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Stunning new filtering plan contradicts its “Your World” marketing campaign

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson confirmed that the telecom and internet giant is “very interested” in a “technology based solution” to monitor data passing through its networks for rogue peer-to-peer traffic.

“It’s like being in a store and watching someone steal a DVD,” said Stephenson. “Do you act?”

Such a move would affect more than just AT&T’s subscribers, as the company’s network investments represent a sizable chunk of the internet’s backbone – which results in almost all Internet data passing through its network at some point. Given that AT&T has, so far, been pensive about the scope of such a project, many are assuming the worst.

More importantly, AT&T may forfeit its end of the deal in what Slate’s Tim Wu calls “the grand bargain of common carriage:” legal immunity from whatever claims might arise from data its network transports, in exchange for offering network service to anyone in a nondiscriminatory fashion. “AT&T's new strategy reverses that position and exposes it to so much potential liability that adopting it would arguably violate AT&T's fiduciary duty to its shareholders,” writes Wu.

In an absence of any official word on why AT&T wants to implement such a project, many people think that the primary motivator is an alarmed response to the growing percentage of traffic attributable to P2P activity; various surveys claim that anywhere from 30 to 90 percent of all internet traffic is P2P related. Lately, ISPs both large and small have been testing the waters with a variety of traffic-shaping initiatives, including Comcast, which last year found itself in the middle of a scandal over how it handles BitTorrent traffic.

According to AT&T – as well as anecdotal reports and commentary from other ISP employees – Internet users should expect a more managed Internet experience in the near future, as technology is finally becoming sophisticated enough to allow for such large-scale projects.

“We recognize we are not there yet but there are a lot of promising technologies,” said AT&T executive James Cicconi, “but we are having an open discussion with a number of content companies … to try to explore various technologies that are out there.”

If anyone has the expertise to deploy such a large filtering project, it would be AT&T: the company was already caught red-handed with powerful data-mining hardware, which it used to gather information on the nation’s web traffic for the NSA.

“The volume of peer-to-peer traffic online, dominated by copyrighted materials, is overwhelming. That clearly should not be an acceptable, continuing status,” said NBC Universal’s general counsel, Rick Cotton. “The question is how we collectively collaborate to address this.”



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Wrong analogy, AT&T
By AlexWade on 1/26/2008 1:13:37 PM , Rating: 4
"It’s like being in a store and watching someone steal a DVD," said Stephenson.

WRONG! A more correct analogy is "It's like being in a store and watching someone walk through who you suspect but cannot prove stole something from another store."

Glad I don't have AT&T for my internet. This sounds like they are sleeping with the RIAA and MPAA, because all 3 have no idea of reality.




RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By Razgriz20 on 1/26/2008 1:47:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, its like they will be treating every user that goes through their network as a potential copyright infringer.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By Christopher1 on 1/27/08, Rating: -1
RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By othercents on 1/28/08, Rating: -1
RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By masher2 (blog) on 1/26/08, Rating: -1
RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By Alexstarfire on 1/26/2008 3:10:58 PM , Rating: 4
Too bad that the ISPs have no idea what is going over the wire. They monitor throughput and bandwidth usage, nothing more, until now that is. P2P is hardly illegal. Pirating? Yes. P2P? No way. Just because pirates happen to use P2P doesn't mean they should restrict P2P traffic. That's like restricting the OS or the CD/DVD drive just because pirates happen to use them as well. You'd never allow that.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By masher2 (blog) on 1/26/08, Rating: -1
RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 1/26/2008 4:03:06 PM , Rating: 3
I have a feeling this would result in many data streams especially of the P2P variety to start utilizing some sort of low level encryption, not enough to keep someone out, but enough to cause your systems to backlog if they had to decrypt every packet. Reading the number of packets in a short amount of time would require massive computational power if they were encrypted.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By kinnoch on 1/26/2008 4:34:30 PM , Rating: 2
Certain bitTorrent clients already do that. Azureus has a whole encrypted protocol and an option to only accept encrypted connections.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By ebakke on 1/26/2008 5:19:54 PM , Rating: 5
It seems that no matter what is implemented by AT&T (or Comcast, or anyone else), P2P technologies will adapt. Encryption, extra garbage packets, etc. will be used, and ironically, the effect will be more traffic, and a slower internet. Exactly the opposite of AT&T's claims.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By mendocinosummit on 1/26/2008 8:31:47 PM , Rating: 5
When they should be spending all those millions increasing bandwidth.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By Christopher1 on 1/27/2008 5:21:58 AM , Rating: 1
That is the blunt truth here: they should be focusing on increasing bandwidth instead of moaning about people actually using the unlimited service that they give them.

Same thing with the movie, music and game companies: stop turning to DRM to solve a problem that is more because you are making poor quality games or are charging too much for a good quality game.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By RonLugge on 1/27/2008 5:21:52 PM , Rating: 2
A good point only reinforced by the fact that Stardock Games -- responsible for Galactic Civilization and GalCiv II, and publishing Sins of a Solar Empire -- does extremely well selling games with no DRM. The only "DRM" involved is the need for a valid CD key to download patches.

The other half of their success is the fact that most torrent sites (they have specifically named Pirate Bay as being the exception) remove pirated copies of their games when asked. Most companies just throw a fit, they don't bother asking.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By masher2 (blog) on 1/27/2008 10:21:45 PM , Rating: 3
> "Stardock Games...does extremely well selling games with no DRM."

Stardock is a tiny 30 man company, with most of their revenues deriving from business software. Their best-selling game is a port of an old 1993 turned-based title that's sold all of 75K copies...about 1/100 of what a hit like COD or Halo does. And, quite frankly, it's not something that's going to appeal to those who typically pirate games anyway.

