Suspected European cyber pirates denied Internet access without court order

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The verdict is in: Europeans can be cut off the Internet for persistent file-sharing, and it can be done without a court order.

According to ISPreview, the decision comes as a surprise since on two previous occasions amendment 138 has been adopted by a majority of votes in the European Parliament, and it specifically states that restricting Internet access of an individual suspected of illegal downloading must be previously approved by a court of law.

This means that European member states now have the right to make laws that allow the possibility of forcing ISPs to disconnect individuals from the Internet.

France and Britain were among those who campaigned heavily for this decision (not to mention the entertainment industry). The New York Times reports that last week France adopted a “3 strikes” law, and even though it states that a court must have the last word in the matter, the entire process is laughable. There is no presenting of evidence, no listening to appeals – the judge “reviews” the case for a few minutes, then makes his decision – not unlike the procedures for traffic violation.

Britain is expected to follow suit, after stating last month that is considering such measures.