Home » Posts tagged 'ars technica'

Tag Archives: ars technica

An ISP Settled Piracy Lawsuits. May Customers Take the Hit?

Constitution Communications has agreed to settle piracy lawsuits filed by the main report labels, which accused the cable web supplier of failing to terminate the accounts of subscribers who illegally obtain copyrighted songs.

Sony, Common, Warner, and their varied subsidiaries sued Constitution in US District Court docket in Colorado in March 2019 in a go well with that claimed the ISP helps subscribers pirate music by promoting packages with larger web speeds. They filed one other lawsuit in opposition to Constitution in the identical court docket in August 2021.

Each circumstances had been settled. The report labels and Constitution informed the court docket of their settlements on August 2 in filings that stated, “The Events hereby notify the Court docket that they’ve resolved the above-captioned motion.” Upon the settlements, the court docket vacated the pending trials and requested the events to submit dismissal papers inside 28 days.

Constitution subsidiary Vibrant Home Networks additionally settled an analogous lawsuit in US District Court docket for the Center District of Florida this week. The report labels’ case in Florida was settled someday earlier than a scheduled trial, as TorrentFreak reported on August 2. The case was dismissed with prejudice after the settlement.

No particulars on any of the settlements got within the paperwork notifying the courts. A 3-week jury trial in one of many Colorado circumstances was scheduled to start in June 2023 however is now not wanted.

The query for web customers is whether or not the settlements imply that Constitution might be extra aggressive in terminating subscribers who illegally obtain copyrighted materials. Constitution declined to remark when Ars Technica requested whether or not it agreed to extend account terminations of subscribers accused of piracy. Ars Technica additionally contacted the large three report labels and can replace this text if they supply any info on the settlements.

$1B Cox Verdict Could Drive ISPs to Lower Off Subscribers

Even when the settlements haven’t any particular provision on terminating subscribers, Constitution presumably has to pay the report labels to settle the claims. That would make the nation’s second-biggest ISP extra more likely to terminate subscribers accused of piracy with a view to stop future lawsuits.

A jury dominated in December 2019 that Cox should pay $1 billion in damages to the main report labels in a case filed in US District Court docket for the Japanese District of Virginia. That call raised alarm bells for the Digital Frontier Basis (EFF), the Middle For Democracy and Expertise, the American Library Affiliation, the Affiliation of Faculty and Analysis Libraries, the Affiliation of Analysis Libraries, and consumer-advocacy group Public Data.

These teams warned in a June 2021 court docket submitting that the decision, if not overturned, “will drive ISPs to terminate extra subscribers with much less justification or danger staggering legal responsibility.” The US Court docket of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit heard oral arguments in March 2022 and has not but issued a ruling.

Constitution Movement to Dismiss Denied

Within the Colorado court docket, the report labels’ grievance stated Constitution “has knowingly contributed to, and reaped substantial income from, large copyright infringement dedicated by 1000’s of its subscribers. Constitution has insisted on doing nothing—regardless of receiving 1000’s of notices that detailed the criminal activity of its subscribers, regardless of its clear authorized obligation to deal with the widespread, unlawful downloading of copyrighted works on its web providers, and regardless of being sued beforehand by Plaintiffs for related conduct.”

Constitution argued in a movement to dismiss the case that “a failure to terminate a buyer’s entry to the web primarily based solely upon unverified (and unverifiable) notices alleging previous infringement doesn’t reveal the requisite intent by an ISP to encourage infringement.” Constitution stated it has a “coverage to not terminate buyer accounts primarily based solely upon the receipt of notices containing unverifiable accusations of infringement.”

Constitution additionally wrote that “plaintiffs don’t (and can’t) allege that termination restricts entry to the infringing content material. It’s common sense that terminating a buyer’s web connection doesn’t stop a buyer from discovering one other supply of Web entry, nor does it affect the supply of the allegedly infringing content material hosted by way of peer-to-peer networks or packages. Constitution has no extra capability to dam entry to peer-to-peer networks than a subscriber’s electrical firm.” Constitution’s movement to dismiss the case was denied, and the corporate in the end selected to not go to trial.

In Florida, the choose dismissed the report labels’ declare for vicarious legal responsibility, however the business’s grievance additionally sought damages for vicarious copyright infringement.