Trying to claim they've done "extremely" well by selling DRM-free games isn't a very realistic comparison.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By hedron on 1/31/2008 2:18:36 PM , Rating: 1
That's one good side effect of piracy. Is that cloned crap like Halo and CoD doesn't sell well. I'm an avid PC gamer and am tired of descent games drowning in a sea of over-hyped and over-produced FPS. Maybe one day the retail industry will collapse and the casual gamer will stick to tetris and the hardcore community will go underground.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By jconan on 1/27/2008 3:16:58 AM , Rating: 4
I agree. However on a different note. Can ATT decrypt packages legally without a search warrant? E.G. people's private communications like skype and VPN for telecommuter's (the future working class tend to be more of the commuter type) - wouldn't ATT be snooping/spying on company secrets if they did? Just by running a filter is technically like eavesdropping or spying?


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By jconan on 1/27/2008 5:49:55 AM , Rating: 2
doesn't the filtering technique work on the same principles as keylogging or wiretapping even though they are 2 separate techniques. (they are not working off a closed data but are actually tapping onto customer's line and gathering data without permission) keylogging storing information based on filter sequences and wiretapping listening or receiving communication signals from a voice/data device based on particular streams?


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By Shoal07 on 1/29/2008 11:12:51 AM , Rating: 2
The government needs warrants. The Bill of Rights only protects you against the government and government actions. Corporations can do whatever they like, especially on their own networks, they just suffer when people no longer choose to use their services. Too many people think their protections in the Constitution are universal but they're only enforceable against the government.

Just like DailyTech could delete all of your posts, or all of the pro-sony posts, or anti-MS, whatever... You can't sue them for violating your First Amendment; they have no legal requirement to guarantee or provide you anything, unless you enter into a contract.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By thisguyiknow on 1/29/2008 7:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, they can, actually, because they're (supposedly) not the government but a private company with which the user has entered into a legal contract--after checking the "I have read and agree to the terms and conditions of service" box.

They'll have different contractual terms with fellow corporations--maybe explicitly permitting encryption, since you're right: legal departments would never allow their boards to expose company secrets wholesale. I'm starting to think that individuals who use encryption may start to get in trouble with the NSA someday.

I'm also thinking maybe the analogy is that every time you walk into a store some guy appears and sticks with you everywhere you go, keeping a really close eye on your hands and occasionally checking to be sure you're not palming something.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By MAIA on 1/30/2008 9:55:14 AM , Rating: 2
On the contrary: Can you send encrypted files using P2P ?

It all boils down to the meaning of "cryptography export". You actually need a license to use cryptography and be able to communicate globally.

Read this:
http://rechten.uvt.nl/koops/cryptolaw/cls2.htm#us


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By MAIA on 1/30/2008 10:00:08 AM , Rating: 2
About the usage of cryptography in the US:

1. Certain mass-market encryption software may be released from EI controls after a one-time review.
2. "Data recovery" crypto (meaning that government can access keys or plaintext with a lawful warrant) will be eligible for an export license to non-embargoed countries. The procedures for data-recovery licenses were simplified in September 1998, when also "recoverable products" were released for export (a recoverable product means that an operator can access plaintext without the user noticing).
3. After a one-time review, (up to) 56-bit cryptography can be granted a six-month export license, provided the exporting business commits itself to incorporating a data recovery feature in its products within the next two years. This provision was changed in December 1998, when all 56-bit crypto was released for export after a one-time review, with no requirement of data recovery.
4. All other encryption items may be eligible for encryption licensing arrangements; items not authorized under a licensing arrangement will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
5. Encryption "technology" may be licensed for export on a case-by-case basis.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By mindless1 on 1/26/2008 6:08:23 PM , Rating: 5
Identifying content does not allow for a presumption the receiver does not have a license for it regardless of what the content owner claims.

Suppose for example I were a student who has bought rights to an MP3. It's at home and I just want to upload it to my computer at school since I'm not home often. While this scenario is not one we see with bittorrent and many communal filesharing groups, it is a P2P activity.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By Etsp on 2/1/2008 3:27:14 PM , Rating: 2
According to at least one Sony rep, that is stealing...


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By porkpie on 1/26/2008 3:25:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Too bad that the ISPs have no idea what is going over the wire.
Did you even read the article? What do you think this new filtering will be based on? It has nothing to do with banning all P2P traffic.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By mindless1 on 1/26/2008 6:11:36 PM , Rating: 4
The new filtering will be based on the presumption of guilt (with no option for "until proven innocent
") since the traffic is blocked.

The idea that no copyrighted work can be transmitted over the internet is erroneous. In fact it will be the preferred method of distribution in the future.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By Christopher1 on 2/2/2008 12:42:50 AM , Rating: 1
Correction: It will be the preferred method if the studios get their heads out of a certain part of their bodies that would make their heads stinky.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By retrospooty on 1/26/2008 4:46:20 PM , Rating: 4
"Eh? If you see copyrighted material flowing over the wire, and the copyright owner has informd you they haven't given permission for that act-- you don't "suspect". You know."

Thats exactly the problem. It is an ISP's job to provide bandwidth, not to monitor what you use it for. They should not even know what you use it for, becasue it should not be monitored.

Its like as if the phone companies were listening in on your conversations, just to make sure you are not doing anything illegal. Its intrusive, and is the opposite of freedom.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By masher2 (blog) on 1/26/2008 4:55:57 PM , Rating: 2
> "It is an ISP's job to provide bandwidth, not to monitor what you use it for."

I'm not disputing that in the least.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By JoshuaBuss on 1/27/2008 11:13:39 PM , Rating: 1
but at the same time, that's like saying the people who build a new shopping mall can't monitor activity inside it to make sure gangs aren't using it for drug deals.

this is a tough case. personally, i think they should simply include a clause that says that since you're paying them to use THEIR private network, they reserve the right to make sure they aren't assisting in/providing the means for illegal activity among their users.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By retrospooty on 1/28/2008 10:41:28 AM , Rating: 1
"but at the same time, that's like saying the people who build a new shopping mall can't monitor activity inside it to make sure gangs aren't using it for drug deals."

