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There’s been great debate going on over at Boards.ie about the agreement made between Eircom and IRMA to tackle illegal music and movie piracy on their broadband network. Read more here

A few great points have been made and one that has risen it’s head most of the time is the one about Eircoms extremely poor security hole.

There is a reference to a blog post I made sometime ago, when I mentioned that it seems Eircom don’t seem to care about their little security hole that allows their wireless routers to be hacked in seconds. I suggested that Eircom have done little to sort out this security flaw other than release a nice press release telling their clients that they should update their router settings. It was suggested in this post that they did more than this and also sent a letter to each subscriber. Well all I can say to that is that they must have missed my whole family and friends, because of all the people I know, not one of them received this letter. Anyway, that’s another days work.

Let’s look at the situation and the agreement in place between Eircom and IRMA at the moment. Eircom have agreed to disconnect any user who had been found to be downloading illegally through their networks. The users will not be outed by Eircom and their will be no detection or filtering software provided by Eircom. It will be up to IRMA to supply the information on those pirates to Eircom. Warnings will be issued by Eircom to the offending pirates if they are found to be downloading illegal music.

Now, that’s all well and good if Eircom can categorically say that their wireless routers can not be breached, but the sad thing is, they can easily be. I’d suggest that you all take a minute to do a test here – but I’d probably get done for inciting people to break the law. But if you want to try at your own peril, go off and download Damo’s WEP Tool - when installed, go looking for an Eircom connection. I guarantee you that it won’t be long before you find an Eircom connection that is easily hacked and then you will have free Internet access (illegally I might add) to do what you like.

So let’s turn that scenario around to that poor sole who knows little about the Internet, someone who constantly refers to the Internet as “on the website”. These are the people I feel really sorry for. They would never in their lifetime cop on that they have been compromised or that someone is sitting outside in their car downloading the latest series of Lost from their broadband connection. Yet, potentially, these are the poor sods who could have their broadband disconnected for illegally downloading music/movies.

Maybe Eircom know bizarre the whole situation is and were happy to make that agreement with IRMA who clearly don’t seem to understand the Internet and how it works.

That brings up another point though, I’ve always said it and will say it again. The music industry needs to take a serious look at their business model. The current one obviously isn’t working anymore, so they need to be a bit more creative now rather than just sitting on their bums like they did in the past. Targeting little kids or innocent broadband users is not the way to get their business back together.

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