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RIAA Uses Net Neutrality to Lump Together Fight Against P2P, Child Porn

RIAA Uses Net Neutrality to Lump Together Fight Against P2P, Child Porn

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) hopes that Google and Verizon’s recently announced “joint policy proposal for an open Internet” will mean that ISPs will be “permitted” and “encouraged” to fight illegal network activity “whether copyright infringement, child pornography or other illegal conduct.”

Copyright holders have a long and sordid history of trying to equate P2P with child porn, and again we see this manifested in recent comments made by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) about Google and Verizon’s announcement about a “joint policy proposal for an open Internet.”

Earlier this week Google and Verizon proposed a new legislative framework for Net neutrality guided by two main goals:

  1. Users should choose what content, applications, or devices they use, since openness has been central to the explosive innovation that has made the Internet a transformative medium.
  2. America must continue to encourage both investment and innovation to support the underlying broadband infrastructure; it is imperative for our global competitiveness.

The RIAA, which after ending the practice of suing individual file-sharers back in 2008 in favor of ISP-level cooperation, has been waiting impatiently for the opportunity to somehow convince ISPs that it’s in their best interest to fight copyright infringement on their networks.

Unlucky for it ISPs, at least for now, haven’t been much interested in targeting erstwhile loyal, paying customers unless their illegal file-sharing activity has an adverse effect on an ISP’s network in terms of data or bandwidth usage.

So the RIAA sees the Net neutrality debate as important opportunity to try and convince them otherwise.

Google and Verizon’s proposal says that “wireline broadband providers would not be able to discriminate against or prioritize lawful Internet content, applications or services in a way that causes harm to users or competition.”

In response, the RIAA says that it is pleased that they “recognize that lawful and unlawful content should be treated differently,” but goes on to give only two examples of unlawful activity: copyright infringement and child pornography. Not to downplay the latter, but it’s funny that of all the unlawful online activity to choose from like fraud, identity theft, spam, harassment, etc. it chooses child porn. It’s no accident.

The RIAA’s international cousin the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s (IFPI) has been trying to equate P2P with child porn for years. As far back as 2007 the IFPI has said that “technology similar to that used to block access to child pornography could be used to block access to websites that facilitate infringing file-sharing of copyrighted music.”

Earlier this year the IFPI took that sentiment to the next level, going so far as to exclaim that “child pornography is great…because politicians understand child pornography.”

“By playing that card,” IFPI lawyer Johan Schlüter told an audience gathered at an anti-P2P conference in Sweden, “we can get them to act, and start blocking sites. And once they have done that, we can get them to start blocking file-sharing sites.”

So it’s not by coincidence that the RIAA mentions P2P and child porn in the same breath. The IFPI’s right. Child porn is something that politicians understand, and the RIAA apparently sees this as important tactic to use as well.

The RIAA mentions that it hopes to take part in the legislative and regulatory process of fleshing out a Net neutrality solution. Lets only hope that groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have a seat at the table and have a chance to reiterate the differences between the two.

The harm caused by child porn is very real, but the the harm caused by P2P is illusory at best. With the music industry’s profits, at least in the UK, having risen for the last 2 years in a row it’s hard to imagine why the RIAA would even compare the two acts. That is, unless, it’s “playing that card.”

Stay tuned.

[email protected]

Jared Moya
I've been interested in P2P since the early, high-flying days of Napster and KaZaA. I believe that analog copyright laws are ill-suited to the digital age, and that art and culture shouldn't be subject to the whims of international entertainment industry conglomerates. Twitter | Google Plus
Scary Devil Monastery
Scary Devil Monastery

Mike, that's a rather large load of bullshit to hang on a few rather flimsy excuses. Net Neutrality is the one thing which enables competition at all when it comes to the internet. We know from the AT&T trials, and before that, the railroad tycoons, that the US is NOT willing to allow de facto monopolies on infrastructure.The abolishment of net neutrality principles will be the definite sign of the US turning the entire IT-sector into a Leninesque socialistic "ideal".

Scary Devil Monastery
Scary Devil Monastery

That might fly in the EU since our elected officials are on the prohibition bandwagon. In the US, however, net neutrality is a must. Given that the internet has turned out to be the main form of communications media, any ability of single providers to block or prioritize the communication of selected clientéle is tantamount to restricting the freedom of speech.What is more, I can only imagine what's going to happen once the NRA realizes that the abolishment of net neutrality "Because it can be abused" sets the ultimate precedent for banning firearms.

Mike
Mike

Also, Cop Killer, it is apps like Tor and Freenet that allow IP holders to equate infringement, hacking, and child porn so readily. Because it is applications like these that simultaneously allow those hackers and pedophiles to be untraceable. So if Freenet is permitted without restriction, you are equally allowing all online crime without traceability or consequence.The public will never support this, so it is naive to expect such networks will ever be allowed on a large scale.

Mike
Mike

Sorry, Jared, but it's true. Net neutrality is an idealistic joke. Not even the "freedom loving" Tea Bag right wing wants it. The only few advocating for it on the left are guys like Al Franken who have no sway. The mainstream politicians do not support it. The major corporations (on all sides) do not support it.ISPs administrate private networks, and just like any other private network, they deserve the right to administrate their terms of service and how they cope with illegal use of their resources. Whether that's for hacking, spamming, child porn, or infringement, either way the fact remains the same: It is an illegal use of ISP infrastructure and should not be permitted.

ejonesss
ejonesss

1. i dont know if we should believe this news because ofhttp://www.zeropaid.com/news/90233/torrentreactor-buys-renames-russian-town-for-150000/andhttp://www.zeropaid.com/news/90248/torrentreactor-village-renaming-a-hoax/2. this looks like the freon conspiracy.i dont think it is as destructive as claimed.it probably was parent groups could not the government to do anything about kids sniffing the gas to get high so the parents turned to the epa to come up with some fake science to prove it could destroy ozone just to get it discontinued and replaced.

Cop Killer
Cop Killer

Fight back! Fight the RIAA,, the MAFIAA, and the worthless pigs in ICE/FBI by jumping in the 'Darknet'. Install Tor and Freenet nodes - if you are the paranoid type (or plan to go through customs), there is free full disk encryption with Truecrypt.Freenet: http://freenetproject.org Tor: http://torproject.org Truecrypt: http://truecrypt.orgAll are open source/GPL. Even if you don't use it, running a node helps others fight the pigs.

disinter
disinter

It's disgusting to me that no one stands up and calls them out for what they are doing. If I were a person in some high respectful position, I'd be on their ass letting the world know about their "think of the children" smoke and mirrors argument. They don't give a shit about CP, it's all about money. Instead it quietly moves on. Hell I bet there are ALOT of people who are going to buy into it.

Ashton
Ashton

The mafiaa and friends uploaded child porn to file sharing networks & share it themselves so they can say "its there". Basically its the same thing as planting evidence which is illigal but they don't care...

Mike
Mike

Net neutrality means a lot of things to a lot of people. Some think net neutrality should mean an ISP has no right to throttle or disconnect a customer if they are found to repeatedly violate the ISP's terms of service. Or that ISP's should have no right to block illegal content on their networks. I disagree on those points. ISP's absolutely should have the right to administrate and moderate their networks.

Drew Wilson
Drew Wilson

"The public will never support this, so it is naive to expect such networks will ever be allowed on a large scale."Do you have any idea how big Tor is? Tor is large scale.

Drew Wilson
Drew Wilson

Why don't we end the constitution in the US while we're at it? After all, people hide behind the constitution squealing about petty things called "rights" all the time - sometimes when it's not in a corporations best interest heaven forbid!Seriously, this is an issue worth fighting for. Didn't telephone companies try to control what phone you were allowed to use way back when landline was the only form of phone communication? What about all those screws with the special heads? Shouldn't companies control what screw driver you use? Why shouldn't construction companies be allowed to put tolls on every road and bridge? Shouldn't they have a right to manage the traffic on their constructions and charge perpetually accordingly?Before DRM infected people's legally paid for content, this kind of corporate control was an absurd idea. There was a reason why perpetual copyright was struck down. Undeniably, the internet has benefited society in a huge way. What gives corporations the right to take away the rights given to people through an open internet and bring innovation to a halt just because some forms of innovation might not directly be beneficial to their bottom line? If net neutrality never happened, we would never have the internet we know of today. If net neutrality is successfully killed, then the internet could gradually be whittled down to some fad someone thought of. We'd be pulled back all the way to the 60s in terms of innovation. Fighting for net neutrality is fighting for what benefits society.

