Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The irish Governments plan on getting ISPs to monitor, filter and block subscribers from downloading illegal content

I rarely get political. First of all, I'm a non-national in Ireland, which means I can't vote on anything bar local stuff anyhow. But when it comes to the point, where they interfere with my bread and butter, to the point, where they actually could bankrupt me, I get furious. Especially, when they clearly don't have a clue of the industry they are affecting nor do proper consulting as usual.

The latest item on the agenda is getting ISPs to block internet users/subscribers from downloading illegal content / piracy.

What they don't realize though, is that if they force ISPs to filter/log content to the extend that they are looking into, they will most likely ruin most of the smaller regional ISPs financially in a split second on the cost for doing this alone. Especially because every good ISP doesn't have one single point where he terminates his internet traffic, nor one single point within the network where all traffic would be processed. Just for the sake of fail over. That means filters will have to be placed in several locations or a single point of failure will have to be created. Never mind the cost for putting the technology in place, another problem is the man power needed to update these filters on an ongoing basis as the ways the internet is used changes on a daily basis. Even for the ISPs that actually want to limit things like P2P, it's very hard to do so today. That's without having to try to log the data.

The impact on privacy is another problem, which has been given no thought at all. Implementing this type of filtering will literally give the Copyright agencies the right to tap your phone line. You think not ? Are you aware, how many phone calls are processed and routed across the Internet nowadays ? Even when you don't know it, IP data networks are used to route your phone call.

Also, no thought has been given to the problems, that already exists. Just look what happened to the way Eircom (and the Copyright holders) handled the three strikes scenario:

Or do we want a scenario where the Music Industry tries to abuse law to earn more money:

Better yet, the Music Industry doesn't even ensure, that they pay the copyright holders nor keep to their contracts:

In the US, it's going as far, that the Music Industry now collects royalties for the event, that you might be playing copyrighted music: Before you ever violated any copyright law in the first place. Just in case, you know !

Another recent show, how the Industry just hits before even asking is the MegaUpload case:

So, if or when the government makes a law, that should limit pirating copyrighted material, they should be VERY careful, about where they tackle the issue and on what grounds. Placing the burden at the ISPs is shooting pigeons with a heat-seaking rocket-launcher. The collateral damage will be fairly insane and kick our broadband infrastructure a good decade back to where it came from.

Get a grip. Act responsible and solve the issue at the source. There is plenty of ways to tackle this. When you spill a bowl of rice, you don't go and get somebody else to pick up each and every one of them by hand. You get a brush and brush them up in one go. Or get a vacuum cleaner and fix the mess. You especially don't rip the carpet up at the same time to pin it back down again afterwards.

Matter of fact, this is as bad as the law about knifes in Denmark, that made every builder and even every person that owned a Volkswagen Tuareg a criminal, just because a Stanley knife is part of their toolkit. It basically handed such a person an automatic jail term. At the least the recent government change there meant, that the law got adjusted so that it doesn't hit innocent people anymore ... hopefully.

No shit Sherlock !!!