I would assume that is the job of the local police, not the malls builder,owner, or manager. Also, its different if you are in a mall and see drug deals going down and report it to the police, and monitoring internet traffic. To happen see a crime and report it is fine, to monitor communications looking for crime is illegal (at least until good ol' George Dubbya).


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By masher2 (blog) on 1/28/2008 11:44:39 AM , Rating: 2
> "I would assume that is the job of the local police, not the malls builder,owner, or manager"

Point in fact, it's also the duty of the mall owner, up to a certain degree. Many hotels, for instance, have been shut down for not taking reasonable steps to prevent prostitution within them.

> " to monitor communications looking for crime is illegal"

To monitor on a common carrier is illegal. The public phone network is such. The Internet, though, is a grey area; there's not a firm body of legal precedent either way.

Personally, I hope the same protections will be accorded to Internet traffic...but as of yet, they don't exist.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By Rhaido on 1/28/2008 4:17:43 PM , Rating: 2
> "I would assume that is the job of the local police, not the malls builder,owner, or manager"

Point in fact, it's also the duty of the mall owner, up to a certain degree. Many hotels, for instance, have been shut down for not taking reasonable steps to prevent prostitution within them.


I am not arguing against your point but merely curious. Were employees of the hotels charged with a criminal offense or was it a case where an owner/manager of a 15 room hourly rental motel who went to jail and thereby shut down? Loss of license from criminal charge maybe? I am no attorney but can a noncorporeal incorporated entity like a Four Seasons be shut down via a criminal charge generally speaking? Revocation of license or bankruptcy via some form of civil recourse in tort law perhaps?

> " to monitor communications looking for crime is illegal"

To monitor on a common carrier is illegal. The public phone network is such. The Internet, though, is a grey area; there's not a firm body of legal precedent either way.

Personally, I hope the same protections will be accorded to Internet traffic...but as of yet, they don't exist.


Can someone explain the courts on this one? What is the difference between my voice traveling getting certain protection (pre Bush NSA Narus STA 6400 hypothetical) and my data packets getting no protection? Just for simplicity, say I only use copper twisted pair on my end and the same for the other guy on the line receiving either voice or data via oldschool HyperTerminal from me.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By Tamale on 1/28/2008 5:07:48 PM , Rating: 2
That's exactly why the internet is so tough to define legally. Some transport mechanisms go over regular old phone networks, while some go over privately owned data pipes.

When an ISP though is looking to crack down on ITS users, it really does have the right to do this. Every one of its clients is a user of their private network.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By Christopher1 on 2/1/2008 1:16:40 AM , Rating: 1
Sorry, but it's not really a 'private network' considering that most of the internet has been paid for by our taxes.

Now, if that wasn't the case, then I would agree with you - it's a private network if NO public funds are spent on it, otherwise it is a public/private network with the same protections on it as the phone lines (which were also paid for mostly by taxes).


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By masher2 (blog) on 1/28/2008 8:36:45 PM , Rating: 2
> "Were employees of the hotels charged with a criminal offense or was it a case where an owner/manager of a 15 room hourly rental motel who went to jail and thereby shut down"

The "bawdy house" cases I know of have included revocation of operating licenses and in extreme cases seizure of assets (the property itself). I'm not personally familiar with any where criminal charges were filed against the owner/manager, but I'm sure some exist. Quite obviously, the standard of proof is higher in a criminal case.

> "What is the difference between my voice traveling getting certain protection (pre Bush NSA Narus STA 6400 hypothetical) and my data packets getting no protection? "

Legal precedent. Also, remember the telephone network began as a public monopoly, and thus its common carrier status was never in dispute. The Internet began as a series of private networks.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By mindless1 on 1/26/2008 6:04:15 PM , Rating: 2
That is incorrect. Suppose I sell you a car then tell someone I didn't. Is the car any less yours?

Now let's equate that to internet traffic. You can easily have the right to use software and no limit on how you *transport* that content, yet based on the word of someone who no longer has a right to add new terms to the original agreement you entered to secure right to use that content, a 3rd party is now allowed to block your data?

It is certainly true most of the traffic seen with P2P is copyright infringement, but creation of new policies and active filtering should not be restrictive of other legitimate data transportation.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By themadmilkman on 1/27/2008 2:05:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That is incorrect. Suppose I sell you a car then tell someone I didn't. Is the car any less yours?


Well, that depends. Did the purchaser neglect to record the title? And did you then sell the title to the vehicle again to the second individual, who then recorded the title? If that were the case (and it's more common than you would imagine, especially with real estate) in most states the second individual would then own the car.

(Yes, this is completely OT, but who cares?)


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By mindless1 on 1/27/2008 7:07:11 AM , Rating: 2
What in the world? This is a simple concept you're getting confused about.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By eye smite on 1/26/08, Rating: 0
RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By mcnabney on 1/27/2008 2:13:41 AM , Rating: 1
please
please
please
please, be a troll.

I don't want to imagine the world being full of people like you again...


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By hedron on 1/31/2008 2:46:08 PM , Rating: 2
Well, both Bainwol and Sherman are Jews. So is Dan Glickman. Those are the head honcho's of the RIAA and MPAA. Of course, Bram Cohen wrote bittorrent, their arch-nemesis of sorts. What does this mean? I have no idea.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By masher2 (blog) on 1/27/2008 10:22:58 PM , Rating: 2
Did you actually blame the Holocaust on "money grubbing" jews? I had to read twice to believe my own eyes :(


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By smitty3268 on 1/27/2008 11:56:55 PM , Rating: 2
It's certainly true that Jews had more financial success than most other groups, and that did cause people to resent them. But blaming the victims is never right, and blaming all of WW2 on them might just be the most idiotic thing I've ever seen on DT.

