September 09, 2003

RIAA to Force ISPs Nationwide to Adopt Color-Code System

New System Will Scrutinize Each Internet User, Rating Their Risk Level for Music File Sharing

Washington, DC /DenounceNewswire/ -- 9 September 2003 -- In the most aggressive -- and, some say, invasive -- step yet to protect record companies, the federal government and the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will phase in a computer system next year to measure the risk posed by every Internet user every time they connect to the Internet.

Backed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which pressured the federal government to adopt this new legislation, the new system will identify each Internet user the moment they connect to the Internet, comparing personal information against criminal records, driver records, and other intelligence information, much of it gathered from Echelon, the secret U.S. government system which monitors and records worldwide all emails, web use, instant messages, as well as faxes and phone calls. The RIAA has exclusive use to browse and search through Echelon data, in a deal struck last year with the government.

Internet users will be assigned a color code -- green, yellow, or red -- based in part on the contents of the file or data being transferred at any particular moment while a user is using the Internet.

Most people will be coded green and sail through, but up to 30 percent of Internet users will be coded "yellow" and will undergo additional screening. An estimated 5 to 6 percent will be labeled "red" and will have their Internet connections cut, their homes raided within an hour, all computer equipment seized, dogs shot, and themselves arrested and sent to the RIAA's massive detention facility in Mojave, CA.

The system "will provide protections for the Internet-using public," said RIAA president Cary Sherman. "This system will keep Internet users honest, and protect the interests of the content-producing industries such as music and film."

The new system, called the Computerized RIAA American Protection System II (CRAPS II), has sparked so much controversy that the government had to issue warnings to media outlets to stop reporting on the controversy or face stiff penalties, jail time, or exile.

"This system is going to be replete with errors," said Barry Steinhardt, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's technology and liberty program. "You could be falsely arrested. You could be delayed. You could lose your ability to listen to music. You could---" but at that moment Mr. Steinhardt's telephone line was cut.

Posted by denounce on September 9, 2003 11:54 AM


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