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(Torrent Freak)   Florida judge rules that IP addresses are not equivalent to social security numbers   (torrentfreak.com) divider line 137
    More: Obvious, Internet Provider, IP addresses  
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6611 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Mar 2014 at 1:14 PM (26 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-03-25 11:33:49 AM
The judge dismissed for improper venue, ruling that proving that an act took place in her district does not prove that the act took place in her district.
 
2014-03-25 11:54:30 AM

ZAZ: The judge dismissed for improper venue, ruling that proving that an act took place in her district does not prove that the act took place in her district.


Geolocation information isn't reliable. Due to the VPN I'm on, the Interwebs think that I'm in Wisconsin, not Boston.

But that said, while this may look like a win for pirates privacy and freedom advocates, it only is in the short term... There are numerous cases coming out this way that are going to lead to one of two things: either ISPs will start including a line in the ToS that you agree that you are responsible for any infringing activity occurring over your connection and waive any arguments that you are not the infringer, or Congress will amend the copyright act to state that an IP address is prima facie evidence of an identity of an infringer, that can be rebutted only by an affidavit identifying the actual infringer. The latter has appeared in red-light camera statutes, where the owner of the car is responsible for the ticket, even if they weren't driving, unless they identify the person who was driving.

Simply put, the copyright lobby is not going to throw their hands up and say "gosh, pirates, you win because of this one legal loophole."
 
2014-03-25 11:59:08 AM

Theaetetus: ZAZ: The judge dismissed for improper venue, ruling that proving that an act took place in her district does not prove that the act took place in her district.

Geolocation information isn't reliable. Due to the VPN I'm on, the Interwebs think that I'm in Wisconsin, not Boston.

But that said, while this may look like a win for pirates privacy and freedom advocates, it only is in the short term... There are numerous cases coming out this way that are going to lead to one of two things: either ISPs will start including a line in the ToS that you agree that you are responsible for any infringing activity occurring over your connection and waive any arguments that you are not the infringer, or Congress will amend the copyright act to state that an IP address is prima facie evidence of an identity of an infringer, that can be rebutted only by an affidavit identifying the actual infringer. The latter has appeared in red-light camera statutes, where the owner of the car is responsible for the ticket, even if they weren't driving, unless they identify the person who was driving.

Simply put, the copyright lobby is not going to throw their hands up and say "gosh, pirates, you win because of this one legal loophole."


But in the case of the red light camera, that car is most definitely owned by the plate owner and it's quite reasonable to assume that he knows who is driving his car at any given time. It's going to be almost never that someone is randomly driving your car.

An IP address is widely sharable, even inadvertently but often on purpose and for good, legitimate reasons. Such as a Starbucks but also many smaller businesses, hotels, public spaces.
 
2014-03-25 12:02:45 PM

Barfmaker: But in the case of the red light camera, that car is most definitely owned by the plate owner and it's quite reasonable to assume that he knows who is driving his car at any given time. It's going to be almost never that someone is randomly driving your car.

An IP address is widely sharable, even inadvertently but often on purpose and for good, legitimate reasons. Such as a Starbucks but also many smaller businesses, hotels, public spaces.


But, on the other hand, the IP address is also tied to a particular modem or gateway at a particular time. Such as Starbucks' modem, smaller businesses' modems, hotels' modems, public spaces with free Internet provided by some organizations' modems, etc. There's some one point those communications are going through, and someone with control over that point... hence, equivalent to ownership of the car, even if you rent or loan your car out freely to others.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-03-25 12:17:36 PM
Barfmaker

None of these cases is about whether an IP address is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. At this stage a plaintiff has to show a reasonable suspicion of an act within the jurisdiction of the court. An IP address associated with you has previously been considered reasonable suspicion, except this judge got sick of all the nuisance cases and decided to be different.

First you get the IP address and find out who it belongs to, say the billing customer at a residence or the person who rented a hotel room. That gives you reason to suspect the person is responsible.

With suspicion and an active case you can force the defendant to explain under oath why the apparent connection is not real. All the usual excuses are in play: open wifi, kids with bad friends, never heard of this "internet" thing, etc.

