Poll Question

Posted to: News Virginia

Should Internet providers be forced to turn over identifying information for those suspected of illegally downloading porn?
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Should ISPs be required to turn over the names of people who stole [insert product here] without paying for it? D

oes it really matter what they're stealing? If they were illegally downloading a song, a Disney movie, the latest James Bond movie? What if all they were stealing was your email? Your bank account?

Downloading Porn

The question sounds like "wanting your cake and eating it too". If the information is not turned over to law inforcement how can they be prosecuted. Am I missing something here?


It's a nonsense question. First, is the material being downloaded itself illegal (censorship) or is it a purported intellectual property violation? Second, "turned over" to whom? My answer above was "No". My full answer is that upon presentation of a warrant issued by a court, upon presentation of proof of due cause, such information should be released to proper authorities.

Not without

a search warrant. Something in the U. S. Constitution says that.

The question is too vague as stated

If there has been due process and a judge issues the appropriate authorization, then yes of course.

If we want to bypass the warrant process because it is porn; and not offer the producers of these films the same protections you would a Disney movie, then of course not.

The problem with these lawsuits

Copyright infringement is a civil matter, not a criminal matter. Companies who are allowed to subpoena an ISP for an IP address are, in essence, allowed to conduct an illegal search. It isn't a search in the classic sense of the police coming to your home and raiding your closets, but it is a search nevertheless. The ISPs are then legally obligated to hand over the information or they are obstructing justice.

If anyone is going to conduct a search, it should be the proper authorities, not a porn company that is paying someone to find IP addresses on bit torrent sites, which are not going to be reliable in any case. The record industry suing grandparents without computers for download 50 cent should be proof of that.

ISPs should be required to

ISPs should be required to do whatever they are required to do in any similar copyright infringement case following whatever procedures are established for those cases. In other words if the porn movies are copyrighted, they should be treated just as any music or book copyright issue is treated. It doesn't seem to me that content should have anything to do with it.

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