statism watch

Archive for February 4th, 2010

The government has your baby’s DNA

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

This is going on in Canada as well. The government and the insurance companies love you. Nothing to see here.

Flashback: UK Police routinely arresting people to get DNA, inquiry claims | UK: Police ‘must purge innocent DNA’ | Newborn’s Blood Samples Raise Questions of Privacy | Study finds genetic discrimination by insurance firms | US: Ruling allowing Taser use to get DNA may be nation’s first | UK: Police ‘arrest innocent youths for their DNA’, officer claims | UK: Fury as Commons denied vote on DNA database | Australians refused insurance because of poor genes

Elizabeth Cohen, CNN.com
February 4, 2010

When Annie Brown’s daughter, Isabel, was a month old, her pediatrician asked Brown and her husband to sit down because he had some bad news to tell them: Isabel carried a gene that put her at risk for cystic fibrosis.

While grateful to have the information — Isabel received further testing and she doesn’t have the disease — the Mankato, Minnesota, couple wondered how the doctor knew about Isabel’s genes in the first place. After all, they’d never consented to genetic testing.

It’s simple, the pediatrician answered: Newborn babies in the United States are routinely screened for a panel of genetic diseases. Since the testing is mandated by the government, it’s often done without the parents’ consent, according to Brad Therrell, director of the National Newborn Screening & Genetics Resource Center.

In many states, such as Florida, where Isabel was born, babies’ DNA is stored indefinitely, according to the resource center.

Many parents don’t realize their baby’s DNA is being stored in a government lab, but sometimes when they find out, as the Browns did, they take action. Parents in Texas, and Minnesota have filed lawsuits, and these parents’ concerns are sparking a new debate about whether it’s appropriate for a baby’s genetic blueprint to be in the government’s possession.

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Swedish Justice Minister reluctant to store internet user’s data

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Canadian law makers are being pressured into this policy as well. It’s a nascent global policy. Do you agree with ‘global policy’? We all need to think long and hard about this, since, historically, the boundaries between nation states have acted as firewalls to tyranny.

Flashback: EU urged to adopt bank supertax | Prepare to be boarded! Pirate Party wins entry to European Parliament | Sweden approves wiretapping law | Stockholm Court: Pirate Bay Judge ‘Unbiased’ | Pirate Bay lawyer calls for retrial after judge confirms ties to copyright groups | Jail terms for Pirate Bay founders, appeal in works | Sweden approves wiretapping law | Opposition to proposed Swedish surveillance law mounts | Sweden sets sights on new ‘catch and release’ wiretap law

Peter Vinthagen Simpson, TheLocal.se
February 4, 2010

The European Court of Justice has told Sweden that it must implement a 2006 measure requiring telecom operators to store information about their customers’ phone calls and emails.

The European Union directive, known as the Data Retention Directive, was approved by Brussels in March 2006, but Sweden has yet to implement the measure more than three years after its passage.

The Swedish government conceded to the court that it had not fulfilled its obligations and assured the court that the EU directive 2006/24 can be expected to pass into Swedish law on April 1st 2010.

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G7 brings competing visions to the Arctic

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Want to fix the economy? Try restricting fractional reserve banking to a 1:1 multiplier, for starters. Doesn’t it seem inherently fraudulent to lend out more money – even illusory fiat money – than you have? Think of how Air Canada overbooks its flights as an analogous situation. Bankers oversell a commodity and have zero accountability to their customers. The Keynesian fraud has to stop. But you won’t see anyone discussing real alternatives to the international system at the G7, G8, or G20. That is control of the dialogue. All of this collegial ‘disagreement’ between finance ministers is a sham, a shadowplay, and serves only to reinforce their fundamental consensus. And if you need to have this any more in your face / this rap smackdown puts Keynes in his place.

Update (2010/02/07): The outcome of the meeting? The ministers agreed to agree upon something at some point in the future. Photo-ops were had by all.

