Sunday 17 January 2021

Copyright watchdog cleared to collect details of file sharers

Computer keyboard with padlock.

Stichting Brein is targeting uploaders.

The privacy regulator has given copyright watchdog Stichting Brein permission to collect the online details of internet torrent users as part of its campaign to stamp out illegal filesharing.

On Monday Brein began using a new system to collect the IP addresses of people who upload films and other copyrighted material to torrent sites without permission, RTL news reported. The organisation said it was only targeting large-scale uploaders, but privacy campaigners said people who downloaded material would inevitably be caught in the net.

On Monday the Personal Details Authority (AP) ruled that Brein had built in strong enough safeguards to protect the data of internet users and cleared the system for use.

‘We’re looking at the usual suspects such as The Pirate Bay and KickAss Torrent,’ said Brein’s director Tim Kuik. ‘If you’re one of the biggest uploaders on a torrent site, there’s a good chance your IP address and username will be in our system.’

Brein says it will now approach internet service providers demanding the personal details of torrent site users so it can issue notices ordering them to stop. It may also seek compensation of up to €12,500 from those who infringe the law.

However, internet service providers have already said they will not hand over their customers’ personal details unless they are ordered to do so by a court.

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