Also, there are plenty of people running the RIAA and MPAA who aren't Jews. They may be an influential group, but they don't control Hollywood.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By theapparition on 1/28/2008 1:52:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's certainly true that Jews had more financial success than most other groups

As with everything, most stereotypes usually have some basis for fact, even the ones that were not supposed to say are true (or were true many, many years ago).
In the middle ages, "Usury" (interest bearing lending) was forbidden for all Christians. As such, no Christian could loan money, or face the severe rath of the Catholic church. The Jew's stepped up and became the bankers of the time. The banking profession, was also considered one of the lowest occupations at the time. Amazing that after 1000 years, the stereotype has still existed as "money-grubbing", the "bankers", etc. Make you wonder what stereotypes of our time will be remembered in 1000 years from now.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By frobizzle on 1/28/2008 8:56:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
In the middle ages, "Usury" (interest bearing lending) was forbidden for all Christians.

So very wrong!! Usury is not just interest bearing lending, it is doing so with an exorbitant or unlawful rate of interest. Technically, at least in the US, it is still illeagal (though one wonders how some of the credit card companies bypass the law with interest rates of 29% or higher!)


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By theapparition on 1/28/2008 10:26:19 AM , Rating: 3
I suggest you read up on your history before making a definitive rebutal.

Usury in the middle ages refered to charging interest of any kind. Later, as the practice became widespread and adopted, Usury became known as it is now, "exorbitant interest".

But I do agree with one of your points though, I don't know how some credit companies get away with their intrest rates and fees.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By masher2 (blog) on 1/28/2008 11:49:04 AM , Rating: 2
> "Usury in the middle ages refered to charging interest of any kind"

Very true.

Interestingly enough, in the Middle Ages, many got around the charging of interest in much the same way people do today-- by creating bloated "fees" and unrealistic "damages".

For instance, a lender might charge you nothing to borrow money from him...but you'd have to pay a "carrying charge" for him to safely transport it to you.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By jackedupandgoodtogo on 1/28/2008 2:04:50 PM , Rating: 2
Even more interesting, the Knights Templars were the only group allowed to charge interest and make loans bearing interest during that period. The Jewish nation may have adopted this practice because it was done during the Knight's control of Jerusalem. Some believe they started the modern day banking system. The History Channel (I think) had a very interesting documentary on the Knights Templar that discusses this subject.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By Alias1431 on 1/26/2008 3:22:55 PM , Rating: 2
They really don't give a shit that we're "stealing the DVD." We're paying them to "watch," the only reason they've suddenly become altruistic is the fact that we are utilizing more bandwidth than they want to accommodate for.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By tehfire on 1/26/2008 4:00:20 PM , Rating: 2
IMO, the internet has always been a public sphere. As such, I do believe that the public sphere is subject to the scrutiny of others, and this may very well infringe in some way or another on privacy.

If you are serious about the claim that the main problem with what AT&T is planning on doing is that they are suspecting you of a crime and therefore watching you, what makes this not apply to police officers? They shoot radar guns at cars not suspecting a priori of their guilt. My explination for this is that because it is in the public sphere, it is subject to scrutiny.

The gov't is not allowed to enter your home unless it has just cause or some other qualifications (in theory, anyways). The gov't is allowed to make sure you're not speeding, pat you down if you're entering a stadium or other highly public place. Since P2P is very much a public activity, I do believe that there are some limitations to privacy.

I'm not saying that everything on the internet should be subject to scrutiny. Emails or other non-public entities should still be provided the same level of privacy protection afforded in the real world (afaik the gov't cannot monitor your mail without a warrant or something...I could be wrong). Public activities, however (P2P, forums, (non-personal) chat roomsm etc.) should be.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By DigitalFreak on 1/26/2008 7:12:27 PM , Rating: 4
LOL. Ok, you can look at my P2P packet, but not my e-mail packet. It's not going to work that way.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By winterspan on 1/26/08, Rating: -1
RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By eye smite on 1/26/2008 11:41:17 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure the real issue here is we're all fed up with being persecuted before they can even prosecute us. To hell with their money grubbing greed. It's easier to just walk in walmart, cut the dvd open in the cloth and crafts section, put the dvd in my back pocket and head out. Ethics you say, for walmart that has no ethics? This is not the country I grew up in, new times, new crap that they're allowed to get away with, so fukem, I'll just adapt my own rules.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By JoshuaBuss on 1/27/2008 11:20:34 PM , Rating: 1
it doesn't really matter what you 'think' the internet is. it's a bunch of private networks that just happen to be connected. it's not 'public' really in any sense of the word.

your internet bills are a direct result of that fact. if it was 'puplic', the entirety of it would have to be provided by some government or group of people.

the internet's a truly strange beast.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By mallums on 1/29/2008 1:57:02 AM , Rating: 2
That turns out not to be the case. The internet is de facto a common carrier for all intents and purposes. Even if you are running a VPN over it. Else why go international, and form the ICANN to administrate it?

The fact that we pay a bill for the connection and bandwidth is irrelevant.


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By SilthDraeth on 1/26/2008 8:58:23 PM , Rating: 2
WRONG! A more correct analogy is "It's like being in a store and watching someone walk through who you suspect but cannot prove stole something from another store."

Wrong also. It is: "It's like being in a store and inspecting everyones grocery cart, and making them strip search to make sure they are not violating any of your rules that they don't know about."


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By onwisconsin on 1/27/2008 11:46:08 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Glad I don't have AT&T for my internet. This sounds like they are sleeping with the RIAA and MPAA, because all 3 have no idea of reality.

