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EC to investigate Virgin's sniffer software

by on27 January 2010


Human rights group complains

European Commission to look at the legality of software being used to analyse file-sharing in the UK by Virgin Media.

CView will be used by ISP Virgin Media to identify legal versus illegal traffic on its network, however Privacy International was concerned that the software posed a risk to privacy. The software uses deep packet inspection, which means that it can identify actual file-names, making it possible to accurately find out what content is legal and what is not.

However to Alexander Hanff, head of ethical networks at Privacy International said that the software was illegal under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa). In UK law intercepting communications is a criminal offence regardless of what you do with the data.

The EC has said it will monitor the use of the software but Virgin Media countered that the software posed no risk to privacy.

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