The German IFPI knows what you did last summer - at least if you're one of those unfortunate file sharers that faced a raid as part of a criminal investigation against copyright infringement. German music industry lawyer Clemens Rasch told reporters this week that the police regularly sends computers they confiscate during these raids to his Promedia Anti-piracy company, as heise online reports.

Rasch explained that his company copies the entire hard drive of each computer they receive from investigators. These copies are used to find further proof for copyright infringement. Computers with cloned disks are apparently sent back to the police.

The cooperation between Promedia and police is troubling for a number of reasons, one being the fact that the music industry is far from an independent expert in these cases. There are also obvious privacy issues, with police possibly violating a range of laws by giving Rasch and his company de-facto access to e-mails, instant messaging log files, online banking information and much more that happens to be saved on the same PC as some possibly illegal MP3s.

heise online also points out that sharing evidence with the music industry raises questions of possible tampering with said evidence, putting the whole case in danger and opening a new line of defense for German file sharers.

Another upside is that Germany has strong privacy protections that, among other things, make it possible for every individual to request detailed documentation about the kind of information a company has saved about him. German file sharers that were subject to a raid should consider sending these requests to Promedia - would be interesting to see what the answer will be.

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