Google funded Lennart Renkema’s last paper.
Let’s just get right to the point shall we? TorrentFreak is not a semi-biased news source that reports sympathetically on piracy. If you accept the framework of academic policy washing laid out in Merchants of Doubt, TorrentFreak operates as a public policy arm of Google and other commercial interests that profit from piracy. Multiple sources report that Ernesto Van Der Zar is Lennart Renkema PhD. Renkema is also the co-author of “Copy Culture in U.S. and Germany.” It was funded with a grant from Google.
But that’s nothing. It gets much uglier if you dig deeper. Shall we?
More disturbing is Renkema’s links to London Trust Media. LTM operates a VPN under the brand name Private Internet Access. Private Internet Access is a VPN that touts itself as bittorrent friendly. In other words instead of paying musicians for their work you just pay Private Internet Access and they hide your identity. In this way LTM/PIA profits from piracy while sharing nothing with the artist. Ernesto/Renkema admits PIA is Torrentfreak’s main sponsor. Ernesto/Renkema clearly financially benefits from this sponsorship. Torrentfreak also writes glowing reviews of PIAs service. A deep search of the web shows no other employment for Renkema. Rick Falkvinge is also a writer at Torrentfreak. Until we exposed it Rick Falkvinge (yes the guy who suggested child pornography be legalized) was listed as the Chief Privacy Officer at Private Internet Access. As a result one could plausibly argue that Torrentfreak is really just an arm of Private Internet Access/London Trust Media.
So let’s take a closer look at Private Internet Access/London Trust Media. Official 2014 tax documents show an address in a mini industrial park in Michigan. Yet in 2016 Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs had no such company registered in the state of Michigan. This would seem to be a violation of state law. Back in 2016 we did some research on other companies listed as doing business at that address:
World Fertility Experts an offshore fertility clinic.
Flip it Friday a $50 dollar a month online course on how to flip houses.
My Diploma: Sure. Seems perfectly legit.
GS Media Looks to be a penny stock promoter. Again no business records in Michigan state database. They come up in this interesting article here
KlearGear: Then of course there is KlearGear. You got to read this one.
The Daily Scam which reports daily on internet scams reports on a business located at this address.
So think about it folks. Is Torrentfreak really what it claims to be? Is Lennart Renkema simply a reporter? Or is he part of a bigger profit oriented endeavor?