Swiss Officials Tell Anti-Piracy Company Its Tactics Are Illegal

from the sneaky,-sneaky dept

There have been some claims that the recording industry’s investigative techniques may be illegal. While court cases alleging these techniques are illegal are still pending in the US, in Europe there seems to be a lot more support for the idea. In the Netherlands, for example, a court ruled that having ISPs hand over IP addresses to the recording industry would be a violation of privacy laws. Given last week’s discussion on whether or not IP addresses should be considered private, this seems relevant.

However, over in Switzerland, the story is even more complicated, as Swiss officials have specifically told an “anti-piracy” company to stop some of its tactics. Specifically, in order to get around laws that say you can only obtain IP addresses from ISPs in a criminal, rather than civil lawsuit, the company gets Swiss officials to file criminal charges, gets the IP address, files a civil suit with it, and then drops the criminal case. Whether or not you think getting IP addresses is a violation of privacy, it seems clear that this company has gone well beyond the spirit of the law in getting them and using them in civil suits.

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Comments on “Swiss Officials Tell Anti-Piracy Company Its Tactics Are Illegal”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Although a different industry, this exact thing is happening in the financial services industry.

Due to anti-money laundering laws here in the US, institutions are required to report transactions over a certain dollar amount (usually $10K) and file SAR reports. If a US account transfers money to a Swiss account, that still has to be reported. Of course, that violates Swiss privacy laws.

So, the company either violates Swiss law or US law. How do you work that one out?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

If a US account transfers money to a Swiss account, that still has to be reported. Of course, that violates Swiss privacy laws.

It seems to me then that it might be illegal for the Swiss bank to report receipt of the funds to the US govt but not for the US bank to report that it sent the funds. Swiss laws apply on Swiss soil and US laws apply on US soil.

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