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Donna Wentworth
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Ernest Miller
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About this weblog
Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this weblog are those of the authors and not of their respective institutions.

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

Copyfight

« Godwin/Public Knowledge on DRM | Main | What Would You Say to the Copyright Office? »

March 22, 2004

Bway To Offer RIAA-proof DSL?

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Posted by Jason Schultz

Broadbandreports.com sez:

Bway.net is hoping to lure RIAA wary customers with a new anonymous DSL service dubbed AnonDSL. The company says the service is "the ultimate tool for protecting your identity from tracking by the RIAA, MPAA or anyone else" because it makes your "online activities untraceable." According to the product's FAQ, Bway claims users "are entitled to privacy on your Internet connection" and Bway has "created this service to meet that need".

...

Unlike these other services [like AnonX], Bway.net says their new service doesn't make use of proxy servers. While the company won't go into specifics, Bway's Joe Plotkin informs us it's "a combination of dynamic addressing and our decision not to retain logs on this service." Bway likely assigns a special pool of rotating IP addresses to users who subscribe to the service, but doesn't keep logs of the leases.

When the RIAA or Lars Ulrich comes knocking, Bway can only confirm that the user was one of their customers, but not which customer; with no amount of legal pressure able to change that. Plotkin notes the company simply "cannot supply information we do not possess."

An interesting approach, to say the least. The RIAA's current war against file sharers depends on the ISPs maintaining the data necessary to unmask the end user based upon correlating IP addresses with his or her historical usage. Growth of services like this would certainly push the RIAA either to improve its evidence gathering methods or advocate for some kind of mandate that ISPs log their users' IPs and maintain those logs. The first may present both fiscal and technological challenges to the RIAA; the second would create a scary precedent for undermining online anonymity.

Comments (2) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: IP Use


COMMENTS

1. Cypherpunk on March 23, 2004 1:01 PM writes...

The original reason why ISPs started saving info on IP assignments was not for the benefit of the RIAA. It was so they could track down and address other forms of abuse: breakins, mail-bombs, virus distribution, all kinds of attacks. Often the evidence doesn't show up until later. Will these guys really shield blatant law-breakers or will they cop to "secret" IP logs? We'll see. If they do follow their policies, they're likely to be a magnet for malicious users.

Permalink to Comment

2. Aaron Swartz on March 23, 2004 1:09 PM writes...

They just provide Internet service; why should it be their job to stop malicious users?

Permalink to Comment


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