Switzerland Decides That It's Ok For Private Firm To Violate Your Privacy If It's Searching For 'Pirates'

from the unfortunate dept

Last year, Swiss officials told Logistep -- one of a few companies that tries to scan file sharing networks for IPs used by suspected copyright infringers -- that its efforts were an illegal violation of privacy rights. However, a new court ruling has overturned that original ruling, and has said that Logistep is perfectly legal. The court appears to have said that preventing piracy somehow trumps privacy rights -- which seems kind of odd. I'm actually not a huge fan of claims (or lawsuits) that such services violate privacy. I'm not entirely clear how your basic IP address is "private." It's "public" by default, in that your computer uses it publicly to identify itself, so I'm not clear how that's automatically seen as "private" info. However, it seems odd to claim that simply tracking unauthorized usage trumps privacy rights. If that's the case, you have no privacy rights at all, because officials could just claim that they're violating your privacy to prevent any crime you might be committing. So, while I think it's a bit silly to declare IP addresses private, if they are considered private then I have a hard time seeing why Logistep should be allowed to do what it does.
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Filed Under: file sharing, privacy, switzerland
Companies: logistep

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  1. icon
    Rob R. (profile), 5 Jun 2009 @ 1:02pm

    Wow, there is still privacy that hasn't be superseded by the government's "need to know" everything about you?

    Bah! Get rid of that pesky privacy rights crap - the government has the RIGHT to know everything you do because one day you might not floss after lunch, thus costing the taxpayers an estimated $0.001 in extra health care costs. The government has the RIGHT to spend the $67,841.12 (I pulled the number out of my ass, so don't try to verify it) it took to find out that information via the monitored dental floss container and mouthwash bottle you are required to have 47cm to the left of the sink center and touching the back of the sink (required to activate the sensor that says the bottle is there).

    Can we have more regulation, please? I don't want any privacy, I want people smarter than I am to dictate my life to me.

    Pardon me while I go eat a double greaseburger and onion rings and follow it up with a deep-fried burrito at the gas station, then wash it down with an extra-large chocolate chip mint shake. Why? Because I have the right to clog my arteries should I feel the urge.

    Demolition Man

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