AT&T and Other ISPs May Be Getting Ready to Filter

For the last 15 years, Internet service providers have acted - to use an old cliche - as wide-open information super-highways, letting data flow uninterrupted and unimpeded between users and the Internet. But I.S.P.’s may be about to embrace a new metaphor: traffic cop. At a small panel discussion about digital piracy at NBC’s booth on the Consumer Electronics Show floor, representatives from NBC, Microsoft, several digital filtering companies and the telecom giant AT&T said the time was right to start filtering for copyrighted content at the network level. Such filtering for pirated material already occurs on sites like YouTube and Microsoft’s Soapbox, and on some university networks.

Network-level filtering means your Internet service provider – Comcast, AT&T, EarthLink, or whoever you send that monthly check to – could soon start sniffing your digital packets, looking for material that infringes on someone’s copyright. “What we are already doing to address piracy hasn’t been working. There’s no secret there,” said James Cicconi, senior vice president, external & legal affairs for AT&T. Mr. Cicconi said that AT&T has been talking to technology companies, and members of the M.P.A.A. and R.I.A.A., for the last six months about carrying out digital fingerprinting techniques on the network level. “We are very interested in a technology based solution and we think a network-based solution is the optimal way to approach this,” he said. “We recognize we are not there yet but there are a lot of promising technologies. But we are having an open discussion with a number of content companies, including NBC Universal, to try to explore various technologies that are out there.”

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There was an similar proposition here in Sweden, well, basically noone except the local representatives of RIAA & MPIAA and the other similar companies liked it. Especially the ISP's said outright that it was illegal and not possible to play "police" for their own costumers.
And yes, if they do that, everything will get encrypted, rared and whatelse.
It sounds ridiculous why someone shouldn't be able to encrypt their own stuff.

yeah all being good about encryption..

but isn't it illegal to encrypt any documents in the USA (unless you're a government official or something)?

and unless someone creates an encryption method that is completely new and untampered with by the NSA or whatever, your documents are still not going to be secured.

but as i see it, encryption would be useful, till they outlaw the sending of encrypted files on a lousy anti-terrorism bill or something..

christ we talk about living in a free world.. lol we're less free now than we were 100 yrs ago. these days we're just manipulated and controlled by various other methods indirectly by the governments. the US government is more corrupt and less patriotic than the terrorists themselves. but that's for a different topic of conv.

Its not illegal to zip or rar something and thats encryption if you put a password on it.

And saying the US Gov is more corrupt and less patriotic than the terrorists is just ignorant.

I read an article about this recently that said that if this goes through then lets say if you emailed yourself a copy of a song so you can download it at work from your email, because they glued all the USB slots shut. That THE RIAA would see that and send you a infringement notice right there.. Except in the UK where fair-use still exists...lol

The next President of the US better declare that the RIAA/MPAA are unconstitutional and shut their asses down. HA in a perfect world..

The next President of the US better declare that the RIAA/MPAA are unconstitutional and shut their asses down. HA in a perfect world..

would be sweet... but those bast...s are powerful enough to make the president act differently

Glassed Silver:mac

The internet is going to be so crowded in the next few years, we'll probably be better off sharing files by FedX,or snail mail

Most certainly this would be ruled illegal if it ever went to court. Just think about it, it blocks "Fair Use."

i have AT&T internet and if they do this they can suck my deeznick ;)

but either way im sure theres ways to get around this crap! ... someone will always find a way with new software to fool there filters etc.

my internet speed is already 1/10 of what i pay for, this is bull****!!!

now i'm gana be getting 200kbs if i'm lucky because these a-holes want to sniff my packets

that is next? .. sniffing my **** to see if i watched harry pottttter before release? ... ****ing stupid .. consumers have the power (they pay) ... so continue the bull**** and the company will cease to exist

arg.. I hope no other ISP's pick up on this.
this is just another reason to monitor what we do with our free time. in a few years... we're going to turn into one of those Asian countries where they block certain websites (like Wikipedia) on a nation-wide level.

hooray for one step in the wrong directions :s

I know piracy is an issue... but there are other ways to go about it...

please... patents... PATENTS!!! HIGH LICENSING COSTS! NO OTHER ISP WANNA LICENSE IT... PLEASE!!!!
haha... whos again software patents now, huh? :P
well me, but here it sure as heck would be awesome... yea... monopolize the evil so you can filter it and ignore those crap-o-ISPs...
loooose your costumers!

Glassed Silver:mac

Can you imagine what would happen if they did this?

The internet would cease to work, and they would blame "teething" problems.

It would be a nightmare that they would never be able to get right and would cause far more problems than it would ever resolve.

Seems to be, yet again, something to benefit the music/movie studios, and take away consumer rights.

Microsoft is getting in on this too. Dang, this would suck, but as foub pointed out, we can just encrypt our data.

just so u know the company AT&T no longer exists. this is at&t (purchase of the remaining AT&T and merger of sbc, snet, AT&T Wireless, southwestern bell, and cingular) (yes there is a difference with the lowercase letters, its done for a reason, and the logo on the article is wrong). Just incase you guys didnt know i guess they can still use the AT&T in caps in text but they cannot use it in caps near the new logo, it has to be lowercase for some strange reason.

AEDan1977 said,
just so u know the company AT&T no longer exists. this is at&t (purchase of the remaining AT&T and merger of sbc, snet, AT&T Wireless, southwestern bell, and cingular) (yes there is a difference with the lowercase letters, its done for a reason, and the logo on the article is wrong). Just incase you guys didnt know i guess they can still use the AT&T in caps in text but they cannot use it in caps near the new logo, it has to be lowercase for some strange reason.

They just bought back all the mini companies they split up into after they were antitrust-busted. They are definitely the old, [expletive deleted] company they used to be again... They'll get what's coming to them (again.)

like the old so called legal P2P program meant more to share videos and photos. Grouper. supposedly couldn't share music files. Oh but what if they were zipped and encrypted?

Yet, there was an article that was just posted on the front page a few titles down, about Comcast being investigated by the FCC about filtering users on torrent networks.......

*yawn* This from AT&T: The domestic spying partner of the US government. Roll over and die, death star...

Yeah, F Southwestern Bell, they have been ripping off the customer for years. How else would they get the money to buy up all the s*** the have so far and become the "New" at&t???