Some of the excuses might even be true. Cases have gone down in flames when the ignorant owner made a persuasive case. There was suspicion in the form of an IP address, but not proof. In those cases the innocent (or even guilty-but-can't-prove-it) defendant wins attorney's fees.

All of the excuses might be false. The innocent music-free hard drive was installed after the case was filed. The tech-ignorant owner not only knew about Kazaa, she had an account. And the kids can deny guilt, and the alibi boyfriend can become a bitter ex, and so on.  And don't go thinking "no jury would convict" when we now know they would.
 
2014-03-25 12:31:07 PM

Theaetetus: Barfmaker: But in the case of the red light camera, that car is most definitely owned by the plate owner and it's quite reasonable to assume that he knows who is driving his car at any given time. It's going to be almost never that someone is randomly driving your car.

An IP address is widely sharable, even inadvertently but often on purpose and for good, legitimate reasons. Such as a Starbucks but also many smaller businesses, hotels, public spaces.

But, on the other hand, the IP address is also tied to a particular modem or gateway at a particular time. Such as Starbucks' modem, smaller businesses' modems, hotels' modems, public spaces with free Internet provided by some organizations' modems, etc. There's some one point those communications are going through, and someone with control over that point... hence, equivalent to ownership of the car, even if you rent or loan your car out freely to others.


You could certainly track the IP but let's say it's a Starbucks. It's not reasonable or even possible to keep track of everyone who is using it.

All I'm saying is that the metaphor of the red light camera doesn't apply, a car owner reasonably knows who is driving their car, an IP address owner may not.
 
2014-03-25 12:38:27 PM
Some one hacked my wireless network and downloaded infringing material.

Really.

Honestly.

Prove it didn't happen!

Plus, there is like, 20 people that know my password and use it.
 
2014-03-25 12:40:56 PM
Barfmaker:You could certainly track the IP but let's say it's a Starbucks. It's not reasonable or even possible to keep track of everyone who is using it.

All I'm saying is that the metaphor of the red light camera doesn't apply, a car owner reasonably knows who is driving their car, an IP address owner may not.


Not at all. Every person who uses the car has to get the keys from you, right? Every person who uses your WiFi network has to get an NATed IP address from your router, right? And they even provide their ID, in the form of a MAC address. And, even better than the car, your router can log each and every packet to/from that NATed IP or MAC address - so you know exactly when they started sharing "Sexy Librarians 14".

Do you know their name? Probably not. Can you nonetheless provide identifying information via that MAC address that implicates them, rather than you, as the infringer? Absolutely. And the logs can be very tiny, particularly compared to how cheap storage space is now.

Hence, a person with an open access point should be able to easily rebut any accusation of copyright infringement, if they're not actually the infringer.

Your best counterargument is that the person isn't currently collecting detailed logs. And that's true, and why these cases are getting dismissed, but that's one of the things that will have to change as a result of these court decisions and the likely changes to the law that will result. It will not be a loophole forever.
 
2014-03-25 12:44:14 PM
In other words,  currently an open access point is like leaving your car on the street, unlocked, with the keys in the ignition. And so if someone borrows it and runs a red light, you have a good argument that it wasn't you and you shouldn't be responsible.

But leaving your car on the street unlocked isn't reasonable, and as a result, many jurisdictions have passed statutes that say you're responsible for anything done with it if you can't prove it wasn't you. It's considered per se negligent.

Similarly, many jurisdictions will pass statutes that say you're responsible for anything traveling through your access point, if you can't prove it wasn't you.
 
2014-03-25 12:46:22 PM
Also, just to forestall accusations of being a pro-copyright shill, I'm talking about how the law currently operates, and what is likely to happen in the future, particularly if the RIAA/MPAA/copyright lobby keeps paying Congress for changes to the law while the pro-piracy lobby merely gloats about each win. I'm not saying it's a good future outcome.
 
2014-03-25 12:48:24 PM

Theaetetus: And they even provide their ID, in the form of a MAC address. And, even better than the car, your router can log each and every packet to/from that NATed IP or MAC address


MAC addresses can be spoofed.
 
