Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Verizon The Courts

Judge Orders Verizon Subscriber Identities Sealed 126

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the destroy-all-copies dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In one of the mass 'John Doe' cases based on single BitTorrent downloads of films, Malibu Media v. Does 1-13, a pro se litigant made a motion to quash the subpoena. The Court granted a stay of the subpoena, pending its decision on the motion to quash. Unfortunately for John Doe, Verizon had turned over its subscribers' identities 5 days BEFORE the response was due, thus possibly mooting both the stay and the motion to quash. Fortunately for John Doe, the Judge wasn't too happy about this, ordered the information sealed, directed plaintiff's lawyers to destroy any copies, and ruled that they can't use the information unless and until the Court denies the motion to quash."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Judge Orders Verizon Subscriber Identities Sealed

Comments Filter:
  • by santax (1541065) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @03:32AM (#40073927)
    What did you expect? Come on...
  • by TheEyes (1686556) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @03:41AM (#40073961)

    Basically what we've got is Verizon saying, "Oh goodie, we're so eager to ignore our user's privacy that we're going to jump right on mailing out their personal information to any third party who might be interested." Yeah, yeah, they have a court order, and obviously you have to comply with that, but you certainly don't have to go and do it early.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @04:15AM (#40074069)

      But ISPs do shit like that all the time. If they get a subpoena for your info in a "John Doe" form what they are supposed to do is notify you so you can fight it, if you wish. While filing a "John Doe" suit is a common and valid legal strategy when you are going after someone but lack the ability to identify them directly yet, that doesn't mean it is automatic. It is also used as a fishing expedition, as seen in these cases, and in those cases courts may quash it.

      Hence, your ISP tells you, and then if it isn't quashed (because you don't contest it or because a judge decides it is fine), they hand over the info.

      The problem is many ISPs just don't give a fuck about their customers because they know they lack options.

      • The problem is many ISPs just don't give a fuck about their customers because they know they lack options.

        This is pretty much all the answer anyone needs when trying to understand the behavior of any Telecom in this country. Somewhere along the lines customers (much like employees) stopped being considered assets and started being considered liabilities.

        • by tqk (413719)

          Somewhere along the lines customers (much like employees) stopped being considered assets and started being considered liabilities.

          Or, simply ceased to be considered at all. Customers with problems that need to be dealt with (considered) are cost centers. Run away!

      • But ISPs do shit like that all the time. If they get a subpoena for your info in a "John Doe" form what they are supposed to do is notify you so you can fight it, if you wish. While filing a "John Doe" suit is a common and valid legal strategy when you are going after someone but lack the ability to identify them directly yet, that doesn't mean it is automatic. It is also used as a fishing expedition, as seen in these cases, and in those cases courts may quash it. Hence, your ISP tells you, and then if it isn't quashed (because you don't contest it or because a judge decides it is fine), they hand over the info.

        In this case Verizon undoubtedly did notify the John Does that it would turn over the information on May 12th. The John Doe quite properly made the motion to quash well in advance of that date, back in April. Verizon had absolutely no business turning over the documents on May 7th. If I were the judge, I would be calling Verizon in on the carpet.

    • Basically what we've got is Verizon saying, "Oh goodie, we're so eager to ignore our user's privacy that we're going to jump right on mailing out their personal information to any third party who might be interested." Yeah, yeah, they have a court order, and obviously you have to comply with that, but you certainly don't have to go and do it early.

      ...particularly when you know there's a motion to quash pending

      • Perhaps you could shed a little more light on things.

        The average person sees a deadline as something you don't want to miss, but can be early on. So the typical response here is "Verizon was ordered to do by the 12th, they did 5 days early, what's the problem?".

        Now, I've done a little digging around, and apparently the defendant normally has the right to submit a motion for the subpoena to be modified or quashed, if their motion is submitted prior to the returnable date of the subpoena. So how exactly does

        • Perhaps you could shed a little more light on things. The average person sees a deadline as something you don't want to miss, but can be early on. So the typical response here is "Verizon was ordered to do by the 12th, they did 5 days early, what's the problem?". Now, I've done a little digging around, and apparently the defendant normally has the right to submit a motion for the subpoena to be modified or quashed, if their motion is submitted prior to the returnable date of the subpoena. So how exactly does this work? Is there an unspoken, unwritten rule that you aren't supposed to deliver documents ordered by a subpoena prior to the subpoena's returnable date, to allow for it to be contested?

          Certainly in this case yes, where (a) the information is private confidential information of the subscriber, (b) Verizon has notified the subscriber that the information will be turned over on May 12th in the absence of a motion to quash, and (c) there is a pending motion to quash.

          And then the motion to quash was filed by a pro se litigant - not by Verizon. The subpoena ordered Verizon to provide the data and Verizon happily complied. So where did this John Doe pro se litigant come from?

          He or she is one of the John Does. He was notified by Verizon of the subpoena, and of his right to make a motion to quash, which he did, in this case, exercise.

          And why were they able to file a motion to quash?

          Why not?

          Was the John Doe implicated prior to the information being handed over? or after?

          Prior to the information being turned over, he was notified b

          • Thanks, that makes more sense. If Verizon notified the Does that their information would be handed over and they were allowed to contest it until the 12th, Verizon had no business sending their information before the time to contest had passed.

            • Right. Now it remains to be seen whether the Judge is going to call Verizon in on the carpet. If I were the Judge, I surely would be doing that, but I haven't seen any hint of that in the Court's orders.

              So far.
  • can someone translate story to Engrish prease?

    • Re:uhhh (Score:5, Informative)

      by MindPhlux (304416) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @03:50AM (#40073983) Homepage

      here you go :

      "In one of the mass 'John Doe' cases based on single BitTorrent downloads of films, Malibu Media v. Does 1-13, a pro se litigant made a motion to quash the subpoena. The Court granted a stay of the subpoena, pending its decision on the motion to quash. Unfortunately for John Doe, Verizon had turned over its subscribers' identities 5 days BEFORE the response was due, thus possibly mooting both the stay and the motion to quash. Fortunately for John Doe, the Judge wasn't too happy about this, ordered the information sealed, directed plaintiff's lawyers to destroy any copies, and ruled that they can't use the information unless and until the Court denies the motion to quash."

    • Re:uhhh (Score:5, Funny)

      by Stormwatch (703920) <<rodrigogirao> <at> <hotmail.com>> on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @04:55AM (#40074213) Homepage

      I think it's something like this:

      Malibu Media: "These addresses belong to the people who pirated our stuff. We demand their identities!"

      The Judge: "Not so fast! I still have to check if you are entitled to this information."

      Verizon, nonetheless: "Here, have their identities."

      The Judge: "Fuck, are you deaf or just stupid? I said they can't have this information yet! Delete that shit right now or I'll open a can of legal whoopass on you."

      • by worf_mo (193770)

        Thank you for this concise translation! Why can't journalists write more down-to-earth like this? Makes things unequivocal und is certainly much closer to reality.

        • Re:uhhh (Score:5, Insightful)

          by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @08:01AM (#40074925)

          Why can't journalists write more down-to-earth like this?

          That's why I like reading Matt Taibbi's columns at Rolling Stone. He's the only person I've ever heard discussing technicalities around the financial crash of '08 in a manner that a normal, reasonably educated person could understand, and that's saying something, considering many of the matters being discusses are deliberately obfuscated in the financial world in order to hide the games they're playing.

          • by worf_mo (193770)

            I just looked up Matt Taibbi's column, and he was actually able to describe Naked Short Selling in a way that I could understand (and find engaging). I'll make sure to read more of his articles, thanks.

      • I think it's something like this:
        Malibu Media: "These addresses belong to the people who pirated our stuff. We demand their identities!"
        The Judge: "Not so fast! I still have to check if you are entitled to this information."
        Verizon, nonetheless: "Here, have their identities."
        The Judge: "Fuck, are you deaf or just stupid? I said they can't have this information yet! Delete that shit right now or I'll open a can of legal whoopass on you."

        Well said.

      • by nomadic (141991)
        The order is wrong. Verizon provided the identities before the judge ever entered an order on the subpoena. Definitely bad form to provide the information with a motion to quash pending, though I don't know if there's anything per se unlawful about it.
  • oh the hypocrisy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ChipMonk (711367) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @08:06AM (#40074965) Journal
    Someone was (accused of) making a bunch of copies of something, without permission.

    The accuser's lackey hands over information, before the Court decides if it's appropriate to enter it into evidence. The Court decides it isn't (yet) appropriate, and orders all copies of the evidence destroyed.

    IOW, the accuser is now accused of making a bunch of copies of something, without permission. They just got a taste of their own medicine, at the hands of an unhappy judge.
    • Someone was (accused of) making a bunch of copies of something, without permission.

      Actually just a single copy of a single low budget movie

      The accuser's lackey hands over information, before the Court decides if it's appropriate to enter it into evidence.

      ... if it's appropriate to turn it over

      The Court decides it isn't (yet) appropriate, and orders all copies of the evidence destroyed.
      IOW, the accuser is now accused of making a bunch of copies of something, without permission. They just got a taste of their own medicine, at the hands of an unhappy judge.

  • Verizon had a window of time for which to comply with a request. They turned over information early, but it was a request that the judge was aware was made, so I have to ask, why should he be mad or upset? In this case a corporation complied with a request and didn't cause a drawn out battle. The judge had ample opportunity to note his concerns up front and order Verizon to compile the info, but not to release it. He waited until just after Verizon complied.

    I don't agree with Verizon's decision to hand

    • by nomadic (141991)
      "In this case a corporation complied with a request and didn't cause a drawn out battle"

      There was already a battle; all Verizon did was complicate it.
  • by tommy8 (2434564)
    If they were only downloading and not sharing how did they get caught?
    • If they were only downloading and not sharing how did they get caught?

      It's based on a single BitTorrent download. I don't know the technology by which they claim to have identified the account.

    • by tqk (413719)

      If they were only downloading and not sharing how did they get caught?

      A few million bucks change hands and Verizon hands over their logs. Or the user may have been bragging on torrentfreak, or he mentioned it to others on Spacebook, ...

      Or maybe the MafiAA is hiring smart geeks.

Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.

Working...