ISP Takes BitTorrent Admin Privacy Case To The Supreme Court

Earlier this week a Swedish appeals court upheld the ruling of a district court and ordered an ISP to hand over the details of a torrent site operator. Faced with a potential $96,500 fine for non-compliance, TeliaSonera has announced it will take an appeal to the Supreme Court in an attempt to balance pre-existing privacy obligations with those under IPRED.

swetorrentsUnder the controversial IPRED legislation, in 2009 four movie studios applied to the Södertörn District Court in an attempt to force ISP TeliaSonera to hand over the details of a BitTorrent site admin.

In December the Court announced its decision and said that the ISP must hand over the name and address of the SweTorrents operator to Antipiratbyrån. Not wishing to breach customer privacy, TeliaSonera launched an appeal.

Earlier this week the Court of Appeal upheld the earlier decision of the District Court. Failure to comply would result in a 750,000 kronor ($96,500) fine.

The company has until June 7th to submit an appeal, but made the decision to do so almost immediately.

The decision against TeliaSonera is based on the Court’s belief that under the IPRED legislation, the ISP must hand over customer details in file-sharing copyright cases. TeliaSonera, however, feels that it has a fundamental obligation to protect customer privacy which precedes IPRED.

“The rules governing privacy and confidentiality have long existed in the rules that govern our industry and the IPRED law is brand new,” says Patrik Hiselius, a lawyer at TeliaSonera. “It is important that there is a principled review of the Code and the Anti-Piracy Agency’s interests.”

Another ISP, Portlane, is facing a similar set of problems. This week it was also ordered to hand over the details of a BitTorrent admin, this time at the OpenBitTorrent tracker. Portlane also has the chance to appeal, but has yet to announce whether it will do so.

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