Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Residential users, very small businesses are not prepared for "Six Strikes"

Jill Lesser, of the Center for Copyright Information, argues that the CAS “six strikes” alert system will not hurt public WiFi (as in restaurants and bars) or guest service in hotels.  This would be very important – in fact, I think that finding reliable and secure WiFi service at travel destinations is preferable for having to cart around all your own hardware when “on the road”.  Lesser argues that CAS will affect mainly residential users, but concedes that some very small businesses do use regular residential service and could be exposed to it. The CCI link is here
In fact, telecommunications providers often do offer more expensive “business” accounts at homes, claiming that they would get first priority for servicing after outages.  They might try to tack faster bandwidth (as the FCC is pushing) onto “business accounts”.  I’ve already noted that issue on my “Network Neutrality” blog – where residential service in the IS has fallen behind other countries, and where there is so much disparity around the country among providers (as shown up by Google’s recent fiber optic prototype in the Kansas City area).
It does appear that CAS will warn residential users that they must password protect their routers.  Should residences be legally responsible for illegal use (whether copyright infringers or even child pornographers) made by “drive by” operators?  Will home users be required to act as “brother’s keeper?”  (There were arrests on Florida and New York State over this issue in recent years, as home router owners found their signals could be picked up got hundreds of yards; chargers were dropped only when police understood what could happen – expensive for homeowners to defend themselves.  I can often see my neighbors’ routers when I boot up on Windows 7 in the morning.)   Will there be requirements that passwords  be changed frequently,  and be strong and less crackable, which could cause stability issues?

One thing that seems important to me, is that if CCI wants homeowners and residential users to take such responsibility, they should provide training, whether a local Best Buy, at a community college, or high school adult education – but they should do more than ship hardware for self-installation.
In any case, the ISP’s are saying that “mitigation measures” may be less than termination.  They might just be temporary slowdowns, to 256 bps.  That’s the forecast for what is about to happen in a couple months, according to “On the Media” here.
Electronic Frontier Foundation still insists that WiFi connections in homes should still be seen as neighborhood resources, as it argues in a recent “Deeplinks” post here
“Raze the World” (with “Tek Syndicate”) has a 16 minute film “Six Strikes Against the Six Strikes Plan” and talks about tracking technologies like “Mark Monitor” . The speaker points out that people who share P2P are more likely to actually buy things that they pay for, and that the “six strikes” law will encounter “innocent bystander” homeowners because, he says, WPA2, etc. are too easy to crack.  So, again, a need for research – and then training.  

It does seem that this monitoring program has been almost about to start for a long time!

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