UK ISP gave up direct disconnection of file-sharers for a three strikes

By EDRi · July 29, 2009

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Deutsch: [Britischer ISP gibt direkte Trennungen der Verbindungen von File-Sharern für ein 3 Treffer-System auf |]

UK ISP Karoo belonging to Hull based KCom telecom company, announced on 24
July it would change its policy and apply a three-strikes system for the
customers allegedly infringing copyright.

Within the agreement with the entertainment industries, the UK ISPs have
agreed to send out warning letters to users suspected of downloading
copyrighted material from the Internet. Karoo, holding the monopoly in Hull
as the only ISP in area, has been exceeded this procedure for some time now,
having directly disconnected its users for suspected file-sharing. In order
to get their service restored, customers had to sign a document admitting
their guilt and promising not to repeat the offence. Therefore, the method
not only ignored the presumption of innocence but actually blackmailed users
by obliging them to admit guilt in order to be reconnected.

Following the exposure of the company’s policy by BBC which made public the
case of a customer having been disconnected and asked to fill in a form
admitting her guilt in order to be reconnected, Karoo decided to adopt a
three-strikes rule in which suspected file-sharers will receive three
written warnings before action is taken.

The major issue is that Karoo takes its actions without any court decision,
based only on accusations made by anti-piracy organizations which use
evidence gathering methods that are far from being accurate or reliable.
Although rights holders have stated that their data was never wrong, a
report made last year by the University of Washington, Department of
Computer Science and Engineering has clearly shown the vulnerabilities of
the methods.

“Whether a false positive sent to a user that has never even used
BitTorrent or a truly infringing user that relies on incomplete IP
blacklists, there is currently no way for anyone to wholly avoid the risk of
complaints.(…) We have further demonstrated that IP blacklists, a
standard method for avoiding systematic monitoring, are wholly ineffective
given current identification techniques and provide only limited coverage of
likely monitoring agents” says the report.

Therefore, as the report and reality have shown, there is a large risk that
innocent people are accused of illegal file-sharing.

Plug-pulling ISP changes policy (24.07.2009)

Kang-Karoo courts: guilt by accusation, punishment without trial

Karoo backs down and adopts ‘three strikes’ policy for illegal p2p file
sharers instead of immediate cut off (24.07.2009)

UK ISP Cuts Off Alleged Pirates (24.07.2009)

Challenges and Directions for Monitoring P2P File Sharing Networks ,or, Why
My Printer Received a DMCA Takedown Notice” (1.06.2008)