Hollywood’s Net police

Internet>> Copyright • The US

Published: Friday 30 November 2012

imageUS Internet firms have declared war on what they call “illegal downloaders”. Verizon, one of the biggest Internet service providers in the country, said it will e-mail warnings to people who use technologies such as BitTorrent to download copyrighted material. Then it will restrict or “throttle” their Net speed.

Time Warner Cable, another service provider, says it will use pop-up warnings and restrict subscribers’ web browsing activities by redirecting their Net searches. The initiative has come from five US Internet service providers—AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon.

But the industry admits the campaign is unlikely to deter “hardcore pirates”. Electronic Frontier Foundation, which campaigns for digital freedom in the US, criticised the campaign. “Big media firms are launching peer-to-peer surveillance schemes to snoop on subscribers. Service providers are acting as Hollywood’s private enforcement arm,” a foundation spokesperson told BBC.

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