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Judge: An IP Address Is NOT A Person

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posted on May, 5 2011 @ 10:08 AM
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Not sure if this is in the right forum, just seemed to be the best fit but feel free to move mods if it is wrong

Well this is a first


An Illinois District Judge has denied access to personal info tied to IP addresses in VPR Internationle's copyright infringement case against numerous "John Doe" torrent users.


A new ruling by an Illinois District Judge could have huge ramifications, for what seems like the first time in forever a judge has ruled on behalf of the people and blocked a media company access to an ISP records to identify who was using an IP address to download something


In the case VPR Internationale v. Does 1-1017, Judge Baker denied adult film studio VPR Internationale the means to subpoena ISPs for personal information connected to IP addresses. His reason was based on the recent child porn incident where a man was wrongfully apprehended and accused of downloading child pornography when in fact it was his neighbour leeching from his unprotected Wi-Fi network at home.


This could set a legal president if allowed to stand, and curb the intrusive and bullying tactics of media companies, its a major victory for privacy and therefore I am not sure this wont be overturned, I am sure hoping it doesn't


The judge concluded his ruling stating that the court isn't going to support "fishing expeditions" for subscribers' details if there is no evidence that the court has jurisdiction over the defendants. "Until at least one person is served, the court lacks personal jurisdiction over anyone," he said. "The court has no jurisdiction over any of the Does at this time."



Baker's ruling could spell the end of "pay-up-or-else-schemes" that have previously nailed more than 100,000 U.S.-based BitTorrent users to the wall over the past year alone. It may also be the end of all future John Doe lawsuits if other judges reach the same conclusion in their file-sharing cases.


As I said this could be ground breaking, its one small step for privacy, but hey how many victories have we actually had? And it is just nice to see that not every judge is bought and paid for and there is actually still some small measure of honesty left in the legal system.

Source
Full Ruling
edit on 5-5-2011 by PrinceDreamer because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 5 2011 @ 10:16 AM
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it won't last long.
A higher more corrupt Judge will
over rule the ruling.



posted on May, 5 2011 @ 10:17 AM
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One small step for man.
One giant leap for mankind.

edit on 5-5-2011 by Nite_wing because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2011 @ 10:18 AM
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Somehow this ruling could have future implications such as who have jurisdiction over the internet for one. Thanks for posting this information!!!



posted on May, 5 2011 @ 10:20 AM
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He's right.

At most an IP address is just an access point.

Even going so far to identify the machine used doesnt necessarily identify the person who used it.

Even with specific accounts and log-in information it isnt possible to determine without any doubt the individual who is at the other end of that computer. Even allegedy live webcam footage can be a recording.

Something internet daters and cop seducing weirdos have known for years.

Just because my car is registered to me and theoretically I'm the only one with the keys doesnt mean that I drove it over the sidewalk striking 10 people.

But apparently until this ruling that has been plenty to send swat teams kicking in doors.

I wonder if this will stand as is, be struck down, or be used to usher in a new era of internet ID.



posted on May, 5 2011 @ 10:20 AM
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Originally posted by boondock-saint
it won't last long.
A higher more corrupt Judge will
over rule the ruling.


This is my worry too, I am not sure of the US legal system, do they have to go to the Supreme court to over rule this? Would be nice to know more about the Judge in question, how high they are, it makes a big difference



posted on May, 5 2011 @ 10:21 AM
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This is the "common sense" and "reasonable" ruling that should have accompanied these expeditions to find revenue all along.

Most IT-savvy folk know there are three ways to Sunday to spoof IP addresses and lacking direct access to ISP records and data for analysis (or the offending hardware device) you cannot definitively "prove" any activity being associated with any specific person.

Sadly, intense commercial lobbying and political influence will be brought to bear here, so I would expect a judicial review on appeal to take place with one of the Big Media favorite political celebrities and judges on the march.

I hope not, but when you "own" the house, you can change the rules whenever you like.
edit on 5-5-2011 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2011 @ 10:22 AM
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Originally posted by Nite_wing
One small step for man.
One giant leap for mankind.

edit on 5-5-2011 by Nite_wing because: (no reason given)


That really made me smile, I just hope the ruling is more substantial than the moon landing photos



posted on May, 5 2011 @ 11:29 AM
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reply to post by PrinceDreamer
 


Very awesome. I surely hope this stands.

