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Ireland's 'three strikes' law faces Data Protection Commissioner investigation

Ireland's 'three strikes' law faces Data Protection Commissioner investigation

The Sunday Times exposed the flaw and writes that the country's Data Protection Commissioner is looking into the procedures around the legislation. In total, 300 users were sent 'first strike' warning letters despite there being no grounds for them to be contacted.

Eircom, Ireland's biggest ISP, admitted to a major technical problem that was "due to a software failure caused when the clocks went back last October".

The mistake could now open a wider debate about the implementation of the legislation in Ireland, including the legality of the entire three strikes system.

After initially opposing the legislation, Eircom finally started to implement it last year in Ireland. It is the only ISP to offer three strikes monitoring in Ireland and last October the four majors in Ireland have lost a High Court case testing disconnections for persistent filesharers. They had wanted to impose an injunction against UPC, the third largest ISP in the country, over implementation of the legislation.

The judge in the case, Mr. Justice Peter Charleton, said he was unable to grant the injunction as the country had not correctly and fully implemented EU directives on copyright protection.

He stated, "Legislative response laid down in our country has made no proper provision for the blocking, diverting or interrupting of internet communications intent on breaching copyright."

Last month, the French Hadopi legislation was temporarily put on hold after a data breach at Trident Media Guard, the company tasked with monitoring and identifying possible online copyright infringers.

At the start of this month, a United Nations report declared that three strikes laws relating to the disconnecting of suspected illegal filesharers is a violation of human rights.

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