Ya missed one ;) Did you remember "Your World. Delivered. To the NSA"

http://w2.eff.org/legal/cases/att/faq.php


RE: Wrong analogy, AT&T
By conrad13a on 1/27/2008 4:20:38 PM , Rating: 2
I think its funny that no one wants to expand the "internet's bandwidth".
But did anyone else get such a huge kick out of that death star with the at&t logo on it? I thought it great - picture tells a thousand words.

back to pirating on the p2p networks!


Just an Excuse
By Xodus Maximus on 1/26/2008 2:43:50 PM , Rating: 5
ATT and other companies are trying to stop P2P Phone services like Skype and TV like the new Joost. All these "ISPs" also provide other services, they would do themselves a disservice if customers bought only one thing from them, when they could be buying 5 different services.

Calling P2P illegal only is convenient in getting the idiot masses to submit to their demands, because they feel guilty for watching the occasional show they missed on TV via BitTorrent.

Its no different then the marketing campaign that compares "piracy" to stealing a car, its mainly targeted at morons with weak moral compasses, so that they can be controlled like the uninformed lumps of meat they are.




RE: Just an Excuse
By Jack Ripoff on 1/26/2008 3:28:08 PM , Rating: 3
It's no different than this:

http://tinyurl.com/2mjotj


RE: Just an Excuse
By DigitalFreak on 1/26/2008 7:14:07 PM , Rating: 1
Oh man, that's priceless! Is that really a slogan from WWII?


RE: Just an Excuse
By vanka on 1/26/2008 8:30:45 PM , Rating: 3
In defense of the WWII poster; the US was involved in a very costly war at that time. Resources were very tight and most of the industrial capacity of the country was geared toward producing the material/supplies/products necessary for the troops. Many household items that we take for granted today were strictly rationed during this period. In my opinion the ad was probably justified because if no one carpooled they would use 3-5 times more oil-derived fuel; fuel that could have been used in the war effort. So in a way by not carpooling you were aiding and abetting Hitler.

That's not to say that I agree with the current scare campaigns waged by the RIAA and MPAA. Today we hear outright lies from these two to help line their already heavy pockets and to preserve their antiquated business model.


RE: Just an Excuse
By Xodus Maximus on 1/27/2008 12:15:04 AM , Rating: 2
nice find, I had never seen that before, thanks

Yeah, you can say that the poster had an excuse and I don't disagree or agree with it. Just for argument's sake I believe that if people want to do something they should, then live with the consequences, using this type of propaganda, even for the greater good is wrong. But in reality because of the inherent fault of human society, when someone something it affects others, and you don't have time to rationally explain to all individually. So you are forced to use a simple message that the lowest and those above them will understand and agree to. If I existed back in WWII and my interests were vested as such I would probably use something similar.

And so if I was a billionaire with a lot of interest in making more money for my company I would choose the tactics of the RIAA, MPAA, AT&T, and other four letter companies. Okay, maybe I would still try to do the right thing, but thats why Im not a billionaire, or even a big thousandaire ;)


RE: Just an Excuse
By masher2 (blog) on 1/27/2008 1:02:18 AM , Rating: 2
Here's one you'll like even more:

http://www.propagandaposters.us/poster21.html


RE: Just an Excuse
By Christopher1 on 2/1/2008 1:19:38 AM , Rating: 1
And it turns out that we were doing the EXACT same things to our prisoners during World War II, executing them and leaving their bodies to rot where they laid..... that's the thing about propaganda..... your government is usually doing the exact SAME THING that they are getting on the other country for doing!


ATT and the NSA
By iFX on 1/27/2008 3:47:43 AM , Rating: 1
Back when the gubberment broke up ATT the first time they had no idea how quickly communications technology and usage would grow in the next two decades. Now, they have quietly allowed ATT to gobble up everything that it lost without saying anything.

Why? The NSA. It's much easier to spy on people when you only have to deal with a single private organization rather than many, many small ones. ATT will continue to grow larger and larger and your electronic privacy will continue to shrink smaller and smaller.




RE: ATT and the NSA
By Christopher1 on 1/27/08, Rating: 0
RE: ATT and the NSA
By Ringold on 1/27/2008 3:52:00 PM , Rating: 2
The market spoke the first time: it clearly decided that the optimal situation was a single dominant telecom.

For whatever reason, perhaps it was a net positive and perhaps not, we smited the market creation.

The market, however, being unconquerable, put humpty dumpty nearly back together again. Decades later, the efficient outcome has remained the same.

And here we go again, with the desire to smite a company out of existence because it offends someones moral compass; apparently we honor success in this nation, but don't be too successful, or the masses will come and pillage your lifes work. That's not a message, by the way, we should be transmitting to companies. We're not the only world power any more; your exact attitude has resulted and will continue to result in companies seeking greener pastures in nations more interested in growth than anti-corporate propaganda with no basis in fact. None. It just feels good.

That said, what really needs to be done, it seems, is to tear down some regulation and tweak the rest to encourage bandwidth rental, or however it works elsewhere. We lag behind in broadband not because ATT is the size it is, we lag behind of almost no competition (by regulatory decree) for consumers.


RE: ATT and the NSA
By Jellodyne on 1/28/2008 12:54:17 PM , Rating: 3
> The market spoke the first time: it clearly decided that
> the optimal situation was a single dominant telecom.

Please do note, that this is the optimal solution FOR THE SINGLE TELECOM. Economies of scale make it such that a single large telecom company can operate more efficiently than several small companies. BUT -- No competition = charge whatever you want, provide as sloppy service as you want. This was the old AT&T through and through.

> For whatever reason, perhaps it was a net positive and
> perhaps not, we smited the market creation.

The reason for the breakup of AT&T was to foster competition in the marketplace for the benefit of the consumer. The result of the breakup can be described only as wildly successful, both to that end, and also (somewhat ironically) to the benefit of AT&T. The combined value of the seperate companies grew at a significantly greater rate after the breakup than before. Competition led to better service, lower prices, more services, an amazing infrastructure buildout which fed directly into the internet boom of the mid to late 90s.

