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ISPs to Ban P2P With New European Telecom Package? 367

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-torrents-for-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes "ZeroPaid is reporting that ISPs could be turned into the copyright police through European legislation that received a number of 'intellectual property' amendments. Many of these amendments can be found here. Judging by the amendments, ISPs could be mandated to block legitimate traffic in an effort to 'prevent' illegitimate traffic. To help stop this legislation, you can check out the action page. Additional coverage can be found on EDRI and Open Rights Group."
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ISPs to Ban P2P With New European Telecom Package?

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  • by HungryHobo (1314109) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @03:03AM (#24040587)
    When WoW stops working because the updates are blocked the Hord and the Alliance might finally put their differences aside to fight a bigger foe!
  • by Erie Ed (1254426) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @03:09AM (#24040607)
    P2P isn't just about illegal file sharing, it's bigger than that. The way we download linux distros, the way we download game updates, hell even Pure Pwnage distributes their videos using P2P methods. I really think they are missing the point of how this technology has made an impact on how we get our content from the internet. If this passes they might as well ban people from driving cars because they can be used to traffic illegal drugs.
    • by Psychotria (953670) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @03:14AM (#24040617)
      Well, yeah. That is the point of the "story" though. The suggestion is that all P2P traffic will be blocked to protect the copyrights--which will, of course, hurt legitimate uses of the technology.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dan541 (1032000)

        See how much copyright laws are costing us?

        We the people need to fight them at every corner.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ACMENEWSLLC (940904)

        I use P2P to get WoW updates, OpenSUSE, and other distro's.

        P2P could conceivable run on any port using any protocol. We could embed the traffic as the echo request in ICMP. It could be embedded in directed sub delegated DNS using techniques like the Flash reverse proxy hack.

        The only way they can possible block P2P in any future form is to block all inbound & outbound traffic with the exception of outbound HTTP, which is then heavily inspected. HTTPS would have to be through their proxy, which they

    • I really think they are missing the point

      Politicians missing the point? I am SHOCKED!

    • by Lavene (1025400) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @03:46AM (#24040731)
      One of our great lawmakers here once said in a TV interview that a good solution would be to simply ban file sharing!

      The interviewer asked if she meant all kind of sharing, like if he had a document he had written him self on his computer and wanted to share it, would it be illegal? And the great lawmaker answered: "We are talking about files here, not documents and stuff like that."

      The point is: They haven't got a clue! The haven't the faintest idea what they're talking about. But that doesn't stop them from passing laws...
    • No Free Content (Score:5, Informative)

      by EzInKy (115248) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @04:03AM (#24040793)


      I really think they are missing the point of how this technology has made an impact on how we get our content from the internet.

      No, they see the point perfectly clear. Their view is that people need to stop thinking that they can get free stuff from the internet. The last sentence of this BBC article [bbc.co.uk]sums up the industry's position pretty well:


      "We don't believe that society can allow the free consumption of content to persist"

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ijakings (982830)

        You mean the free consumption of infinately reproductable content?

        I think we all can see the Industrys position, they dont want to evolve and create new business models so they are paying off politicians to pass laws so they dont have to.

        Having actually read both the article and the proposed legislation itself none of it makes sense.
        Pirates will find ways around it, and those of us who legally consume things from P2P will be screwed. They clearly havent heard of VPN's based in countrys without amazing indus

      • by petes_PoV (912422) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @05:04AM (#24040983)
        I think they do get it. the one thing governments hate is the uncontrolled spreading of information. Whether that's pr0n, plans for bombs, propaganda or state secrets doesn't matter. What they would all like - whether a country has a bill of rights, a constitution or whatever - is to have ultimate control over what their people get to see.

        So far the internet has been seen as a necessary evil. Something that has some benefits (outsourcing, e-commerce) and some small disadvantages. Now we have a situation where a large pressure group (the media) want to change the order of things and are using their influence to put a halt to this unregulated area.

        Governments like the idea of people paying for things. That way they get to tax them more and also put in place commercial frameworks where it is in the suppliers interests to toe the line. (For some reason they haven't managed this with the drugs trade - yet). It also allows them to regulate the content, by controlling the providers. So far, because of their general cluelessness in technical areas, governments haven't come up with an effective way to do this - while keeping the veneer of freedom/democracy that they like people to think they have. Just as soon as they can come up with a "think of the children" strategy that works, they'll implement it and the internet will become a top-down hierarchy with laws, penalties and controls.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by leomekenkamp (566309)
          I could not agree with you more, except for one thing:

          (For some reason they haven't managed this with the drugs trade - yet).