2014-03-25 12:49:53 PM

Theaetetus: In other words,  currently an open access point is like leaving your car on the street, unlocked, with the keys in the ignition


Except for the fact if someone steals my car, I'm very aware of it.

Few people can detect if their wifi is being hijacked.
 
2014-03-25 12:54:42 PM

impaler: Theaetetus: And they even provide their ID, in the form of a MAC address. And, even better than the car, your router can log each and every packet to/from that NATed IP or MAC address

MAC addresses can be spoofed.


But not with another MAC address on the same network, because then the router will not know where to send them. And if your point, as the owner of the access point, is to show that the infringing packets didn't come from  your computer, then it's irrelevant if they came from a real or spoofed MAC address, as long as it doesn't match yours.

impaler: Except for the fact if someone steals my car, I'm very aware of it.
Few people can detect if their wifi is being hijacked.


Pfff, anyone  can detect if their wifi is being hijacked. Most people don't bother looking or don't know how. Again, that will be something that will change, once the law starts blaming you for anything that happens with your wifi router unless you can prove it wasn't you. Ignorance won't be a defense.

/although, more likely, each access point will come locked down as a default, and only knowledgeable people will be able to open them up... at which point, it'd be tough to claim you know how to disable security while not knowing how to read a log.
 
2014-03-25 01:13:53 PM
I need the sip.
IP?
IP!
Do not flip.
IP?
IP!

/obscurities?
 
2014-03-25 01:17:33 PM
How many people actually use a VPN? I've been using one for over a year, and I think it's worth every penny.
 
2014-03-25 01:18:34 PM
But my computer is broadcasting its IP address!
 
2014-03-25 01:18:35 PM
Short version: the judge said an IP address isn't enough to justify issuing a subpoena. That's kind of a big deal, because without the subpoena, you can't find out who exactly at an IP is downloading what, and sharing with whom.
 
2014-03-25 01:22:43 PM
So does this mean that your IP address doesn't prove that you are the one that posted that somebody was a doodie head in a online libel suit?
 
2014-03-25 01:24:54 PM
Good ruling, since IP addresses for most users of the internet are assigned by their IPS's DHCP server and a lease on the address can last only as long as the user is logged onto the computer.
 
2014-03-25 01:26:25 PM
obligatory

img.fark.net
 
2014-03-25 01:26:50 PM
from the EFF:  Malibu Media (porn company that runs X-Art website) files an average of 3 of these cases a DAY (1100 last year).  They usually include a list of movies they believe the person has downloaded, included films Malibu Media DOESN'T own the copyright of, and can't sue over.  It's an obvious scare/embarrassment tactic: pay up or we'll publicly shame you.
 
2014-03-25 01:27:13 PM
Yup, my VPNs usually have me in IL or IA.
 
2014-03-25 01:27:52 PM

ecmoRandomNumbers: How many people actually use a VPN? I've been using one for over a year, and I think it's worth every penny.


Not to sidetrack, but do you subscribe to a service or roll your own?
 
2014-03-25 01:28:24 PM

JackieRabbit: Good ruling, since IP addresses for most users of the internet are assigned by their IPS's DHCP server and a lease on the address can last only as long as the user is logged onto the computer.


So? If you make threatening phone calls from a hotel room phone, it's not reasonable to dismiss a case by saying that you only had the phone number for as long as you were renting the phone. Activity by the next or prior patron is irrelevant, since they're subpoenaing records about an IP address  at a particular time.
 
2014-03-25 01:30:54 PM

Theaetetus: impaler: Theaetetus: And they even provide their ID, in the form of a MAC address. And, even better than the car, your router can log each and every packet to/from that NATed IP or MAC address

MAC addresses can be spoofed.

But not with another MAC address on the same network, because then the router will not know where to send them. And if your point, as the owner of the access point, is to show that the infringing packets didn't come from  your computer, then it's irrelevant if they came from a real or spoofed MAC address, as long as it doesn't match yours.

impaler: Except for the fact if someone steals my car, I'm very aware of it.
Few people can detect if their wifi is being hijacked.

