Why do ISPs now support "Six Strikes" plan?

One has to wonder why the largest ISPs in America- Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T - are signing on to the new "six strikes" plan. Ars Technica asked Verizon's Ed McFadden, and he said Verizon is just being a good citizen. He was shocked the question was even asked.

AT&T's filing last year shows how AT&T feels about the issue:

While we at AT&T are willing to, and actively do, forward these notices to our customers today, we nonetheless believe that there are significant legal and policy issues associated with taking the next step of sanctioning our customers based solely on the receipt of multiple third party notices.

Private entities are not created or meant to conduct the law enforcement and judicial balancing act that would be required; they are not charged with sitting in judgment of facts; and they are not empowered to punish alleged criminals without a court order or other government sanction. Indeed, the liability implications of ISPs acting as a quasi-law-enforcement/judicial branch could be enormous. The government and the courts, not ISPs, are responsible for intellectual property enforcement, and only they can secure and balance the various property, privacy, and due process rights that are at play and often in conflict in this realm.

Verizon's Tom Tauke expressed similar concerns in 2008. He said that "Once you start going down the path of looking at the information going down the network, there are many that want you to play the role of policeman." ISPs used these kinds of arguments in 1998 to persuade Congress to add a "safe harbor" to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. They have resisted becoming copyright cops for years. That stance has changed in recent years, in part because all the major players own content delivery systems.

White House arm-twisting has also caused a shift. Either way, this change in policy has caused a shift, regardless of political involvement. There is no presumption of innocence under the new system. One has to prove their innocence.

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I guess my question would be who is going to be the ones to sit there and write down IP#'s from those they suspect is doing the downloading? Will they be targeting torrent sites only such as those with public and private trackers in a way to open up a torrent client and sneak a download to see peers?? Those that are private should be monitoring ratios real close to get rid of those that just sneaked into the system not to mention those that invited them.

sava700 said,
I guess my question would be who is going to be the ones to sit there and write down IP#'s from those they suspect is doing the downloading? Will they be targeting torrent sites only such as those with public and private trackers in a way to open up a torrent client and sneak a download to see peers?? Those that are private should be monitoring ratios real close to get rid of those that just sneaked into the system not to mention those that invited them.

Also, an IP =/= a person. Try http://www.iPredator.se (VPN from TPB), it's fast and reliable and only 5 bucks s month.

Does the Six Strikes Plan invovle the ISPs actually releasing account information to the police or court system for prosecution? If not, then it is not the same thing as playing cops or doing anything unconstitutional.

ISPs have a right to protect the integrity of their network and put in protections to prevent abuse. It would be the same as how multi-player gamers fight against hackers and cheaters by identifying those individuals and banning them from the network.

It does get into a fine-line when they have to report on the activity of their users to the government without due process.

"They have resisted becoming copyright cops for years. That stance has changed in recent years, in part because all the major players own content delivery systems.

White House arm-twisting has also caused a shift. Either way, this change in policy has caused a shift, regardless of political involvement. There is no presumption of innocence under the new system. One has to prove their innocence."

Presumption of innocence has always been hard to come by, but in any case it's the justice system that has that responsibility, not law enforcement nor anyone else -- fear of legal consequences including law suits is the only reason companies, organizations, & law enforcement go along -- sometimes. The current US admin likes to regulate when/where they can't get legislation passed -- witness the power grabs by the FCC, &/or Homeland Security enforcing (C), taking over domains without a hint of due process.

As much as I might despise many cable providers, phone companies, & wireless carriers, I haven't seen any of them engage in ideology -- it's always been about dollars. Playing cop costs money to implement, & it costs money if you wind up in court. If/when the gov forces a company into that role, it's because those behind such a move can't get laws passed giving them money to do the job themselves -- controlling a gov agency means both money & power, & so is always preferred. When Tauke worried about "going down the path", he wasn't expressing any ideological or philosophical objections, but citing the long history of the US gov over-reaching, adding more & more burdens, more & more government functions that they would be heavily pressured to take on. Remember, Verizon not only wants you to pay your monthly bill, they want you to upgrade you plan, pay high fees for overages etc., & if they kick you off you're not going to do that.

What I worry about more is that this 6 strike plan is similar in principle to the voluntary game rating system, agreed to in hopes that they'd keep the government out of it in the future. That almost didn't work, & may not work ultimately if laws are passed that make it through the courts.

ilhuicacoatl said,
"There is no presumption of innocence under the new system. One has to prove their innocence." - WE ARE FARKED AS A NATION GUISE.

You really aren't. As soon as someone appeals this to a serious court, the court will rule they are the only entity which can "punish" (and I mean punish) citizens, and that this denies the user the right to presumption of innocence and right to face their accuser etc etc.

