Privacy Laws Differ Based On Communications System In Question

from the need-six-lawyers-to-understand dept

With the ongoing legal mess over whether or not the recording industry (or, for that matter, anyone who claims copyright ownership) should have the right to your private info if they simply suspect you may have infringed, the NY Times is looking at various privacy laws and pointing out that it’s a huge mess that makes very little sense to anyone. Basically, there have been a bunch of different laws passed for different reasons for different communications systems. So, it’s much more difficult for someone to get your cable TV records than to find out if you’ve been sharing a tune on your DSL line. Sometimes the laws vary by state, but even the federal laws are a complete disaster. For the most part, though, they erred on the side of protecting privacy. However, between the DMCA and the Patriot Act, it appears the trend has been to go in the other direction. Still, as someone in the article points out, “The recording industry under [the DMCA] can get subpoenas that the Justice Department could not have.” Somehow, that seems a little bit backwards.

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