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The Internet The Almighty Buck

AT&T Invests in Filtered Networking 152

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the dark-futures dept.
Filtered Coward writes "Last summer, AT&T announced its intention to begin filtering copyrighted content at some point. The telecom has now bought a chunk of Vobile, whose core product is VideoDNA. "Like other systems of its kind, VideoDNA develops a unique signature from every frame of video. The signature is meant to be robust enough to survive various transformations and edits, and it can then be used to run matches against incoming content.' Vobile claims that VideoDNA is good enough to be used on video when transmitted over a network. 'Based on the complexity of the problem, we suspect that anything initially deployed by AT&T will fall far short of a robust P2P video filter. But should AT&T truly have its eyes on just such a prize, the company would be in a powerful position to impose its own policies on the entire US, since it owns major parts of the Internet backbone.'"
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AT&T Invests in Filtered Networking

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  • by PCM2 (4486) on Friday November 16, 2007 @12:53AM (#21375205) Homepage
    This seems to imply that copyright-infringing video is being streamed over the network. Does this ever happen? More likely it is broken up into completely arbitrary chunks, which may or may not contain an entire frame and are unlikely to be delivered in sequential order. Furthermore, any form of network or P2P encryption currently in use ought to be able to defeat this. I wonder how much AT&T will be spending on this plan?
    • by QuantumG (50515)
      Bittorrent already has good encryption yeah.. and something like 25% of people have it turned on in the US and close to 80% of people in the UK.

      As soon as this absurd technology starts working (if ever) everyone will turn on the encryption.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by bhima (46039)
        It's just the protocol header that is encrypted with Bittorrent, not the data and it is not particularly good encryption
        and it doesn't really stop ISPs from specifically throttling Bittorrent traffic (which is the issue today).

        You can route Bittorrent through an SSH tunnel which would encrypt the data as well. Presumably you'd need a VPN service provider because I don't think a shell account provider would take to kindly to widespread use of their services in this way.
        • by piojo (995934)

          It's just the protocol header that is encrypted with Bittorrent, not the data and it is not particularly good encryption and it doesn't really stop ISPs from specifically throttling Bittorrent traffic (which is the issue today).
          I have used three clients extensively (the others haven't impressed me): azureus, utorrent, and rtorrent. Azureus and rtorrent have the option for full encryption, but it appears bittorrent doesn't. Hopefully it will be added, if it hasn't been yet.
    • by Xtravar (725372)
      Not to mention, how much processing power will AT&T have to spend on analyzing our packets? I'd imagine they'd need to beef up their servers considerably. Unless they incorporate it into their NSA program... which could be likely with the new legislation that makes it the government's job to enforce copyright.

      Otherwise, with tin-foil hat off, this sounds like a genius marketing plan doomed to fail but done to please certain people who don't have a clue.
      • Vobile's core product is a screening technology that it calls "VideoDNA." Like other systems of its kind, VideoDNA develops a unique signature from every frame of video. The signature is meant to be robust enough to survive various transformations and edits, and it can then be used to run matches against incoming content.

        Not to mention, how much processing power will AT&T have to spend on analyzing our packets?
        If they do this with video packets by identifying fingerprints on the fly, I guess I've found

      • Not to mention, how much processing power will AT&T have to spend on analyzing our packets?

        I'm guessing several tons of coal per second.
    • by iminplaya (723125)
      Furthermore, any form of network or P2P encryption currently in use ought to be able to defeat this.

      "Unauthorized" protocols are even easier to filter and block. Attempts to defeat these mechanisms will be dealt with harshly.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by belmolis (702863)

        How can they distinguish between encrypted video and other kinds of odd, binary data that they have no business interfering with, such as text in an exotic language and encoding, or somebody's proprietary compression format, or raw data from some odd kind of sensor?

        • by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Friday November 16, 2007 @01:41AM (#21375475)
          This is AT&T. They don't distinguish, they just give it all to the NSA, as demonstrated by the lawsuits filed by the EFF and the whisteleblower who revealed the taps on core fiber optic backbones.

