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Adjournment in Ministry of Sound Hearing GRANTED - No Names Revealed
October 4, 2010
Thomas Mennecke
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It looks like Gallant Macmillan and Ministry of Sound will have a long wait ahead of them if they want those names of suspected BT and Plusnet file-sharers. News that began to trickle in has been confirmed: it appears that during a closed door hearing, BT and Plusnet broadband providers were granted their sought after adjournment. Privacy issues were the major concern, and the case has been put on hold until January 12, 2011.

Although the accused would rather see BT and Plusnet attack the quality of MoS' evidence, which was greatly shaken thanks to the ACS:Law email leak, the major talking points from the UK ISPs has been security. During the email leak, the identities of thousands of suspected file-sharers were carelessly exposed thanks to the lack of password protected Excel and Word documents. This is a serious issue that both ACS:Law and BT/Plusnet/Sky and Zen ISPs share common guilt. Information sent by these ISPs to ACS:Law were not encrypted, and ACS:Law did not encrypt them upon receipt.

UK ISPs, including BT/Plusnet, Sky and most others have taken up the pro-consumer mantel in the wake of the leak - denying ACS:Law and other law firms, such as Gallant Macmillan, the identities they need to keep their anti-piracy operations profitable.

"We have suspended all co-operation with ACS:Law with immediate effect. This suspension will remain in place until ACS:Law demonstrates adequate measures to protect the security of personal information," Sky said in a statement.

The concern for the privacy of the consumer appears to have gained traction in the UK courts. In what is sure to be a disappointment to the Ministry of Sound and other would-be P2P litigation solicitors, no BT or Plusnet customer names will be divulged for quite some time.

Update: Statement from BT:

Adjournment, Ministry of Sound

The incident involving the ACS Law data leak has further damaged people's confidence in the current process.

We're pleased that the court has agreed to an adjournment so that our concerns can be examined by the court, this will then act as a precedent/test case for the future.

We want to ensure broadband subscribers are adequately protected so that rights holders can pursue their claims for copyright infringement without causing unnecessary worry to innocent people. We have not simply consented to these orders in the past, we have asked for stricter terms as public concern has risen. The data leak with ACS Law prompted us to take further action today.

We are also seeking a moratorium on outstanding applications and orders.

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In related news, Ministry of Sound appears to have moved their web provider to UKFast in response to the intense DDoS attack by anonymous. Anonymous responded to the move by shifting their attack to the MoS' new IP address.

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