> The market, however, being unconquerable, put humpty
> dumpty nearly back together again. Decades later, the
> efficient outcome has remained the same.

Yay for the market! You know the optimal market position for AT&T is for them to own everything, and for all of us to be unpaid slave labor to build their golden ziggurats. Our govenrment, to whatever extent, is for/by/of the people, basically its assigned job is to look after the rights of the people. We live in a free market capitalist society. A lot of the time, low regulation, hands off, lazes faire government is in the best interests of all concerned, the people and the corporations. But not all the time.

You'd either have to be pretty ignorant of the issues and outcomes or really be an idiot to look at the breakup of AT&T as an argument for unfettered libertarian-style market policy. Its possibly the single biggest counter arguement since the breakup of Standard Oil.


RE: ATT and the NSA
By mallums on 1/29/2008 2:34:37 AM , Rating: 2
Please do note, that this is the optimal solution FOR THE SINGLE TELECOM. Economies of scale make it such that a single large telecom company can operate more efficiently than several small companies. BUT -- No competition = charge whatever you want, provide as sloppy service as you want. This was the old AT&T through and through.


Actually with AT&T, you could always depend on getting a dial tone. They may have been a lot of things, but "sloppy service"? I think you need to define that term. On the other hand, you couldn't use your own phone, you had to rent an answering machine from them, no modems allowed (data on leased lines only), etc. So, yeah, AT&T was a bit obnoxious. But net neutrality is not the same. There used to be competing phone companies, and the government decided in its infinite wisdom that a monopoly was a good thing, since the phone company was a public utility.

In the end, they had to force the regional phone monopolies to work together. They may have to do the same thing all over again, as the various ISPs and backbone providers square off against each other.

The internet is becoming a necessity, and it wouldn't surprise me if it was ruled that people need "lifeline" connections, the way phone service is considered now, with discounts for less-privileged, people. As phone service is, in order to make sure everyone has access to 911 and public services.

If the internet is a common carrier, as it should be, then it needs to be content neutral. Just as drug dealers run their business with the phone, so should pirates be allowed to use the internet. (They should pay for the bandwidth they use.) And as with drug dealers, law enforcement should need a warrant before tapping a pirates' connection. And then, when it is established fact (and not mere suspicion), they should be busted, and go to jail. In that order. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The only way to be fair is to be neutral. And AT&T is either (stupidly) falling victim to the powers that have a vested interest in controlling what we do, or they have their own agenda, and are (shrewdly) using this as an opportunity to further it.

And shooting themselves in the foot, in the process, as this is a strategy that can only be good for business in the short term. In the long term, they would make more money for the stockholders by providing and selling as much bandwidth as possible. That's why this new policy makes no sense. They are closing off their own market. And exposing themselves to a lot of liability in the process.


RE: ATT and the NSA
By Christopher1 on 2/1/2008 1:36:16 AM , Rating: 1
The market did not decide that the optimal situation was a single dominant telecom. The reason that a single dominant telecom came around was because the companies in question were threatening other people to not get into the game or lowering their price to the point where they were taking a loss in order to keep other people out of the market who were thinking of getting into it, so they could keep on sucking up more and more of the market and then when no one could compete with them and everyone had given up on competing with them (which almost came about for AT&T)..... BAM! They could jack up the prices for their services!

Luckily, the federal government saw the possibility, if not probability, of that happening given a little longer and broke up AT&T before it could happen.

I don't have a problem morally with the big telecom companies..... I have a logical problem with them because I am terrified of the above happening, which it will if we are not VERY careful and keep on breaking up monopolistic companies or putting controls on extremely big companies to make sure that is not happening.

On another point, I do not honor success in this nation unless a person is willing to open up their books and show that they have done everything by the books..... unfortunately, right now, we do not have a requirement for the multi-millionaires to do that.

The reason that we do not have any competition is also not because of regulatory things..... On average, South Korea has MORE regulations than the United States does, and yet their internet has matured at a faster rate than the United States has, even taking into account that they are smaller by far than the United States.
The reason that we do not have any competition is because small startups know that they cannot compete with AT&T, not because of the regulations, but because they cannot beat them on price because AT&T owns the lines that they would have to purchase access to, and AT&T keeps those purchase fees very high in order to discourage people to keep out of it, according to my cousin who OWN shares in AT&T, Microsoft and Verizon.


RE: ATT and the NSA
By blowfish on 1/27/2008 10:49:24 AM , Rating: 1
You could be right on that one. People just don't seem to care much for their liberties, so long as they can buy more "stuff" to keep them happy. Not sure how much difference there is, if any, between a police state and one run solely for the benefit of big business - probably just the uniforms.


Not even public domain
By rebturtle on 1/27/2008 12:29:46 PM , Rating: 1
You know, I can drive down a public street, and a police officer has every right to run my plates if I'm doing something suspicious. My car might be stolen, I might have a warrant, etc.

Now we start talking about AT&T's network, which they spent billions on to provide us all a wonderful service at a profit!, and everyone's going to get in a huff because they might not be able to get all that pirated crap for free anymore, or might have to become responsible for their actions.

Please, I'm not on the MPAA's or RIAA's "side" by any means, but this closer equates to paying to drive through private property. If you want to use it, you have to obey their rules, and they can pull you over and turn you over to the authorities if they see fit. If you haven't done anything wrong, then there's nothing to worry about.

If you're going to state that you have rights not to be spied on, it's "your" data, etc, etc, please stay in your bunker eating spam and canned corn. AT&T has a right to protect it's investment, and nobody cares about your e-mails to grandma or your porn addiction. If you're downloading or sharing stuff illegally, you should be afraid, but you shouldn't be pointing fingers.




