Monday, April 18, 2005

US ISP sued for disclosing customer info

Comcast, the top U.S. cable TV network operator, is being sued by a Seattle-area woman for disclosing her name and contact information, court records showed Thursday.

In a lawsuit filed in King County, Wash., Dawnell Leadbetter said that she was contacted by a debt collection agency in January and told to pay a $4,500 for downloading copyright-protected music or face a lawsuit for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Leadbetter, a mother of two teenage children, was a customer of Comcast's high-speed Internet access service.

The company, Settlement Support Center, based in Washington state, was using information that the Recording Industry of Association of America had obtained in a Philadelphia lawsuit over the illegal sharing of digital music files, said Lory Lybeck, the lawyer representing Leadbetter.

But no court authorized Comcast to release names and addresses of its customers, or notified his client that her information had been given to an outside party, Lybeck said.

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