The time is right for Internet service providers to start filtering traffic in an effort to thwart illegal file sharing. As the New York Times reports on its Bits blog, that's the view representatives from NBC, Microsoft, AT&T, and digital filtering companies expressed during a discussion panel at NBC's Consumer Electronics Show booth this week.
During the discussion, James Cicconi, Senior VP of External & Legal Affairs for AT&T, reportedly stated that his employer has been in discussions with the MPAA, RIAA, and technology companies for the past six months regarding the implementation of network-level digital fingerprinting techniques. Cicconi stated, "We are very interested in a technology based solution and we think a network-based solution is the optimal way to approach this."
However, when quizzed by the New York Times about how users would react to such measures, Cicconi conceded that network-based filtering will need to jive with customers to be a viable solution. "Whatever we do has to pass muster with consumers and with policy standards. There is going to be a spotlight on it." He went on to say that AT&T would have to implement filtering delicately, as well, and "do more than just stop an upload dead in its tracks, or send a legalistic cease and desist form letter to a customer."