October 19, 2009
Posted: 08:39 AM ET
A proposed law could force UK Internet service providers to disconnect users who repeatedly share copyrighted files, but TalkTalk, a British ISP, doesn't want to become a copyright cop.
UK Internet service provider TalkTalk CEO Charles Dunstone
TalkTalk's CEO Charles Dunstone is openly critical of legislation that will force ISPs to disconnect a user if their IP address is connected to illegal downloads:
A recent demonstration by the ISP highlights cracks in the proposed legislation. For the stunt, TalkTalk sent a security expert into the streets of Stanmore, Middlesex to connect to open or easily hacked WEP-secured wireless networks. The expert first obtained permission from the wireless access point owners before connecting and downloading several songs.
While the songs in this demonstration were downloaded legally, the stunt shows just how easily an innocent account holder could be targeted based on evidence collected from their IP address.
However, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) claims the law will not target innocents. BPI spokesman Adam Liversage says, "The responsibility for ensuring that an internet account shared throughout a household is not being used for illegal file-sharing clearly lies with the account holder."
What do you think? Are hacking victims or those who choose to openly share their wireless network responsible for third-party illegal file-sharing? And should ISPs like TalkTalk be required to police their networks and report illegal activity?
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