          The NSA, now, has fairly good tools. There's a fascinating tool from a company called Sandstorm that re-assembles network traffic into its distinct streams and does quite a good job of re-assembling email and web transactions. Given a remote opportunity to do a man-in-the-middle SSL key replacement, or simply steal the SSL or SSH keys from the serving host (with or without a subpoena), such tools could doubtless do quite a good job of intercepting transmissions seamlessly. And innocent folks aren't bothered to go to that level of protection, such as using obscure languages or real one-time pads.

          Like the phone company's wilingness to tap phone conversations from the telephone offices, undetectably, because it's merely duplicating the digital bits and sending them to whomever they care to send them to, such monitoring constitutes a massive risk to the innocent for political and illegal monitoring. We see what such monitoring and related censorship does in China right now: we need to be extremely wary of it occurring here with such tools casually accepted.
          • by walt-sjc (145127)
            I tried to create my own one time pad by XORing the Windows install CD with the Ubuntu install.... My computer burst into flames...
            • I tried to create my own one time pad by XORing the Windows install CD with the Ubuntu install.... My computer burst into flames...

              I realize this was meant as a joke, but what you describe is not a one-time pad. Your secret key consists not of the ~700MB XORed contents of the CDs, but merely of the choice of CDs and the fact that you XORed two of them together. A large key-space, to be sure, but you'd probably get much better security with standard public-key encryption.

              • His secret key consisted of the choice of CDs and the fact that he XORed them together. Since he posted it on Slashdot, it's now it's his public secret key. As opposed to his secret secret key. Unfortunately, publicity and secrecy are not commutative.
          • by davidsyes (765062)
            I'm still waiting for the opposite of Progress (congress) to call at&t "moral pygmies", but I guess I'll be waiting a long, long time. Probably splaying their asses before the intel apparatus, saying, "Oh, domestic T-spy, we love you long long tyme."

            I wouldn't be surprised if at&t has something to do with wikileaks coming down yesterday. Wouldn't be surprised if they had helped in the Swedish keys-zotica guy being arrested. It may be that at&t has a Tor node up. Hell, if the Swede did, what's to
            • by davidsyes (765062)
              Hah! Wikileaks is BACK up... Maybe it IS a CIA front, after all. Probably they took it down to do some "housecleaning" to remove unsanctioned documents, then restored it...

              LOL!
        • by iminplaya (723125)
          First off, it doesn't matter anymore what business they have interfering with traffic. By default we gave them that authority by protecting their monopoly. They can and will do what they please, and most will believe it's "for our protection", and we know what happens to those who disagree.

          As for deciphering the data, they can easily set the rules as to what kind of traffic can pass. Getting through will be our problem. As long as we're stuck with their wire, we are stuck with their rules.
          • by rtb61 (674572)
            As members of a democracy that is not quite right. All you have to do is make continuous effort for change. So as long as they operate in your country they will have to operate by rules they benefit the majority and not the minority.

            All you have to do is work to force that change. Mean while the current corporate trolls will continuously try to tell you, you can't win, you have no power, you can never force change, only the corporations have influence over the government. Basically they are desperate to s

    • I'd love to know how AT&T would determine that you did or did not have a license to download or even serve the content. IANAL, but if they start using this to examine traffic going over their wires couldn't it make them liable if they a) detect copyright content, but choose to take no action, or b) take action on certain content, but not on other? There is also the issue of privacy - if the Government (supposedly) can't go intercepting whatever communications it likes, why would AT&T be allowed to?
      • by penix1 (722987)
        Along the same lines (and possibly more importantly) this should, in my IANAL HO, remove their DMCA safe harbor exemption. Now any content that gets through means AT&T allowed it through. They are opening up a huge can of worms with this action.
    • by nospam007 (722110)
      This seems to imply that copyright-infringing video is being streamed over the network. Does this ever happen?
      ____

      http://joox.net/ [joox.net]
    • by walt-sjc (145127)
      My concern is false positives, like comcast's torrent destroyer that also fucks up Lotus Notes. Stupid squared. Sigh. Another class action just waiting to happen.
    • by Skreems (598317)
      What I'm curious about is, how does it know when you're infringing? I.E. if I go watch episodes of TV shows at any of the major network websites, how does AT&T decide that this instance of a copyright file is legit? Also, how do they justify stopping me from transfering a copy of a digital file which I own from one machine to another (not LAN connected)? Identification is only the first step. Policy awareness is a much harder problem, and one it sounds like they haven't given the first thought to.
  • by compumike (454538) on Friday November 16, 2007 @12:57AM (#21375241) Homepage
    Encryption can beat this, but should it have to? Now we've got to throw a lot of computing power at a problem just to get around our nominally "common carriers."

    I think we can all agree that there's a problem: lots of illegal video transmission is happening online. And while some of the slashdot crowd consists of "information wants to be free" hippies, there is also a good community of people who reasonably understand the value of intellectual property rights. But I don't think anyone is excited about a solution like this, which clearly removes the user's fair use rights and common sense.

    So where's the balance? Can a technical solution exist that will simultaneously stop the illegal pirating of movies and TV shows (which would be good), and allow other uses (even short clips, parodies, etc)? I think the answer is no. The determination of fair use relies heavily on intent, and no technical system will be able to determine that very effectively.

    --
    NerdKits: Educational microcontroller kits for the digital generation. [nerdkits.com]
    • Can a technical solution exist that will simultaneously stop the illegal pirating of movies and TV shows (which would be good) Whose a pirate? Prove it. I for one welcome our Wonkavision utilizing overlords. "A stretch, I know, but the only way out is through."
      • This raises some interesting issues: We've brought up encryption already, and fragmented compressed video. How about this: would the system block "quoted" video clips? Spoofs? How about a video subscription or streaming TV site that the end user has paid to gain the rights to use (a la iTunes, movieflix, etc.)? I don't see how software can distinguish between infringing and legal video. Is AT&T going to block video on their own video transmission service when they release it?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by QuantumG (50515)

      And while some of the slashdot crowd consists of "information wants to be free" hippies, there is also a good community of people who reasonably understand the value of intellectual property rights.
      And while some people are more than willing to sell everyone's rights up the river for fist full of gold, there is also a good community of people who have morals and are willing to refuse to obey bad laws.

      • by compumike (454538)

        And while some people are more than willing to sell everyone's rights up the river for fist full of gold, there is also a good community of people who have morals and are willing to refuse to obey bad laws.

        I agree that this policy of network filtering is a bad one, and that it violates the rights of the network users.

        However, one thing that some of the slashdot crowd tends to ignore is that content owners have rights too. Or are we suddenly to believe that the only things that have value are physical things?

        --
        Long-time coder? No electronics experience? Come play with microcontrollers! [nerdkits.com]

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by QuantumG (50515)

          one thing that some of the slashdot crowd tends to ignore is that content owners have rights too.

          You're painting a lot of people with a very wide brush there.. after all, aren't YOU a member of the "slashdot crowd". Would seem so from where I'm sitting.

          There are no "content owners". There are "copyright holders" and they have the rights ascribed to them by copyright law.. of which I am opposed and believe should be drastically reduced, if not immediately and completely abolished.

        • However, one thing that some of the slashdot crowd tends to ignore is that content owners have rights too.

          No, they don't! They have a privilage of a finite-duration monopoly, created by the government, for the express purpose of "promot[ing] the progress of science and the useful arts!" Nothing more! This is exactly the opposite of a "natural right."

          Or are we suddenly to believe that the only things that have value are physical things?

          That's how it's been during 99.99999% of human history (i.e., everythi

          • You forgot the "and still profitably published" part
            • No, I didn't, because profit is irrelevant. Even if all artists go bankrupt, there is still art being created. And that's the goal, remember: "promoting progress of science and the useful arts," not "paying artists an entitlement."

              • And if they're starving or broke, or can't afford the tools of their trade, they produce less art. The goal wasn't to "let the artists starve, they'll produce anyway". It was to "promote progress".
          • Yep they have a privilege, set down in law.

            You know the Bible? No copyright!

            There are many translations of the Bible, and most of them are copyrighted. Only The original "Thee and Thou" King James version is not.

            If anything, in light of duplication technology that can copy even more stuff even better, copyright is even more relevant that it was before. Before any duplication technology existed, there were only physical things. There were no recordings of medieval "Britney the Spear" and no way to copy them, so of course there would be no

            • by lga (172042)

              There are many translations of the Bible, and most of them are copyrighted. Only The original "Thee and Thou" King James version is not.

