AT&T are currently evaluating if they should implement a system that would in effect monitor all traffic coming through their lines in an effort to stop sharing of copyrighted material on the Internet using P2P networks. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson came up with a weak analogy to prove his point: "It's like being in a store and watching someone steal a DVD. Do you act?"
Dear AT&T, dear Mr. Stephenson, are you aware that you can't compare the theft of a DVD in store with downloading a DVD on the Internet. The theft of the DVD takes something away from someone while the second does not. It is not the same. But that's not my main point of criticism, not at all.
AT&T is an Internet Service Provider which means that they provide the necessary infrastructure so that their customers can access the Internet. Let me ask you a question. What qualifies you to monitor or classify Internet traffic as copyright infringement ? Are you the police or a federal agency ? No you are not.
I'm not an expert in American law but I suppose that it is not allowed to spy on users that easily and even block traffic that has been analyzed before. Correct me if I'm wrong though.
What you are basically saying is that telephone companies should also eavesdrop on every call made because someone could plan or commit a crime over phone. What you are saying is that every letter and package send by mail should be opened and examined because someone could send copyright infringing material.
I'm sick of companies that side with the industry against their company. If you are a AT&T customer consider switching to another provider and LET THEM KNOW that what you will do if they follow this shady pass.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.