RIAA boss: Move copyright filtering from ISPs to users' PCs
Posted in: Online TV/Music at 09/02/2008 11:30
by Nate Anderson
Filtering sounds so wholesome. As with filtered water, Internet filtering backers suggest that their products simply keep the sludge from passing through, and who wants to drink unfiltered sludge? The big difference between the two kinds of filtering is that sludge can't use 128-bit keys and AES encryption to hide its sludgy nature; Internet traffic can. It's a key problem for any Internet filtering regime, including the one being studied right now by AT&T. Once strong encryption is slapped on Internet traffic, the effectiveness of filters drops off dramatically.
At a Washington, DC, tech conference last week, RIAA boss Cary Sherman suggested that Internet filtering was a super idea but that he saw no reason to mandate it. Turns out that was only part of the story, though; Sherman's a sharp guy, and he's fully aware that filtering will prompt an encryption arms race that is going to be impossible to win... unless users somehow install the filtering software on their home PCs or equipment.