          Actually, they have: coffee, tea, alcohol and tobacco are all taxed. And alcohol is one of the hardest drugs you can get your hands on, legally or illegally.

          • And they try to suppress "hard" drugs completely, which is by definition not compatible with having a taxed and regulated commercial network.
            The cartels that run those drugs anyway have to stay hidden from the law, thus you won't see them filing tax declarations for their business.

      • Re:No Free Content (Score:4, Insightful)

        by anti-pop-frustration (814358) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @07:03AM (#24041553) Journal

        "We don't believe that society can allow the free consumption of content to persist"

        That quote made me think and I realized that my whole life is based on free consumption of content: radio (streaming/podcast), music, documentaries, tv shows, movies, porn, games.

        The web and p2p are by far my main source of entertainment and information, this stuff is what I spend most of my free time on, this is who I am.

        Trying to put an end to that is no less than a direct attack on my way of life.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Fred_A (10934)

        "We don't believe that society can allow the free consumption of content to persist"

        So I can still pay my 30€ each month as long as I don't plug anything into the ADSL box ?

        If I close my eyes while reading /., does it still qualify as "free consumption of content" ? Or should I browse Digg ? After all pretty much everyone agrees that it's content-free.

    • by damburger (981828) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @04:11AM (#24040827)

      They aren't missing the point at all. The understand the point perfectly and that is why they don't like it.

      P2P, especially torrenting, massively decentralises the process of distributing information. For centuries such technology has been held only be a self-selecting elite, who have appointed themselves as gatekeepers for societies discourse, believing they know what is best for us mere plebs to think. People using their bandwidth to help each other broadcast information instead of just downloading it from corporate and government sources scare the EU parliament. They can't be controlled, you see.

      It is part of a wider move to reshape society that has been going on for at least a century.

      If you imagine society as a tree structure, with the leaders at the top and the citizens at the bottom, and connections between members of society. Some of these are vertical ones that transcend the 'levels' of the tree, and represent the unequal relationships we have with those more powerful than us or less powerful. Some connections are horizontal ones between peers and equals. The method of control that has been preferred by western civilisation is the elimination of horizontal connections in society to make people more dependent on vertical ones.

      In terms of the Internet, this is reflected by the constant legislation aimed at eliminating the Internet as a global communication network with a low barrier for entry for those wishing to transmit, and turning it into a mere conduit for delivering products and services of those in power. That is what the Internet has been to these people for the past 15 years - the fact we can use it for our own needs is to them a fault which needs to be corrected.

      Rant over. Seems you caught me at a philosophical moment.

      • by initialE (758110) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @04:36AM (#24040899)
        If those in power want to kill the internet for the common man, what is there to stop the common man from killing the internet for those in power? I like the way the politician the parent was talking about put it - "We are talking about files here, not documents and stuff like that." Well guess what, documents are files. You ban our files and we will ban yours. You find a loophole to suit your purposes and we will abuse it to suit ours. The only insight that those in power haven't understood is that everything is joined at the hip here - what works for you works for me, and what won't work for you won't work for me.
      • by Narpak (961733) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @06:16AM (#24041317)
        They way I see it ilegal filesharing is a problem; but it will NEVER be as big a problem as heavyhanded regulations that stifles our use of the internet and infringes upon the privacy and freedoms were are supposed to have. Yet again I feel that politicans and lawmakers instead of focusing on the problem of ilegal filesharing in a objective way. Or try to understand what social, cultural, technological and economical factors could impact this situation. Their only sulution is to focus on regulating the technology that has made the distribution of digital media so easy.

        I feel that if there had been serious study of how material is created and distributed today, there could have been better solutions. Maybe if there had been a better ways to purchase material online more people would have. But to rigidly maintain an outdated structure benefits no one in the end.

        I find myself agreeing with those that call politicans clueless concerning these matters. It is easier for them to listen to lobbyist or just skip this entire issue all together. Meaning that what laws are passes are not in the public interest, but either in the interest of the corporate lobby; or the interest of those within Government that want greater control of the distribution of information. Either way, we lose.

