3 Strikes Plan Re-established In Ireland After Court Decides To Ignore Data Protection Commission Ruling

from the protect-what-data? dept

A few years back, IFPI sued Irish ISP Eircom for not waving a magic wand and stopping infringement. It was part of the legacy entertainment industry's strategy to try to force ISPs into kicking people offline under a 3 strikes regime, even if they couldn't get a law to that effect (the two key places where this was tried were in Ireland and Australia). Eircom actually folded and agreed to start kicking its own customers offline on a 3 strikes (accusations, not convictions) approach, as long as the legacy recording industry also pressured its competitors to do the same thing. Of course, once Eircom started, it totally screwed up and sent a bunch of notices to people who were entirely innocent, triggering a governmental review. The end result was that the Irish Data Protection Commission rejected the 3 strikes system, over significant concerns about how it involved spying on customers.

The labels fought back... and have now won. A court has rejected the findings of the Data Protection Commission (DPC) and argued, amazingly, that there are simply no privacy concerns at all with having ISPs track what you do online. Well, that's not quite how the court put it. Instead, it said that there's no privacy questions involved in "the detection and punishment of individuals who engage in unlawful Internet file-sharing." Er... considering the whole issue that kicked this off was false accusations against those who did not engage in such things, it seems the judge is pretty confused. Furthermore, the judge seems to think that there's a way to spy on users, but only track their infringing efforts. The problem -- and the main privacy concern -- is not so much in the tracking of infringing activity, but all of the legitimate activity that gets tracked as well.

Perhaps Justice Peter Charleton should open up his own log files to the public so that we can see if he's infringing. There is, according to his version of things, no privacy violations there, because we all promise only to make sure he's not breaking copyright law.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 5:32am

    I promise

    I'll look at the justice's log only to make it sure that he doesn't infringe on any copyright (we have to respect artists, and everyone can contribute by making sure that others don't infringe)

    I won't, most certainly, dig through his logs to gather personal data, credit card numbers, passwords and execute narrowly targeted phishing attacks.

    I promise.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 5:37am

    same old story. someone who has none or insufficient knowledge of the internet, privacy law and human rights is ruling on a case that involves everyone in the country. as stated, perhaps he would like to let every single one of his txt messages, phone calls, letters and browsing to be made available to the rest of citizens in Ireland. i would like to see Eircom take the matter to the ECJ, investigating why he thinks there is no privacy violations here and the encouragement he was given to arrive at that conclusion

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 6:21am

    Errcom!

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 6:26am

    (Irish) Oh for pity's sake. I'll just get a VPN at this stage.

    Wait that's Eircom, they've been sold, what 5 times now. Last I heard some Singaporeans were going to buy them. They offer terrible service and dilly dally around requests from other ISPs to move customers off of their lines. So yeah they have no money at all, no wonder the IFPI was happy to go after them, gave them a small carrot too in letting them offer music downloads.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 6:38am

    Log files? I doubt this judge has ever even seen a computer, much less used one. The defense should've used an analogy to explain it to him.
    "The prosecutors want to open and read every 'letter' sent by the public to make sure none of them contain copyrighted material. Would you want them reading all of your mail?"

     

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  6.  
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    Michael, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 6:40am

    "Perhaps Justice Peter Charleton should open up his own log files to the public so that we can see if he's infringing. There is, according to his version of things, no privacy violations there, because we all promise only to make sure he's not breaking copyright law."

    Exactly. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Since the judge has no problem implementing this invasion of people's privacy, it's only appropriate that his own be compromised as well. After all, in the court's view, protecting intellectual property supercedes protecting people's personal data.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:34am

    Once again, the people at the RIAA and similar groups abroad have no problem giving themselves the very kinds of powers most people fear. Powers that evil dictators eagerly grab and use against their own people, you know, for their own good. Just like groups like the RIAA insist copyright and other IP are for the public's own good. So obviously kicking them off the Internet over 3 bogus accusations is for their own good to.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 7:43am

    Re:

    And this is why non-infringing people like me hate them.

     

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  9.  
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    Preemie Maboroshi, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 8:28am

    false accusations

    I personally don't mind an official body tracking my movements on the internet. I think it's obvious that if we had a really good system of monitoring on the internet, we could provide a lot of consumer protection and a lot of prevention of violent crimes and hate crimes.

    But what's terrifying is the thought of being falsely accused of stuff.

    How is it possible that we're constantly seeing people on the internet blatantly *saying* they're going to do all kinds of wacky crap, and then they go out and do it and nobody stops them, but then we have all kinds of people not doing anything and getting in trouble?

    I'm sure the same thing goes for infringement rules and violations.

     

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  10.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 29th, 2012 @ 9:15am

    Re: false accusations

    I personally don't mind an official body tracking my movements on the internet. I think it's obvious that if we had a really good system of monitoring on the internet, we could provide a lot of consumer protection and a lot of prevention of violent crimes and hate crimes


    I personally mind quite a lot.

    Even if I didn't, however, I still don't see how this kind of tracking provides for a lot of consumer protection or any prevention of violent/hate crimes.

    I'm not saying there is zero public benefit to it -- there is some -- but the benefit seems pretty weak to me, and it's hard to see how it balances out the certainty of this power being used abusively.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2012 @ 9:20am

    Re: false accusations

    Are you going to check every single instance of rude behaviour on the 'net? 4chan alone would require a police force the size of a small country per day!

    Official bodies lose data/laptops/pendrive, are just as corruptable as anyone else and would become a prime target to actual criminals who can make use of all that data.

    This is a thoroughly stupid idea.

     

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  12.  
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    Yoshord, Jul 2nd, 2012 @ 9:14am

    There are no privacy concerns here.

    Given the rate of false positives, there's obviously no tracking going on here - just a stream of notices to randomly picked consumers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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