No serious court will uphold this :\

On the flipside, who in the US feels like paying the filing costs to the supreme court?

articuno1au said,

You really aren't. As soon as someone appeals this to a serious court, the court will rule they are the only entity which can "punish" (and I mean punish) citizens, and that this denies the user the right to presumption of innocence and right to face their accuser etc etc.

No serious court will uphold this :\

On the flipside, who in the US feels like paying the filing costs to the supreme court?

I could pull a nice sized loan and file an argument in court. I'm sure I could get donations to help cover too from others that feel it was wrong.

Look at the content owners (not merely video, but audio) and who owns them. Like most of the public companies in the US, the majority of their stock is owned by *institutional investors* - usually pension plans (union, public-sector, etc.). This group was, by far, among the biggest contributors to President Obama in 2008; thus, they are the group with the largest influence in the White House (not to mention the Senate, which, unlike the House, remains majority-Democratic Party). Hate to tell you folks this, but if you are a union member or have a pension, the "MAFIAA" you are so brassily railing against includes yourselves. (The same is true of the ISPs - especially Comcast and Verizon; the major oil companies, and "Big Pharma" as well.) While the company boards contribute heavily to GOP candidates, their employees go the other way - especially the *down in the trenches* blue-collar and service-white-collar (including IT) folks, such as the call-center crowd. Big companies are not a monolith - assuming otherwise is a mistake.

PGHammer said,
Look at the content owners (not merely video, but audio) and who owns them. Like most of the public companies in the US, the majority of their stock is owned by *institutional investors* - usually pension plans (union, public-sector, etc.). This group was, by far, among the biggest contributors to President Obama in 2008; thus, they are the group with the largest influence in the White House (not to mention the Senate, which, unlike the House, remains majority-Democratic Party). Hate to tell you folks this, but if you are a union member or have a pension, the "MAFIAA" you are so brassily railing against includes yourselves. (The same is true of the ISPs - especially Comcast and Verizon; the major oil companies, and "Big Pharma" as well.) While the company boards contribute heavily to GOP candidates, their employees go the other way - especially the *down in the trenches* blue-collar and service-white-collar (including IT) folks, such as the call-center crowd. Big companies are not a monolith - assuming otherwise is a mistake.

The sad truth is that there are no political options to try to stop them. There are no pro-consumer candidates anymore, at least in federal elections. Biden has always been a buddy of the RIAA. Bush received huge contributions from AT&T, Verizon, and other telecoms, as well as those telecoms' CEOs, CFOs, etc. The whole system and both parties belong to Corporate America. There really are no viable alternative candidates to vote into office.

fr33k said,
because they're fake and gay

What does being gay have to do with anything? What you think that gay people are more greedy than others? That's very homophobic of you.

Foub said,

What does being gay have to do with anything? What you think that gay people are more greedy than others? That's very homophobic of you.

That's not what he meant when he made that statement. It's not even cool to lash out and call someone homophobic because they just said something was gay. I say it all the time and I have no problem with gay people because a friend of mine is gay...

TCA said,

That's not what he meant when he made that statement. It's not even cool to lash out and call someone homophobic because they just said something was gay. I say it all the time and I have no problem with gay people because a friend of mine is gay...

Although its not homophobic, using the term "gay" to imply something negative is surely offensive. Yep, I've asked, it is.

MothBox said,
Although its not homophobic, using the term "gay" to imply something negative is surely offensive. Yep, I've asked, it is.

It used to mean happy too. Words change, get over it.

TCA said,

That's not what he meant when he made that statement. It's not even cool to lash out and call someone homophobic because they just said something was gay. I say it all the time and I have no problem with gay people because a friend of mine is gay...

Of course its not cool, it was never meant to be cool. So, if I said something was so "<< racial epithet >>" it would be fine with you since you wouldn't think it was racist?

BTW, the universal call of a bigot is "Well, some of my best friends are [fill in the blank...]" They're your friends, you shouldn't be categorizing them.

Foub said,

BTW, the universal call of a bigot is "Well, some of my best friends are [fill in the blank...]" They're your friends, you shouldn't be categorizing them.

Way to beg the question.

Foub said,

Of course its not cool, it was never meant to be cool. So, if I said something was so "<< racial epithet >>" it would be fine with you since you wouldn't think it was racist?

BTW, the universal call of a bigot is "Well, some of my best friends are [baseball players because we love chuck norris]" They're your friends, you shouldn't be categorizing them.

Good for you. I don't categorize them, Sounds like you seem too but who really cares? So just to be a smart ass like I am, I've filled your blank in.

TCA said,

Good for you. I don't categorize them, Sounds like you seem too but who really cares? So just to be a smart ass like I am, I've filled your blank in.

Like I had said; Not a clue.

They don't have to...

Comcast IS NBC/Universal now
Time Warner BROTHERS Roadrunner
etc.

There is an inherent conflict of interest between the content creators and content distributors now.