The Stichting Brein — the Dutch equivalent of the RIAA, or so it seems — has lost a court case a few days ago. Seems that internet providers are not obliged to provide information about supposedly copyright infringing customers. At least, not under all circumstances.
So, today’s news is that the Dutch police and secret service are going to create and maintain a database for matching IP addresses to persons. Of course, this is for the loftiest of goals: we’re combating child pornography and terrorism here!
But my bet is that this just means that next time Brein wants to sue a Kazaa user, they can skip the providers and go to the secret service. And that this will happen a lot more often than that the database will be used to catch terrorists. And that catching so-called “pirates” (you’re not a pirate unless you kill, maim and rob, I feel) was the actual reason for creating this database.
For a non-governmental organization, Brein (and the BSA) do have an awful lot of powers. And for a free country, we’re under an awful lot of surveillance.