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[ NNSquad ] Re: Speculation, how AT&T can implement "copyright filtering" without wiretapping/dpi...

On Jan 27, 2008, at 10:35 PM, Richard Bennett wrote:
I presented this technique at the NN2008 symposium yesterday. I showed a screen-grab from Mininova showing pirated Microsoft Office, and the peer list from an Azureus leecher. It's pretty easy to connect the dots from Microsoft's monitoring of the tracker to action by an ISP in response to electronic requests from the copyright owner. One technique that comes to mind for stoppng piracy transactions is Reset Spoofing, of course.
Is there any reason that such an automated system should not be used, or does Net Neutrality now connote a license to steal?

(It'd be nice if we could avoid the "Am I right, or is anyone who disagrees evil incarnate?" type of flame-baiting false dichotomy.)

The idea of blocking pirated content in a targeted fashion sounds very attractive, however there would seem to be two big (and intertwined) problems with it as suggested:

1) Who decides what is prohibited content? A pirated copy of the latest Hollywood movie is an obvious call, but based on past experience it seems almost certain that once the mechanism is in place and organizations like the MPAA are effectively in control of it, the practice will become "block first and ask (i.e. ignore) questions later" on anything they decide might be objectionable, with little recourse available to those who are blocked.

2) What happens when (inevitably, in response) technology comes into common use that obfuscates the content? Again, based on past experience, my guess would be that the MPAA et al will decide that any content they suspect and can't examine/identify could be objectionable and should be blocked.

Targeted blocking may ultimately be a good solution, if coupled with due process, but implementing the enforcement mechanism and handing the keys over to the MPAA/RIAA/etc doesn't seem like a wise course.