Flashback: Global Bank Insurance Levy Wins Support over Transaction Tax at Davos | Harper urges G20 to follow economic accords | Bankers unite against Barack Obama and Gordon Brown in call for world regulation | IMF warns against retreat from stimulus spending | Banks find gaping loophole in Obama financial reforms | Obama talking tough with banks | EU urged to adopt bank supertax | Obama ponders bank transaction levy to recoup bailout shortfalls | Explosive Leaked Emails Expose Treasury Secretary Geithner’s Deception in ‘Backdoor Bailout’ | Final Copenhagen Text Includes Global Transaction Tax | EU calls for tax on bank transactions | UK: Brown takes campaign for Tobin tax to Commonwealth | UK: Brown proposes global fund to kick-start Copenhagen climate change process | Flaherty, USA say no to global financial tax, yes to continued ’stimulus’ at G20 | Bernanke continues pressing for sweeping new powers for Fed | IMF chief wants global bank tax | G20 nations meet as protests flare on issue of international banking regulation | IMF approves $13bn gold sale to boost lending fund | China Set to Buy $50 Billion in IMF Notes | China calls anew for super-sovereign currency | No one talking about dumping dollar: China minister | China explores buying $50bn in IMF bonds | Chinese economists deem huge holding of US bonds “risky” as Geithner visits | A Bigger, Bolder Role Is Imagined For the IMF | UK PM reveals G20 plan to boost IMF by $1 trillion, hails new world order (again) | UN & IMF Back Agenda For Global Financial Dictatorship | IMF poised to print billions of dollars in ‘global quantitative easing’ | Gordon Brown seeks sweeping reforms to give IMF global ’surveillance role’ | IMF may need to “print money”, act as “world’s central bank” as crisis spreads | Globalists Exploit Financial Meltdown In Move Towards One World Currency | World needs new Bretton Woods, says Brown | IMF prescribes state regulation of ‘global financial order’ | Bilderberg Seeks Bank Centralization Agenda | Banks face “new world order,” consolidation: report

Doug Saunders, the Globe and Mail
February 4, 2010

Finance ministers agree on urgency of regulating economy, but head into Iqaluit summit with contradictory proposals on how to do it

Britain’s Chancellor of The Exchequer Alistair Darling, left, gestures as he talks with French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde during the G20 meeting on Sept. 5, 2009 in London.

A year after the world’s governments agreed to tackle the global financial collapse with a co-ordinated program of big-budget stimulus spending, their top ministers are arriving in the Canadian Arctic Friday in a desperate bid to keep that unity from falling apart.

But detailed interviews with the British and French finance ministers in Paris and London this week reveal that they and their Canadian, U.S., and German colleagues are headed into Iqaluit for a G7 finance ministers’ summit with different and often contradictory proposals to regulate finance and prevent another downturn.

“We’re all people of good will, but we need to be very careful … because what works with one set of banks or one country does not necessarily work with another set of banks or another country,” Christine Lagarde, the French Finance Minister, said in an interview at her Paris office.

Alistair Darling, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, warned that this could be the last chance to come up with a new bank-regulation system before the G8 and G20 summits of world leaders this summer, also in Canada, and that there is a wide distance between nations on how to proceed. [Ed. Note: G20: Toronto ought to be interesting. This journal would encourage some planning around G20 resistance take place here.]

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RCMP complaints to get ‘independent’ probes

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

You will, of course, excuse our initial skepticism Mr. Elliot.

Flashback: New RCMP watchdog is toothless | RCMP watchdog won’t be reappointed | Bill would end RCMP self-investigations | Video shows violent B.C. police takedown | RCMP actions ‘gratuitous, ‘violent,’ BC needs own police lawyer tells inquiry | RCMP reject watchdog report on internal investigations | Mounties discussed Tasing Dziekanski prior to altercation | Mounties want to bar Taser inquiry from finding misconduct | RCMP credibility battered by TASER inquiry | Ottawa cuts funding for RCMP watchdog in wake of TASER inquiry | Head of RCMP unit that framed Arar promoted to Assistant Commissioner | RCMP Investigates, Clears Self of Wrongdoing in Case of TASERed Inuvik Girl | Perjury: Is it different for cops?

CBC News
February 4, 2010

The RCMP will bring in independent agencies to investigate, whenever possible, if a member of its own force has been accused of serious offences, the RCMP commissioner said.

