EU Commission Proposes New IP Rules, With More Weight On Enforcement & Making ISPs Police The Internet

from the that's-not-how-things-work dept

Not a huge surprise given things happening elsewhere around the globe, but it appears that the European Commission (who have already been in the tank for the entertainment industry, as seen in their enthusiastic support of ACTA) has come out with a new plan for intellectual property in Europe that has a major focus on enforcement, including turning ISPs into copyright cops. Of course, it's long been the desire of the entertainment industry to have ISPs do all the dirty work in trying to stop infringement. The problem, of course, is that all of this assumes it's somehow easy for ISPs to determine what is and what is not infringing. It's not. Even the companies themselves don't seem to recognize it some of the time. It's sad that so many politicians can't seem to understand the very basics of the law and technology on these issues, leading to proposals like this one that will not help "boost creativity and innovation," but will hinder it by stifling the very technology that is most needed for creativity and innovation.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2011 @ 10:58pm

    We need to hire a psychic programmer with a law degree to write clairvoyant software that can magically know what is and what's not infringing.

    The law places no burden on copy protection holders to opt in, to help software developers and others know in advanced what is and what isn't infringing. All the burden is placed on everyone else to magically know. IP maxismists are lazy, they don't want to do any work whatsoever (ie: by opting in), so they want everyone else to do all their work for them. They want privileges and they want all the burden of enforcing those privileges (and the burden of figuring out what is and what isn't infringing) to be placed entirely on everyone else.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2011 @ 11:06pm

      Re:

      Despite the fact that IP holders are in a better position to tell us that violating their privileges is infringing, by opting in, than anyone else. They could, for example, provide Google with the necessary information ahead of time, before releasing a movie, to determine that a movie is infringing so that Google can plug the necessary information into their infringement detector, run some tests, and make sure that the movie is effectively blocked from being uploaded ahead of time. But no, Google is expected to magically know what's infringing and they're expected to posses psychic software that magically knows as well.

      "but if technology is so awesome, why can't it detect infringement". Because technology isn't psychic. It can't magically know what is and what's not infringing.

       

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    Casey Bouch (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 11:09pm

    Police the intertubes?

    What kind of manpower would we need to truly police the internet? It's kind of a big place.

     

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    Darryl, May 25th, 2011 @ 11:50pm

    manpower ? I guess the planet is kind of big too !!! we police that !

    its no different to a pawn shop having to ensure that the items it sells are not stolen.

    Making them get the names and address, and often fingerprint of the person trying to pawn an item.

    its no different to knowingly profiting from the proceeds of a crime, even if you did not commit that crime, you have commited A crime.

    It's no different to seeing a crime and not reporting it, that is concealing a crime. Even if you do not profit from that action at all, you allowed someone else to profit from it, which is in itself a crime.

    Allowing a crime to occur or not reporting or acting to stop that crime, is NOT THE CRIME, but it is a SEPERATE CRIME in its own right.

    So you may not be robbing someone house, or hosting illegal material, but if you 'aid' or contribute to that crime, you are guilty (once proved) of a different crime.

    you would not be charged with copywrite infringement, you would be changed with aiding in the commision of a crime.

    there are also crimes for which there is no defense, such as tresspass, if you were caught somewhere you are not allowed to be, what defense do you have.

    The only defense is that if you were allowed to be there.

    But that is not a defense, as you were not trespassing in the first place. But it means that sometimes, you can be charged without an adverserial hearing and without a chance to defend yourself.

    if you are caught with illegal drugs on you, you are charged immediately.

    and the drugs are removed from your possession, if copyright material is illegal to possess, and you are caught with that material then you are as guilty as the tresspasser or the drug carrier.

    And you really have no defense.

    probably very little manpower would be required, probably a small amount of computing power and some internet connections.

    But if you or I can find copyrighted material on the web with little or no effort, dont you think that authorities would not be able to do the same ?

    its so trivial that im sure ISP's can easily police their traffic.

    You do not have to "police the entire internet" you just have to police those who are breaking the law.

    just as you can go for a drive in your car, and not be followed by your very own police car, you can have a small number of police, watching a very large number of people.

    And of course, honest citizens can always call the police and report a crime.

    What kind of manpower would we need to truly police the planet ???

    (probably about what we have now !!)

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2011 @ 11:55pm

      Re: manpower ? I guess the planet is kind of big too !!! we police that !

      Darryl: Babbling, incoherent, and wrong.

      As usual.

       

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      btr1701 (profile), May 26th, 2011 @ 12:18am

      Re: manpower ? I guess the planet is kind of big too !!! we police that !

      > It's no different to seeing a crime and not reporting it, that
      > is concealing a crime

      Nope. With the exception of child abuse, a citizen has no affirmative duty to report a crime. Doing so can put a person in danger and the courts are fairly unanimous in ruling that a person is not obligated to put themselves in danger by reporting a crime.

      If I witness a murder, I can walk away, keep my mouth shut and never say a thing and I'm legally fine. Morally, maybe not so much. But the law doesn't require me to call the police.

      > Even if you do not profit from that action at all, you allowed
      > someone else to profit from it, which is in itself a crime.

      Nope.

      > Allowing a crime to occur or not reporting or acting to stop
      > that crime, is NOT THE CRIME, but it is a SEPERATE CRIME in
      > its own right.

      Nope. If you think it is, cite the law.

      > you would not be charged with copywrite infringement

      Yes, because there's no such thing as "copywrite".

      > there are also crimes for which there is no defense,
      > such as tresspass if you were caught somewhere you
      > are not allowed to be, what defense do you have.

      Hmmm... let's see... how about the affirmative defense of necessity? Always an available defense to a criminal charge.

      > And of course, honest citizens can always call the police
      > and report a crime.

      Call your local police precinct and say you want to report copyright infringement you found on the internet. When they stop laughing you'll have your answer.

       

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      Mike C. (profile), May 26th, 2011 @ 4:16am

      Re: manpower ? I guess the planet is kind of big too !!! we police that !

      I guess Mike is finally going to have to release Darryl's IP address to us. After all, based on his post that copies large sections of what the RIAA and MPAA have been saying for years, he's a copyright infringer. Therefore, we need his IP address so we can find out who his ISP is and report his crime.

      Sorry Darryl... it's the law

      :-)

       

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      The Groove Tiger (profile), May 26th, 2011 @ 7:50am

      Re: manpower ? I guess the planet is kind of big too !!! we police that !

      Alright, that's it, I'm feeding darryl's lines into MegaHAL and see what comes out. Hopefully something intelligible.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2011 @ 8:40am

        Re: Re: manpower ? I guess the planet is kind of big too !!! we police that !

        No, you'll screw the software up. It'll crash and upon reloading it, everything it says will be less comprehensible.

        From there website:

        "It is able to "learn" what to say by observing the things which you write to it..."

        http://megahal.alioth.debian.org/

        Is this the kinda junk that you want your software to learn? You'll confuse the heck out of it and it'll start returning garbage every time you feed it something. GIGO.

         

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      Richard (profile), May 26th, 2011 @ 8:19am

      Re: manpower ? I guess the planet is kind of big too !!! we police that !

      there are also crimes for which there is no defense, such as tresspass
      Trespass is NOT a crime in most jurisdictions-
      The standard notice "trespassers will be prosecuted is in fact a lie.

      You can only be sued (it is a civil matter) if you do some damage or interfere with lawful enjoyment of the land.

      Also - in direct contradiction to your statement - there ARE defences - eg "A person is not guilty of trespass if he goes onto another's land to protect life or property during an emergency." from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Criminal+Trespass

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2011 @ 8:41am

      Re: manpower ? I guess the planet is kind of big too !!! we police that !

      probably very little manpower would be required, probably a small amount of computing power and some internet connections.
      If so little is required, then why can't the copyright holders themselves do it?
      But if you or I can find copyrighted material on the web with little or no effort, dont you think that authorities would not be able to do the same ?
      Of course they can find it easily, just like you or I. That's not the question. The question is how easily do you find the copyright infringer. Very few people (if any) have a permanently assigned IP address that belongs to them and only them, so just because you have an IP address doesn't mean you've found the infringer.
      its so trivial that im sure ISP's can easily police their traffic.
      Oh really? What if the traffic is encrypted? Beyond that, what about the findings in the Youtube/Viacom case, where Viacom went out of its way to make it look like its videos were being uploaded in an unauthorized fashion? If you think Viacom is the only company to do that, you're an idiot.
      You do not have to "police the entire internet" you just have to police those who are breaking the law.
      Oh good, I assume you've made a list of those who are lawbreakers and we only have to follow those relatively few people. Anyone not on your list are free to go about their business. Is that really your claim?

