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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sweden Introduced A Bill To Track File-Sharers

The Swedish government is currently developing new methods of supporting police and prosecutors in their battle against unauthorized file-sharing on the web. It wasn’t a big surprise for the industry observers that one of the main priorities was not to encourage new business models but to strengthen cooperation with ISPs to help disclose the identities of Internet users.

Current legislation forbids Internet service providers from revealing their users’ personal data to a 3rd party unless the suspected crime under investigation is punishable by prison or a suspended sentence.

Nevertheless, the country’s government keeps trying to simplify the pursuit of file-sharing users, and the most recent attempts have led it to a new bill, according to media reports. The bill in question not only targets unauthorized file-sharing, but also aims to decrease bullying and “grooming” online. These forms of Internet harassment are recognized as escalating problems in the country.

If the suggested legislation gets enforced, police and prosecutors will obtain easier access to personal data on users alleged of unauthorized file-sharing, regardless of the gravity of the crime in question. Cooperation with ISPs will be strengthened, and they will have to provide the police with all requested IP addresses.

When it comes to the suspected violations of copyright legislation, rights owners are entitled to solicit data about suspected file-sharers from a court in a civil law trial. Nevertheless, if the draft were to become law, the prosecutors would be able to avoid that last step by applying directly to Internet service providers to obtain the data they need on the subscribers under investigation. It is expected to become easier to round up suspects in cases where the police will have other evidence than a raid.
usually interested in people downloading one movie or a couple of songs.

Despite the fact that the bill concerns all acts of unauthorized file-sharing, the government believes that it won’t really affect local subscribers who occasionally download an illegal movie. The security experts admitted that the users would be worried to the extent that there is a chance they can be identified, but the experience shows that the companies tracking copyright violation crimes are not

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