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The Courts

Tufts Tells Judge, We Can't Tie IP To MAC Addresses 419

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Protesting that Tufts University's DHCP-based systems 'were not designed to facilitate forensic examinations,' but rather to ensure 'smooth operations and to manage capacity issues,' the IT Office at Tufts University has responded to the subpoena in an RIAA case, Zomba v. Does 1-11, by submitting a report to the judge (PDF) explaining why it cannot cross-match IP addresses and MAC addresses, or identify users accurately. The IT office explained that the system identifies machines, not users; that some MAC addresses have multiple users; that only the Address Resolution Protocol system has even the potential to match IP addresses with MAC addresses, but that system could not do so accurately. For reasons which are unclear, the IT department then suggested that the RIAA next time send them 'notices to preserve information,' in response to which they would preserve, rather than overwrite, the DHCP data, for the RIAA's forensic benefit."

In practice, failures in system development, like unemployment in Russia, happens a lot despite official propaganda to the contrary. -- Paul Licker