"Six Strikes" Puts ISPs in the Business of Spying on Users

Thanks, Big Brother


A new system designed to combat copyright infringement was launched in the U.S. on Monday, a joint venture between content companies and internet service providers known as the Copyright Alert System. The name sounds harmless enough, and supporters argue that it's an appropriate balance between copyright and an open Internet, but critics argue that the so-called "six strikes" process is the thin edge of an ever-broader wedge that copyright holders are trying to drive between consumers and digital content. …

Your ISP will be doing some heavy snooping. One of the broader risks that groups such as the EFF point to in criticizing these new restrictions is that they rely on ISPs snooping on their users to an almost unprecedented degree, and this raises issues about privacy that are comparable to the debates around such technologies as "deep packet inspection." The potential downside is fairly significant.