        Maybe the future is to focus on creating better wireless devices. If everyone in my city had a wireless devices that were capable of merging into one large network, then I could send information from my computer to someone on the other side of the city (or country) aslong as there was a path and nodes for it to leapfrog across. This probably wouldn't be anything like as efficent as a landline, but done right it could provide a secondary internet of sorts; which would be a lot harder to regulate.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Shakrai (717556) *

      If this passes they might as well ban people from driving cars because they can be used to traffic illegal drugs

      Laugh, but that might be too far from the truth. I'm not aware of how it works in the EU but here in the US we have asset forfeiture [wikipedia.org] laws that let the Government seize any property remotely connected to drugs. Drove your car to the dealers house to buy some pot? Kiss it goodbye if you are unlucky enough to live in one of the harsher states. As I recall some genius Congresscritter was proposing the same thing for piracy -- you'd forfeit your PC and any other hardware.

      The cute part is they don't even need

  • ISP ESP (Score:4, Funny)

    by dotslashdot (694478) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @03:16AM (#24040627)
    So the ISP has ESP for P2P unless you're L33T enough to have L2TP or PPTP?
  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @03:23AM (#24040649) Homepage Journal
    BitTorrent was originally designed to distribute Open Source software installation CD images.

    Jamendo [jamendo.com] uses it to distribute Creative Commons-licensed music, all of it with the explicit permission of its copyright holders.

    BitTorrent is crucial to my musical aspirations, as distributing my music [geometricvisions.com] with it allows me to provide formats that would use a lot of bandwidth, such as FLAC, without incurring expensive bandwidth charges.

    While musicians can host their music for free at places like MySpace, it's really best to for artists to have their own websites, and to host their own music. That way, growth in the popularity of their sites will enrich the artists, rather than the music hosting service.

    But a hit song can bankrupt struggling musicians if they just supply regular HTTP downloads; p2p enables mass distribution at a very low cost.

    It's very important to get the message through to lawmakers and the public that filesharing, while it can be abused, is inherently perfectly legitimate, and should be kept both legal and technically possible.

    • by i'm lost (1247580) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @03:27AM (#24040657)

      BitTorrent is crucial to my musical aspirations, as distributing my music [geometricvisions.com] with it allows me to provide formats that would use a lot of bandwidth, such as FLAC, without incurring expensive bandwidth charges.

      While musicians can host their music for free at places like MySpace, it's really best to for artists to have their own websites, and to host their own music. That way, growth in the popularity of their sites will enrich the artists, rather than the music hosting service.

      And you think the record companies want that?

    • by thermian (1267986) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @03:37AM (#24040695)

      It's very important to get the message through to lawmakers and the public that filesharing, while it can be abused, is inherently perfectly legitimate, and should be kept both legal and technically possible.

      No problem, say, you wouldn't happen to have millions of pounds and a whole bunch of lobbyists/lawyers we could use would you?

      That's what it will take.

      The media companies see p2p as a deadly threat, so they will just keep hammering on about it, rewording, restating, and lobbying different groups, until they eventually get what they want.

      That's how things seem to work in the US (not US bashing here, that's a genuine observation), and the technique is being applied in the EU by the same companies.

      Not that the EU is perfect. Not for nothing is it known as the french farmers fan club. Those guys get pretty much anything they want.

    • It costs about a buck a gig these days for reliable transfer from my hosting company. Seventeen cents if you use an ounce of planning and get an account with Amazon S3.

      A hit song is what, 4 MB? So 1 GB supports 250 users. One *million* users is, cranks the math, $680. If a million people are listening to your music, you laugh in the general direction of $680 worth of hosting bills. (Which is, in any case, far cheaper than your gear, recording studio time, software, and PC for uploading the stuff was.)

      B

      • Amazon S3 would only work for artists who have day jobs such as sysadmin or programming.

        If a musician is to run their own website at all, all but a few would need managed hosting, where the bandwidth is much more expensive.

        I know this very well, because I'm designing the website for a musician who wasn't capable of downloading and installing Adobe Reader on her own computer - and she was completely flummoxed when I sent her a link to my MP3s.

        This is not an unintelligent woman; she is a virtuoso pianis

  • Fixing Problems (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Derosian (943622) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @03:31AM (#24040673) Homepage Journal
    This type of solution solves nothing (People will always find ways to share files illegally, just like people will always find ways to do illegal drugs), increases tension (Any regulatory legislation or law increases tension between those that create and enforce the laws and those the law is being enforced upon), and removes a useful service. (Peer to Peer is used for many purposes outside of illegal file sharing.)

