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France suspends "three strikes" enforcement amid data breach

updated 09:10 pm EDT, Tue May 17, 2011

Future of legislation remains unclear

France appears to have temporarily suspended its "three strikes" laws for illegal downloading, after an associated contractor, Trident Media Guard, was accused of using unprotected servers to store IP addresses of alleged copyright violators. The French blog allegedly spotted the problem last week, when a writer discovered a TMG server that included the company's executables, scripts, and lists of IP addresses presumably connected to peer-to-peer file sharers.

Although the initial discoverer of the server considered the possibility that it was simply a decoy to misdirect hackers, the French anti-piracy agency, known as HADOPI, issued a Twitter post claiming that it would "temporarily suspend" its operations with TMG as a precaution.

The French government reportedly relies on TMG to monitor peer-to-peer networks for activity related to copyright infringement. Violators receive two warnings before being referred to a judge for potential punishment.

A report from The Register suggests HADOPI took control of TMG while the agency investigated the possible leak. It remains unclear if the server was used to store personal data, as TMG claims it was merely a "test server."

by MacNN Staff



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