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Judge dismisses ISPs' challenge to Digital Economy Bill

Judge dismisses ISPs' challenge to Digital Economy Bill

Does this mean the beginning of the end for internet piracy?

Following the judicial review of the digital economy bill, brought by ISPs BT and TalkTalk, a judge has today ruled against the ISPs, potentially giving the go-ahead to the Digital Economy Act's anti-piracy measures.

High Court judge Justice Kenneth Parker threw out four of the five claims made by the ISPs as reasons that the bill was unenforceable. This included the claim that the proposed 'three strikes' rule for disconnecting pirates was disproportionate, and that the law breached data protection laws. The review found that processing user's internet data was 'appropriate in law' because it will help protect copyright.

The only point on which the review agreed with the ISPs was that they should not have to contribute 25 per cent of the costs towards the system, or 25 per cent of the costs towards establishing an appeals body for those accused of downloading copyrighted material illegally.

However, the deployment of such a system is still a long way off, with TalkTalk still looking to challenge the Digital Economy Act in front of a higher authority such as the European Court of Justice.

Worried about ISPs having to keep tabs on all your browsing habits? Is the task of tracking the entire country's web usage too monumental for even the government to handle? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

25 Comments

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B1GBUD 20th April 2011, 16:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
Is the task of tracking the entire country's web usage too monumental for even the government to handle?

In a word yes, they have enough trouble keeping tabs on failed asylum seekers, let alone millions of peoples pr0n digestion
ballastix 20th April 2011, 16:21 Quote
I don't torrent or download illegally , but knowing that someone is potentially looking at exactly what I am all the time is quite frightening.
Phalanx 20th April 2011, 16:24 Quote
I never thought I'd say this, but, "Go TalkTalk!"
enciem 20th April 2011, 16:30 Quote
if it's OK to monitor all internet traffic then why can't they tap everyone's phone. The Euro Court will chuck this out as an infringement on privacy, regardless of the kick back the high court judge got.
Fizzban 20th April 2011, 16:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ph4lanx
I never thought I'd say this, but, "Go TalkTalk!"

"Hear, hear!"
WarrenJ 20th April 2011, 16:55 Quote
Sounds daft, but will they be able to decipher SSL encryption? Also, how secure is the system going to be to stop someone taking advantage of it.
Artanix 20th April 2011, 17:05 Quote
Well, its an amusing situation.

Users and ISP's dont want it, but the government does. But then nobody wants to pay for it...
TheLostSwede 20th April 2011, 18:21 Quote
If you're using an encrypted VPN connection, then no, they won't be able to see what you download. This is why encrypted VPN services in Sweden got really popular when Sweden got its new "anti piracy" laws in place last year. That said, there's no three strikes system in Sweden and the copyright holders have to prove the infringement in court, but is free to spy on people on the net which is quite scary and many ISPs in Sweden are trying to prevent this from happening as they're none too pleased with handing over user information to third parties that aren't the police.
OCJunkie 20th April 2011, 18:23 Quote
Its absolutely idiotic of them to think they can ever manage control entire digital distribution networks like that. These people are either total hypocritical sellouts, or complete technoobs. Those claims reeks of communism if you ask me, what is this, China?
azazel1024 20th April 2011, 18:29 Quote
Doing about 10 minutes of research because I was curious, there do seem to be some commercial products that can supposedly defeat "common encryption". Little is mentioned specifically of SSL, but it seems like what it does, on an ISP level, is it intercepts the key exchange so that in the end, the ISP can read the contents as easily as either end user would.

Other than a potential ethical situation and customer relations nightmare, I think the biggest reason ISPs are against it is because it is expensive. Real time DPI of ALL of the data that passes through their routers would mean a lot of extra processing power. That is unless they don't mind slowing down speeds significantly.

I really don't know how much processing power it would take. I know that the most basic of DPI tasks can be handled on a "basic" NIC. My Intel NIC can look for SIP DOS attacks and prevent them. Now real DPI I don't know about. You'd have to scan all of every single packet and look for patterns against what you wanted to find. How many paterns, how complex, etc, etc, etc. I'd imagine all of this additional CPU overhead it would involve would at minimum of tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars for a large local ISP and maybe in to the tens of millions for a big ISP. Maybe much more.

I am with Enciem on this one. If it isn't okay to tap my phone without a warrant or open my mail without a warrant, it isn't okay to monitor every little thing I pass over the internet. It would make me glad that I am in the US and not Britain...but frankly I am suprised this hasn't happened in the US yet.
BRAWL 20th April 2011, 18:59 Quote
Welcome to The Internet... circa 1984
ev1lm1nd666 20th April 2011, 19:20 Quote
I could just imagine, say every reader, subscriber or even casual browser of CPC/Bit-Tech launching a lawsuit against the government for invasion of privacy. If everyone of us that sued can prove we don't illegally download copy-writed material, then I reckon we'd have a pretty cast-iron case.....just thinking it would be very interesting to see how it would play out...
Threefiguremini 20th April 2011, 20:52 Quote
Oh dear....

