Monday, June 11, 2007

Chilling ruling in case...

Over at ZDNet news, there is a story has an interesting effect not just on those of us who use BitTorrent (via search engines such as but for anyone who's browser happens to land on a web server's page. This new ruling makes it possible [in eDiscovery procedures] to allow a plaintiff to force a defendant to create new evidence in assisting with a case against that defendant. That's likely to have a wider reaching effect than the judge who issued the ruling anticipates.

The EFF is still reviewing the ruling, but so far it's not looking good for John Q. Public. What sorts of effects could this have? Let's think of some scenarios...
  1. A legitimate case: RIAA/MPAA/etc sues an (alleged) file-sharing [enabling] site. This ruling enables the plaintiff to try and force the defendant to log all connections and use of the (alleged) illegal activity (whether it's illegal or not) and turn it over to the plaintiff!
  2. A fishing expedition: RIAA/MPAA/etc can't prove that anyone is doing anything illegal, files law suit against some site. This site now can be made to log all activity to/from it, and disclose this information to the plaintiff - which can then enable the plaintiff to find potentially illegal activities which were previously unfounded allegations.
  3. Worse yet...: A company/individual is unhappy with a blog [or other digital expression medium] which has potentially negative information on it (it doesn't really matter what it is, insider information, negative postings, whatever). Company files suit against the blog/news/information site and forces host to log all activity into/out of the site. Company now has information on who visits the site, reads the information, posts, etc. This is REALLY CHILLING.
Here are some more links to other media outlets carrying this story:
  • DigitalMediaWire story
  • article
    • An interesting insight from the TorrentFreak article..."One way or another, it seems that the MPAA is determined to obtain information about TorrentSpy and its users. A complaint issued by TorrentSpy suggests the MPAA paid a hacker $15,000 to steal e-mail correspondence and trade secrets. The hacker admitted that this was true."
  • coverage

No comments: