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back to article US court says IP addresses are private

A US court has ruled that users have a "reasonable expectation of privacy" in their internet surfing records and that police must obtain warrants from higher than usual courts in order to force ISPs to hand over records. The Supreme Court of the state of New Jersey said that information about a person's use of the internet was …

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Now if only...

...someone in the UK had the balls to say similiar to the ISP's and Phorm.

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Anonymous Coward

Simply sounds like the court said

Look, we know she's guilty, but you proved it illegally, so go back and prove it legally and then we can carry on from where we left off and send her to the slammer.

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A reasonable expectation of privacy?

This looks rather better than the situation in the UK, where "over 250,000 requests for access to [communications traffic] data were made in the first nine months of 2007."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/technology/7226016.stm

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@Now if only...

Beaten to it again.

<..>However, when users surf the web from the privacy of their homes, they have reason to expect that their actions are confidential.<..>

This is New Jersey and not the UK after all.

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Remember

law is about *rules* NOT justice. If the rules are broken she could be as guilty as sin, but still leave court 'without a stain on her character'.

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RIAA?

I'm shocked to be the first to mention this. If the police need a grand jury what will this mean to the RIAA's illegal campaign?

It sounds like the federal judges are not rolling over quite so easily any more. Now if they have to start treating these things like real crimes their mass production persecution model may be in jeopardy.

For now it appears the tide is turning. I am NOT holding my breath for the US "Justice Department" to bring the CRIMINAL anti-trust charges against them that are mandated by the 120 year old law.

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@AC -- Law _IS_ about justice

"Law is about *rules* NOT justice"

I disagree. If the court had not prevented the admission of the evidence a precedent would have been set that could have subsequently been used to cause injustice to others. Justice can still be served in this case because the appropriate procedures can be followed, but to condone the conviction of the guilty by breaking the rules will eventually cause the innocent to suffer injustice.

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Sam

Question for the legal bods

Doesn't this ruling effectively outlaw Nebuad, as well as phorm?

Oh, @Chris..read this it will cheer you up no end!

http://www.openrightsgroup.org/2008/04/23/fipr-calls-on-home-office-to-withdraw-misleading-advice-on-phorm/

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Happy

well that's the RIAA stuffed then...

it should be very hard for them to do their "John Doe" stuff on the ISPs to get people's details...

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@Sam

Thanks Sam, that made lovely lunchtime reading.

Cheers :)

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@John H Woods

Thanks for posting that. I wanted to reply, but the best I could come up with was "Asshole!" and I think you put it a little better. :)

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@John H Woods

Exactly.

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@Terry

No federal judges involved in this one, so the RIAA can continue to freely pursue downloaders.

It's only the municipal police in NJ who have had their hands tied. You don't need a subpoena to lookup a physical address, you shouldn't need one to lookup an IP address. Once it's beyond traffic is beyond your PC, it's just like walking down the street. In this case, the molested company had the trail and followed it back to miscreant, all they needed was the name for the address.

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@ Sam

Thanks for that link. Nice to see Nicholas Bohm tear Phorm a new arsehole. I presume the Home Office will finally take heed of common sense at last?

Or should I really not be holding my breath?

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RIAA

Maybe it might block subpoenas at the municipal-level, but not grand jury ones. So it depends on what level does the RIAA sends its subpoenas.

@AC: Your IP is your "home", and they're not outright blocking municipal police, they're just saying they have to get the subpoena from higher up.

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@ AC

>>It's only the municipal police in NJ who have had their hands tied. You don't need a subpoena to lookup a physical address, you shouldn't need one to lookup an IP address. Once it's beyond traffic is beyond your PC, it's just like walking down the street. In this case, the molested company had the trail and followed it back to miscreant, all they needed was the name for the address.

Yes, but you DO need a subpoena to open someone's mail, or tap their phone. Privacy of communications is something that's been upheld in the US time and time again. Merely an IP address would not have been enough to convict, as there would need to be some evidence that the person using the IP address at the time was in fact the accused. My guess is that they looked at the content of the communications to determine personal culpability. That amounts to a web version of a wiretap, and damn skippy ought to require a warrant.

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RIAA

Is done at the state level.

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@ AC

This ruling applies to the entire state of New Jersey, and anything the RIAA tries to do there. It also sets a precedent that other judges, both state and federal, can refer to when they hear similar cases.

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