Controversial 'six-strikes' copyright alert system launches in US

By on February 25, 2013, 3:00 PM

The "six-strike" warning system that aims to curb illegal downloads in the U.S. is set to go live today after missing its scheduled launch in November. AT&T, Cablevision, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and Comcast are all on board with the so-called Copyright Alert System, under which copyright offenders will receive a series of escalating warnings and can ultimately result in "mitigation measures" being taken against them.

The emphasis is reportedly on education, and despite some concerns, it doesn’t seem like ISPs will be watching their customers' traffic. Instead, it’s up to content owners to monitor peer-to-peer networks and notify service providers whenever their customers are suspected of trading copyrighted files online. From there it’s up to the service providers to get in touch with those users.

The specific alerts issued by ISPs will vary from one to the other but they more or less follow the same guidelines with three tiers of warnings and two warnings per tier. The first two notifications are expected to serve as warnings, alerting users of the offense and pointing them to legitimate sources of content. The second two are “acknowledgement alerts” requiring users to confirm receipt of the message before they can start browsing again, while the last two can include things like temporary bandwidth throttling, blocking access to certain websites, or warning about potential legal action from the content owner.

At least on paper, the measures are not as severe as previous attempts to counter piracy, both in the U.S. and elsewhere. But they are nonetheless the result of unverified accusations by private entities, not something that has gone through a judge. There’s not much stopping content owners from accusing you with little or unreliable proof, making ISPs slap you with whatever alert tier is up. You can still appeal if you feel wrongly accused but it’ll cost you $35 for an independent review by the American Arbitration Association.

It’s worth noting that the copyright alerts only appear target a subgroup of users, namely those sharing through BitTorrent. According to TorrentFreak, “the millions of users of file-hosting services, Usenet and streaming sites are not going to be affected.” The site goes on to point out that even those who keep using BitTorrent can avoid the warnings by signing up for one of many anonymizing services like proxies and VPNs.




User Comments: 43

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Win7Dev said:

This is the dumbest action made by ISPs to date.

Tygerstrike said:

And so it begins. This was one of the subjects I had been warning my freinds who choose to pirate. NOW they say that they wont be monitoring traffic, but watch, six months to a year from this date you will find that not only are they monitoring traffic, they will be montoring individual users. Yet another draconian measure put into place because we still cant keep ppl honest. My problem is that I fear this is the least of our collective internet worries. Eventually the ISP will escalate this program to Black Balling ppl they consider to be super pirates. Then we will get into constitutional rights vs. the rights of copyright holders to protect their intellectual property. This promises to be one giant mess that is going to cause more problems then it fixes. The sad part is that we could have stopped this at anytime by choosing to not pirate. I personally wont pirate and have convinced the ppl close to me to stop pirating. They were not too happy, but they understood my position. The internet is in my name and I DO NOT want to be under any agencies scrutinity. I suggest that if you as a individual choose to pirate, you do it on a burner ISP device. That way you get your "fix" and it cant really be traced to you. I also suggest that you dont pirate over wifi. There have been ppl who state that no one can track you if you pirate over wifi. That may be true, but you run the risk of loosing your free unsecured wifi because of one of these letters causing ppl to lock down their wifi.

Guest said:

Let the problems come out and then you can freak out, and its not about good or evil, they will try this either way and believeme the ppl wont let this thing alive...we will see solutions

takingbackhenry takingbackhenry said:

When you say a "burner ISP device" do you mean like neighbornet? Just some random unsecured network? That's what I do. Wifi is what everyone uses to download stuff I'm not sure what you meant there, but overall this new system is a joke and I'm all for it, less legal threats :-)

Guest said:

We regret to inform you, but due to watching a Youtube video containing a copyrighted song, we have given you strike five. Your internet download speed has now been reduced to 56k. Thank you for your understanding, and have a nice day.

Guest said:

The only ones complaining are the ones stealing stuff. We all know that.

Guest said:

Like most things the Government does, this goes after the softest targets rather than the most serious offenders.

The serious offenders, who want to continue downloading copyrighted material, will find ways around the restrictions, such as by using anonymizing services. The people who will get hit hardest by the restrictions are the unsophisticated, such as those with unsecured wi-fi, who may have neighborhood kids downloading copyrighted content on their accounts without their knowledge.

"Change" is not the answer to everything. The "we need to do SOMETHING" mania is counterproductive when it leads to thoughtlessly creating new problems without solving the problem of initial concern.

Sphynx Sphynx said:

The only ones complaining are the ones stealing stuff. We all know that.