RE: Not even public domain
By porkpie on 1/27/08, Rating: 0
RE: Not even public domain
By JoshuaBuss on 1/27/2008 8:24:12 PM , Rating: 1
this post needs to be moved up somehow. you nailed the issue on the head.

the internet is not a free service we have some sort of 'intrinsic right' to use like air... and it's not even a public service provided by taxes.. it's wholly private and we should NOT expect complete anonymity. like the OP said.. if you've done nothing wrong, there's nothing to get upset about here. that'd be askin to getting upset that wal-mart has a history of what's been bought on a certain credit card.


RE: Not even public domain
By Fallen Kell on 1/28/2008 1:56:13 PM , Rating: 3
The only issue here is that they are treating people who havn't done anything wrong as though they have done things wrong. Simply using bittorrent is not wrong. There are many legal downloads that are done as torrents. But because it is very difficult to figure out exactly what you are downloading (especially on the encrypted torrent networks that have been starting to be used), the simple fact that you are using a torrent client they feel you are guilty of something, when they have no proof that you did anything wrong. That is the only issue I have with this.


RE: Not even public domain
By mallums on 1/29/2008 2:02:42 AM , Rating: 2
Correct. I usually get the latest OpenOffice.org release through bitTorrent. For example. As far as I know, that's legal. I don't understand the legal mumbo jumbo that outlawed the original Napster. Something about, "Must have substantial non-infringing uses." Of course law and common sense are not the same.


RE: Not even public domain
By Christopher1 on 2/2/08, Rating: 0
RE: Not even public domain
By radializer on 1/28/2008 9:33:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
this closer equates to paying to drive through private property. If you want to use it, you have to obey their rules, and they can pull you over and turn you over to the authorities if they see fit. If you haven't done anything wrong, then there's nothing to worry about.


Agreed ... a point well made about Private vs Public networks ... however, the only problem with your entire argument would be if the response that AT&T planned on taking actually involved some form of bandwidth limiting or information throttling. That requires a pre-assumption of guilt, which is troubling!

How, then, would you differentiate between a legitimate user and an illegitimate user? If someone with a small business uses the P2P protocol to transfer business-related information from their home to their office - should they be penalized with slower network speeds purely because P2P "tends" to carry pirated material on average?


Uh, no
By Polynikes on 1/27/2008 9:56:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
“It’s like being in a store and watching someone steal a DVD,” said Stephenson. “Do you act?”

Do you suspect every person of picking a DVD up off the shelf of being a thief?

Not every one who uses P2P software is a pirate.




RE: Uh, no
By Annonchinil on 1/28/2008 3:30:03 AM , Rating: 2
Uh No, its like walking into the store, seeing the cashier look at you and immediatly began to yell at her that she is "discriminating" at you because you might steal a DVD and demand that she close her eyes and cover her ears so you can shop without having your "rights" infringed.

Anyways AT&T isn't the courts, they can assume anything they want against you as long as they don't do it because you are a black gay guy.

On the subject on whether the internet is public or private I don't think it matters as much because you are going to have a hard time arguing that having lines of code (or whatever)seperated into the "I am illegal software" group is actually private information on that person that they might not even reach or that they will not have information on.

I think that by its very nature the information is not private and is very specific and is sorted into broad legal and illegal categories for this kind of tracking to be legal. Kind of like the dogs they use in airports, you either have illegal substances or not. Its not like using this they can find that large catalogue of gay porn you ordered.


RE: Uh, no
By Polynikes on 1/28/2008 7:31:07 AM , Rating: 2
Uh, yeah... Not really.

To be honest, for people who are not AT&T customers, this is more like getting accosted by an AT&T employee, then having said employee take your wallet and look through it, then take a certain type of object, regardless of content (picture, credit card, whatever) they find away because they think it MIGHT be illegal for you to have in your pocket (or packet).

Now maybe you think it's alright for backbone owners to look through people's data because people like you "have nothing to hide," but you're being very short-sighted. The internet is a public place, but your data is your business alone. Granted, it's stupid not to encrypt important data, but ISPs and especially other companies who happen to own a piece of the infrastructure your data travels along have no right to look at your data. If you let the Comcasts and AT&Ts of the world do this, it'll only be a matter of time before they start filtering other types of data. Maybe they'll decided that attachments larger than 5MB in an email is sucking up their bandwidth, and before you know it those packets just start disappearing, and you get emails back saying "uh, what attachment?"

This issue is not just about copyright- or non-copyright-infringing data, it's about what companies are doing with people's data en-route to its destination. A lot of P2P traffic is pirated material, but P2P and especially BitTorrent are being used a lot more for perfectly legal data sharing, and this will only continue to increase. Our internet infrastructure is getting taxed enough as it is, but the amount of data that people are trying to send, regarless of protocol, is only going to increase, and Comcast and AT&T's methods are merely plugging a hole in a dam. Eventually they're gonna have to wake up and start upgrading their infrastructure or all their efforts to lower the amount of bandwidth passing through their tubes will be in vain.


RE: Uh, no
By Annonchinil on 1/28/2008 11:33:16 AM , Rating: 2
What the hell are your arguments? Your data is your data? And they can't monitor it because some of it is not illegal? No right to look at your data? Where did you get that from? Way to use broad generalisations about your rights.

Everyone can monitor you all they want, there are only limits placed on what they can and can do and I doubt this type of monitoring is going to be illegal only because it has something to do with you or your "data". As I said before they aren't the courts and aren't held to the same standards, they can make as many generalizations about you as they want.


RE: Uh, no
By Christopher1 on 2/1/2008 1:26:44 AM , Rating: 1
Actually, no, people cannot monitor you all they want... that is how the stalking laws came about, which I have used 3 times in the past 5 years against people who are now sitting in prison.

