[WSJ.com] French Illegal Downloaders Face Loss of Internet Access

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Critics worry the law could lead to the invasion of personal privacy, with providers eventually being forced to turn over people’s Web-surfing records to the government. « The entertainment industry should not be allowed to act as the police of the Internet, » said Jérémie Zimmerman, an Internet activist opposed to the law. « It’s a betrayal of people’s basic liberties. »

Another problem, say critics, is that a whole household could be penalized for a single teenager’s illegal downloading or if neighbors piggybacked on their wireless Internet connections. The entertainment industry dismisses such concerns, saying the government committee would protect people’s privacy online.