The intersection of privacy and piracy

There they go again.  The French parliament has passed a law that would fine or even cut off Internet access for a year for users caught illegally downloading copyrighted material.  The “three strikes” legislation, considered in other countries, now has to go through conference committee and faces constitutional challenges.  President Sarkozy is in favor of the bill.  Where an earlier version of the bill required ISPs to cut off access, the new version leaves that to a judge.  Here’s the story from Ars Technica.

Tracking the use (and therefore abuse) of users, of course, raises significant privacy concerns. Free speech, due process, and other civil rights are also constrained under the revised draft. And home WiFi networks would be responsible for whatever activity takes place through their networks. The law would require such networks to be password-protected.