Someone cannot monitor what you are doing, where you are going, etc. unless they have a warrant from the courts or are a law enforcement officer carrying out an investigation or have been given permission by the LEA's to act on their behalf, and even then there are limits on when and how long the LEA's and their authorized agents can do so.

There is also the problem with if the ISP's have a person who is not.... scrupulous and they will make it appear that you have been doing something you were not by changing IP logs.
That is a big danger today with people not liking what you are speaking out about if they work for the ISP's.... luckily, most have methods in place to make sure that no one can do that.

It also isn't a broad generalization of your rights to say that a person cannot look through your mail without a warrant.... this is the electronic equivalent of that! So if they cannot look through your mail without your permission (and if they do, it is a crime with up to a year in prison!), they cannot look through your internet traffic without due cause either.


Studies that do NOT know technology....
By Fallen Kell on 1/27/2008 8:24:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
various surveys claim that anywhere from 30 to 90 percent of all internet traffic is P2P related


I just love it when some "study" makes a claim like this, and then it gets reported, and mis-reported. Too bad that 100% (ONE HUNDRED PERCENT) of the "internet" is Point to Point, since, I (being at one point which is my local computer), am requesting from in this case, DailyTech, hosted on another point which is determined by DNS and or load sharing from a farm, but in the end, just another point, for this very website that then gets transmitted back to my local computer. The very implementation of the internet is a POINT TO POINT system. All packets have a "to address" which is the point that the information is meant to go (some will even have the "from address", and others, the last location it came from).

THE ENTIRE INTERNET is POINT TO POINT! "Consumers" are only just finally getting in on the game by hosting their other information. But that was the norm 20-25 years ago when networks were just starting to be built. Everyone on the network hosted information for other people to use. It wasn't really until AOL started taking off where people had access to the internet at home that the majority of the computers connected to the internet not have information that they were hosting out for others to look at. The trend is finally going back the other way as people figure out that you can do a lot more by hosting information and services to the rest of the internet. Maybe even if it is only for your own personal use, but having the ability to connect up to your own personal computer from any other computer connected to the internet is finally a benefit people are realizing and starting to do, be it hosting files that others are downloading or their own private FTP service.




By notfeelingit on 1/28/2008 12:55:40 PM , Rating: 2
P2P stands for peer-to-peer, as in client computer to client computer. Your downloading this article from DailyTech is a server-to-client transmission. Generally a server is used primarily to host data.


By TomCorelis on 1/28/2008 2:25:52 PM , Rating: 2
Generally "P2P" (at least here at Dailytech) refers to "peer-to-peer," specifically meaning peer-to-peer filesharing protocols such as BitTorrent or FastTrack.

I understand where you are coming from (I used to be a sysadmin), so I apologize for the confusion.


Article image
By sirdowny on 1/26/2008 2:01:17 PM , Rating: 5
I literally laughed out loud at that image :) Quality stuff there




By Darkskypoet on 1/27/2008 1:11:06 PM , Rating: 2
Not talking literal weapons here... but then i guess going by US government legislation... Perhaps I am.

Greater data interrogation, will lead to greater useage of encryption, which will lead to greater data interrogation, which increases the proliferation of encryption... et cetera et cetera... This is a normal state of affairs, and can be seen in any battle vs. 'criminal' behavior. (see drug trafficking, etc)

However, the fear that should be apparent to most 'in the know' is that the various concerns listed here (4 letter companies, etc), will instead move via lobby groups / special interests to ban the utilization of encryption by us common folk. Specifically, as can be seen by some of the horridly anti-freedom laws concerning prison sentences for failing to reveal a password to an encrypted data volume. (UK has such, and they are spreading)

The idea that one can go to jail for not knowing something (or being suspected of knowing, but not telling) is simply ludicrous. However, it gives us a vector of legislation growth, that could enable such firms to simply drop encrypted packets (or suspected encrypted packets), at various points of entry / transfer across its networks.

Further, the offending IP / user information could be submitted to various legal / government agencies for follow up in criminal proceedings.

Aside from the loss of bandwidth enhancing / network enhancing equipment that 'could have been deployed' instead of adopting such draconian data identification infrastructure, this new legal threat on the horizon against encryption is my greatest concern.

Its one thing to have a firm go all out to 'protect' its <insert salable product> from abuse, in traditional ways... But its quite another to see them start to use the dirty game of buying legislation to keep us in our place.

The former we can fight against, being 'in the know', the latter represents a very dangerous situation, in an increasingly unfriendly environment for exercising one's constitutional rights.

The most horrid part, is that many 'average people' would support such anti-encryption legislation if the powers that be, and their 'supporters', invoke the terrorism argument. Once the topic of 'security' is breached, all bets, reason, and normal rules go out the window.

Sadly, in a lot of cases, it already has.




By Christopher1 on 2/2/2008 12:51:23 AM , Rating: 1
Unfortunately, you are right about the terrorism argument. It has already been used in numerous countries to make people give up their rights out of a fear of 'terrorism' which wouldn't even be around if we would have kept our noses out of the Middle East 50-100 years ago.


i say..
By LumbergTech on 1/27/2008 3:08:25 AM , Rating: 2
bring it on ATT...while other new companies will come forth and increase bandwith you will fail because you are idiots and think that you serve content providers and not consumers..hjahahaha




Good luck with that!
By Adonlude on 1/28/2008 1:27:17 PM , Rating: 2
More news on the endless anti-piracy battlefront. When has "the man" ever managed to stop piracy for more than a short period of time? There will always be ultra crafty programmers out there to circumvent attempts to stop piracy. In less developed nations there is lots of money in piracy, that alone will keep it alive.




A simple formula at work.
By JonnyDough on 1/27/2008 5:22:02 PM , Rating: 1
I thought it was pretty obvious.

Auto+Oil+Pharmaceutical+Chemical+Hollywood+Teleco m = government?

I'll scratch your back, if you scratch mine.




"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein














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