European Court of Justice rules ISPs not obliged to reveal identity of people suspected of illegal sharing

Friday, July 20, 2007

It is compatible with the EU legislation that Member States exclude the personal data communication related to the internet traffic when this is requested in order to allow the prosecution of violations of the royalties in civil cases.

According the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the supreme court of European Union, the EU laws do not oblige ISPs to hand over personal data of people suspected of illegal sharing of copyrighted materials over the net.

The ECJ has been asked for a preliminary ruling on question “Does Community law…permit Member States to limit the duty of operators of electronic communications networks and services, providers of telecommunications network access and providers of data storage services to retain and make available connection and traffic information generated during the supply of an information society service to where it is required in connection with a criminal investigation or the need to protect public safety and national defence, thus excluding civil proceedings?” And its opinion, presented by advocate general Juliane Kokott, is that member states are allowed to ‘exclude’ revealing personal data on internet traffic in civil cases. This does not apply to criminal cases, where such compliance would be required.

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