Before I even get started, I want to remind everyone that this is an editorial. So if my opinion on ISP power abuses is offensive, forgive me. That said, when I read this I about tossed milk through my nose. Usnet, clearly the now dated source of all evil, will be blocked in its entirity because of the inability to simply block the offending groups. Yes, rather than ban offending user groups that are dealing in disgusting illegal trades, the wise ISPs have opted to play it safe and just ban everything. Granted, in this instance the ISPs were forced, but I question how much they really resisted myself.
Now for a “space” that is supposed to be relatively free of politics, it sure is beginning to feel like decisions are being made for us that darn well seem like they have a political motive. The idea of censorship, of any kind, especially when it does nothing to actually solve the target problem being perpetrated by cyber crooks, generally fails miserably. So what about potentially blocking sites known to have illegal content? Actually, this is fine as the content is clearly just that, illegal. But even this, will not be enough for those believing that control at all costs is key.
Rest assure when the ISPs (an law enforcement) discover just how ineffective filtering Usnet will prove to be, helpless to actually address the abuses overseas and block the illegal content from appearing in the first place, they will move to the next logical target – IRC. You can take that to the bank. While I am not going to speculate where the ISPs will be going with content blocking after this, you had better believe that IRC will be next – after all, where do you think the real pirates are trading movies? Bittorrent? Yes, if you are 16 and living in your mom’s basement perhaps…
I have studied this for years and IRC is not really the big secret its users like to believe it is. Unfortunately, IRC is generally used legitimately for legal use of chat room conversation. Nevertheless, the ISPs will be attacking this next and likely pointing to their highly moderated alternatives. Mark my words, it will happen – you can bank on it.
(Sarcasm) Is it time to support net neutrality? Nah, it’s fine. Just a bunch of wackos wailing on about wanting to break the law at every turn with greater ease. After all, if tinfoil hat wearing lunatics such as CEOs of multi-billion dollar companies are warning against the actions of ISPs, surely they must be rebel-rousers, right? (/Sarcasm)