x
Security Platforms/Tools

ISPs Can Throttle Back Broadband Bandits

Service providers and content owners are deflecting the notion that a new Copyright Alert System is just a way to punish subscribers or to spy on their Web activity.

Instead, they're spinning an "education" goal that aims to bring it to a customer's attention when it appears that an account is being used to steal content. They're giving people every opportunity to set the record straight, as Thursday's press release puts it. (See Major ISPs Join Online Content Theft Tilt.)

The new system sets up a framework to deliver alerts when it looks like a customer's Internet account is being used to steal content. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) and Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) are the first ISPs backing the framework.

Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. are among the Motion Picture Association of America members that have signed off on it.

Several ISPs have already been using email notifications to reign in suspected copyright violators, but the new program, expected to start later this year, establishes conventions for the alerts themselves.

It also outlines some actions ISPs can take if an account owner has acknowledged multiple warnings but still appears to be doing less-than-authorized downloading of video, music or other digital content.

Those "mitigation measures," as the press release calls them, could include temporary reductions of Internet speeds or redirecting the account to a landing page that will stay up until the customer contacts the ISP to review the matter. ISPs will have to publish which methods they're using (and they can waive any of the suggested enforcement tactics). Customers can ask for an independent review before any of those measures are imposed, but they're subject to a $35 filing fee.

The program does not include account termination as a "mitigation" option, nor does it include any new actions that existing laws don't already allow. So, its backers insist that the initiative is not akin to so-called three-strikes policies aimed at pirates.

The program doesn't require ISPs to use content filtering technology or to cache user data, but instead matches the IP address identified by the copyright holder with the account in question.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

joset01 12/5/2012 | 4:59:56 PM
re: ISPs Can Throttle Back Broadband Bandits

"Instead, they're spinning an "education" goal that aims to bring it to a customer's attention when it appears that an account is being used to steal content. They're giving people every opportunity to set the record straight, as Thursday's press release puts it."


 


Sure, there won't be the equivalent of a digital SWAT team at your door if there's a hint of illegal downloading, cos ISPs and the entertainment industry have had such a record of being fair-minded and even-handed in these cases right?


 


Right?





DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:59:56 PM
re: ISPs Can Throttle Back Broadband Bandits

Isn't a crackdown any any significant volume of digital content just reducing the need for faster broadband speeds? The ISPs might be decreasing demand for their most profitable product if they get too touchy with the contents of all the stuff that traverses their networks.


Also, can I pay to get copyright violation notices or NC-17 content alerts from the broadband accounts of my elected officials? Since the Internet viewing is less private than it used to be, we may as well have some fun with this.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:59:55 PM
re: ISPs Can Throttle Back Broadband Bandits

Well, now there is at least a little commentary now that a bit more info is available.  I think this is the result of the news report from Dan a couple of weeks ago.


Yeah, so now they get to watch my uploads.  How is that NOT a violation of privacy?  I do know how they plan to do it, but I can tell you that any real hackers will defeat this without a lot of work.  Not sure why people think they can sit in the middle of a stream and figure out the content given that the senders know they are being watched.  


seven


PS - Just so you have thought about it a bit more, we were sitting around today thinking about what hacker tools we could easily employee to modify the software and other updates we do to look like normal HTTP or HTTPS traffic.


 

cnwedit 12/5/2012 | 4:59:55 PM
re: ISPs Can Throttle Back Broadband Bandits

Phil,


I think the "why" lies with the content owners. Every one of the ISPs listed in this initiative would like to offer anytime, anywhere content to their customers. But content owners aren't going to allow that to happen if they think it's going to increase piracy. So they are trying to show content providers they are willing to take action against the people that steal content.


As to whether this works, or not, if it's easy for hackers to get around, it may not. But by putting up some roadblocks, the process may deter the more casual content thief and scare the pants off the pre-teen set whose parents discover their illegal downloads this way.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:59:52 PM
re: ISPs Can Throttle Back Broadband Bandits

Carol,


I agree with you about the content owners.  I think the ISPs just want to avoid lawsuits (seen the Tenn. Law?).  Note the State of NY involvement in the article.


Just start Googling things like "Hacker Tools" and see what is out there for free and easy to find.  Then you need to meet some of the Black Hat/Defcon types.  These are scary people.  One of the guys who works for me, proxies all his web traffic via a server that he has an SSL cert for (so all his traffic is encrypted).  He turns off all scripting and will use no Adobe tools.  His real passwords are over 100 characters and he will only run windows in a VM that he destroys when he is done with it.  I am simply glad he is on my side - well I hope he is.


seven


 


 


 

HOME
Sign In
SEARCH
CLOSE
MORE
CLOSE