Digital Civil Rights in Europe

Check out the entire EDRI-gram – Number 6.6, 26 March 2008

The Italian Data Protection Authority (Garante per la Protezione dei Dati Personali) issued a press release on 13 March 2008, explaining that the private companies can’t systematically monitor the activities of peer-to-peer (P2P) users that share files on the Internet, for the purpose of identifying and suing them.

The decision was taken on 28 February 2008 in the very controversial Peppermint case.

Peppermint is a German record label that has been using since 2007 the services of a Swiss company, Logistep, in order to gather IP addresses of Italian users that allegedly shared copyrighted files via peer-to-peer software.

The company asked an Italian judge to obtain the details on more than 3000 Italian users, to whom it had sent written warning letters via regular mail asking them to destroy the files they’ve downloaded or face the legal consequences. The consumers, represented by the consumer NGO Adiconsum, have won some cases in front of the Civil Rome Tribunal, when the judges denied Peppermint & Logistep to identify the users behind the IP addresses.

Adiconsum also complained to the Garante considering that this is a violation of privacy rights. Garante’s decision from 28 February 2008 makes it clear that spying on the P2P users and collecting their IP addresses is an illegal activity, calling also as an argument the similar decision of the Swiss Data Protection Authority.

See the rest of the article at EDRi-gram

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