Pfff, anyone  can detect if their wifi is being hijacked. Most people don't bother looking or don't know how. Again, that will be something that will change, once the law starts blaming you for anything that happens with your wifi router unless you can prove it wasn't you. Ignorance won't be a defense.

/although, more likely, each access point will come locked down as a default, and only knowledgeable people will be able to open them up... at which point, it'd be tough to claim you know how to disable security while not knowing how to read a log.


Many people turn their computers off when not in use. Many people have laptops that are frequently taken out of range. And maybe it was viruses. Prove to a jury of random people who would blame a power supply failure on viruses that it wasn't.
 
2014-03-25 01:31:24 PM
www.macleans.ca
 
2014-03-25 01:32:27 PM
Just download with uploading chocked to zero (leeching, not seeding - there are plenty of people outside USA that the torrent will always have seeders) and if ever get accused, buy an used DVD and tell them you were protecting your property.

/Do not pirate
//Hate patent trolls.
///Piracy is not a real problem for anyone. Most kids who pirates wouldn't have bought the item anyway (only about 2% would, but even that amount is offset by the free advertisements pirating does.
 
2014-03-25 01:33:47 PM
All of this neglects air crack. I can secure my hotspot, removing me from negligence, but to any determined individual, its trivial security.

And what kind of person would have reason to crack into my hotspot? People who didn't want to be caught pirating music, movies, etc.

Granted in civil court you need a preponderance of evidence and not reasonable doubt, but a crafty lawyer can shred this pretty easily I bet.
 
2014-03-25 01:34:12 PM
at any given time, there are between 6 and 25 devices on my networks.
my routers are crappy and don't have logging set up.
some of the people who use my network aren't all that tech savvy and might have a backdoor or proxy running without their knowledge.
 
2014-03-25 01:35:19 PM

picturescrazy: Theaetetus: impaler: Theaetetus: And they even provide their ID, in the form of a MAC address. And, even better than the car, your router can log each and every packet to/from that NATed IP or MAC address

MAC addresses can be spoofed.

But not with another MAC address on the same network, because then the router will not know where to send them. And if your point, as the owner of the access point, is to show that the infringing packets didn't come from  your computer, then it's irrelevant if they came from a real or spoofed MAC address, as long as it doesn't match yours.

impaler: Except for the fact if someone steals my car, I'm very aware of it.
Few people can detect if their wifi is being hijacked.

Pfff, anyone  can detect if their wifi is being hijacked. Most people don't bother looking or don't know how. Again, that will be something that will change, once the law starts blaming you for anything that happens with your wifi router unless you can prove it wasn't you. Ignorance won't be a defense.

/although, more likely, each access point will come locked down as a default, and only knowledgeable people will be able to open them up... at which point, it'd be tough to claim you know how to disable security while not knowing how to read a log.

Many people turn their computers off when not in use. Many people have laptops that are frequently taken out of range.


I'm not sure how that would help. The packets are identified with either your MAC address or someone else's... Are you trying to claim that, while your computer was off or out of range, someone spoofed your particular MAC address and pirated a bunch of stuff, and then quickly disconnected before you powered up again or returned so that you never got an error?
In which case, that's a fine rebuttal for a jury to hear, but either way, you're going to lose attempt to dismiss before trial.

And maybe it was viruses. Prove to a jury of random people who would blame a power supply failure on viruses that it wasn't.

That's going to be even tougher, because now you're admitting that those communications came from your computer, but that it wasn't in your control. And maybe you can prove that, with a log of a hard drive scan showing the virus and an expert report about how that virus is part of a file sharing zombie swarm... but again, you won't be able to simply get a complaint dismissed on those grounds.
 
2014-03-25 01:35:25 PM

Theaetetus: But not with another MAC address on the same network, because then the router will not know where to send them. And if your point, as the owner of the access point, is to show that the infringing packets didn't come from your computer, then it's irrelevant if they came from a real or spoofed MAC address, as long as it doesn't match yours.


Expect to see MAC address randomizers become popular bundled utilities with bittorrent clients.
 
2014-03-25 01:36:30 PM

mayIFark: Hate patent trolls


This has nothing to do with patents.
 
2014-03-25 01:37:06 PM

Theaetetus: But not with another MAC address on the same network, because then the router will not know where to send them.


