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France to deploy internet police to fight piracy

France to deploy internet police to fight piracy

The law, championed by President Nicolas Sarkozy, would create an agency to police illegal downloading of copyright material. Under the terms of the bill, internet pirates would receive two warnings before having their connection cut after a third offence for a period of up to one year. During that time, they would have to continue paying their internet provider.

Opponents have criticised this double punishment and say access to the Internet should be a fundamental right. Consumer groups also fear intrusive monitoring of online activities and warn that innocent users may be unfairly punished if hackers use their accounts to download files.

The controversial bill has allegedly received strong backing from Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the French President’s wife, who is a model-turned-singer. The music industry, which wants governments and internet providers to crack down on illegal downloading of copyrighted work, has cheered France’s efforts to protect the revenues of record and film companies and recording artists.


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