Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Lobbying Group Calls for Internet Filtering

David Kravets writes on Threat Level:

A just-formed lobbying group of content producers, equipment makers and internet gatekeepers said Thursday that internet service providers should embrace filtering.

Behind the lobby are AT&T, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, NBC Universal, Viacom and the Songwriters Guild of America. Among other things, the lobby, called Arts+Labs, says "network operators must have the flexibility to manage and expand their networks to defend against net pollution and illegal file-trafficking which threatens to congest and delay the network for all consumers."

The creation of the lobbying group came almost two months after the Federal Communications Commission issued an open invitation to ISPs to filter for unauthorized copyright material. The Aug. 1 invite was buried in the text of the FCC's stinging rebuke of Comcast for throttling BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer traffic.

AT&T and NBC have already made it clear they support blocking streams of unauthorized works, for obvious reasons. NBC and the songwriters want to get paid for their works. and AT&T supports filtering because it could reduce high-volume, peer-to-peer traffic.

More here.


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