I agree. I understand the knee-jerk reaction, but really, people, think about what you are saying. If you aren?t doing anything wrong by downloading illegal content, then you don?t have anything to worry about.

Guest said:

In other news proxies and vpn website increase user base 5000%.

Tygerstrike said:

@Sphynx

+1!!!!! Wish I could give you an even higher + on that one for the use of common sense.

Guest said:

Those Isp's are gonna lose alot of business. lollyskates

1 person liked this | Guest said:

You can secure your wireless connection all you want. I can crack any password you set in perhaps a weeks time or less then 5 min based on your password. I can use a special software that uses the 3 gpus to calculate the possible passwords. So any length password can be cracked in matter of minutes. No wifi is secure anymore. Password security is a matter of the past. This piracy stuff is due to microsoft and others overcharging for software and turning around and giving stuff out to economically challenged for free. Think about this concept. You charge $400 in the US. Sell it at $100 in Europe. In Nigeria you give it out for free. And Nigeria of all the places where all the online crimes and fraud occures or originates. Good job microsoft. And of all the countries the US is the most accused. Look at China and Russia. Everyone is running pirated windows. This is why we pirate. Unfair pricing practice.

Guest said:

Those Isp's are gonna lose alot of business. lollyskates

How exactly are the ISP's gonna lose alot of business?

dennis777 dennis777 said:

Cheap quality products = less pirates

mrcavooter mrcavooter said:

VPN + Usenet + HTPC FTW!!!

Guest said:

You can secure your wireless connection all you want. I can crack any password you set in perhaps a weeks time or less then 5 min based on your password. I can use a special software that uses the 3 gpus to calculate the possible passwords. So any length password can be cracked in matter of minutes. No wifi is secure anymore. Password security is a matter of the past.

Your so-called special software can only crack password that is susceptible to dictionary-based attacks. I personally use 63 alpha-numeric plus special character, randomized, at the WPA2 level. Good luck brute-forcing my password, that would take several million years.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You can secure your wireless connection all you want. I can crack any password you set in perhaps a weeks time or less then 5 min based on your password. I can use a special software that uses the 3 gpus to calculate the possible passwords. So any length password can be cracked in matter of minutes. No wifi is secure anymore. Password security is a matter of the past.

Your so-called special software can only crack password that is susceptible to dictionary-based attacks. I personally use 63 alpha-numeric plus special character, randomized, at the WPA2 level. Good luck brute-forcing my password, that would take several million years.

"My password is bigger than yours"

"Nuh uh"

Tygerstrike said:

What gets me more then anything is the simple fact that no matter how many times its asked, ppl will not stop pirating. Its YOU the USER that is causing all of this. If you have pirated in the last two years, you are directly responsible for screwing EVERYONE else. This is not rocket science. I dont care what justification you will use. Theft is Theft. Your not pirating a movie so you can feed your family. There is no resonable justification for this piracy. So thank you to all those ppl who chose to screw us all. The entire internet thanks you for not only your stupidity, but for the measures that are going forward.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

They know which sites to block out just block them and that will make everyone happy. Adding a tracking system on your account is another way for them to control what you do online. So now everyone with 20 down and higher won't need these faster speeds then. Save the money and go out and wait in line to rent that movie you really wanted so badly online. Now you can be a regular good citizen of US!

misor misor said:

You can secure your wireless connection all you want. I can crack any password you set in perhaps a weeks time or less then 5 min based on your password. I can use a special software that uses the 3 gpus to calculate the possible passwords. So any length password can be cracked in matter of minutes. No wifi is secure anymore. Password security is a matter of the past. This piracy stuff is due to microsoft and others overcharging for software and turning around and giving stuff out to economically challenged for free. Think about this concept. You charge $400 in the US. Sell it at $100 in Europe. In Nigeria you give it out for free. And Nigeria of all the places where all the online crimes and fraud occures or originates. Good job microsoft. And of all the countries the US is the most accused. Look at China and Russia. Everyone is running pirated windows. This is why we pirate. Unfair pricing practice.

so my password "n0p455w0rd" is not safe anymore from you?

how about if I don't broadcast my ssid?

1 person liked this | misor misor said:

Cheap quality products = less pirates

not really, even paid apps costing a dollar are still pirated.

people pirate because they can.

