Court Tells TorrentSpy It Needs To Spy On Users

from the but-why? dept

Popular BitTorrent search engine TorrentSpy was told by a federal judge on May 29th that it needed to keep log files of user activity on its site, even if there was no business reason for it. TorrentSpy is nothing more than a specialized search engine, but the entertainment industry wants to paint it as something worse. This latest ruling comes out of a lawsuit between TorrentSpy and the MPAA over the legality of TorrentSpy's search engine. However, the ruling really is extraordinary in many ways. Rather than asking a company to hand over previous records, the court is actually asking TorrentSpy to purposely create new records that it has no need for and hand them over to a private party (the MPAA). What's worse is that this directly contradicts TorrentSpy's own privacy policy -- so obeying the court order would open them up additional legal trouble. TorrentSpy hasn't started spying on users and is appealing the ruling instead (and its lawyer suggests the site would sooner shut down than follow the court order). Hopefully, the appeals court will recognize that requiring a site to specifically create new records (in violation of its own policies) and then handing them over to another entity in an ongoing trial is not a good idea.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    DontpileonMe, 11 Jun 2007 @ 8:13am

    No Story Here

    Quote from Mike

    "However, the ruling really is extraordinary in many ways. Rather than asking a company to hand over previous records, the court is actually asking TorrentSpy to purposely create new records that it has no need for and hand them over to a private party (the MPAA). What's worse is that this directly contradicts TorrentSpy's own privacy policy -- so obeying the court order would open them up additional legal trouble."

    Mike you are seriously limited in your knowledge of the law. This is not extraordinary- it is called and investigation or discovery. And all the time information is handed over to a "private party". All the time the courts compel me as an employer to divulge confidential payroll information about my employees for lawsuits like divorces, car crashes and lost wages, etc (all private parties). A judge can ask for old info and also require future info to be tracked and reported that I don't currently track. Heck, a judge can even supeona me and not pay me as an expert witness to testify about things like "likelyhood of continuing and ongoing employment".

    Secondly, if TorrentSpy has a privacy agreement that says if will never divulge any future or past info to the courts than it is an illegal agreement and cannot be enforced. And furthermore, if a court orders me or TorrentSpy to do something like this there is no further liability to me from following the court order.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.