Disclosure: The Advance/Newhouse Partnership, which owns 12.4 % of Constitution, is a part of Advance Publications. Advance Publications owns Condé Nast, which owns Ars Technica and WIRED.

This story initially appeared on Ars Technica.

The DHS Purchased a ‘Stunning Quantity’ of Telephone-Monitoring Knowledge

For years, individuals have puzzled not if, however how a lot, the Division of Homeland Safety accesses cell location knowledge to watch US residents. This week, the American Civil Liberties Union launched hundreds of closely redacted pages of paperwork that present a “glimpse” of how DHS companies got here to leverage “a surprising quantity” of location knowledge, apparently buying knowledge with out following correct protocols to make sure that they had the authority to take action.

Paperwork had been shared with the ACLU “over the course of the final 12 months by way of a Freedom of Data Act (FOIA) lawsuit.” Then Politico bought entry and launched a report confirming that DHS contracted with two surveillance corporations, Babel Avenue and Venntel, to scour a whole lot of tens of millions of cell telephones from 2017 to 2019 and entry “greater than 336,000 location knowledge factors throughout North America.” The gathering of emails, contracts, spreadsheets, and presentation slides present proof that “the Trump administration’s immigration enforcers used cell location knowledge to trace individuals’s actions on a bigger scale than beforehand recognized,” and the follow has continued beneath Biden as a consequence of a contract that did not expire till 2021.

The vast majority of the brand new info particulars an intensive contract DHS made with Venntel, an information dealer that claims it sells cell location knowledge to unravel “the world’s most difficult issues.” In paperwork, US Customs and Border Patrol mentioned Venntel’s location knowledge helped them enhance immigration enforcement and investigations into human trafficking and narcotics.

It is nonetheless unclear whether or not the follow was authorized, however a DHS privateness officer was fearful sufficient about privateness and authorized considerations that DHS was ordered to “cease all initiatives involving Venntel knowledge” in June 2019. Evidently the privateness and authorized groups, nonetheless, got here to an settlement on use phrases, as a result of the acquisition of location knowledge has since resumed, with Immigration and Customs Enforcement signing a brand new Venntel contract final winter that runs by way of June 2023.

The ACLU nonetheless describes the follow as “shadowy,” saying that DHS companies nonetheless owed them extra paperwork that may additional present how they’re “sidestepping” the “Fourth Modification proper in opposition to unreasonable authorities searches and seizures by shopping for entry to, and utilizing, large volumes of individuals’s mobile phone location info quietly extracted from smartphone apps.” Of explicit concern, the ACLU additionally famous that an e-mail from DHS’s senior director of privateness compliance confirmed that DHS “appeared to have bought entry to Venntel though a required Privateness Threshold Evaluation was by no means authorized.”

DHS didn’t touch upon the Politico story, and neither the DHS companies talked about nor the ACLU instantly responded to Ars’ request for remark.

The ACLU says that no legal guidelines at the moment stop knowledge gross sales to the federal government, however that might change quickly. The ACLU endorses a invoice referred to as the Fourth Modification Is Not for Sale Act, which is designed to do exactly that. Even when that invoice is handed, although, the brand new legislation would nonetheless present some exceptions that may permit authorities companies to proceed monitoring cell location knowledge. The ACLU didn’t instantly reply to touch upon any considerations about these exceptions.

Find out how to Cease Location Knowledge Monitoring

The primary query being debated is whether or not a Supreme Courtroom choice in 2017 that mentioned police should have a warrant to go looking mobile phone knowledge applies to authorities companies like DHS. It is a grey space, the Congressional Analysis Service says, as a result of “the Supreme Courtroom has lengthy acknowledged that the federal government could conduct routine inspections and searches of people coming into on the US border with out a warrant” and that “some federal courts have utilized the ‘border search exception’ to permit comparatively restricted, handbook searches on the border of digital units comparable to computer systems and cell telephones.”

DHS is not the one authorities company that considers itself an exception, although. In 2021, the Protection Intelligence Company additionally bought location knowledge with out a warrant, bypassing the 2017 Supreme Courtroom choice as a result of the Division of Protection has its personal “Legal professional Basic-approved knowledge dealing with necessities.”

Categories