Verizon, Once Again, Fights For Consumer Privacy Against Copyright Shakedown Attempts
from the good-for-them dept
Thus, it's not entirely surprising -- but still nice -- to find out that Verizon is, once again, fighting to protect its users' privacy. Last fall, we wrote about the unfortunate decision by publisher John Wiley & Sons to follow the trail led by copyright trolls, and start suing groups of people accused of sharing Wiley's infamous "For Dummies" books via BitTorrent. Similar to copyright trolls, Wiley lumped together a bunch of IP addresses into a single lawsuit -- though, it didn't go quite as far as some trolling operations.
Even so, Verizon is going to court to fight back against the subpoenas for user information. It has a few procedural objections, and also noted (as many courts have found) that lumping together many people in the same lawsuit is improper joinder. But the key issues are privacy ones. Verizon objected that the identifying information isn't really designed to get "relevant" information for a lawsuit, but rather to send a settlement letter (like most copyright trolling operations). Furthermore, Verizon takes it up a notch by claiming that disclosing such information may violate "rights of privacy and protections guaranteed by the First Amendment."
Apparently, there will be a discussion with the court concerning these objections soon, but in the mean time, it's good to see Verizon, once again, defending some privacy rights for its users.