Drew Wilson
Drew Wilson

1. That's pretty much comparing apples and oranges.2. Do you think ACTA is just a conspiracy too? This news is, in no way, surprising to me. Copyright groups wanted ISPs to do all the dirty work for years because they know the litigation campaign is a failure. That kind of thing has been happening at least as long as I've been writing here.The RIAA is grasping at straws at this point.

D.AN
D.AN

In other words you are trying to discredit the principles of Net Neutrality by disagreeing with likely inaccurate opinions of it."ISP’s absolutely should have the right to administrate and moderate their networks."But to what extent? Your opinion is far too vague to constitute any meaning.

Mike
Mike

Tor is no one's concern yet, because the vast majority of infringement takes place outside of it. Furthermore, law enforcement still has plenty of "easy pickings" when it wants to go after child porn on networks like Limewire. What happens when all those illegal activities migrate to Tor/Freenet/I2P?I think it would be naive to expect law enforcement (or the public) to just say "oh well, never mind then." Like I said, that's when infringement DOES become technologically equivalent to child porn, because law enforcement will be equally blocked from pursuing either.I expect this will not be permissible, and I expect these networks will be restricted severely by various means as a result. Only time will tell.(Also why does Zeropaid require approval for every comment submitted? Torrentfreak and other similar sites do not. What about 'free speech'?)

D.AN
D.AN

"[...] According to Wiki ..."Albeit I appreciate Wikipedia's collection of information, it is an affront to assume sufficiency merely by quoting text from it. That description is quite correct, but it does not even remotely relate to your next argument:"Yes, I believe net neutrality applied absolutely would interfere with an ISP’s ability to administrate their terms and services. I believe that is one of the primary reasons pirates are such strong advocates for it."How are Net Neutrality and terms of service policies related? Terms normally only reference law, because the terms themselves are not, but must abide to law. Your opinion is further rendered moot in a recent article titled 'U2 Band Manager: Piracy Has Made Tech Companies, ISPs Rich'."As for administration of ISP networks, I specifically said: ISP having the right to throttle or disconnect a customer if they are found to repeatedly violate the ISP’s terms of service."The fact that some ISPs use network throttling regardless makes nonsense of your assertion."Or that ISP’s should have the right to block illegal content on their networks."The fact that it is impractical, if not impossible, makes nonsense of your assertion.It goes without saying that what you believe ISPs want is actually what you wish they want.

Drew Wilson
Drew Wilson

At the same token, ISPs are known to try and block entire protocols regardless of content. That is what I find particularly troubling because I distribute my creative works on p2p networks.

Mike
Mike

Oh I'm sorry D.AN, I wasn't aware there was an "official" definition of net neutrality. According to Wiki "The principle states that if a given user pays for a certain level of Internet access, and another user pays for the same level of access, then the two users should be able to connect to each other at the subscribed level of access." Also "advocates no restrictions by Internet Service Providers and governments on content, sites, platforms, on the kinds of equipment that may be attached, and no restrictions on the modes of communication allowed."Yes, I believe net neutrality applied absolutely would interfere with an ISP's ability to administrate their terms and services. I believe that is one of the primary reasons pirates are such strong advocates for it.As for administration of ISP networks, I specifically said: ISP having the right to throttle or disconnect a customer if they are found to repeatedly violate the ISP’s terms of service. Or that ISP’s should have the right to block illegal content on their networks.

D.AN
D.AN

"[...] becomes a hotbed for crimes far worse than piracy."All doubtful. Do you truly believe that advocates of "piracy" condone pedophilia, which is your only mentioned real crime that apparently may utilize P2P? P2P and pedophilia are not even remotely connected. Peers are people, and like the scientific community, they will provide proper scrutiny when something is not right, even when they are completely anonymous to each other. All of your argument against anonymity and P2P, combined or separated, is invalid.PR means absolutely nothing when there is no legitimate cause to uphold. P2P is one thing and anonymity is another, but if neither of those two things alone are illegal, then it is to the detriment of the campaigners to even consider claiming both illegal when together.

