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IP Addresses Not Enough To ID Users

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the yes-that-is-correct-yes dept.

Piracy 266

phaedrus5001, with his first accepted story, points out an article at Ars Technica from which he's excerpted a chunk relevant to nearly anyone with an internet connection: "A file-sharing lawyer admitted this week that IP addresses don't by themselves identify someone accused of sharing copyrighted material online. To figure out who actually shared the pornographic movie at the center of the case, lawyer Brett Gibbs of Steele Hansmeier LLC told the judge (PDF) he would need to search every computer in the subscriber's household."

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Really? First accepted Story? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37342802)

Does it really matter? Do we need to know every time it's someone's first accepted story? I know I get a good feeling deep down in my heart to know that phaedrus5001 has finally found acceptance...

Re:Really? First accepted Story? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37342886)

Would you prefer "First post! by: phaedrus5001"

Re:Really? First accepted Story? (2)

mfh (56) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343010)

I would prefer, "phaedrus5001 writes,..." but if people cared what I preferred, we'd still have a CmdrTaco.

Re:Really? First accepted Story? (3)

kakyoin01 (2040114) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343142)

This, although I don't particularly mind seeing it in the submission. What I do mind, though, is that /.ers whine about it and point it out like a sore thumb. "Bawwww, the article is from a first poster, we must bring attention to this and ridicule him/her!"

You're new here, obviously. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37343666)

We're irritated with the editors, nobody gives a damn if it's the submitter's first accepted submission.

Modded this back up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37342946)

Modded this back up, because I'm tired of it as well.

Re:Really? First accepted Story? (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343800)

Would you prefer the constants whines from people complaining that slashdot was/is in cahoots with the likes of Roland Piquepaille, and the only way to get a story submitted is to be a member of that club?

Because I remember plenty of those posts back when Roland was alive and submitting. Now I see complaints like yours, which seem to be the exact opposite.

Accept that most people aren't going to be happy no matter what, and agree to overlook a few words that cost you a few precious digital bits.

Re:Really? First accepted Story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37343848)

Nobody's complaining that this is the guy's first submitted story, they're complaining that the editors feel the need to point out such trivial information.

nothing found (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37342838)

So... what If I'm a nice guy, let them search, and they find nothing?

Re:nothing found (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37343026)

As your attorney, I advise you to tell him to go fuck himself. Hard.

Re:nothing found (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37343460)

As your attorney, I advise you to tell him to go fuck himself. Hard.

As his attorney, it's your legal obligation to refer the accuser to the response given in Arkell v. Pressdram.

Re:nothing found (1)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343192)

So... what If I'm a nice guy, let them search, and they find nothing?

They get the geek squad guys to plant something.

Re:nothing found (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343224)

They always find something. It only takes six lines written by the most honest man to find something on which to hang him.

Re:nothing found (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343840)

That quote is not based on the content of those six lines, but on the fact that, with six lines of handwritten text, you could find someone able to forge an incriminating document in that handwriting.

These days I think it takes substantially less. You don't need any text from someone to plant a few ounces of cocaine or (even worse) an RIAA song.

Re:nothing found (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343980)

Citation needed. I have never heard your interpretation of that quote. The original quote clearly indicates that something in those six lines can be used to hang him, and I don't believe that meant the handwriting.

Re:nothing found (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343836)

And if they find nothing you might not receive your computers back until they are old and obsolete. Or not at all.

Re:nothing found (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343970)

They can still sue you, and just claim you must have destroyed the evidence. But if they do find something, you're royally fucked.

It's like talking to cops. You can't talk yourself out of being arrested. You can talk yourself into deeper trouble. Take advantage of your rights, because no one else is going to have your interests at heart as much as you do.

Or outside the user's household.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37342850)

If someone was connected to his 802.11 network.

Open Wifi Hotspot (2)

firex726 (1188453) | more than 3 years ago | (#37342868)

In the case of an open Wifi hotspot would it also mean all the neighbors in range too?
(I bet they'd probably just stick the owner of the router with the bill)

Re:Open Wifi Hotspot (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37342910)

I bet they'd probably just stick the owner of the router with the bill

Using a theory of contributory and/or vicarious infringement, I suppose.

Re:Open Wifi Hotspot (1)

firex726 (1188453) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343038)

By that same logic, we should charge the city when there are drug deals made, after all the people involved used roads to drive to the meeting spot.

Re:Open Wifi Hotspot (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343132)

And the car companies, they used those to drive down those roads.

Re:Open Wifi Hotspot (1)

gforsythe (2449346) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343462)

And to expand on this, in the opposite direction, and expound the lunacy of our legislative systems... Let's blame the planet, because, after all, it has provided the natural resources that allow erythroxylum coca and cannabis to grow, thus allowing it to be processed and sold illegally and as such is contributing to the crime. ps, not a slight on firex726, but a slight on government in making, enforcing and judicizing rediculous laws.

Re:Open Wifi Hotspot (1)

firex726 (1188453) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343610)

Yea and I see that as the underlying issue of prosecuting people who had no knowledge of a crime. How can I choose not to commit one if I am not aware I am making one?

As you've shown you can associate nature itself in contributing to a crime so where does it end?

However I can see something like ThePirateBay be prosecuted since, and let's all be honest, they knew damn well the site was used to share copyrighted media (though personally I have my own issues with copyright). A gun shop owner however does not know that the gun he sold is going to be used in committing a crime, nor the owner of the open wifi hotspot.

I think it is at least in part that we feel we have to hold someone accountable, even if they are only tangentially related, and were acting entirely within the law. We need to realize that there are some crimes which cannot be prosecuted. Better to let 1000 guilty go free then 1 innocent be falsely convicted .

Re:Open Wifi Hotspot (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343738)

Better to let 1000 innocent be falsely convicted than 1 guilty be set free.

FTFY to fit the MafIAA mindset a little better.

Re:Open Wifi Hotspot (1)

firex726 (1188453) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343778)

I think that's the mindset of most people really.

"Someone has to pay for this crime"

Re:Open Wifi Hotspot (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343496)

That's a bad analogy because the city is taking reasonable precautions against drug dealing by employing a police force. If you just leave your Wifi connection open to everyone as an excuse you are not taking reasonable precautions against illegal use of this service you are offering literally everyone off of the street.

Re:Open Wifi Hotspot (1)

cforciea (1926392) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343662)

Then to bring the analogy back full circle, what about cities that have open wifi access points?

Re:Open Wifi Hotspot (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343984)

They probably have a page of legalese you have to sign, or "click to agree" releasing them from all liability.

Re:Open Wifi Hotspot (1)

firex726 (1188453) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343664)

Police are not meant to prevent crimes, this has been established by them in courts. They're there to pick up the pieces and assign blame. (One police dept was sued some time ago for not preventing a crime, in court their defense was that's not their job, and the judge ruled in their favor based on that)

Re:Open Wifi Hotspot (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343748)

I have a dog, the purpose of which is naturally to scare off criminals who might use my wifi. The dog, however, has encountered some difficulty in discriminating between criminals using my wifi for criminal purposes and perfectly honest people who are merely checking their email and the like, in much the same way as the police can't always tell whether the guy who goes into a shop with cash and walks out with a brown paper back is buying drugs or a sandwich, so the dog is not 100% effective.

Unless your point is that people should not allow honest members of the public to use their wifi, in which case I will respond that the state should stop allowing honest members of the public to use their streets, since there could be drug dealers etc.

Re:Open Wifi Hotspot (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343078)

Or, if they did the offending P2P at a coffee shop, or other business.

Yes, I know - I'm fairly sure that most of those establishments would vigorously fight back against an **AA lawyer trying to shut down every computer in the establishment for a fishing expedition, nor would the **AA want to even try in most cases (esp. if we're talking about a national chain that may have a bigger/better legal department). So, if corporations should be allowed to avoid having all the computers on their site ripped into/confiscated/whatever, then why do individuals have to put up with it?

Re:Open Wifi Hotspot (1)

firex726 (1188453) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343136)

I think in that case they aren't being exempted, they could still be searched if needed, it's just that it'd be too much trouble for the **AA.

Re:Open Wifi Hotspot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37343322)

Because some "people" are more equal than others...

and the neighbours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37342870)

and anyone else parked nearby at the time

Bad news bears. (2)

ThisIsSaei (2397758) | more than 3 years ago | (#37342900)

Sadly, I don't expect this will end anywhere good. I expect RIAA enforcement to suddenly extend to 'all computer equipment on the premise' and more draconian identifying methods by ISPs.

Re:Bad news bears. (4, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343014)

Sadly, I don't expect this will end anywhere good. I expect RIAA enforcement to suddenly extend to 'all computer equipment on the premise' and more draconian identifying methods by ISPs.

Or, we can hope, sanity will prevail and it will more or less come down to "you don't have enough information to tell us who to look for, and you can't just go on a fishing expedition to look for computers that might be the one you think it is".