“I believe that the RCMP has in the past conducted impartial and thorough investigations of our members. This has been validated time and time again by the commission for public complaints against the RCMP, ” William Elliott said on Thursday as he announced the new policy.

“However, I’m convinced that we collectively need to raise the bar in terms of how we respond to situations where life is lost, serious injuries sustained, or sensitive matters of public confidence and trust are raised.”

Elliott acknowledged that the policy does not eliminate the possibility that the RCMP could investigate itself or address the broader subject of the police investigating the police.

“But it does incorporate in policy what we have been saying, what I have been saying is the RCMP is in favour of independent investigations,” he said. “And wherever possible that is what we will look to.”

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Gene Patents Under Legal Attack

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

It would be difficult to overstate the importance of this lawsuit. A pharmaceutical company may own the physical remedy it produces for an ailment. To say they ‘own’ a gene they’ve discovered is philosophically and morally (ob)noxious.

Flashback: Judge OKs Challenge to Human-Gene Patents | Sick babies denied treatment in DNA row

Brandon Keim, Wired.com
February 4, 2010

Federal court hearings continued Tuesday on a lawsuit that could transform biotechnology in the United States by eliminating gene patents.

The case hinges around the claims of Utah-based Myriad Genetics on BRCA1 and BRCA2, a pair of genes closely linked to breast and ovarian cancer. Myriad “owns” the genes, and says its patents make it possible to profit on diagnostic tests. The company argues that if you remove the patents, the tests – indeed, commercial biotechnology as we know it – will vanish.

A coalition of civil rights, research and women’s health groups is fighting the patents. They argue that Myriad’s claims stifle innovation by discouraging researchers from looking at the genes, which are still not fully understood, and say Myriad’s monopoly limits women’s health choices. More broadly, the claims set a precedent for other gene patents, which now cover about one-fifth of the human genome.

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Carbon trade phish scam disrupts exchanges

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

“A graphic from McAfee suggests that [carbon] permits were raided via a network of corrupt brokers and intermediaries via a scheme akin to VAT carousel fraud.”

Flashback: The next big scam: Fraud endemic to carbon market

John Leyden, TheRegister.co.uk
February 4, 2010

Complex fraud lies behind emissions permissions attack

Phishing fraudsters have extended their net beyond harvesting e-banking credentials via a scam that resulted in the theft of 250,000 carbon permits worth over €3m.

The outbreak of fraud resulted in the suspension of trading in several EU registries on 2 February. The crooks are thought to have created fake emission registries, promoted via spam emails, before using identity details submitted on these sites to trade rights to blow-off greenhouse gases on the legitimate sites.

Six unnamed German firms were among the victims of the scam, a new form of corporate identity theft. Illegal transactions have also happened in the Czech Republic. German police have begun investigating the fraud. The EU Commission may also become involved, the BBC reports.

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Google, NSA may team up to probe cyberattacks

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

On the January 17, 2010 episode of TVO’s Search Engine, Jesse Brown interviewed Watson Meng, editor of one of the oldest citizen journalism news sites to hold China’s feet to the fire, Boxun.us, and he cast an entirely different light on this story with some inside information from Boxun’s sources in the Chinese government. Search Engine reports that the writing was already on the wall – Google was being pressured to rank their search results in a manner favourable to the Chinese government, to fall in line with state search engine Baidu, and in the case of politically sensitive searches, to deliver “a pre-approved list of results provided by the propaganda department”. Furthermore, the attacks on Google EMail accounts are by no means new, but instead in this case serve as a pretext for Google to push back against the Chinese government and reframe the debate. Listen to the interview here or read along below…

Jesse Brown: If Google hasn’t been approached yet with these new demands, then why would Google shift their policy pre-emptively?

Watson Meng: From what we read in public, it is because of attack. Google receive attack the email box, they say you know dissident’s email box attacked. From my observations that type of attack has been you know happening all the time, to many people. I know many friends they lost their access to their Google email account so we don’t know technically how the hacker you know did that. Whether they access the server or they steal the password, we don’t know. This happens very very frequently. But Google this time they use this type of attack as a reason… my personal understanding is Google may know more than they tell the public.