D.AN
D.AN

"... all anonymous P2P can and will be used to ..." "... and prevent law enforcement from pursuing online criminals. ..." "... want anonymity for no reason except ..." "... anonymity will be outweighed in public discourse by law enforcement’s need to do their job ..." "... and the fact that widespread anonymous P2P will stand in their way."I will put this bluntly: all your claims are mere assumptions. You claim that attaining full control in order to enforce the law somehow supercedes the right for innocent citizens to avoid all conflicts and otherwise decline any involvement with law and prejudice. Unfortunately, should this compromise become required by law enforcers, then they and the law have failed their duty indefinitely.To further reinforce the fact that you are an idiot, recall the fact that P2P requires peers to function at all. Those peers are citizens, the very ones who the law must protect. As for the criminals, they are irrelevant, because they use anything which benefits their motives, including anonymity. Notice that I jumped from P2P to anonymity. This is due to the fact that you have been utterly combining them in order to indict P2P along with anonymity even though it is only anonymity that is being disputed.This implies that my statement which you tried to refute has been extremely accurate, quite ironically.

Mike
Mike

Drew, I am not underestimating peoples' abilities to code or encrypt. Nor am I underestimating the dedication of hardcore pirates, who will probably never stop as long as they are able.I am just expecting that the PR campaigns against anonymous P2P will be infinitely more effective than the PR campaigns against traditional P2P. And I am expecting that when faced with the ugly reality of what anonymous P2P harbors, plenty of people will turn away.I also expect that when law enforcement is forced to choose between: 1) Illegalizing anonymous P2P and penalizing those who run nodes (through ISP temp bans for example), and 2) Allowing all online crime to flourish unhindered,they will choose #1. And based on the PR, most of the public will be on their side.The only way I could see an anonymous P2P network gain sway is if it was moderated, so like The Pirate Bay, you could restrict it to just piracy, which most people don't find very offensive. But if a network is centrally moderated, it cannot be truly decentralized or anonymous.One click hosts are not likely to represent the future of piracy IMO since they can be blocked by ISPs and pursued by rights holders.Any piracy that depends on centralized moderation provides an easy target, and any piracy that depends on decentralized anonymity becomes a hotbed for crimes far worse than piracy.

Drew Wilson
Drew Wilson

"So if ZeroPaid proactively filters its posters on their private site, it is just site administration. But if an ISP does it with their equally private network, it’s censorship?"ZeroPaid is one site. An ISP is the gateway to the entire internet. Two completely different things."What you guys seem to be missing about the technological equivalence with networks like Tor and Freenet is that the anonymity architecture REQUIRES NODES TO FACILITATE THE ANONYMITY OF ALL USAGE. Especially on Freenet where everyone has a datastore, you are facilitating the anonymity of ALL online criminals by supporting the network."You keep using only those two examples. When p2p moves underground, p2p might not use those networks. One-click hosters, for example, might be the preferred method. It's not as anonymous, but as far as rights holders are concerned, it is."When law enforcement starts saying “We can’t pursue pedophiles because we can’t track them on X anonymity P2P”, take a guess how long that P2P will last."Probably a very long time actually."“Anonymous” P2P is no threat in the long term to anti-piracy identification."I think you underestimate people's ability to code and encrypt.

Mike
Mike

"Because somehow you believe that all anonymous P2P is equivalent to piracy and pedophilia."No, because all anonymous P2P can and will be used to facilitate piracy and pedophilia, and prevent law enforcement from pursuing online criminals. If you believe otherwise you are naive. Yes, there is a faction of law-abiding citizens that are simply paranoid and want anonymity for no reason except they enjoy privacy. However, their paranoia and personal desire for anonymity will be outweighed in public discourse by law enforcement's need to do their job on much bigger crimes than piracy, and the fact that widespread anonymous P2P will stand in their way.