       

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    Wulfman (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 11:51pm

    Encryption

    So let me get this one straight. Once this is pushed through, anybody that wants to infringe will peer to peer using encryption. No isp's will know anything about the packets traversing their network. Magic little bits of randomness.
    Oh just like my SSH sessions to places far and wide.
    This is an imposable task. It can never work. How much are they going to raise the price of your internet connection to pay for all the monkeys to TRY to decrypt the traffic running down the pipes.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2011 @ 12:01am

      Re: Encryption

      They can just ban encrypted traffic. Not that I support such a thing, but that won't stop it from happening.

       

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        btr1701 (profile), May 26th, 2011 @ 12:20am

        Re: Re: Encryption

        > They can just ban encrypted traffic.

        Not in the USA. Not without violating about 200+ years of 1st Amendment jurisprudence.

         

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        Michael Lockyear (profile), May 26th, 2011 @ 1:32am

        They would have to ban the use of SSL, which is not likely. Some of the VPN providers already use port 443 (standard port for HTTPS).

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2011 @ 2:24am

          Re:

          They can make the law expressly state that encryption is allowed for banking purposes, but nothing else, and require those who want to use encryption (ie: online banks) to have a permit.

          Also, banking bandwidth isn't that much, they can monitor the net for unusual amounts of bandwidth in the few areas where encryption is allowed.

          Again, I'm not supporting this, but the government could.

           

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            Mike C. (profile), May 26th, 2011 @ 4:13am

            Re: Re:

            The problem is, by limiting it to just banking, you've effectively eliminated whole sectors of the economy. What about electronic transmission of medical files which is supported to be protected under HIPAA. How about all the people that work from home over a VPN? Web services for the processing of sensitive personally identifiable information (SPII) such as DMV reports, court records, etc? How about insurance? Encryption is used in far too many places to be regulated without causing serious debilitative economic consequences.

             

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              Hephaestus (profile), May 26th, 2011 @ 7:59am

              Re: Re: Re:

              His response is probably going to be something along the lines of. You can request an exception to encrypt a specific app, once every three years, and on a limited basis, from the copyright office. And we know how well that is working out for the DMCA and jail breaking phones ...

               

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            Richard (profile), May 26th, 2011 @ 8:24am

            Re: Re:

            Again - this answer is steganography - to every legal measure there is a technical countermeasure.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2011 @ 8:44am

              Re: Re: Re:

              While I'm not necessarily disagreeing, that still won't stop the law from trying to accommodate every possible use of encryption and defining specifically when and where it can and can't be used.

              Look how much law we already have that attempts to regulate every miniscule and technical aspect of our lives.

               

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                Richard (profile), May 27th, 2011 @ 8:11am

                Re: Re: Re: Re:

                They have made numerous attempts to ban or control encryption already (remember the clipper chip?) All, thankfully, have failed. I don't think this can change now.

                 

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            btr1701 (profile), May 26th, 2011 @ 1:54pm

            Re: Re:

            > Again, I'm not supporting this, but the
            > government could.

            Again, no they couldn't, not without violating just about every 1st Amendment Supreme Court ruling for the last century or so.

            How long do you think such a law would last in the face of a legal challenge?

             

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        Richard (profile), May 26th, 2011 @ 8:22am

        Re: Re: Encryption

        They can just ban encrypted traffic.
        and then we will resort to steganography - so that even the existence of the traffic is hidden.

         

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    -, May 26th, 2011 @ 12:00am

    Such initiatives do boost creativity and innovation.
    Among file sharers. Think how many good things came because of anti-piracy war, like torrents and Skype.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2011 @ 10:42am

      Re:

      I do not know about skype, but I can say bittorrent did not come because of the anti-piracy war. It was created to reduce the cost of hosting big files such as videos or music (back then, hosting large files which would use a large amount of bandwidth was expensive). It was a replacement to a simple direct download, and the original software even looked like an Internet Explorer download dialog box (for the versions of Internet Explorer which existed at the time).

      There are several aspects of its original design which make it less efficient for copyright infringement. It was centralized. It did not even attempt to hide who is in the swarm. It used a fixed well-known pair of ports. It did not make any attempt to be hard to detect. It did not use any kind of encryption. And so on.

