Another Judge Rules IP Addresses Can’t be Used to Identify People

Posted: 06/05/2012 in Cyber Crime, Hacking, In The News
Tags: ,

Common sense appears to be triumphing in the legal system

The internet is perhaps the greatest disruptor of the twentieth century, despite only rising to relevance at its close.  Today it remains a perplexing problem to politicians, justices, and business-people alike.

I. Internet Disrupts, Leads to Punitive Reactionary Efforts

Perhaps no internet controversy represents the confusion and mire of digital rights and law enforcement better than the legal precedent of equating internet proxy (IP) addresses to a human being.

For years U.S. courts allowed copyright “attack dog” organizations like the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to use this principle in threat letter schemes — which many advocates argue were digital age extortion.  The issue is that internet proxies are not people.  Indeed, a large percentage of networks — be they secured or unsecured — have multiple users, making the RIAA’s view of pinning infringement on the IP owner a problematic oversimplification.

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