French Attack Internet Piracy

Move to stem high-tech theft raises worries about civil liberties
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Nov 23, 2007 8:34 AM CST
An man surfs the web at an internet cafe.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – French internet pirates, beware. Big Brother is watching. Or, he will be if a three-strikes-and-you’re-out industry proposal backed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy moves forward, the Financial Times reports. Under the plan, ISPs would forward data on users illegally sharing files to the government, which could terminate problem internet accounts after two warnings. Critics say the plan threatens civil liberties.

France has been a favorite of music and film pirates because of its widespread high-speed internet connectivity. Proponents of the plan say ISPs have been lax in cracking down on pirating because making the materials easy to access is like stores putting ”out free stocks of stolen CDs and DVDs to attract new customers.”