Saturday, May 09, 2009

BERR consultation responses - “04”

In reference to BERR response “p2p – 04 – FOI.PDF”

The respondent is again clear and concise. This is a fact that appears to be common amongst the private respondents. The level of in-depth technical knowledge shown is not great, but at least a personal experience with the technologies is evident.

Concerns raised are over the legality of such proposals, with reference to data protection laws. This is an important issue to remember – the groups such as the MPAA, IFPI, BVA et al. are private companies, not any form of government/local authority employees. They are private companies that exist only to further the interests of their members. They don't exist to deal with consumers justly, or any other philanthropic aim, their only aim is to enable their member companies to have the greatest income possible. As such, the prospect of such a company gaining access to the personal individuals of ordinary citizens without a court order or any sort of balanced judicial process is worrying in the extreme, as has been widely observed with Davenport Lyons and their obtaining of Norwich Pharmacal orders (which will be discussed further with Davenport Lyons' response)

This issue of encryption being used for heavy users is a valid point. As this is mostly a civil issue, it is usually down to companies, rather than law enforcement agencies to track down alleged infringements. AS such they have no power to interfere, or intercept private encrypted communications, so for plans such as those proposed to be effective, it would require either the criminalisation of a civil issue, or for private companies to be given laxer standards for obtaining data than even police forces currently have. Such an example recently came into force in Sweden, with their implementation of the IPRED directive.

The final points made were that any such proposals will adversely affect ISPs, but at greatest disadvantage will be the small ones. Without the large economies of scale, they rely on delivering a good product, with good service. When the profitable users start being put off, for whatever reason, It will be the large ISPs that have massively oversold their capacities (see this report for the disparity between advertised speed and actual speed received by customers as a result of overselling) and can afford to lose customers, leaving behind the light users.

Consultation analysis overview

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