Echostar v. Freetech

EFF has asked a federal court to reject efforts by Echostar to get the names and addresses of every customer that purchased a free-to-air satellite receiver. Echostar claims that the receiver can be modified to pirate DISH satellite TV programming. EFF argues that Echostar's demand which seeks all purchasers regardless of whether they actually pirated DISH TV would violate user privacy and leave innocent purchasers vulnerable to bogus legal threats.

On Sept. 29 2008 Magistrate Judge Seeborg agreed with Freetech and EFF refusing to allow Echostar to obtain the identity and contact information of every individual who purchased a Freetech receiver. The court concluded that "the requests for customer lists ... could lead to the perceived harassment of legitimate users and a cocomitant chilling effect on the purchase and lawful use of Freetech's FTA receivers."

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