Beneficiary of Fake DMCA:
QNet – Michael Ferreira
Fake Link/Website Used:
Aakshi Bhatia, Shekhar Kashalikar, New generation News, The World News Hour Pvt. ltd
Date of Submission:
May 17, 2016 , 18 Apr 2016, 09 July 2016 , 27 July 2016
ANALYZING THE FAKE DMCA
The 4 fake DMCAs we’re investigating are part of over a dozen such DMCAs used to suppress the media, especially in India. This campaign of removing targeted URLs critical of QNet and Michael Ferreira started in April 2016, and is still going on.
In this particular investigation, we uncover 4 fake websites used for this operation. Assuming that the articles at networkeye.com, IndianExpress.com and DeccanChronicle.com are originals, we take a closer look at the below sites –
iblogger.org is a Free Hosting service provided by Byethost.com. Users can sign up anonymously, choose a subdomain (yourchoice.iblogger.org) and set up a WordPress website. That’s exactly what was done here. The perpetrators set up indian.iblogger.org, planted random content copied from other websites, especially from ANI and PTI. In between, they planted 2 articles copied from the target websites, backdated it and filed a fake copyright takedown notice on Google against networkingeye.com and abinet.org
The owner of this fake website is ‘[email protected]‘.
So who is Malvika Gurnani. For all we know, this is a pseudo name used by a PR firm for their online activities. We discovered a ton of promotional activity by this Name, but no evidence that this person exists in real world. Our investigation led us to believe that this person (or PR firm) is also involved in marketing for the following firms –
- Apex Visas, Pune
- Sriram properties, Bangalore
- Panacea Hospital, Bangalore
- Arun Excello
- Akshaya Patra
- Relief India Trust
It should not surprise anyone if we find fake DMCAs filed on behalf on above ‘clientele’. Here are some examples we could find in a matter of minutes.
Fake DMCAs for RummyCircle
Fake DMCA for Apex Visa
Fake DMCA for Aun Excello
We could spend more time and list dozens of fake copyright notices, but it’s best to keep it for anther article at a later stage.
We’re however curious to find out Malvika’s involvement with a new website http://newshour.press , which is nothing more than a better-looking fake news portal. We’ll keep an eye on this website, and so should you. It looks like they’re already laying a foundation for copyright removals for Jignesh Shah and NSEL scammers, Alien Group and others.
This is a very simple site. A free blog on WordPress.com, with a single post. An exact copy of the post they wanted to remove from http://qnetscam-fraud.blogspot.in. They backdated the article to make it look like it was posted on 03 Feb 2012. However, one look at the source code revealed the date of modification, which cannot be edited –
. The same day they filed the fake DMCA. We notified Google/Blogspot and had the Blogspot site unsuspended.
http://newgenerationnews.esy.es/ was our favorite FAKE WEBSITE, and you have already heard a lot about it in our investigations. We found 31 fake DMCAs served up using this fake news site, hosted for FREE ? on www.esy.es , a free web-hosting platform by Hostringer.com.
The website has since been removed after we exposed these crimes. However, some parts of the website could be viewed through Google Archive, and we have documented all the evidence for future reference and for law enforcement authorities.
Searching for ‘site:newgenerationnews.esy.es‘ on Google delivers only 45 results.
Let’s analyze the article in question, on the website which claims to be the actual source –
- There is no entity registered as ‘New Generation News Network‘ in USA. And it’ll be a while before IndianExpress.com would need to leech content from a 4 month old fake news site hosted on a free domain/hosting.
- The website which this DMCA claims to have posted copyright content (from a free website visited only by 12 unique visitors in 2016) .
- The most recent entry on this website was 2 months ago. Prior to that, the recent entries were on May 28, 9th Feb, 5th Jan. Quite a news website…..
- Our investigation revealed that the fake DMCA was submitted by ‘[email protected]‘ . This email will probably be central to a proper investigation by relevant authorities
- This website, and Mr. Rajesh Kumar Singh, has been a serial violator and has knowingly committed perjury and misrepresented the facts. Have a look below, and imagine how brazen these fly-by-night Reputation firms have become. In May 2016 itself, this shitty website has filed 4 separate fake DMCAs for 11 unique and legitimate links to be de-indexed from Google.
http://theworldnewshour.tk was taken down by the perpetrators after we mentioned it in one of our other investigation . Here’s how we know this is a deliberate attempt at fake DMCA-
- The website theworldnewshour.tk and the fake article http://theworldnewshour.tk/national-news/merrill-lynch-wealth-advisor-is-allowed-to-litigate-in-partial-secrecy was suddenly deleted by the perpetrators after we started publishing our investigative reports.
- However, you can still view the ‘cached’ version of the aforesaid web page at http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Iro2F616A7EJ:theworldnewshour.tk/national-news/hyderabad-many-lose-lakhs-to-qnet-scam/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-b
- If you view the source code (or check the URL structure of the images published in this free wordpress site, you’ll see that the website was uploaded in June 2016, and NOT in January 2016 when it claimed to have published the article
SO WHAT WERE THEY TRYING TO HIDE ?
Michael Ferreira, a former World Billiards Champion was associated with QNet, an MLM firm, now engulfed in scam and fraud charges in India. He was reportedly facing arrest and is accused of duping hundreds of investors to the sum of millions. A reputation in tatters.
So it makes sense that they hire a Reputation/PR firm to mitigate the damage. We hope they haven’t cleared the last invoice yet.
EDITOR’S COMMENT : For those who might ask – ‘why and how do we interject that ‘Qnet – Michael Ferreira’ has something to do with this fake DMCA. Couldn’t it be a coincidence ?’, we will say this – When someone goes and creates a whole new fake news site, falsifies his/her identity and submits fake DMCA to try and de-list some very targeted content on Google, it signals intent and a plan. It is obvious that ‘Qnet – Michael Ferreira’ or someone they hired was directly involved in this crime. Qnet – Michael Ferreira also cannot plead ignorance in this matter, since this notice on Google search is hard to miss, really.