Former Prosecutor: ISP Content Filtering Might be a ‘Five Year Felony’

– If you don’t know what ‘Net Neutrality’ is then this might be a good place to tune in. For an introduction, follow this link: Net Neutrality

– I’ve written/posted several times on this subject. Follow these links to see my previous posts on this:

– This issue is just going to get hotter and hotter as the corporations try to capture the Internet for their own monetary profit and political power. All the other media have been co-opted; newspapers, magazines, radio, T.V. The Internet is the only free media left.

– Watch this space (because it could vanish…). Or, as Joni Mitchell says in her song, “You don’t know what you got, ’til it’s gone.

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NEW HAVEN, Connecticut — Internet service providers that monitor their networks for copyright infringement or bandwidth hogs may be committing felonies by breaking federal wiretapping laws, a panel said Thursday.

University of Colorado law professor Paul Ohm, a former federal computer crimes prosecutor, argues that ISPs such as Comcast, AT&T and Charter Communications that are or are contemplating ways to throttle bandwidth, police for copyright violations and serve targeted ads by examining their customers’ internet packets are putting themselves in criminal and civil jeopardy.

“These ISPs are getting close to the line of illegality and may be violating the law,” Ohm told conference goers at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference Thursday.

Charter’s proposed test of a system that eavesdrops on the URLs its customers visit, in order to serve them targeted ads, has already spurred a powerful Congressman to question whether the scheme would violate the Cable Act. For its part, Comcast’s heavy-handed throttling of peer-to-peer sharing by sending fake stop messages to its customers has the Federal Communications Commission holding hand-wringing public hearings over whether it should ban the practice as being inconsistent with its open network principles.

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