St. Louis Post-Dispatch on AT&T’s Filter Plans

Tim Barker’s piece in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about AT&T’s plans to filter the internet may not break a lot of new ground for you folks, savvy internet denizens that you are, but he’s done a good job getting quotes and perspective from a variety of people, including musicians, to explain the issue to the average Joe.

Barker also does not fail to recognize the real nut of the AT&T plans—using copyright scaremongering as a end-run around Network Neutrality—and the legal issue that may hold them back from implementing filtering in the end:

There is one aspect of this, however, that has left Sloane and other legal observers scratching their heads.

Consider this: In the 1990s, telecommunications companies spent millions of dollars persuading Congress to pass the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which eliminated any responsibility they had for content carried over their networks. In other words, if two friends plotted murder through e-mail, nobody can sue Charter Communications for not reporting it to authorities.

Now, AT&T seems to be considering surrendering that immunity. The argument is that if the company makes any attempt to police its network, then it becomes responsible for all the content.

“All the lawyers have been pulling their hair out, wondering what’s gotten into them,” said Scott with Free Press.

AT&T’s idea to monitor Net creates a web of suspicion [STLToday.com]

PreviouslyAT&T to Filter Internet Traffic; Comcast Investigated by FCC for Filtering Internet Traffic [BBG]
Interview with AT&T’s “Filter the Internet” Exec [BBG]
Talking About AT&T’s Internet Filtering on AT&T’s The Hugh Thompson Show [BBG]

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One Response to St. Louis Post-Dispatch on AT&T’s Filter Plans

  1. noen says:

    Now, AT&T seems to be considering surrendering that immunity. The argument is that if the company makes any attempt to police its network, then it becomes responsible for all the content.

    Perhaps they know something we don’t know? If the corporate power structure really is intent on turning The US into a full blown police state then AT&T has little to worry about. The teleco’s will get their immunity for crimes they committed in the past at the State’s behest. It seems reasonable to assume they’ll get the same deal going forward.

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