    Besides, the only people pushing for this type of legislation are large companies and their shareholders. As a regular Joe, I can say I can disagree strongly with this.
    • I can't see large companies (like ISP) trying to push this. It opens a serious can of worms.

      In Ireland for example we have a law that prevents the ISP from being sued for content that passes through their servers based on the fact that they don't analyze the data. It was a big deal some years back over the USENET alt.binaries.* being available.

      By blocking certain kinds of traffic they are effectively determining what is legal. As such if something illegal was to get through it would be the ISP at fault.

  • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @03:32AM (#24040675) Homepage

    Sure, it might sound plausible when the RIAA/MPAA paints a picture of P2P = piracy and stack up all the "favorable facts" but there's no way something like that would pass. You don't hear much from other uses because they have no interest in political mudslinging, but they're there. While all the countries of the EU have their own laws, I know at least my own (which isn't part of EU but.. long story) has freedom of speech written into the constitution. Trying to block legitimate speech because it's not approved by the "authorities" would fall so flat on its face in court it'd be an embarrasment to any politician that passed it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 03, 2008 @03:44AM (#24040723)

    Citizens banned from cities streets in a move to prevent mugging.

  • by VincenzoRomano (881055) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @03:53AM (#24040759) Homepage Journal
    1. A lot of customers, especially home ones, use internet almost just for the P2P applications.
    2. As they will close the P2P protocols, new ones will arise.
    3. Investments for heavy throttling will never pay back as people will find new interesting ways to bypass it or to switch to a different ISP!
    • by flape (1114919) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @04:33AM (#24040889)
      The proposed law, suggest that the state would pay for the ISP's losses, so it might even be profitable for ISP to cut a customer. This is not just about p2p anymore. This is about basic freedom/survival...
    • Considering that many ISPs want to close P2P as well, because they do not actually want traffic on their lines, I do not see it as a problem for the ISP.

      What the ISP want is to sell you X amount of traffic and each MB another Y amount of money, while they themselves do not need to pass on that money. Less traffic is GOOD for the ISP

  • The only feasible solution at this point to to encrypt streams between clients and servers. the obligatory reply about performance may be crossing your mind right now, but is there actually any other solution?
    Globally, legislation is being forced through parliaments, to take away our rights. This legislation has come in many forms, but the result of it is that someone wants to access and read your streams of data for whatever reason.
    The only way to render this closer to impossible is to stop them being able to read your private correspondence with a web information service provider. The cost for this privacy - faster servers - will be a small price to pay.
    Decrypting private data is generally regarded as a serious offence in most countries, and while, only the USA security organisations have access to Verisign's root servers, they will not admit this in public, because it would take away their advantage.
    • by Xelios (822510)
      Decryption won't hide the fact that you're using a Bittorrent service, for example. The traffic usage pattern alone will give it away.

      Though P2P services will continue to evolve. If they close one door, another is opened. It's been that way since long before Napster, when people used IRC's DCC and newsgroups to share files. Filesharing can't be stopped without destroying the internet, because the internet was created to share files.

      Unfortunately, because they control the network destroying the inter
  • by damburger (981828) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @04:42AM (#24040919)

    All our models for running a society and an economy use scarcity as a starting point; there is more demand for something than supply, and thus there must be a strong rule of law to make sure the resource is distributed properly (although I think its fair to say plenty of people disagree on the definition of 'properly')

    Data is not scare though. In a P2P network, every person who demands also by definition supplies, thus demand can never outstrip supply.

    They will lose this battle for mathematical rather than political reasons (the level of control they desire is impossible, and if they understood the technology they would know that) - but it interests me as a foreshadowing of a possible future.

    Our society could well die from a resources shortage, but we might be able to save ourselves. Three technologies currently being researched, controlled nuclear fusion, autonomous robots, and universal fabrication, could conceivably bring the abundance we see in data to the majority of physical products and services. I listed them in order of the maturity of each field, but I believe that in my lifetime (I am 27 for reference) we could see them all reach a point where want can be effectively eliminated.

    Of course, there are some people, the same people we are complaining about now, who don't want to see that. Desperate people are controllable people.

    • Data is not scare though. In a P2P network, every person who demands also by definition supplies, thus demand can never outstrip supply.

      Not true. Most consumer connections have a much faster download speed than upload speed, so most users can't supply exactly what they demand, only a fraction of that.

