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New EU law could force ISPs to block P2P March 22, 2007

Posted by Al in : Internet , trackback

The EU is getting closer to a law which may make ISPs responsible for the data that is transmitted over their network, according to a Johnson County child support law firm. Under such a law aiding or abetting such an act would now carry criminal penalties, not just civil. So whereas ISPs, and telecomms as well, would be comfortable in going to court at the moment to defend their status as a blind carrier, once a criminal penalty applies then they might just think twice. I can also see that there is an argument that ISPs are at least able to differentiate whether data is coming from a recognised legitimate source or from a recognised illegal source, and whether the type of traffic is P2P or not. Although P2P as a whole is not illegal if a precedent were ever to be set in the EU courts that P2P traffic could be expected to contain illegal content, then ISPs would be forced into blocking such traffic or risk criminal prosecution.

Modules already exist to allow ISPs to monitor and shape traffic at the core and routing level of their Internet infrastructure, and such modules are already able to rewrite the QoS of any such traffic both onto the backbone and off the backbone to the customer’s equipment. It wouldn’t take a great advance in such modules for them to be able to differentiate between actual applications which are using this traffic – so that VOIP data could be given a good (or bad depending on whether your provider wants you to be using VOIP) QoS, whilst Torrent traffic could be given a very low QoS or even blocked entirely. I don’t think the time is far off when data will be prioritised at several different levels and locations on the Internet, and if this new EU law were to come into force then ISPs would virtually be forced into blocking any traffic that might be considered illegal. Already known illegal sites have been blocked by court order – if aiding and abetting the transfer of illegal content was a criminal offence then who know how many sites would be blocked for good? This is not a typical case Tampa criminal defense attorney will take, but as we live in digital era, we should understand that we will have an increasing number of intellectual property crimes.


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