This is mostly about someone using information which the rest of us have always known was insufficient, using that to get far enough to identify someone, and then deciding they need to look at any computer within a 5 mile radius just in case it was them.

Their "evidence" gets weaker every time they try to say "we need to look at more because the last one wasn't enough". They're also at the discovery phase, which basically means they don't have enough evidence to know if they should be proceeding.

And, unless someone makes it illegal to have an open wifi, you can't go around saying that there is any contributory negligence or anything like that.

Re:Or, we can hope, sanity will prevail (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343418)

The **AA reality distortion field is apparently even stronger than Apple's.

Hollywood can't bear to have someone copy Revenge of the Nerds 3. So they get as far as "We got this IP Address down to one household - but we don't know who in the household did it."

The solution is of course - "confiscate all equipment in the household!"

Or, we can hope, sanity will prevail...

The Unholy Trinity of Prophetic Manuals is becoming 1984, Animal Farm, and Brave New World. Bonus Reading Fahrenheit 451.

Re:Or, we can hope, sanity will prevail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37343526)

The **AA reality distortion field is apparently even stronger than Apple's.

Apple does not have a very strong RDF, their fanbase however...

Re:Bad news bears. (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343044)

and more draconian identifying methods by ISPs.

Maybe this is what will finally get us to IPv6.

Not running out of IPv4 space.. not logic.. but the ability to identify traffic as coming from a specific computer vice "it came from that network". (yes I know there is IPv6 NAT.. but we are talking about the masses).

Re:Bad news bears. (2)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343398)

Then all that will be needed is an OS and hardware which changes IPv6 addresses based on dynamic fingerprint recognition. Just as an IP address doesn't uniquely ID a user, tracking to an individual computer doesn't, either (not even based on who's logged in, since anyone could conceivably walk up and take control).

Re:Bad news bears. (1)

RoLi (141856) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343624)

Maybe this is what will finally get us to IPv6.

Because of the incompatibility of the addresses, it seems that the IPv6 transition will be delayed forever [in-other-news.com] .

Re:Bad news bears. (2)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343884)

Not running out of IPv4 space.. not logic.. but the ability to identify traffic as coming from a specific computer vice "it came from that network". (yes I know there is IPv6 NAT.. but we are talking about the masses).

I suspect you're going to be disappointed there, because an IPv6 address doesn't actually identify anything either. The only reason that you can even connect an IPv4 address to an account holder is that the ISP keeps records and people have been willing to assume that those records are accurate. With IPv6, the ISP will allocate a block of address to each account holder and the account holder will use them for their devices. The ISP won't have any idea which address allocated to the account holder was used for which device, and the address assigned to each device may change arbitrarily according to the whim of the account holder, who is not likely to keep any records and whose records naturally could not be trusted in any event.

Re:Bad news bears. (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343110)

Time to start intentionally P2P'ing movies and music at every Starbucks, Airport, McDonalds, Bookstore, and damned near every other business you can think of (with preference towards national chains, of course).

Let's see 'em try to shut one of those sites down...

Re:Bad news bears. (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343210)

I've been doing all my P2P'ing in those places already. No point in having it traced back to my network.

Re:Bad news bears. (1)

Mordermi (2432580) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343348)

But as long as they get the location it was done and the time, they could possibly use facial recognition software to identify you? So wear a mask? Though they would have to go after every person on a laptop in the location at that time, but it's hard to tell how far they'll be willing to go to catch just one person. They seem to push and push their limits to make a few extra dollars.

Re:Bad news bears. (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343834)

Do you honestly believe some place like Starbucks would cede to allowing every one of their customers that came in with a laptop being hassled by the mafiAA? It seems like that would be a poor business practice.

Re:Bad news bears. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37343406)

You know what the result of that would be: lower functionality at these sites. They would either move to filter P2P or would just stop offering free WiFi. Cutting off your nose to spite your face is hardly the answer. Adding extra costs to these entities just because they were nice enough (or competitive enough - you choose) to offer free WiFi isn't really cool either. Just like if you are mooching off the neighbors, you probably shouldn't be doing illegal things on that connection.

Re:Bad news bears. (1)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343710)

I think it wouldn't get that far, because the RIAA model doesn't want to go to court - they want quick and easy settlements. A corporation will likely just sic the in-house lawyers on this, so I would expect the RIAA to quietly ignore any IPs that lead to corp-owned points.

