AT&T, NBC and Microsoft hint at ISP-level Internet filtering to protect copyright


Who’s ready for some ISP-level Internet filtering, all in the name of protecting copyright? After all, copyright is what makes us a civilized, just people. Without it we’d be still be living in caves.

At CES, representatives from NBC, Microsoft and AT&T said that the time is about the right time to start seriously considering blocking, or censoring, Internet traffic if it’s determined to be in violation of someone’s copyright. (Companies have, for some time, been trying to develop the technology to scan online content to determine whether or not it’s violating copyright. Notice how YouTube is no longer as fun as it used to be, pre-copyright policing.)

NBC claims that peer-to-peer downloading is “dominated by copyrighted materials.” That’s strange, since I seem to remember numerous commercials saying I could download music at lighting fast speeds with a broadband connection.

And isn’t Comcast in trouble for selectively blocking people’s traffic?

It seems to me that if these companies have the technology to inspect my data packets for copyright violations, then they should also be inspecting them for fraudulent offers from Nigerian civil servants. If they have the resources to protect themselves, they better have the resources to protect me, too.

AT&T and Other ISPs May Be Getting Ready to Filter [Bits New York Times Blog via TechCruch]