iiNet uses Telecommunications Act to defend itself in AFACT lawsuit

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In its lawsuit from the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), Perth-based iiNet has used the Telecommunications Act as part of their defence, arguing that the request from AFACT to act on its notices of alleged infringement would violate the privacy provisions under Section 276 of the Act.

“Under the Act, it is illegal for iiNet to use customers’ personal information in the manner demanded by AFACT without a court order or warrant. Breaches of the privacy provisions of the Act can attract a two-year gaol sentence,” the ISP said in a statement.

If upheld, the case would be dealt a serious blow towards AFACT, which represents all the movie and DVD producing studios, claiming that they are “preventing illegal acts from occurring on their networks in the normal course of an ISP’s business and therefore perfectly legal,” according to director Adrianne Pecotic. AFACT is also said to be looking at, as this would be for the record, to add exceptions to the Act, that would set a precedent of a user’s information being given out to third parties.

If AFACT wins the case, it is landmark as it will also test if an ISP is accountable for any illegal activity that occurs on their network – and since AFACT has not mentioned how will they know if they could prove that person is doing the illegal activity, it could be problematic, as it would be against the Act, according to iiNet.