Alpha Gamer Alpha Gamer said:

If any of you would like to read a good study on pc game piracy, here it is.

http://www.tweakguides.com/Piracy_1.html

Guest said:

so my password "n0p455w0rd" is not safe anymore from you? [image link]

tragicallyhip said:

The day's of prohibition have returned,my father was around to witness the last one now it's my turn.This is gonna be fun

1 person liked this | Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

So now everyone with 20 down and higher won't need these faster speeds then. Save the money and go out and wait in line to rent that movie you really wanted so badly online. Now you can be a regular good citizen of US!

Do you honestly think the only thing people use fast internet connections for is file sharing? Did you really just say that?

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

You upload and download everything online. This is how online world is. The fact is most really don't need high speeds. 15 down is all you need even for HD content. I have 50 down and 10 up. I run a business online and need the extra. I going to throttle it down a bit since the need of faster doesn't mean ways the cost of it very expensive per year.

As your reply back the selling point from ISP was to download and faster, but download what? First it was MP3, and other media. Youtube allows you to watch videos and all sorts of things. You need faster connections for that. Everything is now under more locked down. Everything uploaded will be watched by this system censors. I only upload my programs to cloud network so my clients can get to firmware (aka ROM).

Everything you do now online going to be watched check by your IP. Now more focus is on uploads to certain sites and downloading from those sites. ISP can now tell you what you can and what you can't. Check your email boxes from your ISP .

Well to me it's good they're going after the sources who started all of this. But not everything uploaded and downloaded will be a red flag.

Just have to see how all of this will play out. They have to do something and this is what they came up with. this system!

1 person liked this | SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

What gets me more then anything is the simple fact that no matter how many times its asked, ppl will not stop pirating. Its YOU the USER that is causing all of this. If you have pirated in the last two years, you are directly responsible for screwing EVERYONE else. This is not rocket science. I dont care what justification you will use. Theft is Theft. Your not pirating a movie so you can feed your family. There is no resonable justification for this piracy. So thank you to all those ppl who chose to screw us all. The entire internet thanks you for not only your stupidity, but for the measures that are going forward.

If you aren't pirating how are you getting screwed here?

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Everything you do now online going to be watched check by your IP. Now more focus is on uploads to certain sites and downloading from those sites. ISP can now tell you what you can and what you can't. Check your email boxes from your ISP.
When you get in your car and drive to the store you are being monitored. If you look or act suspicious, it will draw attention to the authorities. How is this on-line activity monitoring any different form what is already present in real life? If you have a problem with this on-line monitoring then you probably have a problem with the real life monitoring as well. My advice would be to change your ways, if you think you are going to be a target for this new system. But then we all know if the real life monitoring doesn't work the on-line monitoring will likely not work either.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

We're not monitored here in this like that here. UK yes your are more. Traffic lights here yes. When that light turns red I stop my SUV! Running the light here means issues. I've been online since the BB, then Prodigy, AOL, full internet back in 1995. Still today we have so much to worry about, virus, malware, adware, all sorts of pest from bad web sites links. Today more watching of what you do online. Mostly I run my forums and on FB (battle pirate) an other forums like techspot. That's about it for me. I use the internet to watch movies from Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Movies. Sometime Crackle TV. So that's about it.. I am not climbing walls and going crazy over this monitoring.. Just saying there are many on the Youtube where the video is showing going crazy over it.

Tygerstrike said:

@sng

I point out to you that this will only be the begining. Though I do not pirate, the effects of ISP snooping will impact everyone. Not just the pirates. The tech savvy pirates will find each and every way they can to continue to pirate. This will just be the first step in censoring the internet for everyone. And all because someone couldnt or wouldnt wait till they could afford the item they pirated. Its the nature of the sleezy thought process that these pirates have. Gimme gimme gimme! I want it right now!

Guest said:

You all are missing the point... The entire RIAA. plus all the BS about copyright and pirated stuff is just an excuse to pass rules and laws to control the masses, restrict, tax and charge for what should be open and free (the Internet).

The current US government (obama and his obamites) are at the root of the problem. Believe or not, but the worst hasn't even happened yet.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Believe or not, but the worst hasn't even happened yet.
You are right about that, because we've not started a civil war yet. I don't know when but things are going to get ugly.

Rippleman Rippleman said:

Like some here have implied, I too must ask, why are you all against it? Will you be getting 6 strikes?

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

What would happen if ISP's discover there are so many people downloading bit torrents that they cannot financially afford to enforce this? Imagine Verizon discovering 75% of their paying customers require Emails for strike one? That would require a lot of time and manpower to enforce.

