Feeds

Irish ISPs ordered to disclose file sharers' names

Download all the Days

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A new ruling by the Irish courts could undermine people who have a genuine need for online anonymity and deter whistleblowers, lobby group Digital Rights Ireland (DRI) claims.

It issued the warning after a High Court judge ordered Eircom, BT and Irish Broadband to hand over the details of 49 customers who have allegedly been uploading music files onto file-sharing networks.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly ordered the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to disclose the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the 49 holders of the Internet Protocol numbers identified by the music companies.

"It sets an unfortunate precedent, there are a lot of good reasons why somebody would want to remain anonymous online," TJ McIntyre, DRI chairman told ElectricNews.Net. "They should have an opportunity to defend themselves before they're stripped of anonymity."

He said the issue could have repercussions beyond the issue of illegal file-sharing, and said anonymity is an important right for whistleblowers who want to report corruption, dishonesty or unsafe working practices, without fear or retribution.

DRI wrote to the ISPs prior to the case, asking them to present the court with two European precedents, which might have persuaded the court to make a different decision.

The courts in the Netherlands found that the manner in which IP addresses were collected and processed by MediaSentry - the same company that collected information for the Irish case - had no lawful basis under European privacy laws.

DRI also highlighted a case in the UK, which found that users whose identities might be revealed should be notified, so they would have the opportunity to be represented in court.

Only one ISP presented these arguments, according to McIntyre. He said the courts chose not to take these arguments into account in its decision.

The orders were sought by EMI Records, Sony BMG Music, Universal Music Ireland, and Warner Music Ireland. The judge said the plaintiff companies had no other way of getting the information on the identities of the 49 persons except by court order.

The ISPs did not oppose the making of the orders, but had sought undertakings that the identities of the 49 persons would not be publicly disclosed except in the context of any legal proceedings which may be taken subsequently.

Copyright © 2006, ENN

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.