Question for the US (and any other country where downloaders are prosecuted)

ok i just wanted to know the answer to this hypotetical situation.

Since an ip is enough in the us for them to fire a cease and desist or start a lwsuiit by connecting it to the person that is registered with the isp what happens in the following situation?

You have a router and a wireless sserver and network. someone managed to illegally connect to your network and starts downloading lets say the newest songs. all your computers are tottaly clean. will you be harrased or prosecuted?

Yes, sadly.

You have a valid defense (maybe, I don’t know if this has been tested yet), but since it’s a civil suit there is no “innocent until proven guilty”, you’ll actually have to prove that you’re clean.

No gurm you don’t have to prove you’re clean, the burden of proof is less for civil cases though. As with a criminal defence you have to provide refuting evidence to that of the ones bringing the case. Though in the case of clean computers I believe in civial the ignorance plea could apply. Most of the time the letters tell you to stop from activities involving one file, therefore you have the “it’s not on my PC” defence.

As to the theoretical, the simple answer is make the network secure. That is after all the responsability of the person making the network, and if they don’t know how to do it then they realy should not have a wireless network…

If you read your ISP’s term of use, you are entirely responsible for any kind of activities you do with your IP - it is your responsibility to secure your network. If you were hacked into and someone was USING your account to download illegal material, you are still responsible. You might have a case if you can prove that this activity occured without your knowledge - in which case you would still be investigated, and would have to prove that someone else used your account, for that you will need to provide as much information as possible, for example, your router logs. Eventhough your IP was used, you can still document which MAC ADDRESS accessed your connection, along with your network’s own mac address and show that they are different. You would need a good lawyer and possibly your computer and router taken for the time of the investigation. You might be required to secure your network, but then again, there are tons of free, openly accessible connections in major cities, you still carry a certain level of responsibility. You should immediately contact your ISP
and let them know about this, before they get contacted first. Secure your network, resolve a new IP if you can, and pray that it’s only music files that has been downloaded and not child porn - Be ready to provide as much information as possible, date, time, log info, etc. Remember, the hacker is likely USING your connection to download music, therefore it is not on your hard drive, it is fairly easy using special software to scan a HDD and prove that no such data was ever written, and using such software you can also prove that files were not deleted. I’d say if you are well prepared with this info you should not have big problems, if any… :smiley:

The broadband contract you subscribed when you activated your line states that it’s your duty to make sure nobody else uses the connection but you. So if someone did something illegal from your connection, be it p2p downloading or hacking into the fbi’s mainframes, you’d still get blamed for it.

Of course, nothing is sure in this world. Maybe if you manage to prove your innocence (how?), you’d be ok. Or maybe your lawyer would manage to confuse the matter enough that they’d ultimately release you (but you’d probably lose more money to the lawyer than to the riaa).

Still, the “it ain’t my fault” line isn’t too likely to work.

The “hey my wireless was hacked” can work. But probably only once. LOL!

yeah i see that viewpoint. but in that case how come owners of proxy servers dont get the blame whenever there is a hacker attack that goes through them.

i read contracts and yes that is pretty much how it goes however it is a tad unusual in my opinion. For ex if someone steeals your car that was properly secured and runs over a person you wouldnt get the blame would you for the person getting killed?

Not all proxy servers are located within the jurisdiction of the relevant authorities.

And then there’s this story from today’s Newsitems: