French “Three-Strikes” Delayed Until April?

Was supposed to take effect this month, but National Commission on Informatics and Liberties (CNIL), whose permission must be obtained anytime legislation will impact the personal data of French citizens, is so far refusing to discuss the matter, blocking implementation of the law by default.

France’s controversial “three-strikes” law was to reportedly take effect this month. In fact, several news outlets have already announced that it has in a bit “welcome to the new year” sort of articles. However, it has not, and the reason why is as strange as the law itself.

For according to La Tribune, before the law can take effect the National Commission on Informatics and Liberties (CNIL), whose permission is required anytime legislation will impact the personal data of French citizens, must first give its opinion on the Haute Autorité pour la Diffusion des Oeuvres et la Protection des droits sur Internet (HADOPI), the new govt agency whose task it would be to sanction those accused of illegal file-sharing, and its duty of collecting the IP addresses of accused file-sharers and the offenses they are being charged with.

In other words, it is the the policeman of the computer by not making an opinion, that is blocking the process,” says La Tribune.

It informed the govt of its decision back on December 10th of last year, requesting that it provide further info on the “procedure penalty for hackers,” presumably those that hijack the Wi-Fi connections of others.

The delay shouldn’t have came as a surprise being that it warned the French govt last May that it “will be asked for its opinion of the implementing decree on rules for implementation by the Hadopi treatment of personal data from which the subject to measures of suspension. It will exercise its control over all of these treatments, consistent with its missions. ”

The govt can still issue a decree on its own, but it’s risky being that a number of regulatory acts have been blocked by the courts for a lack of consultation with the CNIL.

Some suggest the delay will benefit the govt with regional elections scheduled for March and delaying the fallout from citizens concerned with the notion of entire households being disconnected from the Net.

As I’ve said before, there are work arounds a plenty for the anti-piracy system necessary for enforcement of the “three-strikes” plan, and one French publication has taken the time to remind or educate readers about them.

1. Search Engines

Probably the easiest. You won’t find a great selection of movies or TV shows, but will have a field day with .MP3s. It’s what BitTorrent tracker site The Pirate Bay cited as another source of copyrighted material after its conviction for copyright infringement.

2. VPNs

What better way to elude authorities than an anonymous Virtual Private Network (VPN)? For a few extra bucks a month an encrypted connection between you and the provider will mask the contents of data transfers. In fact, for $30 bucks a month Giganews’ new “Diamond” package includes free VyperVPN service with a Usenet subscription.

3. Streaming

Ever since TVLinks people have been streaming copyrighted material without permission and the practice is sure to continue.

So when it really comes down to it the law will only affect the most vulnerable, those with limited technical skills and arguably the most in need of an Internet connection.

Too bad the CNIL can’t uphold the law forever.

Stay tuned.

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