Re:Bad news bears. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37343962)

No no no. This means we need to start using these lawyers' wifi, and judges' open wifi from their houses to do this stuff. THEN the point will get across.

Re:Bad news bears. (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343194)

yeah, and then they'll learn about hacking wireless, and extend it to all computers in the neighborhood.

Then you'll have your computer taken because little Timmy down the street was streaming the Brittany's latest trash-pop hit "skankin it down", or some other media that should probably require legal action against the producer...

Re:Bad news bears. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37343954)

What's wrong with that? The problem people had with RIAA tactics before was suing people without knowing whodunit.
Slashdot made fun of the idea that the IP identifies the person. So now they're talking about fixing that, and finding the right defendant.
Copyright law says you don't get to send other people the files we're talking about. If you do you can be sued.
Are you just standing up for people's right to give out copies of someone else's work?

Search them all (4, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#37342920)

So what if they search all the computers in the house hold it doesn't prove who was sitting at the computer when the actual sharing was done. Most house holds have at least one computer that everyone uses at some point.

A computer can be used remotely. (5, Insightful)

FellowConspirator (882908) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343314)

Just because the computer in question shared a file doesn't mean anyone in the house did it or was even aware of it. For that matter, there are trojans and viruses more than capable of establishing a personal computer as a file-sharing node without the knowledge of the owner / operator. The person at fault is the person that intentionally caused the content to be shared, not the computer owner or operator(s).

Re:A computer can be used remotely. (1)

davegravy (1019182) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343728)

You are right of course, BUT

Are you suggesting you want a MAFIAA representative knocking on your door every month for a mandatory home network security audit, paid for using your tax dollars? Because that is the next logical step for these bastards if the courts take your approach.

Re:A computer can be used remotely. (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343852)

The law isn't too concerned with justice. You can be imprisoned for drugs found under the back seat of your car.

Re:Search them all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37343438)

Your over all point is valid. Your second sentence is just speculation. Could be true. Could be inaccurate.

Re:Search them all (1)

Mastadex (576985) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343514)

Even if you asked all members of the household to swear an oath and testify that it was not them, the question then becomes: did one of them lie and was there an outside party involved.

I recall a recent event where a neighbour hacked into a wireless router and used it to download child porn. It was only by sheer luck that he was found out.

Re:Search them all (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343936)

What if they raid the premises search every computer on the network and in the network range and can't find the file because the drive has been wiped or otherwise disabled? Taking someone's computer for a fishing expedition is like taking my car to look for special dirt from a special parking lot in a special location where a bike was stolen and perhaps my vehicle was seen on a red light cam within the same week. It's all the same ridiculous speculation and a violation of your personal rights in favor of corporate rights.

Hidden (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 3 years ago | (#37342922)

Is it that difficult to hide a netbook connected to a USB HDD under a fake panel in your cupborad or something?

Set up password protected access, download on that netbook and stream to watch

Re:Hidden (2)

No, I am Spratacus! (2281684) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343002)

OH NO!

You just told the MAFIIA where to find it.

Re:Hidden (1)

lucm (889690) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343012)

Now we know where to find the good stuff in your home

Re:Hidden (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343032)

Fortunately my country has much bigger problems to deal with than people downloading movies

Re:Hidden (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343208)

Unfortunately surely?

It'd be great if that was the biggest problem a country faced after all.

Re:Hidden (2)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343238)

Most of the issues are really unresolvable.. esp. with us being a "representative democracy"

Add to that the fact that internet penetration is terrible and terribly expensive, those with internet connections can do whatever they want.. noone cares

Re:Hidden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37343222)

So does ours, but that isn't stopping them:-)

Re:Hidden (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343166)

Oh please. We all know you have the NAS built into the AC duct so it is hidden and cool at the same time.

Re:Hidden (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343200)

Ventilation might be an issue.. also you'd have to tailor your desktop such that it doesn't leave any logs/history of the connection (assuming they would go that far).

Re:Hidden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37343294)

i've always wanted to hide a small server inside a lamp or alarm clock, or even inside the wall. i bet it's possible to make remote-controlled servers that small these days.

Re:Hidden (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343366)

Specially with something like one of those plug computers..

I dont know how they work, but if possible, plug computer+128GB SSD -> expensive but should resolve all heat issues
replace the SSD with a 1TB laptop HDD if ventilation is available

Should be small enough to hide behind a switch plate

Paranoid much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37343318)

Seems like an awful amount of work. Just setup disk/file encryption of some sort. Personal favorite: Truecrypt.

