by Mike Masnick
Tue, Feb 10th 2009 11:03am
One of our big fears with the stimulus bill was that with such a huge deal, there would be plenty of small opportunities for lobbyists to slip in absolutely awful language. Well, it's happening. Sen. Feinstein has inserted language into the stimulus bill that would officially "allow network management" for "deterring unlawful activity" including "copyright infringement." Of course, right before "copyright infringement" it also lists "child pornography" because no politician wants to be seen as voting against something that stops child pornography. As Public Knowledge points out, the whole thing doesn't make much sense. Network management tools are different than content filtering tools -- so saying that the use of network management tools is necessary for the sake of content filtering is a red herring. And, if this does involve deep-packet inspection, as is implied by the amendment, it seems like a huge privacy violation, allowing an ISP to spy on everything you do online. Public Knowledge is trying to get out the word that this should not be allowed in the stimulus bill.
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