France's Senate just passed a law proposed in mid-summer that would cut the families of illegal fileswappers off from broadband internet access for a year. This makes France the first country to pop anti-piracy legislation against users, and it's probably not going to be the last.
This would be a "three-strike" system. You get two warnings before your ISP is legally empowered to cut you off. The first warning arrives by email; the second is snailmail, perhaps just in case the first got caught in your spam filter.
Just months before, the powerless rubber-stampy European Parliament called a denial of net access a violation of "civil liberties and human rights." Apparently President Sarkozy, his totally hot recording-artist wife and a lot of other people disagree.
Though the bill still has to get past France's lower legislative house before it can go into effect, it's looking good: The Senate passed it with near unanimity. Oddly enough, the Communists abstained and one hard right-winger opposed it, due to the fact a ruling could seriously complicate a bundled net-phone-TV package. (10 bucks says his kid's all over them torrents.) [UPI]