On Forcing the Net Through a Sieve

Public Knowledge, a Washington DC based public interest group “working to defend your rights in the emerging digital culture,” has released a 60 page document exploring, and condemning, industry proposals for implementing “copyright filtering” on the internet. The report is entitled Forcing the Net Through a Sieve: Why Copyright Filtering is Not a Viable Solution for U.S. ISPs

“Copyright filtering” is a “method whereby network appliances use a technology known as Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to inspect the data that travels over an Internet Service Provider’s (ISP’s) network, identifying content as it passes through the filter and then dealing with that content accordingly.”

Here’s what the paper’s authors have to say in their Executive Summary:

“Copyright filtering, the latest proposed ‘magic bullet’ solution from the major music and movie studios and industry trade groups, poses a number of dangers to Internet users, legitimate businesses and U.S. federal government initiatives to increase the speed, affordability and utilization of broadband Internet services. The following whitepaper presents a number of reasons why the use of copyright filters should not be allowed, encouraged or mandated on U.S. Internet Service Provider (ISP) networks. Among them:

“1. Copyright filters are both underinclusive and overinclusive. A copyright filter will fail to identify all unlawful or unwanted content while harming lawful uses of content.
2. Copyright filter processing will add latency. Copyright filters will slow ISP networks, discouraging use, innovation and investment and harming users, businesses and technology policy initiatives.
3. The implementation of copyright filters will result in a technological arms race. Users will act to circumvent the filters and the architects of the filters will find themselves caught in a costly, unwinnable arms race.
4. Copyright filters do not make economic sense. The monetary costs associated with copyright filtering far outweigh any perceived benefits.
5. Copyright filters will discourage investment in the Internet economy.
Copyright filters will disrupt the Internet ecosystem, severely undermining our most promising engine for economic growth.
6. Copyright filters will harm free speech. Due to technological limitations, copyright filters will harm lawful, protected forms of speech such as parody and satire.
7. Copyright filters could undermine the safe harbor provisions that shield ISPs from liability. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), ISPs are shielded from liability for their users’ actions. Copyright filters could undermine these safe harbors, which have allowed the Internet to become the most important communications medium of the modern era.
8. Copyright filtering could violate the Electronic Communications and Privacy Act. Copyright filtering could constitute unlawful interception under the Electronic Communications and Privacy Act (ECPA).”

If you’re interested in the topic, you might also wish to see this press release from PublicKnowledge.org concerning their analysis

Published in: on July 24, 2009 at 11:34 am  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://haysvillelibrary.wordpress.com/2009/07/24/on-forcing-the-net-through-a-sieve/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: