France has started to disconnect its first users under its new three strikes system.
That is, if you are caught file-sharing, you are sent an angry letter telling you to stop. If you persist, you get an angrier letter. Three strikes, and you lose your internet connection for six months.
This is essentially the state equivalent of a time out in the corner.
This type of “graduated response” system is highly controversial. For starters, it can only track file-sharing to a connection, and not to an individual. This leaves room for mistaken convictions, since the government cannot determine who is using a certain IP address. Likewise, under this law whole families can lose their connection because one child couldn’t wait for the latest Harry Potter to come out on DVD.
Some of the condemned users claim that they don’t even know HOW to fileshare, and that others had used their wifi connections to download illegally. Undeterred, a spokesman from the agency said that this is their own fault: if they don’t know how to secure their own internet connection from intruders, they have failed to take the necessary precautions and are responsible for what strangers do on their network.
It is unrealistic to expect every user to be able to secure their connections. I mean, my mom JUST figured out how to poke me on Facebook. And yes, I am switching to Google plus.
The second problem is that it allows the state to sever your internet connection — without a court order. This represents a violation of the basic human right to freedom of expression and association.
The passing of Hadopi and Loppsi 2 has already earned France a spot on Reporters Without Borders list of countries ‘under surveillance’.
And the worst part: since when did the French start using baseball analogies? This is a bad omen. The only way baseball could be less exciting is if it were golf.
France, please don’t start liking baseball. It only encourages the Americans.