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Will ISPs Be Driven To Spy On Their Customers? 133

Posted by timothy
from the won't-be-a-long-drive dept.
bs0d3 writes "In regards to the new 'voluntary' graduated response deal (where no one really knows how ISPs will track and accuse customers of copyright infringement), according to CNN, it may be the ISP directly spying on their customers. 'But now that they're free from individual blame, there's also the strong possibility that the ISPs will be doing the data monitoring directly. That's a much bigger deal. So instead of reaching out to the Internet to track down illegally flowing bits of their movies, the studios will sit back while ISP's "sniff" the packets of data coming to and from their customers' computers.' This could be a problem for people who use U.S.-based internet services. If the U.S. wants to be an internet savvy country, they still need the competition in the marketplace that's always been missing, and a digital bill of rights that isn't a sneaky anti-piracy measure."
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Will ISPs Be Driven To Spy On Their Customers?

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  • by stanlyb (1839382) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @04:29PM (#40584923)
    Really? Anyone? Really believes that the ISP are protecting you? Your privacy? With claws and fangs?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @04:39PM (#40585017)

    This is the most blatantly sensationalist piece of shit article I've seen in recent memory. The time article they source pretty much explains it all:

    An Internet user downloading media illegally gets flagged by the copyright holder

    Implying that nothing is changing, the media companies will continue outsourcing the scraping of public bittorrent swarms and notify ISP's that one of their IP's was sharing x content at y time and ISP's will send a letter based on who was addressed that IP at the time informing you why it's wrong.
    The only thing that might change is that they'll probably give your information to the MAFIAA after you've "shared" their content more than six times, or something else. More likely however, is that this won't happen at all because of sensationalist articles posted by incompetent journalists that can't even get the facts straight. So maybe it's worth thanking Douglas, but he still sucks at his job.

  • Re:short answer (Score:4, Interesting)

    by game kid (805301) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @04:41PM (#40585037) Homepage

    Though it seems like an exception to that headline law [wikipedia.org], it doesn't count because we already knew they already spy on us or allow direct use of their facilities to do so.

  • by ATMAvatar (648864) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @04:52PM (#40585105) Journal

    I don't think anyone believed that many (if any) ISPs were fighting the good fight, as it were. The assumption was more that ISPs are typical businesses, which do not incur costs unless required to do so. Setting up infrastructure and staff to monitor subscriber traffic costs money and effort. Without some well-defined, monetary gain in doing so, ISPs simply won't bother.

    So to answer your title - no, most ISPs probably haven't monitored traffic already, because it was a waste of time and resources to do so.

  • Re:USPS (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @05:10PM (#40585235)
    The difference is the USPS is a government sponsored monopoly where legally you cannot compete with them. If they decide to increase the price of stamps to $15 a piece, they can do that and there's not much that anyone can do about it since it is illegal to deliver mail except by the USPS.

    In fact, a guy named Lysander Spooner made a competitor to the US post office called the American Letter Mail Company, it did everything better than the USPS, faster delivery, cheaper rates, less waste, etc. but it was shut down because of the monopoly that the USPS has.

    ISPs are not the same. While arguably many have monopoly status due to the fact that the government gave them massive amounts of money to "modernize" the US, there is nothing preventing me from starting a better, more privacy friendly ISP aside from the startup costs.
  • Wheres the beef? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WaffleMonster (969671) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @05:29PM (#40585399)

    The CNN link is an opinion piece where the author dreams up a scenario of ISP content inspection not supported by any external evidence.

    I can sit on my lazy ass all day and dream shit up too. This does not mean I should be expected to be taken seriously.

    Where is the actual evidence this is being implemented or even seriously contemplated by any stakeholder?

    In the interim I'm just going to sit back and wait for the lawsuits to start flying against ISPs for cutting off their paying customers without due process.

  • by sqrt(2) (786011) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @05:51PM (#40585571) Journal

    Which is why the physical infrastructure should be nationalized and leased by the government to private businesses who must then compete with each other. This would lower the barriers to entry and open up competition. And laying all that fiber will create a lot of jobs too.

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @06:19PM (#40585777)

    "Once one ISP has an area cabled up, it's no longer financially viable for another to move in."

    That's why some smart communities have decided to let the city or county build the cable infrastructure, using tax dollars. Then they rent the infrastructure to data providers.

    Not only do they save money, they are not subject to coercion by monopolies.

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