If MAC address are wifi, that makes little difference. The packets are broadcast to all that hear. UDP is fairly easy to spoof using duplicate MACs. If the primary machine ignores ALL unsolicited traffic, you can even open TCP sockets on second machines with no problem. If the primary machine sends out FINs to all unknown TCP sockets, you just have to wait for someone to shut it down - which is common for people to do with laptops.
 
2014-03-25 01:37:50 PM

JesseL: Theaetetus: But not with another MAC address on the same network, because then the router will not know where to send them. And if your point, as the owner of the access point, is to show that the infringing packets didn't come from your computer, then it's irrelevant if they came from a real or spoofed MAC address, as long as it doesn't match yours.

Expect to see MAC address randomizers become popular bundled utilities with bittorrent clients.


The access point owner may still be liable, depending on how the amendments to the laws get written. That's why the EFF should be involved in this process.
 
2014-03-25 01:38:00 PM

JackieRabbit: Good ruling, since IP addresses for most users of the internet are assigned by their IPS's DHCP server and a lease on the address can last only as long as the user is logged onto the computer.


Not true. I don't believe ISP's use DHCP, but even if they do, your computer never logs on to that. It is your modem that does, and that is always on. Even if you turn off your modem, it will take a few days before that IP gets reassigned.
 
2014-03-25 01:38:18 PM

Theaetetus: Pfff, anyone  can detect if their wifi is being hijacked.


That's an assertion that is not supported by fact. Perhaps you are unaware of the large, the very large percentage of people connecting to the internet daily who have no idea at all how it works? Many of them do not care, nor do they feel the need to know.
And not all of them are stupid or irresponsible. Most people think about their routers when they install them and never again unless a problem occurs. And usually some guy from their ISP does all the work for them, so it's not even an educational experience for most end users.
 
2014-03-25 01:38:34 PM
Hack faster!
 
2014-03-25 01:40:02 PM

JohnCarter: obligatory


Also obligatory
i659.photobucket.com
/ it's like "got the original of that? "
 
2014-03-25 01:41:53 PM

Theaetetus: mayIFark: Hate patent trolls

This has nothing to do with patents.


Copyright trolls, anti-piracy advocates, MPAA/IRAA lobby.
 
2014-03-25 01:41:56 PM

impaler: Theaetetus: But not with another MAC address on the same network, because then the router will not know where to send them.

If MAC address are wifi, that makes little difference. The packets are broadcast to all that hear. UDP is fairly easy to spoof using duplicate MACs. If the primary machine ignores ALL unsolicited traffic, you can even open TCP sockets on second machines with no problem. If the primary machine sends out FINs to all unknown TCP sockets, you just have to wait for someone to shut it down - which is common for people to do with laptops.


If it only occurs while your computer is off or out of range, then you can probably show it wasn't you. If, on the other hand, you're simply ignoring spoofed communications while your computer is on and in range, then if the law is amended the way I think it's going to be, you're going to have to prove that you're not the one responsible and that there was a ghost on your network.
 
2014-03-25 01:42:24 PM

Theaetetus: Pfff, anyone  can detect if their wifi is being hijacked. Most people don't bother looking or don't know how.


Anyone can perform open heart surgery. Most people don't know how.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-03-25 01:42:24 PM
picturescrazy

Music industry lawyers have proved cases to juries of random people. In a real case, after it passes the threats and bluster stage, there is more evidence than just a server log with an IP address.
 
2014-03-25 01:45:28 PM

Theaetetus: If it only occurs while your computer is off or out of range, then you can probably show it wasn't you


I swear your honor, I go to bed at 10pm every night. That 12am download couldn't possibly have been me!
 
2014-03-25 01:45:44 PM

red5ish: Theaetetus: Pfff, anyone  can detect if their wifi is being hijacked. 

That's an assertion that is not supported by fact. Perhaps you are unaware of the large, the very large percentage of people connecting to the internet daily who have no idea at all how it works? Many of them do not care, nor do they feel the need to know.


This is why you should always read an entire paragraph before leaping to a response. What's the very next sentence? "Most people don't bother looking or don't know how."