      (In terms of content, though, you're right -- if someone wants it, they'll be able to supply it later, assuming they have bandwidth and they're sharing it.)

  • by pembo13 (770295) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @04:49AM (#24040941) Homepage
    Is that I can live pretty well without them. Who knows, I may even get more work done.
  • by kirthn (64001) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @05:14AM (#24041023)

    this worries me the most :

    "Free Software is not compatible with standards used to try to restrict the run of a  lawful application  : Free Software can be studied and modified by the user himself to check the security of the software or to create a new lawful application as Free Soffware authors grant the right to do so to every user. And technologies used to check if an application is lawful consider user modified software as unlawful. So beside pushing dangerous technologies for privacy, this amendment mays create by itself a barrier in the internal market even if an ISO standard of treacherous computing emerges like the following (http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=50970)."

  • utterly clueless (Score:5, Insightful)

    let's go out on a limb, and say the "internet police" can do this (as it is incredibly daunting): we are going to go out and define every node of the internet as "client" and "server". that's a leap of faith, and resources, but lets just go and say that someone can do this

    the "client" can only consume, and never serve traffic. ok. so you can never make a form request. you can never upload a youtube video. you can never send an email. you can't chat

    oh, ok, ok, you can serve some things... certain ports, certain packet headers are ok... we'll just filter out any unauthorized served content

    wtf?

    so let's make a second huge leap and say the "internet police" can (with whatever magical resources) identify all nodes as client/ server AND police all traffic formats as allowed/ not allowed. and these are two huge suspensions of disbelief, that anyone can have the willpower and the mandate and the resources to do these two things

    now you STILL have issues like:

    1. obfuscation. why can't i encrypt my copy of "iron man" as a bunch of supposed form requests. i can't label p2p traffic with a bogus packet header? i can't encrypt it? i can't send it down an "authorized" port?
    2. gateways. rogue servers that merely reflect data to another client. perhaps taken over. perhaps just tricked into using "allowed" modes of communication to communicate "iron man"
    3. spoofing. trick the watchdogs into thinking p2p traffic is actually legit server to client traffic (ip spoofing but one example, there are a dozen more spoofs)
    4. etc., etc. smarter people than me can think up a myriad more ways

    it's a game of whack-a-mole. it's a pointless, endless, arms race: every technical effort to kill p2p merely results in the creation of hardier versions of p2p. furthermore, on one side you have a bunch of disorganized, passively interested, technically astute, and most importantly, POOR teenagers. millions of them. on the other side, you have a bunch of expensive hired guns, funded by a pool of money that is, get this, being siphoned off by the unorganized teenager's efforts. take a wild guess where i place my bet on who is going to win this contest

    morons: the ONLY way to kill p2p is to pervert the nature of the internet to the point that anything compelling and useful about the internet is not also destroyed. if the information flow is not also free, and only one way, you stifle the creation of new services, and bureaucratically choke any existing useful ones. the internet becomes stagnant, passive, just a form television delivered over tcp/ip. the internet is killed

    so how about another option for you: p2p isn't going away, and fucking get used to it! reality accept it, don't fight it, you stupid twits

  • Pirate WiFi? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This shit is going to escalate until it's too late. Telcos make money anyway through landline and cellphones rates, cable TV and stuff, so I wouldn't expect them to fear losing customers. People should consider getting the necessary equipment to set up a pirate radio station like they did in the 60s and 70s, but this time by using common Wi-Fi equipment. I wish every home recycled an old PC with wireless card setting up a minimum file server, a dynamic routing daemon (OLSR, b.a.t.m.a.n., etc) and a p2p clie

  • Great to see all these technical and social objections to the Telecoms Package but, unfortunately, i don't think many MEPs read Slashdot so make sure you express these concerns in writing to your rep in Brussels. And this is a matter of urgency, because the amendments will be voted on this Monday 7 July. Get to writing everyone!
  • by ledow (319597) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @06:44AM (#24041433) Homepage

    The common theme within some of the comments here seems to be "let's build an open network". Although this is somewhat idealistic, it's not outside the realms of possibility. Cities are already smothered with open wireless networks, whether intentionally or not, and there's no way you can regulate the traffic among them. And P2P, although used on the "International Network", is essentially a local service... a closed group of people, usually from countries that speak the same language, sharing files with each other internally without a *requirement* for international transit.