If it does not, They will invade full force, no doubt.



posted on May, 5 2011 @ 12:14 PM
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Something similar was ruled on back in 2006:

Source

I thought it was huge news back then and wonder if this previous ruling had anything to do with the current ruling.



posted on May, 5 2011 @ 12:53 PM
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reply to post by bozzchem
 


This was a different type of ruling, this stated that the IP was not personal identifiable information, in regards to Microsoft collecting IP addresses from automatic updates. The Judge ruling in favour of Microsoft. This ruling however protects the user for a change, although the Microsoft case may have had some bearing on the decision



posted on May, 5 2011 @ 12:55 PM
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I live in the sticks. we don't worry about passwords on our routers out this way (except IT geeks who do it just because they can). often times, i will find that I have connected to my neighbors router automatically. so will my son on his ipod. i often find them connected to my router. it works out just fine with no complaints.

except i have received 2 dmca warnings for things that neither of us have downloaded. 1 of the movies i actually own the dvd to, as well as my neighbor. on the next warning, i lose internet access and have to take legal action to get it back (so my provider says). when i check the connection history, there is nothing there that is fishy. possibly someone did it...but i don't think so.

this whole thing sucks donkey nuts. i hope this judgement is upheld. but i don't hold my breath.



posted on May, 5 2011 @ 01:32 PM
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reply to post by PrinceDreamer
 


From reading the article The judge is a FEderal district judge. So his ruling right now only affects his district, and can act as case law / presedence of rother federal judges.

His ruling can be appled to the Federal Appeals Court - 7th Circuit. If they uphold the ruling it will affect all states that fall within the 7th circuit. After that it can go to the US Supreme Court. If they take up the review and uphold the previous decisions, it would then affect all US states and territories.

If any of the eubsequent courts rule against, then its back to square 1.



posted on May, 5 2011 @ 01:37 PM
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Not so fast.
If this ruling brings about case law, stating that an IP address is not a person, then it could also bring about that there are no rights (Search and Seizure) for said IP address.
It may cut both ways.
Good find though.



posted on May, 5 2011 @ 01:38 PM
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Take people like myself who have used proxies and foreign ip services nearly all the time due to not being where my systems are. I use Canadian & European web services. Could we be in fact framing the next guy who uses the ip in a dynamic situation?

How about the next guy that moves into "Osama's" Pakistani resort? Is he guilty of Osama's alleged deeds?

How about the next person that owns your car. You drank, drove and hit an old lady removing her legs. Is the next owner the one who did it?


edit on 5-5-2011 by Atlantican because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2011 @ 01:39 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


Sounds like is spoofing your MAC and IP address.



posted on May, 5 2011 @ 01:45 PM
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reply to post by Xcathdra
 




Thanks for the info, a lot of hurdles left to go then, but at least it is a start



posted on May, 5 2011 @ 05:23 PM
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It isn't going to be much longer before the USA throws a USIDent program out there to "create jobs" and monitor the interwebs of American peoples.



posted on May, 5 2011 @ 05:28 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


It never made sense to me that they could use an IP address in legal action given the IP address could be used by multiple people and hacked as well. If they go after an offender's computer, this would be different but then again, multiple people use my computer, too.

It is also odd that the courts have shaken down the parent of a child who steals copyrighted material over the interenet. Since when are parents held guilty of a crime committed by their kids? When my kids were young and stupid, I did all I could as a parent to make sure they did the right thing in lfie. It was impossible to have total control over everything they did everywhere, though.

This is good news for the public and constitution. Hopefully a higher court will not overturn it.



posted on May, 5 2011 @ 05:34 PM
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Reply to post by macman
 


IMO, it is just like a car. Someone owns it, but it can be next to impossible to show who was using it when, at times.

An officer may not violate the 4th on my car (technically can't even run my plates without probable cause). Same would go for an IP.

Unless I am not comprehending something.


 
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