The assertion is 100% true: anyone  can detect if their wifi is being hijacked. It's also completely irrelevant, as the paragraph goes on to explain.

If you would like to go back and read the rest of the post, I'm happy to reply to your more substantive arguments, if you have any.
 
2014-03-25 01:45:48 PM

impaler: Theaetetus: Pfff, anyone  can detect if their wifi is being hijacked. Most people don't bother looking or don't know how.

Anyone can perform open heart surgery. Most people don't know how.


"We noticed in your access logs that you've streamed a great deal of Grey's Anatomy, House, and Scrubs, therefore..."
 
2014-03-25 01:47:14 PM

Theaetetus: Barfmaker: But in the case of the red light camera, that car is most definitely owned by the plate owner and it's quite reasonable to assume that he knows who is driving his car at any given time. It's going to be almost never that someone is randomly driving your car.

An IP address is widely sharable, even inadvertently but often on purpose and for good, legitimate reasons. Such as a Starbucks but also many smaller businesses, hotels, public spaces.

But, on the other hand, the IP address is also tied to a particular modem or gateway at a particular time. Such as Starbucks' modem, smaller businesses' modems, hotels' modems, public spaces with free Internet provided by some organizations' modems, etc. There's some one point those communications are going through, and someone with control over that point... hence, equivalent to ownership of the car, even if you rent or loan your car out freely to others.


And if I steal your car, go out and run every red light in town, and then politely park it back in your driveway, what then?  Because hopping on someone's secured wifi really isn't that difficult for someone that knows what they're doing.
 
2014-03-25 01:48:31 PM

impaler: Theaetetus: If it only occurs while your computer is off or out of range, then you can probably show it wasn't you

I swear your honor, I go to bed at 10pm every night. That 12am download couldn't possibly have been me!


"Then we'll let the jury listen to your explanation, and listen to their explanation, and decide which of you is more credible."

Again, none of this says you can't ever win at trial. It's that, if the law changes to presume control over communications via your access point, then you won't be able to simply dismiss a complaint.
It's the exact same thing if your car is found crashed into someone's front yard. They're going to come after you, and while you may be able to say "someone borrowed my car, I was asleep in bed at the time," you won't be able to simply say "you can't prove I was driving so therefore you have no case."
 
2014-03-25 01:48:37 PM

mayIFark: Not true. I don't believe ISP's use DHCP, but even if they do, your computer never logs on to that. It is your modem that does, and that is always on.


That depends if your modem is performing NAT, or just passes IP traffic through.

All modems I've had don't do NAT, and my Wifi router gets an IP through DHCP. This was true with both Comcast and Time Warner.
 
2014-03-25 01:49:04 PM

phenn: ecmoRandomNumbers: How many people actually use a VPN? I've been using one for over a year, and I think it's worth every penny.

Not to sidetrack, but do you subscribe to a service or roll your own?


A service. Their software has a built-in kill switch that shuts down all network activity if you, for some reason, lose your connection to the VPN.
 
2014-03-25 01:50:20 PM

StrangeQ: Theaetetus: Barfmaker: But in the case of the red light camera, that car is most definitely owned by the plate owner and it's quite reasonable to assume that he knows who is driving his car at any given time. It's going to be almost never that someone is randomly driving your car.

An IP address is widely sharable, even inadvertently but often on purpose and for good, legitimate reasons. Such as a Starbucks but also many smaller businesses, hotels, public spaces.

But, on the other hand, the IP address is also tied to a particular modem or gateway at a particular time. Such as Starbucks' modem, smaller businesses' modems, hotels' modems, public spaces with free Internet provided by some organizations' modems, etc. There's some one point those communications are going through, and someone with control over that point... hence, equivalent to ownership of the car, even if you rent or loan your car out freely to others.

And if I steal your car, go out and run every red light in town, and then politely park it back in your driveway, what then?


Do you think you could suggest that as a response to a handful of red light tickets, and that, if they didn't have your face in the picture, you could get every ticket dismissed?

Because hopping on someone's secured wifi really isn't that difficult for someone that knows what they're doing.

Neither is turning on logging.
 
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