Australia Worried About ISP CensorshipOne Australian technologist insists that the Internet will soon be cleaned up with the Internet service providers being forced to censor pirated content, kids porno and malware. And other experts admit this might be the case – it all depends on the position of the broadband providers.
The original financial backer of Skype, Kevin Bermeister, points at the broadband providers starting getting chummy with the entertainment industry in order to protect their own revenues. He believes that technology sold by such giants as Cisco, Juniper and Huawei had developed to the extent where it becomes possible for the ISPs to offer a sort of registry filter able to considerably reduce piracy. And not only illegal file-sharing of copyrighted content – child pornography and malware are on the list as well.
Kevin Bermeister reckons that broadband providers are ready to invest in the technology to censor the web if they could redirect customer requests for pirated material to legal sites and earn a cut of content sales. It might be so because the free web was never much for loyalty, and ISPs do not get a hell of a lot out of it. Along with the world’s biggest copyright owners and media partners, Internet service providers may just have sound reason to love the new world order where the wild days of the web’s early beginnings are reaching their end.
Geoff Lawrie, Cisco New Zealand managing director and ex-Microsoft New Zealand head said in the interview that Kevin Bermeister’s point of view was technically feasible. In our days you can easily find some firewall software able to recognize the nature of the web traffic. In addition, it is also possible to write a filter program capable of making decisions based on that.
Nevertheless, Geoff Lawrie believes that it is only a novel theory, because Internet service providers are “fervently hands-off” and entirely, passionately committed to avoiding putting themselves in a position of liability. In case they create the filters described above, they will soon find themselves in a situation where they can be sued if things go wrong. Undoubtedly, then there would be the small matter of Internet service providers who would make a killing by offering a free web which would make that filter look really bad.