Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hadopi: Will France Spy on You?

Via ESET Threat Blog -

Apparently France has some new legislation surrounding pirated software. I applaud reasonable approaches to combating piracy, but it appears that France may be ready to make public the answer to the question “Will Anti-virus ignore government Trojan horse programs?”

I first saw the story at Slashdot and the story was picked up from TechDirt. If this is true it could pit the rest of the European Union and virtually the entire antivirus industry against France.

Hadopi refers to both the High Authority for Copyright Protection and Dissemination of Works on the Internet legislation and the French governmental organization tasked with enforcing France’s new law. Already most of the European Union has indicated that they feel the law violates the EU constitution. The technical specifications of a plan to enforce the Hadopi law were leaked and appear to call out for software, that most reasonable people would call spyware, to be installed upon the computers of French Citizens.


The very nature of heuristics is such that the program is likely to be detected even if signatures do not detect it, unless the program is white listed. I doubt that AV companies are going to white list such a program.

To anyone with a slight degree of sophistication it is obvious that the criminal element would exploit vulnerabilities in the software so as to take over the spyware, whether it is to harm the user or to interfere with the government.

The idea is almost certain to be doomed from the start and is almost certainly only an excuse for some bureaucrats to waste French tax payer’s money pretending that they were actually doing anything at all. It appears that this idea is not uniquely mine.

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