Guest said:

Of course, you can also avoid the penalties by simply signing up for service from an ethical ISP and skipping these clowns altogether.

miguel11 said:

DO YOU WANT TO LIVE IN A POLICE STATE? Because there is where we are heading. Like some people have said, this is not about piracy, piracy is just the excuse to take out our civil liberties (like the war on terror or drugs and the police state security at the airports, 4th and 6th articles of the US Constitution do not apply there) this is about control over the people, this is about FREEDOM of SPEECH. Once they start controlling which website you can access and which don't you are screed.

Remember Egypt's and Tunisia's uprising, what did they use to coordinate the manifestations and to share pictures and videos? Oups, the internet, file sharing, social media? Once the fascist controling the government starts controlling the last bastion of Democracy in the world, THE INTERNET, democracy is over.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Well Hollywood would like to stop the pirates at all cost! They tried court and other things. So now why not go to the source of the matter the UP-LOADER. This is not only going to cover P2P stuff your looking at larger picture those who send up videos to Youtube will be also censored more. Anything that is copyright protected can't be uploader and shouldn't be uploaded without the permissions of the company or author. Prior to all of this from the 90s to now everything has been and open market but now Government and ISP Companies have to stop the all these open door or back door methods to getting files and media. So now the internet will be more enforce. Would be nice if they can do the same with Email SPAM and tracking cookies they need to put a system into place for that and go after those who attack our emails and dump tracking cookies or files on our system via browser cache.

Guest said:

You can secure your wireless connection all you want. I can crack any password you set in perhaps a weeks time or less then 5 min based on your password. I can use a special software that uses the 3 gpus to calculate the possible passwords. So any length password can be cracked in matter of minutes. No wifi is secure anymore. Password security is a matter of the past.

Your so-called special software can only crack password that is susceptible to dictionary-based attacks. I personally use 63 alpha-numeric plus special character, randomized, at the WPA2 level. Good luck brute-forcing my password, that would take several million years.

"My password is bigger than yours"

"Nuh uh"

Bigger password makes a big difference. Every time you add a character to your password, you are exponentially increasing the difficulty it takes to crack via brute force.

Sphynx Sphynx said:

so my password "n0p455w0rd" is not safe anymore from you?

how about if I don't broadcast my ssid?

Don't forget to reject unauthorized devices by MAC filtering, and turn off WPA.

Ben

For what it's worth, MAC address filtering and non-broadcasting SSID really provides a false sense of security. Anyone wanting to hack your network can easily sniff your MAC and SSID regardless because they are in plaintext on every transmitted packet. As for WPA, I believe you are confusing it with WEP. WEP is broken and should be turned off. As long as you use WPA/WPA2 with a strong password, you are safe. Don't worry about the SSID broadcast.

Guest said:

so my password "n0p455w0rd" is not safe anymore from you? [image link]

Sphynx Sphynx said:

MAC filtering and turning off broadcast of SSID can be helpful to keep the technologically challenged from poaching your wireless (which is most people). It will only slightly slow down someone who knows what they are doing. Something else to take into consideration is range. Unless you live in a condo or apartment, there won't be many people in range of your wireless. Use the best security you can, but no reason to be paranoid.

How is someone "technologically challenged" going to poach your internet if you have a reasonable WPA/WPA2 password in place? Your premise makes no sense. It simply isn't a good idea for a variety of reasons. Here's a link from Robert Moskowitz, a security expert from ICSA Labs. He shows that not only is this an ineffective security measure, but it can also degrade network performance.

Debunking the Myth of SSID Hiding

Guest said:

How is someone "technologically challenged" going to poach your internet if you have a reasonable WPA/WPA2 password in place? Your premise makes no sense. It simply isn't a good idea for a variety of reasons. Here's a link from Robert Moskowitz, a security expert from ICSA Labs. He shows that not only is this an ineffective security measure, but it can also degrade network performance.

Debunking the Myth of SSID Hiding

You must have missed the "Use the best security you can" part of my post. Some people still use some older equipment that does not support WPA. I feel they should upgrade their gear but I am not the one spending the money.

Sphynx Sphynx said:

You must have missed the "Use the best security you can" part of my post. Some people still use some older equipment that does not support WPA. I feel they should upgrade their gear but I am not the one spending the money.

I didn't miss that. Let's run with that. Because we're still using the "technologically challenged" barometer as your baseline of the people you want to keep out. So, in that case, pick a "strong" WEP key. Who's going to guess it? Not the technologically challenged, that's for sure. But seriously, with "N" routers available now for as little as $20, there's no excuse for not upgrading. If you don't have $20 to spend on security, you probably shouldn't be spending money on an internet connection. Food might be a better idea.

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