[The Inquirer] France surrenders to the music and film industries

THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT is falling all over itself to surrender to the music and film industries and disconnect its citizens from the Internet without trial. [...]

La Quadrature du Net, a French digital rights group, continues to protest the changes. It says that the new judicial procedure is properly restricted to only a few categories of simple litigation such as traffic regulation.

It fails to guarantee the right to a fair trial. It does not include any contradictory debate or public hearing. The ruling is made without any prior judicial investigation.

It also outlaws the "open WiFi defense", under which an accused file-sharer could simply make clear that anyone could have used his or her Internet connection. Under the new law, all Internet users must keep their broadband connections "secure" and are fully responsible for whatever happens over them. [...]