Re:Hidden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37343352)

Not really, but considering the people usually brought in to find these sorts of things, they will know the best of hiding places most of the time.
Unless you had some nice clothes with supports that you could hide a computer behind without a large rectangle showing on your front / back, would you want to risk them finding a computer on your premises, HIDDEN? (and that is if they don't search your person as well, you could easily be hiding a large USB stick or even full-on SSD on you)

Of course, this could probably be done easier with all these new tiny computers coming out in much cheaper packages.
Think that Raspberry Pi thing, sew it in to clothing, SSD or an array of flash drives, generic laptop battery.
USB wireless connection that can be remotely connected to from, say, a phone or tablet, very hidden computer.
If you want to connect it up to do something that requires keyboard and mouse, make sure the monitor connection is easily accessible.
Best hope they don't want to thoroughly check you out too.
Note: I am not advocating piracy, just helping catch those evil, nasty, sick, pirates... go get'em ICE! ...
Note2: don't put on tight jackets or sealed jackets, it WILL overheat. Or at least add a airflow-enabling container over it, a tiny fan and an outlet.
But really, this would be pretty neat for having a computer on you without having to care much about storage.
Also a more generic computer than a probably locked down phone or tablet that you can remotely connect to, be it over the browser using java or flash, possibly even javascript if the browser is fairly recent and capable of websockets.
Just don't practice on, or destroy, a good jacket...

Re:Hidden (1)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343832)

The best place to hide it is simply off-site.

No kidding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37342954)

There aren't enough IP addresses for each user, and they are not static. Also, a trojan can compromise a PC and perform actions without the user's permission.

Every computer in the house, plus... (2)

ArrowBay (2326316) | more than 3 years ago | (#37342964)

He'd have to search:

  • Every computer currently in the house.
  • Every computer that might have been in the house previously; e.g. old computers that were replaced in the meanwhile, as well as every computer of someone visiting the house (like a friend with a laptop).
  • Every computer that might have connected to the network via WiFi if the wireless router was ever publicly open, compromised, or had its password shared.
  • Every computer that might have been using the house's computers as proxies, whether by intent of the homeowners, unintentionally, as part of a botnet, or some other reason.
  • ?

Man, that's a lot of computers to search.

Re:Every computer in the house, plus... (2)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343144)

And the "cloud", don't forget the "cloud". He'd have to search there. Hopefully without a parachute.

Re:Every computer in the house, plus... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37343258)

don't forget everyones phone and the phones of people that drive by I got a neighbor who's router I can manage that will get 30+ unique ids on it daily

Re:Every computer in the house, plus... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37343498)

Why not do the right thing, I leave your neighbor a note on how to secure his/her WiFi? Or are just too 31337?

Re:Every computer in the house, plus... (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343546)

How is he supposed to determine which neighbor it belongs to? Sniff their packets until they enter personal information into an insecure webpage or something? Isn't that basically what Google got in trouble for doing accidentally?

do computers identify people? (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 3 years ago | (#37342974)

Last time i checked. there really isn't any way to guarantee that i am the one who used my computer.

Re:do computers identify people? (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343006)

Doesn't need to guarantee, just needs to be enough to convince a jury. The "it wasn't me browsing Pirate Bay, it was the one armed man!" defense wont work too well I think.

Re:do computers identify people? (2)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343088)

For civil cases in the US, the usual standard is "a preponderance of the evidence," which just means more likely than not that X happened.

Re:do computers identify people? (1)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343158)

There's the problem with the justice system. It's not about who's telling the truth, it's about who tells the better lie.

Re:do computers identify people? (3, Insightful)

2names (531755) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343274)

Nope, it's completely about who the jury likes.

Re:do computers identify people? (1)

rastos1 (601318) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343182)

Last time i checked. there really isn't any way to guarantee that i am the one who used my computer.

You might not be the one who used the computer. But your signature is on the contract with the clause saying that you are responsible for the connection usage. At least that's usually what ISP claims.

Re:do computers identify people? (4, Insightful)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343410)

and that means that within the contractual arrangement with the ISP, they are able to hold me responsible for things that happen on my connection. They can ask me to pay when there are costs as a result. They can disconnect the connection at my expense if nefarious things happen over it.

But that contract has nothing to do with my legal liability with a 3rd party. If the 3rd party sues the ISP, and the ISP, through my contractual relationship, holds me responsible, that's one thing. But that's not what they are doing. If they're going to try to prove that I'm legally liable for what they think went on, for damages they think I did to them, they're going to have to show enough proof of that.

