The Electronic Frontier Foundation, or EFF, has responded to the RIAA's new method of extorting money from people, and, surprise surprise, they don't like it. They take issue not only with the fact that this whole operation is designed to circumvent the law, but also that the RIAA is asking ISPs to keep track of IP records of potential pirates.
EFF and others have long warned that copyright claims could become an altar on which personal privacy is sacrificed. Now the RIAA wants your ISP to voluntarily wield the knife, and there's no telling what else the RIAA might ask for once this cut has been made.
It is indeed a slippery slope, one that we really don't want to be sliding down. The notion of a non-governmental agency having the power to strong-arm its way into your personal internet surfing history is scary, especially when you aren't even notified that it's happening. This could open the door to huge abuses of privacy, turning our private web use into a goldmine not only for greedy sleazebuckets like the RIAA but also greedy sleazebucket marketer researchers and advertisers.
So now the ball is in the ISPs courts. Will they bend over to this new demand from the RIAA? We definitely need to be putting pressure on ISPs to let them know that we're paying attention and that their customers won't stand having their private records sold out to thugs.