I do think that anyone with anything to hide will be able to do so quite well if this goes ahead but still this is not good.
javaman 20th April 2011, 21:10 Quote
Just patent each point in the act and sue the government for copyright breech. They won't be able to put it in the law without paying royalties which the ISP's simply don't give them.

Yes I realise that it would never work but I can dream
sharpethunder 20th April 2011, 22:10 Quote
Big Brother is here in the uk so its nothing new id cards which i know were scrapped.
The uk has a history of watching and taking you info if for say you got done for drink Driving, your dna is add to the police computer system for future use or refence if there is a crime in the local area.

At the end of the day if the goverment wants to go-ahead with this bill they will but if you dont want it to happen tell your local mp that you dont want it.

So the internet will be policed by the uk nothing new
FelixTech 20th April 2011, 23:49 Quote
It is a bit crazy. No one checks my mail to see if I am posting pirate DVDs to all of my friends (which I'm not), and this is all a bit over the top for what is essentially petty crime. The problem is that there are so many people doing this particular crime, but brute forcing it can't be the best way to do it. I mean they could almost certainly wipe out cannabis possession if they had police strip searching people on every corner, but they don't do that do they?
RichCreedy 21st April 2011, 01:14 Quote
it's down to the copyright holders to make a complaint to the isp, who must then compile a list of complaints per customer, when it reaches a threshold, the isp is obliged to warn the customer, no details are given to the copyright holder in the first instance, the copyright holder, can ask to see a list of ip addresses, but they are still not given customer details, they are only given customer details, after a court order, which can be obtained if the copyright has enough proof to justify it.

the biggest complaint against the act, that the isp's have is that they must pay 25% of the costs.
dark_avenger 21st April 2011, 03:27 Quote
Good time to own a VPN/SSL service....

Anybody who is doing anything really illegal on the net is clever enough to hide there tracks better than most of theses methods would pick up.

More money pissed against a wall as far as I'm concerned.
Enzo Matrix 21st April 2011, 04:45 Quote
HTTPS and enforced encryption, bitches.
Enzo Matrix 21st April 2011, 04:48 Quote
Other than a potential ethical situation and customer relations nightmare, I think the biggest reason ISPs are against it is because it is expensive. Real time DPI of ALL of the data that passes through their routers would mean a lot of extra processing power. That is unless they don't mind slowing down speeds significantly.

This is the reason why I suspect anything happens, only unencrypted traffic will be monitored. I don't even think it would be possible to decrypt, and even if they could, it would not be worth the effort.
perplekks45 21st April 2011, 07:34 Quote
Decrypt SSL please, I'd really like to see you try. :|

And since when is copyright protection more important than keeping my private data private? I didn't know the goverment was allowed to know everything about me, all the time, everywhere...
Denis_iii 21st April 2011, 09:46 Quote
Any recommendations on a paid for secure genuine stable truly anonymous does not look at my data usage browsing history proxy server?
You know the ones that hide my location and I can even select what country my traffic appears to be coming from?
tad2008 21st April 2011, 11:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by azazel1024
Doing about 10 minutes of research because I was curious, there do seem to be some commercial products that can supposedly defeat "common encryption". Little is mentioned specifically of SSL, but it seems like what it does, on an ISP level, is it intercepts the key exchange so that in the end, the ISP can read the contents as easily as either end user would.

Catching the keys at either end of the exchange is certainly a very real possibility but I would imagine that banks and other institutions would be up in arms over anything like this due to their users privacy and confidentiality. For monitoring high risk criminal activity or terrorism I would imagine where something like this would likely be used.

This could of course be bypassed by even the average user with a pre-setup already encrypted key or via any site that encrypts the keys before hand making it nigh on impossible for any interception to gain access to the actual keys themselves. As compared to the TLS / SSL model which uses a predefined master key and then the server and client create a key that is shared and could be intercepted.
Quote:
Originally Posted by azazel1024
Other than a potential ethical situation and customer relations nightmare, I think the biggest reason ISPs are against it is because it is expensive. Real time DPI of ALL of the data that passes through their routers would mean a lot of extra processing power. That is unless they don't mind slowing down speeds significantly.

Real time DPI is certainly easily achievable on a CPU level but as far as storing all the data with hard drives there would be a serious slow down created from the bottleneck in data transfers. I don't think even SSD's would save them a significant amount either and would probably become burnt out in a short space of time.
javaman 21st April 2011, 12:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dark_avenger
Good time to own a VPN/SSL service....

Anybody who is doing anything really illegal on the net is clever enough to hide there tracks better than most of theses methods would pick up.

More money pissed against a wall as far as I'm concerned.

Yet how many pedos have been caught when they handed in their pc for repair?


The government has been snooping the web traffic for years.Can't let the IRA or UVF run amok.......oh wait, they do.
ObeyTheCreed 22nd April 2011, 00:13 Quote
I really hope the US doesn't try this, otherwise the servers they use will be overwhelmed by attacks from about 2 million teenagers pissed off that they can't illegaly download their pr0n -.-
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