              I hate to break it to you, but the King James bible wasn't the original. Jesus didn't speak english, not even with thee's and thou's in it.

          • Copyright was hardly a fluke. It's a logical outgrowth of the idea that whoever finds something first, owns it and controls its use. Nothing that lasts since the first printings of the Bible more than 500 years ago can be called "a fluke". And the idea that "only physical things have value" is historically nonsensical, given the history of wars of fealty, religious wars, and the common family argument that "mom loved me better than you!".
        • However, one thing that some of the slashdot crowd tends to ignore is that content owners have rights too. Or are we suddenly to believe that the only things that have value are physical things?

          Wow, I wasn't aware that encryption is of no use except for masking the transfer of illegal content. Thanks for clearing that up. I agree then, we should by all means, scrupulously avoid encrypting any of our traffic.

          Perhaps living in glass houses and wearing no clothes would be a good idea too, since it's qui

    • by belmolis (702863)

      I would compare this to the public road system. The roads can be put to uses that we can all agree are bad, even criminal. They can be used to transport kidnap victims, or to escape after robbing banks or killing people, or to get to the the place where one is going to commit a crime. Filtering network content and allowing only approved data would be like requiring every driver to submit a travel plan stating the reason for the trip and have his or her vehicle searched. That might well cut down on crime, b

    • by bentcd (690786)

      And while some of the slashdot crowd consists of "information wants to be free" hippies, there is also a good community of people who reasonably understand the value of intellectual property rights.

      You are mixing up two entirely different issues here. I think you will find that the "hippies" understand the value of the copyright monopoly quite well. Much as they also understand that if AT&T were to be given a monopoly on the distribution of water, this would be extremely valuable to them. What the "hippies" question is whether or not this is actually a very good idea.

    • by davidsyes (765062)
      Some possible solutions:

      -- Content providers need to stop producing shitty content (but, I suppose that as long as a slice of american life likes inane, shitty, pointless "programming"...)

      -- imprison those engaging in illegal (or change the) accounting practices to coerce (incentivize?) the content/programming providers to stop producing shit that drags on the bottom line...

      -- embed non-removable tags in the content WHILE lowering the price AND making subscription mandatory but low-cost, OR free, so as to g
    • by MikeFM (12491)
      Everything we send online should be encrypted. It's only laziness that has kept us from making such a switch. Maybe it's time to shake ourselves awake and get it done before it's to late.

      The working solution to IP woes isn't technical. The solution is just to make the content available in the format users want, when users want it, and at a reasonable price. Until content providers do that thir content is going to be passed around, for free, by the people that want it. Personally I'm sure I'll keep downloadi
    • Encryption can beat this, but should it have to? Now we've got to throw a lot of computing power at a problem just to get around our nominally "common carriers."

      The problem is, if the common carriers can get at it, there's a good chance your next door neighbor, and any Russian programmer, Chinese government lackey, script kiddie, and disgruntled ex-telco employee can as well (and I'll wager there's quite a few of those). Have you not been paying attention to the incredible number of compromised machines

  • If they can filter "coprighted" content, then they can "identify" said content. They could flag users and/or collect info for the *AA.
  • Co-conspirators (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mr_Blank (172031) on Friday November 16, 2007 @01:05AM (#21375289) Journal
    I thought telecoms were immune to certain types of litigation because they are neutral carriers of data. If a person makes a phone call or uses a bulletin board to commit a crime, the teleco is not part of the conspiracy. They are neutral. If AT&T starts filtering out "criminal" activity (and what jury of peers determined that anyhow?!), then are they giving up their neutral status? If they try to filter any material, will they be liable for all the material that inevitably slips through their net?

