AT&T Wants to Filter Traffic for Copyright Infringement

The New York Times is reporting that during a panel discussion Tusday at the Consumer Electronics Show, internet service provider AT&T revealed that it has plans to begin filtering customer's internet traffic in a search and destroy mission against copyright infringement.

The discussion — which included Microsoft and NBC, among others — centered around plans to use network-level filters to discover and eliminate content that could potentially be copyright violations. AT&T revealed that it has been in talks with the RIAA and MPAA — the anti-P2P arch-fiends — for over six months to establish digital fingerprinting to prevent file sharing. According to NBC's representative "The volume of peer-to-peer traffic online, dominated by copyrighted materials, is overwhelming. That clearly should not be an acceptable, continuing status."

Free speech groups were quick to point out the negative effects of network-level filtering, especially the potential for materials created under the Fair Use doctrine, including parodies, to be blocked. According to the Times, the participants — none of which are particularly noted for their free speech advocacy — were unmoved.

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Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.


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AT & T filtering copyright form everyone on their service

RJ's picture

I say, let them go to it, and then see how long it takes for them to figure out that most of their business is derived from people downloading copyright material....what else is the internet good for.....if you don't have to do buisness over the net, what else then? Once you've surfed the net a few times, it gets kind of boring.....

AT & T will soon learn they don't have a business anymore either....all their money going down the drain as they have to cut off everyone, I think their shareholders will have something to say about that....

Good grief, liquor was made illegal...look how long that lasted? What they seriously have to consider are the copyright laws, which are truly for the mpaa and the riaa's of the world, they seriously have to get into THIS century, and quit trying to capture that elusive genie out of the bottle.

Big Brother

milanows's picture

This idea is along the same lines as monitoring calls for certain key words also done by AT&t, in the 60's people were paranoid that there was a big brother watching. Today he listens to cell phones, reads your email,and watches you move and no one says anything, its for the good of the children, its for protection of a nation, or protection of copy rite laws.

Since when is AT&T responsible for enforcing copy rite laws, this opens the door just a little bit more to the place so many feared. Such silence on the behalf of so many hoping for our vote; the real issues facing the US and the world. Identity theft, privacy invasion, sale of personal information, over population, global pollution and the coming era of global cooperations.

Thank you Diffe and Hellman for your insight!

Food for thought before you vote in the US who recreated mother?