updated 08:25 am EDT, Wed April 20, 2011
ISPs could be forced to give up individuals
A legal challenge to the UK's controversial Digital Economy Act has failed to have the legislation overturned. According to the BBC report, UK ISP's BT and Talk Talk had requested a judicial view on the grounds that it was overly invasive. The Digital Economy Act is designed to allow copyright holders the power to gather lists of IP addresses, which can then be used to target individuals. Copyright holders who have insisted that this legislation will help to reduce illegal file sharing welcomed the ruling.
When an alleged infringement has been noted by a copyright holder, they have been granted the power to identify and infringing user's IP address and forward this to the ISP. The ISP is required under the legislation to notify the subscriber of the event in question. BT and Talk Talk challenged the legislation on the grounds that it violated individual privacy rights.
BT issued a statement saying that, "Protecting our customers is our number one priority and we will consider our options once we have fully understood the implications for our customers and businesses.
"This was always about seeking clarity on certain points of law and we have to consider whether this judgment achieves these aims."
If a customer is found not to comply with the ISP's warnings, the ISP may be forced to make their identity known in order for legal proceedings to begin.