From Iceland — Computer Crimes Division To Prioritise Illegal Downloads

Computer Crimes Division To Prioritise Illegal Downloads

Published August 17, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Julia Staples

A new report from the Ministry of the Interior announces that the Computer Crimes division of the police will prioritise illegal downloads for the focus of their investigations. No new announcements were made regarding hate speech or harassment.

According to the announcement, the policy is the result of the recommendations of a committee led by Independence Party MP Brynjar Níelsson. Brynjar has for many years railed against illegal downloads, having gone on record in 2013 saying that police should put more focus on the issue.

Amongst the recommendations the committee submitted to the Ministry was the formation of a special police group to focus on illegal downloads; that file sharing sites adopt a pop-up window warning users that they may be downloading illegally; and that regulations be put in place for sites ending in .is and are registered with ISNIC, the company which manages .is registration.

Conspicuously absent from this report was any mention of online hate crimes and online harassment, even though the police themselves have expressed the desire to engage in further investigations of these crimes.

Copyright holders in Iceland, like in many parts of the world, have long sought to prosecute people who operate and use file sharing sites. Most recently, the television and film copyright holders company FRÍSK, alongside other copyright holders, said they will file charges against Icelandic torrent site and those who have uploaded to the site.

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