        Also, how do they pick out copyright material for which a license has been granted compared to material that is "criminal" activity?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by stinerman (812158)
      AT&T the phone company is a common carrier. AT&T the ISP isn't. The ISP can do pretty much whatever it wants with "it's" network without any repercussions from the government. They never had a neutral status to begin with, so I don't see how this changes anything. AT&T has to abide by the DMCA at a minimum. This is just them being nice to the RI/MPAA and other such groups.
      • I thought the whole point of the common carrier thing was that it meant ISPs weren't liable for infringing material hosted on their network? A "don't shoot the messenger" sort of thing.
        • by stinerman (812158)
          ISPs aren't and have never been common carriers. The confusion is due to the fact that AT&T the phone company is a common carrier, but AT&T the DSL company isn't. AT&T only has to comply with any DMCA takedown notices to avoid liability.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The sad thing is that mail carriers are not blamed for the anthrax scares, and telephone companies not blamed for their lines being used to transmit terrorist plots, or even the buy-and-toss cell phone companies for further allowing hard-to-pin conversations to happen. But somehow ISPs and telcos get tied in some notion they should provide a silver bullet for illegal activity. Why not sue the government for making so many roads that facilitate drug trades quick get-aways?
      • by cliffski (65094)
        telephone calls are easily traced after the event. The anon nature ( to an extent) of a lot of internet traffic means that its a different kettle of fish. Plus the economic damage caused by mass distribution of copyrighted material dwarfs the relatively minor amount of crime that is facilitated by telephones.
        Its a different scenario, and needs handling differently. if you think that the current situation, where companies invest tens of millions in movies which get stolen instantly, will persist, you are dre
        • by Sancho (17056)
          ISPs can keep track of the account associated with an IP address at a given time. That's as good as phone tracing. It gets you to a household. Past that point, you're relying on the individuals' testimony as to who was using the computer or phone at the given time.

          Spoofing is really easily dealt with these days. It's a non-issuel
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by stonertom (831884)
      If i were a customer, i would want to know why i can't download a film off my ftp, but still get spam and malware. As an aside, shouldn't they use this for worse things than copyright infringement?
      • by Sancho (17056)
        Signature-based blocking is only as good as the signatures you use. Malware is increasingly morphing to avoid signature detection. Spam is less so, but I'm not on AT&T, so I really can't say how good their spam filtering is/isn't.
    • by davidsyes (765062)
      C'mon, you probably by now suspect that "the government/s" have already thought of this. Probably, at&t will get safe harbor under some notion of "natural reflector in an artificial environment" so that for their "services", they will not be considered a "cherry-picker of data". They'll be likened to being an "oil-sucking sponge" that the government then retrieves and analyzes for "illegal, environmental-impact substances studies."

      If I can half-ass come up with this in 30 seconds, I'm sure they've codif
  • So.. there is NO possibility of a false positive occuring with this technology?
    • Fair Use? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by corsec67 (627446)
      What about Fair use?
      or, what if frames are the same between 2 different movies. (Fade to black, fade to white, common things like FBI warning, etc...)
      • My best guess is they are planning to insert something into the frame, probably a sequence of colors at a particular pixel location. The robustness of the system is mostly marketing hype pointed a C-level PHB's, I fail to see how anything could be robust when I can split off the audio change equalization on the sound bust out the individual frames tweek the gamma and contrast and reassemble and encode to a different format.
  • You know what is next, they're going to throttle anything that is encrypted lest it have any illegal content that they can't scan. comcast was nothing just wait until the new overlords take over. Not only that but I'll bet they'll try to get the support of the legal system somehow...
    • by mikael (484)
      They could try and have a whitelist of internet addresses that are permitted to have encrypted traffic (banks, online retailers as examples). They would then have to ban the basic programming API functionality of the socket programming library (recv, recvfrom, recvmsg, send, sendto, sendmsg).

      After all, any unknown data compression format is effectively encrypted unless you know how the algorithm works.
  • Copyright Law (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drspliff (652992) <harry.roberts@NOSPAM.midnight-labs.org> on Friday November 16, 2007 @01:15AM (#21375337)
    Allows you to fairly use content in a situation which merits it, for example:
    * Educational material
    * Parodies
    * Licensed use
    * Short clips
    * Lots of others

    I'm not in the USA, but say for example I own a hard copy of a movie or TV show on DVD, am I "allowed" to stream it from home during my lunch break or after work when this system is possibly live?

    Remember, if they are doing filtering it means they are no longer a common carrier, what is the legality of this in regard to third party content; if I were to transfer illegal content over their connection will they be liable for this because they haven't filtered it out? Or will the law apply to them when it suites em.

    There are so many holes in this I couldn't possibly see this implemented, not to mention the resources that'd be required on their end to keep up with the constant change in codecs/compression methods and to be able to decode it in realtime.

