When Computer Surveillance Goes Bad

It's common knowledge that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) fiercely pursues people who pirate media files. Their relentless pursuit seems to have recently backfired in at least one case.

Tanya Andersen recently found herself on the blunt end of RIAA's stick, facing charges in court and possible fines totaling over $1 million. That's an unfathomable amount for single mother - particularly one who claims she did nothing wrong.

RIAA outsources their media file tracking surveillance and apparently something went terribly wrong in regard to labeling Ms. Anderson as a criminal media piracy. She eventually won the case, received a settlement that covered her legal expenses - which totaled over $100K - and went on to file a class action suit against RIAA, surveillance company MediaSentry, payment collector Settlement Support Center, and several record companies.

Her suit accuses the defendants of "negligence, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, federal and state RICO, abuse of process, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, trespass, invasion of privacy, libel and slander, deceptive business practices, misuse of copyright law, and civil conspiracy," according to a summary posted at p2pnet.net. Wow. That's heavy, and no doubt Ms. Anderson is extremely aggravated by the gross negligence inflicted upon her. As best I can tell this is definitely the result of surveillance gone bad - very, very bad.

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