      The innovations because of the anti-piracy war came later. DHT and PEX. Randomized ports. Trackers returning fake IP addresses. Weak encryption for protocol hiding. The private flag. And several others. And they were done by third parties, not by the original creators of the bittorrent software and protocol.

       

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    falconcy, May 26th, 2011 @ 1:08am

    Copyright Abuse

    Since the industry keeps stealing from itself, who is going to police them?

    Check this out for a good example of the 4 chords they keep on using:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pidokakU4I

    Who owns the copyright for those 4 chords and are any royalties being paid?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2011 @ 4:43am

    What's sad is that forcing isps to enforce copyright laws will only serve to increase costs to the isp(and thus, their customers) with no reliable anti-piracy results.

    On top of that, even if they did get results it would only drive people to the less advertised-but-still-good free alternatives for things like music and software.

    Then what would the labels/software companies tell their signed artists/codemonkeys when sales still dropped anyway?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2011 @ 5:15am

      Re:

      "What's sad is that forcing isps to enforce copyright laws will only serve to increase costs to the isp(and thus, their customers) with no reliable anti-piracy results. "

      You mean like how banks are forced to report suspected violations of money laundering laws?

      "Encryption is used in far too many places to be regulated without causing serious debilitative economic consequences."

      As global terrorism and drug dealing increase, I think it likely that one may be required to register or be licensed to encrypt data. Like registering firearms in some jurisdictions has been found to be constitutional I doubt the free speech card would trump a requirement to obtain a registration to encrypt.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2011 @ 5:32am

        Re: Re:

        What you don't seem to understand is that we're not dealing with static goods like money, we're dealing with dynamic creative works. How would you know exactly what is infringing? There have already been cases of takedown notices on things even though the posters had the legal right to distribute them, a grand show of how even the copyright holders(and those who think they are) can't always figure it out.

        So even if you got isps to police the internet it would be a lot of work with little(if anything) to show for it.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2011 @ 6:20am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Money is not static. Currency might be, but once deposited the currency becomes part of a system that moves almost entirely electronically.

          With motion pictures, most are watermarked.

          I think the ISP's have done a pretty good job on keeping a lid on child porn despite the lack of watermarks and a great deal of effort to conceal.

           

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            The Groove Tiger (profile), May 26th, 2011 @ 8:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Since ISPs look for child porn, and not for who made the child porn or if they have the legal rights to said child porn, clearly the solution is to "keep a lid" on ALL music, since they can't tell if it's legally obtained or not, but they can definitely tell if it's music. Same for movies.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2011 @ 8:50am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Exactly, the difference here is that child porn doesn't require psychic powers to detect, infringement does.

               

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                The Groove Tiger (profile), May 26th, 2011 @ 11:20am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Just my point. So unless AC can demonstrate that ISPs have been fighting child porn only when it was infringing, and leaving it alone when it was posted by the "legitimate IP creator", he has no argument.

                 

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            Richard (profile), May 26th, 2011 @ 8:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I think the ISP's have done a pretty good job on keeping a lid on child porn despite the lack of watermarks and a great deal of effort to conceal.

            All they have done is to make sure it is not visible.

            That is not the same thing as stopping it. There is no way of knowing whether you have actually stopped it.

             

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        Richard (profile), May 26th, 2011 @ 8:32am

        Re: Re:

        As global terrorism and drug dealing increase, I think it likely that one may be required to register or be licensed to encrypt data.

        Steganography!

         

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    Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2011 @ 5:43am

    If it was that easy to detect infringement....

    ...surely Time Warner cable, with its joined-at-the-hip ties to its own part of the recording industry, would have long ago implemented the blocking of infringing content. The fact that it hasn't does, I think, speak volumes about the inherent difficulty of such an undertaking.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2011 @ 6:54am

      Re: If it was that easy to detect infringement....

      Time Warner cable has no ties to the recording industry whatsoever.

      The Warner Music Group is an entirely different company.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2011 @ 7:30am

        Re: Re: If it was that easy to detect infringement....

        How about Comcast and NBCUniversal?

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2011 @ 12:29am

          Re: Re: Re: If it was that easy to detect infringement....

          Neither one of those companies has any ties at all to the Music Recording industry.

