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France Passes Harsh Three-Strikes Legislation, Again 207

shrik writes "After having it struck down as 'unconstitutional' by the Conseil Constitutionnel once, Sarkozy's controversial 'three-strikes' law (known as HADOPI) was once again passed by the French National Assembly, this time allowing for a judge to order the disconnection (without requiring the presence of the accused party!), thus placating some of the administrative concerns. Opponents say they will 'challenge the law again in front of the Constitutional Council because it deprives the accused of being able to defend themselves properly.' Coverage at Ars also points out a provision that says, 'all Internet users must keep their connections 'secure' and are responsible for what happens on them.'"
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France Passes Harsh Three-Strikes Legislation, Again

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  • by Silentknyght ( 1042778 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @09:16AM (#29438905)

    It passed, but with a 285-225 vote, there's noticeably significant opposition. And that's just the lower house; it still has to go to a "parliamentary commission of seven senators and seven members of the lower house to pen a final draft that's acceptable to both houses". And that's if it's not blocked by another constitutional appeal.

    So, just typical politicking bullshit you'd see across the pond over here, or really anywhere, nowadays, so that Jack can say he was for it and accuse Jane of being against it, to further some hatespeech... er, campaigning. I can't get too worked up until it's actually for real; there's just too much of this nonsense nowadays.

  • by linca ( 314351 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @09:24AM (#29439003)
    Well, you don't have to have the software installed - but these software logs will be the only ones that will be easily used as proof that your computer was downloading stuff...
  • by linca ( 314351 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @09:32AM (#29439121)
    For those that believe this is trollish, see that [] pair [] of links documenting the point...
  • by InEnacWeTrust ( 1638615 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @09:46AM (#29439307)
    This is a very US-centric vision that may be applicable to the US (I wouldn't know). But this article is about a franch low: - France uses a very different legal system, where laws most often don't have to be "tested in court" - Being arrested for nothing and released afterwards cannot cost you your job Now this law is indeed unapplicable but that has nothing to do with the legal system itself (at least, not the french one).
  • Re:Oh no! (Score:3, Informative)

    by loutr ( 626763 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @10:22AM (#29439873)

    I'm french, and have been following this law with attention (and disgust).

    They threw in this provision because they'll prosecute people based on IP adresses collected on BT trackers and filesharing programs by private firms. When opponents of the law pointed out that it's trivial to gain access to a private wifi network, the ministry of culture decided to patch the law with this provision.

    The "funny" thing is that in order to prove you've secured your network, you'll have to buy and install a non-free, windows-only spyware which will monitor your network. No words yet on the technical details of this program.

  • WTF? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @11:59AM (#29441227) Homepage Journal

    Legislatures all over the world pass laws that can't be enforced universally.

    Um, you're replying to a comment about France's legislature passing a very enforceable law. They are defining liability: if your agent (computer) does something, you are responsible for what it did.

    This is almost the exact opposite of the phenomenon that you're talking about. It simplifies law immensely (assuming they wrote it generally enough) and on top of that..

    ..technical and government-hating issues aside (and I'm a government-hater) I'd even say (*gasp*) this one aspect is a Good Thing!

    People say users can't deal with security issues, and maybe they are right, but it's also true that users are the best and only people who even have the slightest chance. Users don't, but nobody else can. Saying their computers are their computers, is a damn good step on the road to progress.

    Of course, you can't have the principle in place that users are responsible for their computers, without also making sure they have the power to control their computers. If your computer is doing things that you don't like, and if you are responsible for whatever it does do, then it's a requirement that you be able to maintain it.

    There are some rather obvious implications, and we should expect a lot of complaining about such a principle from the very parties that bought this law. They are this close [imagine me holding my finger and thumb close together] to outlawing DRM, since no computer can serve two masters.

  • Re:Oh no! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @01:58PM (#29443229)

    Wouldn't a judge be obliged to cut that network off immediately?

    The judge can't act on his own. The request has to come from a new institution named the HADOPI which has discretionary power over who they want to cut off the network. Obviously they're not going to bother powerful companies or government agencies, even if they have the theoretical right to do so... They're only going to prey on the defenseless.

    And remember that the point of the law is just to scare off the average Joe, not prevent piracy altogether.

  • Re:Oh no! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @03:02PM (#29444305)

    The spyware seems to be just a rumor that the government is too dumb to dispel.
    It seems that the judge will have to decide if you have taken enough precautions to secure your connection, like installing a firewall, using an encrypted wifi (will wep be enough ?) ... Which in addition to being incredibly vague, is of course stupid because any checking they could do will be long after the facts.
    The government is going to be ridiculed by the stupidity of this law.

    (posting anonymously -- I am one of the poor souls who've been enlisted for "advising the lawmakers" on this matter since the first version was in its planning stages, and therefore should not speak of this in public.....also, I'm sorry that I could not affect the outcome in a better way...but at least, I tried....)

    The spyware is, unfortunately, not just a rumor - it is by quite a few seen as the "saving grace" that allows the good, law-abiding resident to not be affected. We discussed this *quite* at length in the parliamentary commission developing this (well, these...) law text, and it seems to be a core item that (in the elected lawmakers' minds) is beyond question.

    Or, in other words, it was being discussed quite clearly as the "if you have nothing to hide -- install our spyware. If you do not want to do that, well, then you're probably a criminal and deserve what's coming at you...." argument that would make this law go down well with the populace.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982