30% of French people will soon lose their immunity

Users of shared IP addresses were previously invisible to Hadopi, but that will change soon.

Since it was promulgated in 2009, the Hadopi 1 law has experienced many ups and downs. And if it is now so far from satisfying its designers, it is because a large part of web traffic still passes through the cracks, but that will change soon; Internet users attached to a shared IP will have to say goodbye to their immunity from January 1, 2022.

To overcome the shortage of IP addresses which has been increasingly pressing for years (or more precisely, the shortage of IPv4 addresses), operators have had to cunning. They shared certain addresses; these then turn into hubs capable of serving many sub-addresses. We then speak of shared or “native” IP, with reference to the English term NAT (“Network Address Translation”). The different users who share the same address are then identified by other means, in particular the ports they use.

An architecture that works wonders on the ISP side, but which makes the operators of the Hadopi law tearing their hair out. Indeed, this one always includes a gray zone which prohibits communicating the number of the source port to the Hadopi. However, this is essential information to identify an Internet user among all the users of a shared IP. The Internet user in question could not therefore be identified, and therefore completely fell outside the scope of this law.

Almost a third of the internet users concerned

According to NextImpact, this situation today concerns 30% of Internet users. Unsurprisingly, Hadopi has therefore been campaigning for years for this very disabling point of detail to be corrected. In the end, the institution will never have been entitled to this modification. But the situation will still change from January 1, 2022.

It is on this date that Hadopi will merge with the Superior Audiovisual Council to form the Audiovisual Communication Regulatory Authority. A change of name, of structure, but also of prerogatives since the judicial arsenal of this new structure will be updated. From now on, the famous port numbers that Hadopi so lacked will now be accessible to Arcom. Users of shared IP addresses will therefore no longer be able to escape detection so easily.

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