AT&T to Start Scanning Their Network for Pirated Material

In a move that could send ISPs tumbling down a slippery slope toward serving big media companies before consumers, AT&T has decided to start targeting pirated content being moved across its network. How exactly they'll do that isn't clear, but there doesn't seem to be any real way of them detecting what materials being sent are copyrighted without them prying into every file people send online. But hey, what's wrong with that? We should trust AT&T! It's not like they spy on us for the government already or anything.

Basically, this move is a result of AT&T being a giant corporation with its fingers in lots of pies, including the pay-TV pie. "As AT&T has begun selling pay-television services, the company has realized that its interests are more closely aligned with Hollywood," says AT&T's James Cicconi. Awesome, just what we need. I'd like to think that people wouldn't do business with such a blatantly anti-consumer company, but hey, they'll have the OMG iPhone, so you'll happily give them your money anyways. Sigh.

LA Times [via Broadband Reports]