As the Business Post and Metro newspaper mention, eircom are now going to block websites, starting with The Pirate Bay. Case by case basis from here on in. Once IRMA go to Court asking for a site to be blocked, eircom will not challenge it.
So first they’ll start with the Pirate Bay. Then comes Mininova, IsoHunt, then comes YouTube (they have dodgy stuff, right?), how long before we have Boards.ie because someone quoted a newspaper article or a section of a book? And don’t think they’ll stop there too, any site that links to The Pirate Bay and the others on the hate list will probably be added to the list too. Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?
This is bad on many accounts. 99% of people are being punished for what a tiny percentage of people are doing. Sometimes this can be justified. Handgun bans etc. I don’t think a website is a loaded weapon though.
Photo owned by _cck_ (cc)
I’m sure the business case for eircom was they didn’t want any more costly High Court actions with McDowell biting at their legs on the command of the music industry but this is going to open up a can of worms with IRMA demanding more and more attacks on how people surf the net, this is what it is in my view an attack on our freedom to read, our freedom to write, our freedom to move around the web. All so a very rich but rapidly becoming poor group of luddites can feel better for seeing the future and trying to fight it.
And of course the costs of communications with IRMA and of the filtering is going to be passed on to the consumer. The cost of blocking a single site will be almost nothing I suppose but as more sites get added and as the arms race between the pirates and the ISPs escalates, then it’ll become complicated and complicated costs more. So again the majority get to pay for the inability of the music industry to work with the modern world and the pirates who want to bring all digital content to the masses without any technological or monetary restrictions.
I really don’t like the idea that I can’t be trusted to surf the Internet unsupervised. I hope the other ISPs fight this.