Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sell your AT&T stock

Why? Well, because AT&T is looking at potentially opening themselves up to a world of liability.
AT&T Inc. is still evaluating whether to examine traffic on its Internet lines to stop illegal sharing of copyright material, its chief executive said Wednesday.

CEO Randall Stephenson told a conference at the World Economic Forum that the company is looking at monitoring peer-to-peer file-sharing networks, one of the largest drivers of online traffic but also a common way to illegally exchange copyright files.

Here's why this will be troublesome for them:

They represent a break with the current practice of U.S. Internet service providers, who are shielded by law from liability if their subscribers trade copyright files like movies.

Once AT&T starts fiddling around with the content on their networks, they stand to lose that protection from liability. So not only would AT&T be opening itself up to a bevy of lawsuits, it would also face the likelihood of losing a lot of customers who don't like the idea of their ISP spying on their web traffic. For the life of me, I cannot understand why AT&T would want to open that Pandora's Box. Ostensibly, such a policy would reduce congestion on their networks, but their are much better ways to deal with that than this.

No comments: