The French government has put its campaign to enforce anti-piracy laws against online file sharers on hold, shortly after data on possible offenders was shown to be insecure.
France’s HADOPI means that Internet users who do not desist from downloading pirated material after three warnings can be prosecuted and disconnected, a so-called "three strikes" rule.
But the head of the HADOPI has reportedly announced that the crackdown is now "temporarily suspended". The announcement comes just one week after a security researcher demonstrated that the IP addresses of suspected Internet users, which are hosted by a third party, could be accessed by outsiders, thanks to an insecure research and development server.
The episode echoes the case of ACS Law, a law firm which claimed to represent entertainment companies and accused 10,000 Internet users of illegal file sharing. After suffering a retaliatory cyber attack, the now-defunct firm accidentally published names and addresses of private individuals, and was later found to have breached the Data Protection Act.