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SUMware
Premium
join:2002-05-21
kudos:2

1 edit

AT&T willing to spy for NSA, MPAA, and RIAA

From Ars Technica
June 13, 2007
quote:
In a move that has executives from movie studios and record labels grinning from ear to ear, AT&T has announced that it will develop and deploy technology that will attempt to keep pirated content off its network.

By making themselves into the arbiters of copyright law, the company risks being drawn into a costly "arms race" with programmers who don't like the idea of a massive corporation (and one which appears to have turned over information to the NSA) peeking into their packets and deciding which ones go through.

There's a certain creepiness to having one of the country's largest IP networks doing deep packet inspection and monitoring, but consumers who value their privacy can always go somewhere else, right? Not necessarily. In addition to running a massive network of its own, AT&T runs a good chunk of the backbone infrastructure in the US. It's a rare bit of traffic that can make it to its destination without passing on to an AT&T-owned network. If the company deploys its anti-piracy technology to all data passing through its networks, AT&T's "solution" could affect most US Internet users. In addition, many US residents have limited broadband choices.

The company says it will target only repeat offenders and that it will not violate user privacy or FCC directives on network openness. Who knows how this is all supposed to work, especially as legal, unencrypted files flow across the Internet from sites like iTunes and eMusic, along with thousands of smaller sites that serve as promotional vehicles for independent bands and filmmakers? We suspect that AT&T will start small, deploying some sort of P2P solution that looks for the transfer of unencrypted Hollywood blockbusters and major-label bands in complete form.

The most likely scenario is the deployment of new traffic-shaping hardware that can tell what protocol is being used by watching packets (but without doing deep inspection). Only those using BitTorrent, FTP, or other targeted protocols would receive deeper scrutiny; e-mail and web requests should remain private in such a system. Given AT&T's size, though, even in an almost-perfect system could cause problems. Assuming (and this is a big assumption) that whatever solution they roll out works with 99.5 percent accuracy, then AT&T will still have a 0.5 percent false positive rate. That's pretty good, but 0.5 percent of a gazillion users is still plenty of users.

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2
It seems that AT&T gets too much money from us, consumers if they want to waste it on such project
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...


balloonshark
Lets Go Mountaineers

join:2006-08-11
WV

1 recommendation

reply to SUMware
Wouldn't looking into bot-net activity be more beneficial to more people? How about sniffing their networks for zombies rather than a song. What do you think the bandwidth 'wasted' is when comparing p2p versus zombied computers? I honestly don't know. When they can selectively and privately remove the worst of the worst on the internet, then and not until should they should concentrate on this crap. This is a case of AT&T not realizing who pays its bills. What interest do they have in making a few rich men even richer? Hmmmmm

I had to vent because everyday it seems my privacy or what's left of it is becoming non-existent. Why don't they ship out the chair pads with the built in probes so they can take my temperature too. I know, tin foil hat alert.
--
If we quit voting, will they all just go away?

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2
In this country, which is governed by big businesses only, there is no entity, that cares a bit about your or mine privacy or opinion what should be done to make it better. So, forget about it. The only thing we're allowed to do is to making jokes about tin foil hat
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...


balloonshark
Lets Go Mountaineers

join:2006-08-11
WV
reply to SUMware
It won't be long before jokes about a 'subject' gets you put on a watch list. I don't want anybody sniffing my packets or sniffing my anything for that matter.

If ISPs want to do something productive, then start with the worst and nastiest problems and then work their way towards the evil file sharers. Like our jails need any more tenants. Like Hollywood needs anymore money. Go after the child pronographers, terrorists, but also keep in mind that we have rights too. Do it legally. Oh, and if they have time do something about all the fake sites that steal folks money that probably ends up in terrorists, mafia, and rogue governments pockets. Hell, I guess a gallon of gas does some of that too.
--
If we quit voting, will they all just go away?


spy1
Welcome to Amerika
Premium
join:2002-06-24
Charlotte, NC

2 recommendations

Isn't it funny?

Various people warn you that you're being spied on at every turn (by AT&T, the N.S.A., the F.B.I., etc.); that the AT&T/BellSouth merger should have been vociferously opposed; that the expansion of C.A.L.E.A should have been opposed the same way (submitting comments to the F.C.C, F.E.) - literally beg everyone to get involved and politically active in opposing it before it happens or to reverse it.

Re: AT&T: June 12, 2007
Secret Surveillance Evidence Unsealed in AT&T Spying Case
»www.eff.org/news/archives/2007_0 ··· p#005304

Re: The governments' request for even more illegal domestic surveillance:
»cdt.org/headlines/1009

And damned near everyone just sits back and says "Aw, we need all this stuff to keep us safe" or "Aw, it won't affect me"

And then it does.