    Yeah, it's just speculation at the moment, but in a really dark and unfunny way I can see PHBs combined with RIAA/MPAA mafia seriously pushing something similar based on their draconian previous tendancies.
  • Dear AT&T (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 16, 2007 @01:25AM (#21375385)
    Dear AT&T,

    I have been a voice customer with you for many, many years, and I have chosen to get my internet service from you in the days of yore - 1996, with a 56k modem, and four years later, I upgraded to your residential ADSL product. I've always been content with your service - sure, the random two-hour downtimes at 1 AM every four or five months piss me off, but I understand that sometimes, you just gotta do it.

    I've done my part in being a loyal customer; I only call when I'm sure the problem lays beyond my DSL modem, I don't torrent often, and I've never tried to do anything shady to your other customers. Over the past decade, you've treated me well by not blocking inbound port 80 traffic. That's why I haven't ever moved to a much faster Cable connection. Hell, I even work for a CLEC and if I was so inclined, I could have a free 1.5 SDSL line - but I haven't done that because you've given me no reason to go through the hassle of set-up.

    You might have spied on me. Don't get me wrong - I'm plenty pissed off about that. But I know it wasn't anything personal. I know how upper management can be when the NSA comes knocking. The way things are going, I think you'll ultimately answer to us for what you did, so I won't stress too much about it. Anything important is encrypted, anyways.

    But now, my dear AT&T, for the first time in a decade, I don't know what to think about you. Your problems with torrenting and streaming video are that you don't have enough bandwidth to accommodate all of your customers. You've grossly oversold your network's capacity, just like my company does, and now you're being bit for it. It's an unpleasant situation for you - trust me, I know exactly how that feels.

    But now, how many billions are you going to spend on this fingerprinting system for video? How many people will work on this project? How many legitimate packets of mine is this going to slow down or drop? And, in the first week this system goes live, won't everybody just turn crypto on and use YouTube over https? Billions of dollars...flushed right down the toilet in an instant!

    Now, as I said, I'm just a humble legacy customer. I started out at SNET, then get assimilated into SBC/Yahoo, finally ending up as a customer of the Great Bell Company. But, might I, a meek twice-legacy customer, suggest that you ax this project and ***invest the fucking money in buying more fiber, thereby solving the actual problem***?

    I mean, come on. What the fuck do you care if people are stealing the latest blockbuster using your network? You're not in the business of being moral guardians, and there's no way in hell a court would ever hold you liable for something like this.

    Just know, my old friend, that if you do end up implementing this, the first time one of my packets gets dropped mistakenly, you damn well better believe I'll take my company up on that free SDSL line. And I'll be living here for a long time to come.

    Sincerely,
    Anonymous
    The Happiest AT&T Customer Ever

    • ... there's no way in hell a court would ever hold you liable ...

      Of course no court would find them liable. But that's not the issue. The issue is that AT&T wants to enter the entertainment business, just like all the other big facility based providers. They want to become your "one stop source" for everything in audio, video, gaming, and reading (and bill you for everything on one big bill). But they face TWO obstacles to that. The content industry has probably already made it clear to them wha

  • Good ole Ma (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gsn (989808) on Friday November 16, 2007 @01:37AM (#21375459)
    It's taken under 30 mins since this story was posted and the obvious is already been pointed out
    a) this technology can't work - too much overhead looking through all those packets
    b) will probably flag several false positives
    c) can be circumvented with encryption

    AT&T doesn't have to do anything though - they just have to appear to be looking out for the media companies. Perhaps even catch a few dumb people who upload a lot and don't use encryption and hand them over to the media companies to sue. Makes many people appropriately scared of Ma Bell. And who do you think the media companies will choose to deal with to distribute their content on the mobile and internet platform. Well its not like they will have much choice really - IIRC the FCC relaxed rules that prevented AT&T from charging more for access to its lines. Remember when the government broke AT&T up - probably not which is the problem.
    • by fortunato (106228)
      I think its pretty safe to say it will be far more than SEVERAL false positives. There will be an incredibly high amount of false positives. Then it will be on the sender to prove that they are innocent due to the vast money and legal teams available to those who would remove fair use altogether. Any other opinion is naive at best. Look at what the RIAA has been doing and try to make a convincing argument otherwise. Not possible. Innocent until proven guilty is a vain hope of the past. One is now guil
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by keithmo (453716)

      c) can be circumvented with encryption

      At this point, could using any form of on-the-wire encryption be considered a "circumvention device" and therefore illegal under the DMCA?

