Eircom and BT Ireland confirmed yesterday that this customer data was protected under the Data Protection Act and they would not be giving the names to Irma. "We can't reveal names of customers to them because of data protection laws. But if there is a criminal inquiry, we can deal with gardai, but only the gardai," said a BT Ireland spokeswoman.
Irma will now have to seek injunctions from the High Court to compel the service providers to supply the information they need to prosecute. It said it is confident that the courts will force firms to supply the data. However, legal experts warned that there is no such guarantee.
"Internet firms are justified in not voluntarily disclosing such detail. It is then up to the music companies to show in court that they have sufficient evidence that particular individuals have been illegally distributing music files," said solicitor Paul Lambert.
Monday, April 18, 2005
Irish ISPs refuse to disclose users' identities
Fergus Cassidy points out that at least two Irish ISPs (Eircom.net and BT Ireland) have said that they will not disclose user details to IRMA without a court order. More details in the Irish Times (April 16 2005 - subscription only):