Russia Takes SOPA-Like Approach In Encouraging ISPs To Spy On Their Users
from the in-russia,-isp-spy-on-you! dept
Something that's proving popular with politicians running out of ideas for tackling unauthorized sharing of copyright materials online is to make ISPs and Web sites responsible for the actions of their users -- even though nobody would think of doing the same for telephone companies. SOPA was one of the best-known examples of this approach, and now it looks like Russia wants to join the club:
The cyber crime department of Russia’s Interior Ministry says it intends to get tough on the country’s ISPs when their customers share copyrighted or otherwise illegal material. Authorities say they are currently carrying out nationwide checks on ISPs' local networks and could bring prosecutions as early as next month.
The proposed legislation is a little unusual in that it seems to concern the exchange of unauthorized copies of copyright material across ISPs' local networks:
These networks, present within the ISPs’ own infrastructure, provide users’ access to a wealth of legal content and services such as Internet Relay Chat, but inevitably unauthorized content is available too.
As would have happened with SOPA, the inevitable consequence of passing this kind of law will be round-the-clock surveillance of Internet users by their ISPs -- not because the law requires it, but because the ISPs would be crazy not to given the financial risks they would run otherwise. The other knock-on effect, of course, is that people will just start swapping 2Tbyte portable hard discs full of unauthorized material by hand, bypassing the networks completely.