    • by davidsyes (765062)
      My first thought was, "What the HELL is "vobile"? Sounds like vomit and bile."

      If this technology does produce lots of false positives, and becomes a pain in at&t's butt, then, it may boil down to being "vomitous bile". At&T might end up with hi-tech heartburn.

      Captcha: "wreaks".... hmmm woulda been funnier if it were "reeks"...
  • What do they gain from this? Last I checked, they produced no media, just conveyed it.
    • I doubt very much AT&T is doing this service to the MPAA and RIAA out of the kindness of their hearts. Either they are doing this to avoid a war with the **IA and friends over doing nothing or they got a new shiny gift from a mysterious *cough* source. There may even be a two for one deal here, NSA gets some free data intel and the **IA's get to continue their extortion scheme. If people start encrypting their data traffic all AT&T has to do is throttle the hell out of it or drop that kind of tra
  • show.01 show.02 show.03 show.04 show.05 show.06 show.07 show.08 show.09 show.rar show.sfv show.nfo Can't match video inside multiple rars now can ya? And thats the main for of video transfer over p2p anyway, at least in the scene.
    • by Zironic (1112127)
      I have nothing but pure hatred for those that rar video. You're wasting my hard drive space you !#" >.
  • by rlp (11898)
    Brilliant! So, when someone BUYS copyrighted content from ITunes, or Amazon, or some other content provider, AT&T's filter will detect it and block it.
    • Brilliant! So, when someone BUYS copyrighted content from ITunes, or Amazon, or some other content provider, AT&T's filter will detect it and block it.
      I suspect that's more likely to be the point of the exercise.

      AT&T will sell / lease this service to other - media company related - ISPs. "Want to download a movie from iTunes, Amazon, or even TPB? Sorry, not if it's one of ours - but here's a link to our video store..."

      • by MenTaLguY (5483)
        AT&T could also charge iTunes, Amazon, or other content providers to have their services exempted from the filtering, which may be less likely to raise consumer protest.
  • Why should AT&T even care about bittorent? Sure it uses a lot of bandwidth but so does YouTube, and downloading music "legitimately" they shouldn't care what I am using my network that I payed for, whether that is bittorent, YouTube, downloading Linux ISOs, iTunes or whatever, they are the ISP Internet Service Provider not some arm of the *IAA. Their goal should be to provide internet at a fast speed and not care at all whatever you want to do, and unless in the contract it said so, that means don't giv
  • I wonder how A Fair(y) Use Tale [stanford.edu] would be flagged by the "Video DNA" system. For those who don't know, this is a video consisting entirely of tiny clips from Disney movies. Most clips provide only a single word. When strung together, they explain what Fair Use is and why it's important. The use of the Disney copyrighted material clearly falls under Fair Use, yet Video DNA might flag it (and thus AT&T might block it) simply because the material is copyrighted.
  • 1. reconstruct a tcp stream and figure out what is bittorrent traffic and what is ssh, ssl etc.

    2. decrypt Bittorrent encryption.

    3. put the psuedo-randomly-ordered chunks of torrent data into the final file[s] (requires downloading the whole thing).

    4. put the rar files most p2p movies are contained in into one piece and decompress.

    5. compare the divx with the footprint for the dvd they have (remembering that its all been recoded n-times and possibly editted/cropped a bit so the divx timescale/image is not mu
  • AT&T is a traitor to America and the principles of freedom.
    Revoke their fucking charter for the sake of our children.

    Spying bastards.
  • Can it survive ROT13?

    That's the problem with every video fingerprinting system. It first has to be able to see the content. So while you have to upload unencrypted video to YouTube where it can be checked, I hardly expect that this will have a chance against the next round of encrypted P2P transfers. Even now, share an encrypted ZIP file with the decryption key as part of the filename.

    In the end, a whole lot of money on fingerprinting software will be spent. Only the rawest newbie users will be bloc

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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