Time Warner, Comcast, Verizon, AT&T team up with entertainment industry to slow down internet access

The New York Times reports

The Internet providers, including AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast Verizon and Time Warner Cable, announced the deal on Thursday in Washington with the major trade associations for movies and music, the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, as well as organizations representing independent filmmakers and record companies.

The deal that is aimed at curbing piracy will send a number of alerts to consumers that they are watching “infringed content.”

The kicker is that at the more extreme end of these ‘alerts’ your internet connection can be slowed or web surfing blocked all together.

These warnings escalate from simple e-mail notifications to a set of “mitigation measures,” like slowed connections or a block from Web surfing altogether.

There are some obvious with the fact that this can happen. Right now the trigger for this is “infringed content.” Suppose the definition of that is expanded to “plain old content someone doesn’t like?”

The big glaring question is what this means for Netflix. What’s to stop my internet being slowed because I stream content from Netflix and the ‘industry’ doesn’t like it?

I find this particularly interesting as AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile is in process. I expect that this will renew calls for net neutrality. Or maybe not.

Here’s another way of dealing with piracy.