And only then does all the bitching and whining start.

We are - quite literally - doomed to suffer the consequences of our own lack of interest and action.

All because we lack the will to fight it.

Pete


KeenObserver

@snoopblocker.com

1 recommendation

reply to SUMware
A number of organizations I work with are considering this overall situation very seriously. All are Canadian (or European-based with Canadian offices) and painfully aware of the level of protection given to non-US citizen data: none.

In the course of doing business, or simply corresponding with US colleagues, many private details and some trade secrets are revealed. In the past, common decency and an ongoing business relationship were all that was required for a foreign business to enjoy many, if not all, of the protections enjoyed by US citizens. Failing that, you had a binding contract.

This is no longer true.

Compound the disintegration of US privacy with a radical right view of listen first, demonize later, and you have a number of small and medium business owners learning French, Hindi, Punjabi, and Spanish: your market is losing it's appeal. The once tin-foil fantasy of an opinionated CTO being "dissapeared" while visiting the US is a serious concern these days. If you or a member of your organization has ever spoken critically of US policy, you start to wonder if making that next big sale is worth risking something akin to Gitmo.

Of course, now they'll be reading about the great data vacuum US networks are becoming. The guys running around up here offering US-free data routing to all destinations except those physically in the US aren't looking quite so foolish today. Border city conference rooms just might become popular. Don't forget your passports!

On a personal note, I haven't been on vacation in the US for three years. I was a regular in family-friendly Kissimmee St. Cloud (US192) and recognized on site most places in South Carolina during Canadian winters. Heck, I haven't even taken in a NY show. That's something I did in groups at least twice a year. No more.

This isn't a rant, nor the ravings of a privacy nut hiding from helicopters. It's a topic of concern that did not exist and was not contemplated until a few years and one "war" ago. I don't have any hard feelings or agenda - I'm just following the money down the path of least resistance / greatest returns.


nwrickert
sand groper
Premium,MVM
join:2004-09-04
Geneva, IL
kudos:7
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to balloonshark
Wouldn't looking into bot-net activity be more beneficial to more people?
This isn't about benefitting people. This is about AT&T cozying up to RIAA, MPAA in order to benefit their bottom line.
--
AT&T dsl; Westell 2200 modem/router; SuSE 10.1; firefox 2.0.0.4


dslwanter
It's coming
Premium
join:2002-12-16
Mineral Ridge, OH
Reviews:
·Armstrong Zoom ..
reply to SUMware
That's strike 3 with me and them already. Strike one has been on going forever for me with the DSL sync during thunderstorms. Strike two was the ad implication on the email. Now this is strike 3. Cable modem is finally coming and I'll likely switch.
--
"You're as worthless as a screen door on a submarine!" Check out my Internet Radio Station & DJ Service, »www.thebomb102.com.


EUS
Kill cancer
Premium
join:2002-09-10
canada
Will changing providers work? If your traffic for any reason travels to an AT&T network, wouldn't they still be able inspect anything they want to? (Encrypted packets aside).
--
~ Project Hope ~

SUMware
Premium
join:2002-05-21
kudos:2

4 edits
said by EUS:

Will changing providers work?
No.

From original post: In addition to running a massive network of its own, AT&T runs a good chunk of the backbone infrastructure in the US. It's a rare bit of traffic that can make it to its destination without passing on to an AT&T-owned network.

said by EUS:

If your traffic for any reason travels to an AT&T network, wouldn't they still be able inspect anything they want to?
Yes.

From Spam Daily News
April 08, 2006:
quote:
Mark Klein, a retired AT&T communications technician, said the company shunted all Internet traffic--including traffic from peering links connecting to other Internet backbone providers-- to semantic traffic analyzers, installed in a secret room inside the AT&T central office on Folsom Street in San Francisco. Similar rooms were built in Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego.

"Based on my understanding of the connections and equipment at issue, it appears the NSA (National Security Agency) is capable of conducting what amounts to vacuum-cleaner surveillance of all the data crossing the Internet," Klein said.

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5

1 recommendation

Click for full size
said by SUMware:

said by EUS:

Will changing providers work?
No.

From original post: In addition to running a massive network of its own, AT&T runs a good chunk of the backbone infrastructure in the US. It's a rare bit of traffic that can make it to its destination without passing on to an AT&T-owned network.

said by EUS:

If your traffic for any reason travels to an AT&T network, wouldn't they still be able inspect anything they want to?
Yes.
Anyone noticed my new signature? There is hope but we all have to start seeing and using the Internet as our Founding Fathers saw the press: the Marketplace of Ideas where rational discourse can and must take place among the citizenry.

"We must ensure that the Internet remains open and accessible to all citizens without any limitation on the ability of individuals to choose the content they wish regardless of the Internet service provider they use to connect to the Web. We cannot take this future for granted. We must be prepared to fight for it, because of the threat of corporate consolidation and control over the Internet marketplace of ideas." Al Gore, The Assault on Reason
--
"The same ferocity that our founders devoted to protect the freedom and independence of the press is now appropriate for our defense of the freedom of the internet. The stakes are the same: the survival of our Republic". Al Gore, The Assault on Reason


spy1
Welcome to Amerika
Premium
join:2002-06-24
Charlotte, NC
reply to EUS
While changing providers may not solve the problem of AT&T being able to capture some of your traffic, it would certainly go a long way towards making a statement that the American public doesn't approve of their "methods".

At this point, anything that impacts AT&T's bottom line would be a good thing (hopefully, if done on a large enough scale, it would give them pause - it's called "voting with your pocketbook" ).

We switched off from AT&T as soon as the first reports of what they were doing came out - and when they bought out BellSouth, we switched again. Pete


Caution

@netcarrier.net


What Spy1 posted works.....an it works exceptionally well with AT&T
Several years ago AT&T tryed charging its customers a $3 sur-charge each month just to have AT&T as their long distence carrier.....an the american public rebelled dropping AT&T altogether.....it brought AT&T down to its knees and near bankrupted the company....it was a short matter until AT&T reversed their decision on the sur-charge.......
Since that incident I have never used their services again.
Voting with your pocketbook woks wonders.......an its damn well past time people do it....in many areas. It seems the american public has forgot that as a comsumer they have enormous power.


dualsmp

join:2001-08-25
Charlotte, NC
Here is another related AT&T story:


»www.redherring.com/Article.aspx? ··· AndMedia

AT&T to Block Pirated Content

Telco exec says illegal content costs the carrier; skeptics question privacy.

June 13, 2007

By Alexandra Berzon

AT&T on Wednesday became the first major U.S. telecommunications carrier to announce that it was taking steps to curb Internet piracy on its network.

The move marks a surprising reversal for AT&T, given that telecoms and cable companies have traditionally stood behind legal protections to avoid responsibility for copyrighted movies and music flowing through their pipes.

“What we’re trying to do in our piracy initiative is to try to come up with a network-based solution,” AT&T head of external and legislative affairs Jim Cicconi said during a panel about rights management at the Digital Hollywood conference in Santa Monica.

Mr. Cicconi did not specify how AT&T would detect and block individual copyrighted files, but he did say the carrier would not start blocking web sites used to distribute illegal content.

The carrier’s entry into piracy protection comes after AT&T was asked to partner with the Motion Picture Association and Viacom, according to reports. Record companies have long complained that music piracy was hurting CD sales, while Hollywood studios claim they lost an estimated $2.3 billion worldwide from Internet piracy in 2005 alone.

But Mr. Cicconi said AT&T, the largest U.S. broadband Internet provider with almost 13 million lines, came to the realization that pirated material was clogging the network and costing the company money.

“Somebody running a server in their basement on our network and uploading illegal copies movies raises the costs for everybody else and jams the network in ways we’re not compensated for,” said Mr. Cicconi, whose company is also one of the world’s largest providers of Internet-based corporate communications services.

He said AT&T is spending about $18 billion on network maintenance, a significant chunk of which is required just to keep up with tremendous growth of traffic on its backbone. “And a sizable chunk is traffic that is illegal,” he said.

But music industry veteran Jay Samit, who has led several major music companies, questioned AT&T’s sudden change of heart. He said that Internet service providers have benefited for years from the pirated content flowing through their networks, and are only now reversing course after noting that media companies are starting to stream content on the Internet themselves.

“The sizable reason why people bought broadband is to get to that [pirated] content, so you’re making money off that,” Mr. Samit told Mr. Cicconi.

Others said that the prospect of AT&T implementing filtering will inevitably bring up privacy concerns.

“Having this big faceless entity blocking content could make people nervous,” said attorney Kraig Marini Baker, in an interview. Mr. Marini Baker represents media companies, including Viacom, in digital rights issues.

Mr. Marini Baker said he expects media companies to welcome AT&T’s entry into the piracy protection space, as long as AT&T eventually comes up with a system for content owners to make some money off their circulating content.

“Content owners are always going to want as many tools and as many people filtering to the extent that they can leverage that and monetize it,” said Mr. Marini Baker.

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5

1 edit
said by dualsmp:

Here is another related AT&T story:


»www.redherring.com/Article.aspx? ··· AndMedia

AT&T to Block Pirated Content

Telco exec says illegal content costs the carrier; skeptics question privacy.

June 13, 2007

By Alexandra Berzon

AT&T on Wednesday became the first major U.S. telecommunications carrier to announce that it was taking steps to curb Internet piracy on its network.
How could AT&T be the first? Time Warner sent a notice out on June 6 a week before the AT&T announcement. Packet shaping hasn't come to Southern California yet but I was told yesterday that it will be here in a few weeks and it will affect all traffic on Bit Torrent INCLUDING legitimate downloads of applications that are now required or strongly suggested to be downloaded via Bit Torrent. There apparently will be no differentiation between legitimate downloads and pirated ones. Plus, something like the OOL speed test (FTP) that I use will also be affected. I got this confirmation from someone in management at Oceanic TW.
--
"The same ferocity that our founders devoted to protect the freedom and independence of the press is now appropriate for our defense of the freedom of the internet. The stakes are the same: the survival of our Republic". Al Gore, The Assault on Reason


warlock56
Premium
join:2002-07-31
Arlington, TX
reply to SUMware
Um, use encryption? Seriously, the speed of today's processors with use in encrypted traffic I don't notice any performance problems. File transfer with a 4k or 8k key? No problems here. If the NSA wants to crack those keys, they probably can in the span of maybe a month. AT&T? I seriously doubt it.
--
The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. -John Adams, 1787

astirusty
Premium
join:2000-12-23
Henderson, NV
said by warlock56:

If the NSA wants to crack those keys, they probably can in the span of maybe a month.
Yeah, about 23 days for the paper work, 2 days to scheduled, a day to run, and 4 days for someone to get around to reading the results. Assuming of course it is consider high priority work.
--
Do yourself a favor, just say no to anything Windows.


odinb

join:2001-11-26
Frisco, TX
...and how is one supposed to vote with ones wallet when these guys has made sure they have the local monopoly?

I only have TWC and AT&T available as an ISP, and that is actually better than many other areas.

I am not about to sell my house just to move to another area with similar or worse choices....

They got us by the b*lls.
--
"The same ferocity that our founders devoted to protect the freedom and independence of the press is now appropriate for our defense of the freedom of the internet. The stakes are the same: the survival of our Republic". Al Gore, The Assault on Reason

BitHacker

join:2007-02-01
Sterling, MA
This kind of thing really p*sses me off! The Government should take steps to protect peoples privacy and rights, not destroy them. Well letting big business get too powerful won't be the first thing the government has f*cked up under Bush.

Politically speaking it is simple. If you get someone who actually cares about peoples rights and freedoms as Presedent, they will stop these organizations (esp. the NSA) from taking your privacy.

As for a technical solution, encryption or some sort of onion routing system like tor. Freenet is also an option.

SUMware
Premium
join:2002-05-21
kudos:2
reply to SUMware

ISP as Copyright Cop

From Ars Technica
June 27, 2007:
said by Ars Technica :
Envision a world where your ISP does the copyright policing at the behest of the movie studios, television networks, and music labels, where no copyrighted content stays up on a user's account for more than 24 hours. It sounds like a dream for Big Content, but it's also a nightmare for customers of Australian ISP Exetel.

An Exetel support page which features the top ten support questions from the previous month. A frequently asked question from customers is why their multimedia files keep disappearing from their accounts. Exetel says that it takes a "hard approach to copyright issues," and since April 2005 the ISP has run a script that deletes all multimedia content with common extensions including .avi, .mp3, .wmv, and .mov.

That would certainly have the effect of removing any copyrighted content that shouldn't be there, but it also makes it hard for customers to share their own slideshows, home movies, and music, because, as Boing Boing notes, Exetel will automatically delete content that isn't infringing.


Customers can opt out of the nightly multimedia sweep by sending an e-mail asking that their accounts be exempt from the automatic nuking. In order to preserve files from automatic deletion, the account-holder needs to affirm that he or she is indeed the copyright holder of the files, that there is no copyright on the files, or that the copyright holder has granted permission for the files to be hosted.

NBC/Universal general counsel Rick Cotton would love this. Last week, he called for ISPs to spend more of their time spying on users while suggesting that Safe Harbor provisions protecting ISPs for liability in the case of users posting copyrighted materials be stripped from the law. Cotton believes that service providers do only the bare minimum necessary to comply with the DMCA. He'd like to see broadband ISPs forced to use "readily available means to prevent the use of their broadband capacity to transfer pirated content."

AT&T broadband customers take note: this is what the future may look like for you. AT&T has said that it plans to develop and deploy the means to keep illicit copyrighted material off its network. Chances are that it will be a far more sophisticated tool than Exetel's automated script, possibly something along the lines of traffic-shaping hardware that is able to detect what protocol is being used by looking at the packets.

Australian law may be one reason that Exetel is so aggressive about copyright enforcement, but the ISP's approach of treating its customers as being "guilty until proven innocent" is disturbing. If Big Content gets its way, it's an approach that will become more common.
[emphasis added]