D.AN
D.AN

"So if ZeroPaid proactively filters its posters on their private site, it is just site administration. But if an ISP does it with their equally private network, it’s censorship?"This is hardly a private site. Furthermore, you are attempting to compare a website to a network system, which is simply ludicrous."[...] you are facilitating the anonymity of ALL online criminals by supporting the network."There may be criminals under anonymity, but that is irrelevant and invalid reasoning against anonymity."When law enforcement starts saying “We can’t pursue pedophiles because we can’t track them on X anonymity P2P”, take a guess how long that P2P will last."Anonymity exists to counter prejudice. It is naive to believe that eliminating it would actually reduce crime rates, when frivolity exists as part of law.""Anonymous" P2P is no threat in the long term to anti-piracy identification."Because somehow you believe that all anonymous P2P is equivalent to piracy and pedophilia.

Mike
Mike

So if ZeroPaid proactively filters its posters on their private site, it is just site administration. But if an ISP does it with their equally private network, it's censorship?What you guys seem to be missing about the technological equivalence with networks like Tor and Freenet is that the anonymity architecture REQUIRES NODES TO FACILITATE THE ANONYMITY OF ALL USAGE. Especially on Freenet where everyone has a datastore, you are facilitating the anonymity of ALL online criminals by supporting the network.When law enforcement starts saying "We can't pursue pedophiles because we can't track them on X anonymity P2P", take a guess how long that P2P will last."Anonymous" P2P is no threat in the long term to anti-piracy identification.

Drew Wilson
Drew Wilson

"What happens when all those illegal activities migrate to Tor/Freenet/I2P?"Then copyright groups are to blame for pushing it underground. They never addressed the cause for infringement in the first place and why people choose to infringe on copyright. If people prefer to work hard enough to stay anonymous to get infringing material, then that says a lot about how much of a pain it is to go legit."Like I said, that’s when infringement DOES become technologically equivalent to child porn, because law enforcement will be equally blocked from pursuing either."This is not really a valid argument. This is like saying guns are the technological equivalent to a murder weapon and therefor, we should ban all guns including those that are used for legal hunting because all hunters are murderers. You are comparing apples and oranges here in terms of content. There's a huge difference between downloading copyright infringing material and child porn. How one gets either is beside the point."I expect this will not be permissible, and I expect these networks will be restricted severely by various means as a result. Only time will tell."Indeed, time will tell. If big networks really do decide to censor their networks, it's to their detriment. Small ISPs will have a huge sales pitch of offering access to an uncensored network. It makes no business sense to censor the internet from an ISP standpoint. ISPs have everything to lose a little to gain from it."(Also why does Zeropaid require approval for every comment submitted? Torrentfreak and other similar sites do not. What about ‘free speech’?)"This website generates huge traffic, and thus, spam. To my knowledge, it's moderated to keep the spam out as much as possible. It's so popular, we are no longer just plagued with spam bots like most sites with a little traffic are, but manual spammers as well as a result of our popularity.

D.AN
D.AN

Unfortunately your incoherent argumentation is unsound."Tor is no one’s concern yet, because the vast majority of infringement takes place outside of it. Furthermore, law enforcement still has plenty of “easy pickings” when it wants to go after child porn on networks like Limewire. What happens when all illegal activities migrate to Tor/Freenet/I2P?"You are purporting that infringement is comparable to more severe crimes. Furthermore, you assert that all concerns surround only enforceability. Nevertheless, both points are fallible at best, and since the basis of your entire argument depends on them, it utterly renders itself as speculative blather."I think it would be naive to expect law enforcement (or the public) to just say "oh well, never mind then."It is folly to consider restraining a network in order to enforce the law."Like I said, that’s when infringement DOES become technologically equivalent to child porn, because law enforcement will be equally blocked from pursuing either."It is impossible for infringement to be "technologically equivalent to child porn". Merely recall the details of the activities if it is not already clear. Obviously, you are utterly comparing them only by the idea that under similar circumstances they involve putting something online. Unfortunately, that is the fallacy of composition. Trying to enforce law on completely unrelated incidents in the same way is simply foolish and will fail, because this implies expecting identical consequences, which is illogical."I expect this will not be permissible, and I expect these networks will be restricted severely by various means as a result. Only time will tell."However, timeless logic will demonstrate that it shall never happen."(Also why does Zeropaid require approval for every comment submitted? Torrentfreak and other similar sites do not. What about ‘free speech’?)"To prevent spam from cluttering things.



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