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Monday, 13 September 2010 09:12

Switzerland makes it illegal to snoop on file-sharing

Written by Nick Farell
y_lawbookhammer

Court guts P2P  surveillance business
A Swiss Court has ordered a P2P snooping business Logistep AG, to stop gathering even publicly available information. Logistep has operated in Switzerland since 2004, and has been trolling BitTorrent sites for movies, music, or software, then connecting to swarms and logging the information.

The idea is that content providers can take this information and submit it to local courts, seeking to identify and then sue individual file-swappers. Switzerland, is not an EU member, and has decided that Logistep's methods are wrong.

The country's Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner, Hanspeter Thür, took Logistep to court. The Federal Supreme Court ruled that IP addresses are in fact personal information and that companies like Logistep can't go about slurping them up for mere civil cases like file-swapping lawsuits.

Thür said that only the state can violate personal privacy, and only when pursuing criminal cases.

Nick Farell

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