Jesse Brown: Because of course as you suggest we’ve known for a long time that these attacks have been occurring. We’ve covered it on this program many times, attacks originating in China, they can never be directly traced to the Chinese government but it’s an open secret that it’s Chinese government affiliates that are launching these attacks.

In light of this, Google should come clean on the real reasons for their threat to leave China rather than throwing up this smokescreen. Why get all huffy about hacked email now? Does it have anything to do with Clinton’s recent barn burning speech about how America will ‘protect your freedoms’ online? Getting into bed with the NSA’s cybersecurity program sets a horrible precedent, assurances your searches will remain private notwithstanding. Read the last two paragraphs of this article.

Flashback: Police want backdoor to Web users’ private data |  China Google Hack Exploited Security Gaps Introduced By State Surveillance Provisions | China tells web companies to obey controls | Google Considers Leaving China If China Will Not Allow Uncensored Search | Cybersecurity Is Framework For Total Government Regulation & Control Of Our Lives | Obama Set to Create A Cybersecurity Czar With Broad Mandate | NSA Dominance of Cybersecurity Would Lead to ‘Grave Peril’, Ex-Cyber Chief Tells Congress

David Alexander, Reuters
February 4, 2010

Internet search firm Google is finalizing a deal that would let the U.S. National Security Agency help it investigate a corporate espionage attack that may have originated in China, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.

The aim of the investigation is to better defend Google, the world’s largest Internet search company, and its users from future attacks, the Post said, citing anonymous sources with knowledge of the arrangement.

The sources said Google’s alliance with the NSA, the world’s most powerful electronic surveillance organization, would be aimed at letting the two sides share critical information without violating Google’s policies or laws that protect the privacy of online communications.

Under the arrangement, the NSA would not be viewing user searches or e-mail accounts, the sources said. Google also would not be sharing proprietary data with the NSA, they said.

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EU Council Health Chair: Swine Flu Pandemic Was A Hoax

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Which raises the question – how is the WHO’s internal investigation comnig along?

Flashback: One small needle, a world of trouble — Mom goes numb from H1N1 shot | Canada sends 5 million doses of H1N1 vaccine to WHO | WHO to examine its H1N1 response | Flu Inc.: How vaccines became big business |H1N1 ‘not done yet’: Canada’s top doctor | Swine flu pandemic ‘less lethal than expected’ | Only 30% of Ontario residents have H1N1 shot | Santa Claus vaccinated in Montreal | UK: Millions more than thought have already had swine flu, Government scientists say | Dr. Richard Schabas — How they larded H1N1 facts with fear | Push is on to inoculate everyone against H1N1, Ontarians stay away in droves | UK Doctors say most Britons reject swine flu vaccine | Swine flu cases drop in England | H1N1 overplayed by media, public health: MDs | Elite Council Recording Suggests Creating False Scarcity To Drive Up Demand For H1N1 Vaccine | WHO pandemic definition too broad, doctor contends | Vaccine scarcity claims don’t add up | ‘No reason’ to delay seasonal flu shots, global health panel says | Flu Season Has Already Peaked in US, Little Benefit to H1N1 Jab: Study | Flu vaccine shortage expected to last a week | Mass Rejection Of Swine Flu Vaccine Continues Throughout Europe | GlaxoSmithKline profit rises on flu drug | Swine Flu Scam Reaches New Heights With Obama’s Emergency Declaration | US Government Hijacks Kids TV To Propagandize For Swine Flu Shots | UK: National Health Service frontline staff shun H1N1 vaccine | Swine flu death rate similar to seasonal flu: expert | Swine flu unlikely to become superbug | UK: Half of all pregnant women will refuse swine flu jab, poll reveals | UK Government Swine Flu Advisor On Vaccine Maker Payroll | Swine flu: How scared should we be? | Top Epidemiologist Slams Swine Flu Fearmongering | Lessons of 1976: swine flu, fear, mass vaccinations, wasted millions

Paul Joseph Watson, PrisonPlanet.com
February 4, 2010

Council of Europe chair says pharmaceutical companies conspired with WHO to make vast profits from fake hysteria

Appearing on The Alex Jones Show, outgoing Chair of the Council of Europe’s Sub-committee on Health Wolfgang Wodarg said that his panel’s investigation into the 2009 swine flu outbreak has found that the pandemic was a fake hoax manufactured by pharmaceutical companies in league with the WHO to make vast profits while endangering public health.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, a 47 nation body encompassing democratically elected members of parliament, began hearings last month to investigate whether the H1N1 swine flu pandemic was falsified or exaggerated in an attempt to profit from vaccine sales.

