ISPs Reject Govt Monitoring & Banning Proposals

Plans treated with the disdain they deserve.

Well I called it ‘piffle’ the first time and quoted myself calling it piffle the second. Now ISPs agree too…

Following supermodel marrying French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s November announcement that country wants to ban pirates from accessing the Internet and the UK’s government’s sheepish decision to follow suit last week, these ridiculous moves have been shouted down by ISPs, exposing it for the ill-thought out, unworkable rubbish that it always was.

Leading the abuse is the ISPA (Internet Service Providers Association) which spoke to the BBC saying the 2002 E-Commerce Regulations define net firms as “mere conduits” who are not responsible for the content their customers download. Furthermore, existing surveillance and privacy laws explicitly forbid ISPs to inspect the contents of data packets without being forced to by a legal warrant.

Citing purely technical reasons, the ISPA said different ISPs control their data flows in different ways making a universal industry-wide policing system virtually impossible. Lastly, imposing bans on any one specific type of traffic is also unworkable since P2P technology is legally utilised in a number of commercial services including BBC iPlayer and Napster.

All this doesn’t even touch upon the social impracticalities of such a system: do families get banned as a whole for one member’s activity? What about flat shares? Office environments? What if the activity was performed by someone who hacked into your wireless network? How could this be proved/disproved? It’s chaos.

So yes it was piffle at the time, it remains piffle and any future attempts to introduce it will continued to be treated as – you guessed it – piffle… (and yes, I’d love to be able to use a stronger word).

BBC Report

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