Your ISP is watching you in France

My French friend received a letter from his ISP. The ISP has found out his habit of downloading music & movies from the websites for sharing files which are popularly used for circumventing the payment process. That reminded me of a conversation with another French friend during my newbie days. "It is illegal in France to download copyrighted material without paying for it. But we do it anyways!", said my friend ending the sentence with the characteristic French shrug. If you have seen the French in real life or on TV, you know what I meant by the characteristic French shrug.

In France, it is illegal to download copyrighted material without paying for it. France has also passed a law in 2009 which is popularly known as the "three strikes" law. In short, you are given three chances to get rid of your bad habits before the consequences kick in. Luckily, there is no jail time involved. But you are denied Internet access for as low as 2 months. In this hyper-connected world, 2 months is an eternity!

So, what is my friend going to do now? He has no plans to get rid of vices. He is going to proceed as if nothing has happened in his life. He will wait for the second letter and then consider his options. What are his options? The second letter is so far way in time for him to even evaluate his options. Changing ISP might be one of his options. But I doubt. With "black list", it is impossible to change ISP to start a new virtual life. Probably, he might be lucky but only for a short period before his past catches up with him.

If you are in France, be aware your ISP is watching what you do. It might be an intrusion of your privacy. But if you want to exert control, then privacy be damned!


  1. Wow Nona. First you wrote about 7 years of abstinence and now 2+ months of internet denial. What's next?

  2. @Everlost - he he he. Life can be tough in France. I am learning new things as time goes by. Wait and watch this space. :)

  3. @Sujatha - Yes, WTH. So, be careful while downloading illegally. :)

  4. Two months without Internet access! I barely survived 10 days without Internet access recently :-(

  5. @Sudhagee - :) So, be careful about what you download. We are hyper-connected these days. All the more reason for us to be careful and responsible?


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