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Parental software to detect Dutch illegal file sharing

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Application security programs and practises

Dutch anti piracy organisation BREIN is to release free parental software on 22 September, that will detect file sharing programs such as Kazaa or illegal media files on PCs.

The software will not be able to remove those files - parents have to do this manually if they wish.

BREIN says that the software is basically a public awareness campaign. Too many youngster do not seem to realise that it is illegal to make copyrighted music available online for others to download and that illegal file sharing is hurting the music and movie business, BREIN director Tim Kuik explains. The website where the free software can be downloaded is owned by Dutch entertainment industry organisation NVPI.

The announcement has already met with fierce criticism. Theoretically, the software could also be used to collect evidence of illegal file sharing.

Just recently, BREIN lost a court case against five Dutch ISPs who refused to hand over the names of 42 suspected song swappers. BREIN had hired US company Media Sentry, which monitors popular online forums and file sharing services for copyright infringement, to gather evidence against the file swappers.

However, according to the Dutch Data Protection Authority (CBP) the collection and storage of IP addresses is only legitimate if BREIN handled it themselves. Free parental software could do this laborious job for BREIN perfectly, though the organisation insists that no information will be send back to its headquarters.®

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