back to article Belgian ISP will appeal order to block file-sharing

Belgian ISP Scarlet has appealed against a surprise court ruling forcing it to filter customers' traffic for unlawful file sharing. The Belgian ISP Association says the trial judge did not examine the law closely enough. Scarlet, formerly a wing of Italy's Tiscali, was ordered earlier this month to use Audible Magic software to …


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  1. Gilbert Wham

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    Rather alarming precedent to be set, no? If traffic can be blocked to stop Deadly Warez Piratez!!11one! or Teh Terroristz!!(o noes!), how far away are we from the Great Firewall of Europe? All to make sure we are safe of course.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    filtering and monitoring different?

    Hmmm, that is pushing the definition of filtering just a little. How can a filter not monitor as part of filtering otherwise how do you know what to filter.

    Even if you don't identify people you still monitor traffic to apply a filter.

    Also suggesting that anti-virus is a 'simple' software solution shows how non-IT the judge in this case is!

    Still if we could only get to this precedent in the UK, or at least admit there is a case for the "unlimited" discussion.

  3. Malachy


    I think that this is a bad decision. Forcing ISPs to start monitoring traffic for copyright infringement is a first step to even more restrictions on the flow of information. I would love to see what governments would do if more of the populace started becoming a lot more tech savvy. i.e. using encryption, anonymising services etc.

    Also it is worth noting that if Belgian law is not based on precedents then this ruling only applies to the ISP named in the judgement. Should SABAM wish other ISPs to fall into line they will have to take them to court as well, and of course the previous ruling can have no effect on the outcome of subsequent trials. It'sx just bullying by SABAM

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So who do you sue when inaccurate filters start blocking legitimate content?

    This is so wrong in all the same ways as speed cameras.

  5. Dillon Pyron

    Audio Magic defeated?

    I thought it had already been demonstrated that Audio Magic could be defeated with some simple manipulation of the file. I think I either saw a paper at last year's DEFCON or was shown privately.

  6. Steve Roper

    The answer is already in the wind

    Even if ISPs do have to start monitoring/filtering traffic, the people behind the Pirate Bay and other related sites are apparently devising a new bittorrent protocol that is to be intrinsically anonymous and encrypted, due out later this year - you can watch the interview with Pirate Bay founder Brokep at (There's a fair bit of background noise, but you can make out most what he says readily enough.)

    If this is true and we are about to get intrinsically anonymous, encrypted bittorrent - then the copyright pigs can scan and filter and block all they want - it won't make any difference. I'm looking forward to the reeraw this is going to cause if and when it comes out!

  7. SImon Hobson Silver badge

    But ...

    ... Bittorrents already have the ability to encrypt traffic. Once a packet is encrypted then it's impossile to tell what was in it - at least within the boundaries of what is technically practical !

    And how's it supposed to work anyway, inspect each packet ? Inspect each traffic flow ? The latter could be circumvented by a slight modification to the Bittorrent protocol to randomise block transmission order !

    Then what ? Log and report ? Block ? I for one would be WELL p***ed off to have traffic dropped because it's been falsely classified as infringing. Oh yes, and just because some audio matches a piece of music, that doesn't make it's transmission illegal.

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