    P2P moving to such networks is an obvious possibility. Again, by heavy-handed and back-handed approaches (suing people without evidence, slipping clauses/laws into other laws by political maneouvering, etc.), the media industries are forcing people to use more and more ingenious solutions to sensibly meet their requirements (i.e. they'd like some sensibly-priced music that they can use, please). And as each solution's flaws are found, new solutions (without those flaws) present themselves. Regulation of traffic flowing over regulated internet channels? Remove the regulation by using *other* channels.

    We seem to have come full circle - from the initial Internet, where private, unregulated networks joined up to decrease costs and increase connectivity, to a world where everyone has their own private network behind an ISP's public network, to (hopefully) a place where all the private networks peer with each other *without the intervention of an ISP*, except this time via radios. The only problem is international transit (Joe Bloggs can't exactly run a fibre over the English Channel), but the chances are that programs like Tor, etc. as well as the odd rogue network that connects to someone's actual ISP connection will solve that.

    Maybe when 802.11n or its successor grows in popularity, we will see home networks that, even with enormous interference, crowded channels, limited range, primitive routing etc. are quite capable of peering with a number of geographical neighbours and passing traffic intelligently at a reasonable speed. You don't even have to take account of "ISP T&C's" because you don't NEED to pass the traffic to the Internet at every possible point, only to be able to pass it on to someone else.

    I had a quick look and all of the community wifi projects I can find in my country are very small and localised, or don't exist any more. If there was one operating near me, I'd gladly hook up an old Linksys and an enormous antenna and let it freely pass traffic - everything would have to be encrypted, anyway, because an open network is an open network but if all it needs is to be "plugged in", and not actually connected to anything else physically, or to the Internet, there's no reason we can't each have a little cube in our homes that costs about £10 and lets us connect to every house in the street and pass traffic. If there was the possibility of such a "darknet" running over it (free VoIP calls, free music, free movies, no Internet charges, etc.) I'm sure every student would have one.

    Then, not only do the music industry etc. run into the problem of *detecting* the traffic in the first place (no black boxes on a private net, a physical presence required in every locality, and being able to defeat the encryption), but that if done properly, traffic's transit route, origin, etc. are impossible to determine. They may try to close the system down, of course, but then you have a much larger problem - you're effectively trying to shut down the entire Internet. Except all the "nodes" are private individuals, without contracts, without liability, without regulation, and, if they are cheap enough, rogue solar-powered blackboxes stuck in hidden locations around towns and cities and replaced whenever they are discovered. Just how do you shut that down without bringing a country into riots?

    The real Internet2 isn't going to be an academic project aimed at pushing Gb/s over international fibre, it's going to be a nationwide collection of cheap Gumstix with a solar panel and wifi, sold at cost price, one per home, that let's people escape most of the communication regulation foisted upon them.

  • Everyone's already gone off on one saying "How are they going to police encrypted networking?".

    I hate to break it to you, but the legislation as proposed accounts for that. It suggests that countries would have to make it a legal requirement that terminals allowed to connect to the Internet had the technical means to ensure that they don't do anything illegal.

    In other words, it legislates for mandatory Trusted Computing (the infamous "Palladium" chip).

    • by Shirotae (44882) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @07:09AM (#24041599)

      My reading of the proposed amendment is the exact opposite - (my emphasis added):

      Article 2 - point 5 a (new) amending Directive 2002/58/EC Article 14 - paragraph 1 1. In implementing the provisions of this Directive, Member States shall ensure, subject to paragraphs 2 and 3, that no mandatory requirements for specific technical features, including, without limitation, for the purpose of detecting,intercepting or preventing infringement of intellectual property rights by users, are imposed on terminal or other electronic communication equipment which could impede the placing of equipment on the market and the free circulation of such equipment in and between Member States.

      It seems to me that this directive prohibits making it a legal requirement that equipment contains DRM or other control mechanisms. Manufacturers can put that stuff in their products if they want but it seems to me that this amendment says you can't stop manufacturers leaving it out and if they do you can't stop them shipping their products between member states.

      I know it is probably too much to ask on Slashdot but could someone else read the proposed amendments carefully, think about them and if they think I have got it wrong explain exactly how and why they interpret the words in that way.

      • by jimicus (737525) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @07:17AM (#24041659)

        I know it is probably too much to ask on Slashdot but could someone else read the proposed amendments carefully, think about them and if they think I have got it wrong explain exactly how and why they interpret the words in that way.

