet providers will be celebrating a new milestone this week.  As UseNetServer, Newshosting, NewsDemon, Astraweb, ThunderNews and more pass 1,500 days of binary retention.  We join other Usenet fans in celebrating the industry leaders that continue to grow retention and innovate their services.  Remember that not so long ago we were discussing retention in terms of days.  Now we’re over four years of binary retention and growing.  You can enjoy unlimited Usenet access with free extras for just $10 a month.

We now have access to over four years years of binary Usenet posts.  At 1,500 days you can access newsgroup posts from over 4 years ago.  As 1,500 days ago was August of 2008.  Back then the highest retention to be found was 240 days, which works out to around 8 months.  Now we can all explore over 49 months of Usenet posts for a fraction of the 2008 price of new server access.

The quality offered by leading Usenet providers has also progressed since 2008.  Back then providers offered unlimited Usenet for $20-$30 a month.  Fast forward to 2012 and the price is half that much.  Not only has the cost dropped significantly.  The services have brought many innovations.  Including better performance and additional features like newsreaders, search engines and online storage.  All for under $10 a month.

We look forward to celebrating again in 100 days as Usenet hits 1,600 days of binary retention.  That mark will be surpassed around the end of the year.  Until then continue enjoying the best Usenet has to offer.  Visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet.  Follow us @NewsgroupRevs for the latest offers.