US Judge: an IP address is not a person

By Matthew ยท 21 replies
May 5, 2011
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  1. Darkshadoe

    Darkshadoe TS Guru Posts: 571   +113

    :Baker ruled that IP addresses do not equal persons and cited a recent child pornography case where US authorities raided the wrong people because the true offenders were piggybacking on their wireless connection. "The infringer might be the subscriber, someone in the subscriber's household, a visitor with her laptop, a neighbor, or someone parked on the street at any given moment," he said."

    Thank goodness one Judge in this world has some common sense.
  2. bandit8623

    bandit8623 TS Booster Posts: 100   +17

    this is good news!
  3. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,073   +219

    Meh its like a license plate number.
  4. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,073   +219

    Actually its more like a ip adress.
  5. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,215   +177

    We finally found a Judge who understands something dealing with technology! I say promote this enlightened individual to the Supreme Court so he can help make this decision stick for good.
  6. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    Darn, now nobody will fall for those IP Freely jokes.
  7. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,136   +131

    Suck it MPAA!
  8. TeamworkGuy2

    TeamworkGuy2 TS Enthusiast Posts: 191

    Judges are good, enlighted people, but studying law books rarely relates to real life, especially when the law books are 100+ years old.
    Good to see a judge who bases decisions on current situations.
  9. aj_the_kidd

    aj_the_kidd TS Rookie Posts: 555

    Just to play devils advocate, i would argue that the majority of the time an IP address can be linked to an individual. Though that being said, the big time pirates that the anti-piracy organizations are after, would know this and have ways around it.
  10. Superpeter

    Superpeter TS Member Posts: 49

    Finally, someone figured it out (or had enough power and said it out loud) Great news!!
  11. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    They may be 'knowledgeable' but not all of them are good or enlighted, I remember reading Judge Edith H. Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals saying somewhere (and I actually was bothered enough to find that article so I could quote :p) that:

    Now that doesn't mean there aren't any 'honest / sensible' lawyers / judgest out there, there are, and probably he is one of them.
  12. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,147   +915

    Just a thought, when IPv6 is in full swing, because their are such a substantial amount of addresses possible, surely everyone in the world would just be given a statc IP? of which would make it easier to track people? than again, you can just spoof an address I suppose... Just thinking out loud :)
  13. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    Which brings us back to the original point, that IP can't be treated as 'a legal person', hence, IPv6 doesn't matter just as well. There is a saying which if translated to english would mean something like "trying to catch fish in water with your bare hands" ...... these type of John Doe cases are about the same thing in my view.
  14. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 782   +235

    Very good news. Everyone resume their piracy.
  15. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,890   +1,224

    This actually happened to me! I was the registered user for our cable broadband at college and was contacted by the campus IT department because a recording studio had contacted them about pirated material being shared. It was my roommate, but I got the nasty email. (he stopped, everyone was happy).

    This is good news as any criminal worth his salt should be smart enough to find someone else's IP to use when committing crimes. However, I do hope they still use IP to narrow it down. We had a case here in WI were a pedophile was caught because he actually brought his PC in for repairs without taking the child p0rn off it. They're not all smart.
  16. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,681   +1,080

    Hurray for brain usage! Seriously any computer nerd know that people can even fake thier IP address or, as was stated, tap into someone elses wireless network. Now I do not agree with piracy or "adult films" but you have to take into the account of these risks unless you pull the plug and be completely disconnected.

    So an IP address is not a person, but is it a noun!? o.O"
  17. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    While I'm a bit skeptical that this will end authorities/corporations from coming after the IP subscriber, it's defiantly a step in the right direction in protecting them.
  18. pmshah

    pmshah TS Enthusiast Posts: 97

    "to attack large quantities of suspected BitTorrent pirates.'"

    My, my !! Internet English language is really deteriorating.

    Since when did the human number measure change to "quantity" ?

    BTW only time a person responsible for piracy can be other than the account holder is if he connected through wifi. Breaking into a system through hardwire is practically impossible.
  19. or if you get a trojan.. which never happens, so you get to be right.
  20. They should be required to grab both the IP address and dns hostname used in the request. This would be used to confirm the actual computer being used...
  21. hopefully half this stuff will stop becoming an issue as more and more people from 1990s generation reach positions of lawyers and judges.

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