        This is something I was unclear about. The paragraph immediately below that directly contradicted it - whether or not those amendments are proposed or they've been written into the legislation I don't know.

        One thing I would point out - legislated TPM or not, if every ISP in the country is legally obliged to do everything in their power to prevent customer copyright infringement and TPM offers this promise, how long before the ISP makes "you must have a TPM-enabled PC" a condition of service, at least for domestic connections?

  • Meanwhile in Brazl.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by famazza (398147) <fabio.mazzarino@ ... om minus painter> on Thursday July 03, 2008 @07:48AM (#24041915) Homepage Journal
    ... people simply don't care about P2P blocking. It's faster to buy a CD for US$ 3, or a DVD for US$ 6, in any corner through any city.
  • FUD (Score:5, Informative)

    by damienl451 (841528) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @07:50AM (#24041941)
    I've just read the amendments in question and I think La Quadrature is overreacting. In and of themselves, these amendments do not threaten the survival of bittorrent and other P2P protocols. La Quadrature appears to start with the assumption that there is something sinister going on and reads potential threats to the internet into the Directive. Amendment H1 provides, first, that

    a national regulatory authority may issue guidelines setting minimum quality of service requirements

    . Nothing strange about it, it might even allow regulatory agencies to mandate ISPs to advertise more truthfully.

    if appropriate, take other measures, in order to prevent degradation of services and slowing of traffic over networks,

    Traffic shaping is not necessarily bad. Why should I have to wait 5+ seconds for a webpage to load just because the guy next door is downloading 24/7?

    and to ensure that the ability of users to access or distribute lawful content or to run lawful applications and services of their choice is not unreasonably restricted.

    This is where there can be disagreement on what this amendment is trying to accomplish. On the one hand, it might be used to restrict P2P sharing. This is La Quadrature's interpretation. On the other hand, however, this passage can also be construed as protecting our right to use our internet connection as we see fit, provided we are not engaging in illegal activities. For instance, should ISPs block or throttle all P2P traffic, a user might file a complaint with the regulatory authorities, which could judge that, since it unreasonably restricts the ability of users to access lawful content, such a measure is illegal.

    Their analysis of Article 21 (4a) is not much more accurate. What is says is that, "when appropriate", ISPs may be forced to send "public interest information" to subscribers. The inclusions of

    (c) means of protection against risks to personal security, privacy and personal data in using electronic communications services

    argues against La Quadrature's (confused and barely understandable) analysis that this article refers to mandatory takedown notices. A more charitable -- and plain -- reading suggests that ISPs would be required to send a brochure to their customers to tell them that copyright infrigement in really bad. This is why both existing and new subscribers (who, obviously, haven't downloaded anything illegal yet), are mentioned. In all likelihood, the only thing this amendment will accomplish is that all subscribers will get a leaflet that explains why they should install a firewall and an anti-virus program.

    It's FUD, pure and simple. Most of the arguments on La Quadrature's pages are either non sequiturs or slippery slope arguments ("may" does not equal "shall").

    • Yep. FUD. (Score:3, Informative)

      by julesh (229690)

      Bingo. I'd like to see an analysis of these amendments written by somebody who does understand them in terms of all their implications, but the linked analysis is blatantly wrong in many aspects. One that stood out to me:

      1. In implementing the provisions of this Directive, Member States
      shall ensure, subject to paragraphs 2 and 3, that no mandatory
      requirements for specific technical features, including, withoutlimitation, for the purpose of detecting,intercepting or preventing
      infringement of intellectual p

  • One question... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Thelasko (1196535) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @08:28AM (#24042495) Journal
    if any two computers can no longer talk to each other, can we still call it "the internet?"
  • by jonwil (467024) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @08:47AM (#24042901)

    Write whichever politician represents you and say that you do NOT want them to support the efforts by the copyright cartels to shut down legitimate content distribution in the name of fighting piracy. Tell them that you do NOT support piracy and the illegal copying of other peoples content without permission but that the law and court system should be used to find the people who violate copyright law and that ISPs should NOT be force to block

    Tell them that if they support legislation that blocks legitimate uses of the internet in the name of fighting piracy, you will vote for someone else who does not support such legislation.

  • Useless EU (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Wowsers (1151731) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @10:26AM (#24044783) Journal

    EU = EUSSR

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