Wodarg said that governments were “threatened” by special interest groups within the pharmaceutical industry as well as the WHO to buy the vaccines and inject their populations without any reasonable scientific reason for doing so, and yet in countries like Germany and France only around 6 per cent took the vaccine despite enough being available to cover 90 per cent of the population.

Wodarg said he was alarmed when the WHO cited early cases in Mexico as a threat and quickly moved to pandemic status, despite the fact that the cases were relatively mild and the virus was not new.

“This was the mildest flu ever and the people were much more clever than the government so we have to find out what was going on with WHO — why did they do this pandemic alarm,” asked Wodarg, noting that pharmaceutical interests within the World Health Organization were instrumental in creating the panic and reaping the financial dividends.

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Men at Work plagiarized Kookaburra tune, Australian court rules

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Laugh, kookaburra! This is ridiculous – the continuing destruction of the historic idea that culture is passed from artist to artist to be riffed on foretells the death of culture. Do any of these people listen to jazz? What can we expect next – for owners of the rights to old Sci-Fi movies to sue Moore and Gibbons for their reproduction of movie posters in Watchmen? If Homer were alive today, would his fellow bards sue him for infringement? Probably. WIPO and ACTA (currently in negotiation, go to techdirt.com and michaelgeist.ca for daily updates) are attempts to completely stifle the flow of information globally. And as such, they will be widely ignored by the actual people who produce culture, and a lot of artists will end up in jail. (And a note on media synchronicity – is it mere coincidence that we see coverage of a pro-copyright case emerge from Australia hours after a case in which the MPAA got spanked?)

Flashback: Hollywood loses landmark copyright case in Australia | CBC’s new licencing plan: Pay to Print, Email, and Blog, and outsource enforcement to American Copyright Digital Rights Bounty Hunters | Internet companies voice alarm over Italian copyright law | Reading Between The Still Secret Lines Of The ACTA Negotiations | Beyond ACTA: Proposed EU — Canada Trade Agreement Intellectual Property Chapter Leaks | We’re no thieves — despite what Rupert Murdoch claims, says Google | Google allows publishers to limit free content | New Leaks of Secret ACTA Copyright Law Reveal Oppressive ‘Global DMCA’ | MPAA Says Critics of Secret Copyright Treaty Hate Hollywood | FOX News owner’s media empire could block Google searches entirely | More ACTA Details Leak: It’s An Entertainment Industry Wishlist | UK: Music filesharers ’spend the most on music’, says poll | UK Business Secretary sets date for blocking filesharers’ internet connections | The bait and switch: EU now to endorse internet disconnection for ‘piracy’ | UK: 70% oppose internet ban for filesharers, poll show | Judge in Pirate Bay Appeal Removed for Bias | MP Charlie Angus on copyright: industry lobby pulling for ‘dead business model’ | UK Government to consider internet disconnection policy, restrictions | Reuters Steps Up; Says Linking, Excerpting, Sharing Are Good Things For The News | Associated Press Tries To DRM The News | Should linking be illegal? | The dawn of Internet censorship in Germany | Pirate Bay Retrial Denied | Stockholm Court: Pirate Bay Judge ‘Unbiased’ | Next up for France: police keyloggers and Web censorship | France passes ‘three strikes’ Internet surveillance law | Pirate Bay lawyer calls for retrial after judge confirms ties to copyright groups | Jail terms for Pirate Bay founders, appeal in works | Canada Considering “Three Strikes and You’re Out” ISP Policy

Associated Press
February 4, 2010

SYDNEY–Australian band Men at Work copied a well-known children’s campfire song for the flute melody in its 1980s hit “Down Under” and owes the owner years of royalties, a court ruled Thursday.

“Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree” was written more than 70 years ago by Australian teacher Marion Sinclair for a Girl Guides competition, and the song has been a favourite around campfires from New Zealand to Canada.

The teacher died in 1988, and publishing company Larrikin Music owns the copyright to her song about the native Australian bird. Larrikin filed the copyright lawsuit last year.

“I have come to the view that the flute riff in ‘Down Under’ … infringes on the copyright of Kookaburra because it replicates in material form a substantial part of Ms. Sinclair’s 1935 work,” Federal Court Justice Peter Jacobson said.

He ordered the parties back in court Feb. 25 to discuss the compensation Larrikin should receive from songwriters Colin Hay and Ron Strykert and Men at Work’s record companies, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and EMI Songs Australia.

Adam Simpson, Larrikin Music’s lawyer, said outside court the company might seek up to 60 per cent of the royalties “Down Under” earned since its release – an amount that could total millions.

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Hollywood loses landmark copyright case in Australia

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Perhaps if studios had recognized the writing on the wall and gotten their product online at prices reflecting the ‘long tail’ of Internet commerce and market demand – 5 bucks a movie with no DRM, say – then they wouldn’t be nursing this black eye. And they’d have the opportunity to move their entire catalogue with zero inventory costs. It worked for iTunes.

Flashback: CBC’s new licencing plan: Pay to Print, Email, and Blog, and outsource enforcement to American Copyright Digital Rights Bounty Hunters | Internet companies voice alarm over Italian copyright law | Reading Between The Still Secret Lines Of The ACTA Negotiations | Beyond ACTA: Proposed EU — Canada Trade Agreement Intellectual Property Chapter Leaks | We’re no thieves — despite what Rupert Murdoch claims, says Google | Google allows publishers to limit free content | New Leaks of Secret ACTA Copyright Law Reveal Oppressive ‘Global DMCA’ | MPAA Says Critics of Secret Copyright Treaty Hate Hollywood | FOX News owner’s media empire could block Google searches entirely | More ACTA Details Leak: It’s An Entertainment Industry Wishlist | UK: Music filesharers ’spend the most on music’, says poll | UK Business Secretary sets date for blocking filesharers’ internet connections | The bait and switch: EU now to endorse internet disconnection for ‘piracy’ | UK: 70% oppose internet ban for filesharers, poll show | Judge in Pirate Bay Appeal Removed for Bias | MP Charlie Angus on copyright: industry lobby pulling for ‘dead business model’ | UK Government to consider internet disconnection policy, restrictions | Reuters Steps Up; Says Linking, Excerpting, Sharing Are Good Things For The News | Associated Press Tries To DRM The News | Should linking be illegal? | The dawn of Internet censorship in Germany | Pirate Bay Retrial Denied | Stockholm Court: Pirate Bay Judge ‘Unbiased’ | Next up for France: police keyloggers and Web censorship | France passes ‘three strikes’ Internet surveillance law | Pirate Bay lawyer calls for retrial after judge confirms ties to copyright groups | Jail terms for Pirate Bay founders, appeal in works | Canada Considering “Three Strikes and You’re Out” ISP Policy

Michael Perry, Reuters
February 4, 2010

Hollywood studios lost a landmark copyright court case against an Australia Internet provider on Thursday, when a court ruled iiNet could not be held responsible for unauthorized downloads of movies using its service.

The suit against iiNet was filed by a group of the biggest Hollywood studios including Village Roadshow, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox and Disney.

The consortium had hoped to prove iiNet not only failed to take steps to stop illegal file-sharing by customers, but breached copyright itself by storing and transmitting the data through its system.

Australia’s Federal Court in Sydney ruled it was impossible to hold iiNet responsible for users infringing copyright.

“While I find that iiNet had knowledge of infringements occurring, and did not act to stop them, such findings do not necessitate a finding of authorization,” Judge Dennis Cowdroy said in handing down the judgment.

“The evidence establishes that iiNet has done no more than to provide an internet service to its users,” Cowdroy said.

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