          NBC was owned by GE; now owned by Comcast.

           

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        Richard (profile), May 26th, 2011 @ 8:44am

        Re: Re: If it was that easy to detect infringement....

        Time Warner cable has no ties to the recording industry whatsoever.

        Only since 2009 when it was spun out. They had plenty of time before that.

        So the previous commenter is correct in his assertion.
        Sorry you fail.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2011 @ 12:23am

          Re: Re: Re: If it was that easy to detect infringement....

          No, sorry, you fail.

          Warner Music Group was founded in 2004.

          Care to apologize?

           

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            Richard (profile), May 27th, 2011 @ 3:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: If it was that easy to detect infringement....

            Sorry you are the total failure - if Warner Music Group was founded in 2004 (and by your impli9cation is somehow separate from Time Warner - how come this exists dated November 2000 on the Time Warner Website?

            You're the one who needs to apologize!

             

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              Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2011 @ 4:22pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: If it was that easy to detect infringement....

              The acronym WMG has been used for Warner Brothers and their umbrella labels since 1990 when they were acquired by Time.
              Prior to that, the same group was known as WEA, for Warner-Elektra-Asylum.

              The affiliation with Time Warner cable ended in 2004 when the new WMG was founded as a publicly held company.

              WMG has no affiliation with Time Warner cable and hasn't had any since 2004.

              Thus, my ORIGINAL statement, Time Warner cable has no ties to the recording industry whatsoever, is CORRECT.

               

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    abc gum, May 26th, 2011 @ 5:58am

    What would happen if the Imaginary Property Industry were given their coveted policing of the internet and that somehow the ISPs were able to detect what is and is not infringing.

    There would be commissions convened to determine an answer to "Hey - where did all our customers go"?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2011 @ 10:02am

    The music industry especially has not been very forth coming with the songs they own. They have purposely hidden some of it to catch up the Indie craze.

    You don't really have to understand how difficult it is to identify particular songs, just go to the RIAA radar site and see what troubles they have in keeping it straight.

    So now we're gonna turn this over to ISPs to do the police action? That's a recipe for disaster.

    Add to this that ISPs don't just have people laying around doing nothing so they are going to have to hire folks to do this. Get ready for your internet connection price to go up to pay for it.

     

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    Carl Barron_agpcuk (profile), May 26th, 2011 @ 1:17pm

    Having ISPs police the net has serious problems

    Having ISPs police the net has serious problems which all Government seem to be blissfully unaware of.

    Just think (if you are using Wi-Fi) as you are reading this comment your computer could be easily accessed from a car or a neighbor in your street and it could be downloading illegal material for which you could be fined or imprisoned depending on the content of the download.

    This brings me to say that the Laws as to downloading martial as they are cannot be seriously enforced, as anyone could have placed this material on you ISP’s server track record (and or on your computer’s hard drive) simply by carrying out the latter.

    As to encryption of your ‘Wi-Fi Security System’ there are devices that can decrypt any encryption in a matter of minutes sometimes-even seconds.

    Remember the pub owner in UK (under Mandy's revised Law) was fined £8000 when one of his customers was caught downloading copyrighted digital content from the pub’s Wi-Fi See ‘Digital Rights Act/ Digital Economy Bill’ is legally seriously flawed. http://tinyurl.com/y9nfdga

    Signed Carl Barron Chairman of agpcuk

     

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      Richard (profile), May 27th, 2011 @ 4:10am

      Re: Having ISPs police the net has serious problems

      As to encryption of your ‘Wi-Fi Security System’ there are devices that can decrypt any encryption in a matter of minutes sometimes-even seconds.

      Not so - it is quite possible to deploy encryption that is not breakable at all - the problem is that people who set up encryption systems tend not to use the best systems or to leave back doors open - and that is how the system gets broken.

      AES +RSA key exchange is pretty much unbreakable if sufficiently long keys are used and the system is set up properly - sadly most aren't - so in practical terms there isn't much wrong with the thrust of your comment.

       

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    Prisoner 201, May 27th, 2011 @ 5:37am

    "The problem, of course, is that all of this assumes it's somehow easy for ISPs to determine what is and what is not infringing. It's not."

    You are wrong Mike. It is in fact extremely easy. The ISP simply downloads the latest White List from RIAA and there you go.

     

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