AT&T, at the behest of Hollywood, is ready to start “Network Filtering.” That is, monitoring the packets of information that sail across their networks, in order to stop distribution of works under copyright.
I frankly think the entire system and thought behind copyright law needs an overhaul, (I invite you to check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and their efforts at “Copyfighting”) but whatever your views on it I don’t want my ISP monitoring what goes on in my computer any more than I want my phone company listening to my telephone conversations.
Oh, wait, these are the same bastards that did that for the Bush Administration.
And they’re not alone, Comcast has been bottlenecking Bit Torrent transfers for some time. Doesn’t matter if the content is legal or not, Comcast is throttling Bit Torrent. Have fun waiting for that mandatory game patch on Warcraft!
Once these measures are in place, does anyone really think the policing will stop at copyright violations? I know this is an Industry Town and all, but I am not ready to sacrifice what may prove to be the last bastion of the First Amendment just so little Johnny can’t illegally download Cloverfield.
Fortunately, not all ISPs are on board. Verizon is telling Hollywood to shove it.
(Follow me over the jump where they can’t see us…)
Tom Tauke, Verizon’s executive vice president for public affairs spoke to Saul Hansill at the New York Times:
“We generally are reluctant to get into the business of examining content that flows across our networks and taking some action as a result of that content,”
He goes on to express his disdain for becoming policemen on the web, but the bottom line seems to be not wanting to become liable:
“When you look back at the history of copyright legislation, there has been an effort by Hollywood to pin the liability for copyright violations on the network that transmits the material. It is no secret they think we have deeper pockets than others and we are easy-to-find targets.”
This is comforting to me. I have a natural distrust of large corporations, so when they display behavior I approve of, I always want to know what’s in it for them. Guess it’s time to endorse the “If you screw up after trying to stop pirating in the first place, Hollywood will try and blame you,” party line. Whatever works.
You are reading this on the internet. You are, by definition, an internet user. If YOU don’t stand up for Net Neutrality who will?
Or maybe you should just help them install a camera in your bedroom.
Also, thanks to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.