Re:do computers identify people? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37343944)

Well, I no for sure that I am hand cuffed to my computer, and that it's always perfectly locked down, encrypted, and password protected, so I couldn't possibly ever walk away from it and leave it unattended and in an unlocked state... AND I'm never asleep, so there's no way anybody could ever be using it but me. Also it's definitely never EVER compromised by remote exploits or any malware, and is 100% reliable at all times. Not to mention that I have perfect knowledge of every operation carried out by ever single program on my computer, even the proprietary ones! The case is locked and crazy glued to my hip. No one ever shuts it down and removes the hard drive or boots under another partition, or anything.

So you can be sure, that whatever is transmitted over wire (or air for that matter) was always 100% me and only me, and that I deliberately took action to make those transmissions happen.

Re:do computers identify people? (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343214)

I would mod you up "Insightful", but I need to write a reply. Sorry.

It could be argued that you are a bit responsible for what your computer does. If it's a shared computer, you must control who can use it and for what. Is a weak argument, of course, but it applies to other stuff, like a car.

Re:do computers identify people? (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343350)

It could be argued that you are a bit responsible for what your computer does

Except that computers connected to the Internet are sometimes taken over by malware that causes the computers to do things outside of the control of their owners. There was a case a while back where a guy was accused of downloading child pornography, and it was discovered that it was actually malware that did the downloading. Is it really that far-fetched to think that some hacker who wants to download music without getting sued would use a botnet to hide his activities?

Umm.... yeah, nothing new here... (1)

Hashtag (2457116) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343020)

Duh!...? This is nothing new to us... is this new to the courts, the lawyer or this poster?

Can lead to (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343094)

Can lead to mandatory software required for internet access, with logging of all communication

I can solve this problem (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37343124)

Before you can surf the web, you have to log in with your social insurance number and an ISP password. Once that's done, your ISP will allow your traffic. Time to authenticate individual users.

Don't want to do this? NO INTERNET FOR YOU!

Sent from EXXON-Mobil MGM Coca-Cola iPad

Re:I can solve this problem (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343862)

I can't tell if this is sarcasm or not, so forgive me if I'm just not getting the joke here.

Using a special login wouldn't be difficult to get around. Just cruise around until you find someone who's got an open router... Unless the ISP is requiring a login on EVERY web-page you go to, in which case the simple act of surfing the web would just take too much time to make it worthwhile.

If software is required, then eventually someone will make a workaround, or make software that spoofs the authentication somehow. People who pirate are a very resourceful bunch.

Re:I can solve this problem (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343966)

Right, because identity theft is completely impossible and no one has ever done it before. Especially not a criminal who knows they're going to commit a criminal act and wants to hide their identity.

Dont touch my fridge beotch (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343130)

Considering a large % of people on slashdot, me included, have stuffed computers into everything except the pancake mix, and I could be wrong about that, those pricks better have a lot of time on their hands.

Re:Dont touch my fridge beotch (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37343428)

The problem with the pancake computer is that the wife throws it out when the mix goes bad.

That makes EVERYONE a suspect. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37343256)

I would tell them to go fuck themselves. Then I would get the highest profile lawyers in the world to smash his cases to pieces law boy.

just the home? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37343312)

More like every user in the neighborhood. Wait, what if the thief was mobile? Better set up roadblocks at the state lines!

Re:just the home? (1)

Narnie (1349029) | more than 3 years ago | (#37343870)

Exactly, buy why stop at state lines? Roadblocks should be added at all on-ramps and city limits--complete with the body scanners and invasive pat-downs. Homes should also have bars on the windows and officers can check each night at lights-out to make sure the family is safely locked inside to keep BadPeople (tm) from getting them.

We need protection from these long haired, pot-smoking, towelhead, bomb-carrying, terrorist-pirate-molesters. Think of the children.

A click into illegality _ (1)

ego centrik (1971902) | more than 3 years ago | (#37344016)

The executive should recognize that downloading files is not the same as consuming them.

Three examples:
(a) Files are not marked as copyrighted material + can't be identified as such by netpeople before/after they start the load.
(b) The download stays on the storage unopened.
(c) User is closing the files, after a copyright warning came up.

Downloading + consuming in the knowledge that it is copyrighted material is a violation. Otherwise _

_ you can put up website with links to copyrighted material, save the User-IP (which is possible) and/or cut a deal with ISP's ( which is not necessary ), check out a netservice who is holder of the User-IP and let the lawyers do the rest.
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