updated 10:03 AM EDT, Fri July 6, 2012
- Douglas Rushkoff: Your Internet service provider may soon begin monitoring your account
- He says new alliance of Fox, Disney, Sony, big ISPs to detect, stop online piracy
- He says new plan lets ISP's keep track of, punish offenders, but could take in the innocent
- Rushkoff: Subscribers will be losing expectation of privacy from their own service providers
Editor's note: Douglas Rushkoff writes a regular column for CNN.com. He is a media theorist and the author of "Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age" and "Life Inc: How Corporatism Conquered the World and How We Can Take It Back."
(CNN) -- This month, if everything goes according to schedule, your Internet service provider may begin monitoring your account, just to make sure you aren't doing anything wrong with it -- like sharing copyrighted movie or music files. While we might all agree that copyright holders need to be protected, we may not all be equally happy about all of our communications being checked for violations. People and businesses who are not doing anything illegal may still have some things they wish to hide from their Internet access providers.
Under normal circumstances, your Internet service provider, or ISP, tries to protect you and your data from spying eyes. Cablevision, Time Warner Cable (an independent company no longer directly affiliated with TimeWarner, the parent of CNN and this site) and Comcast utilize all sorts of software to keep the connections between our modems and their servers safe. They also encourage us to keep our home networks secure from eavesdroppers.
But what are we supposed to do when the eavesdropper is the ISP itself?
Ray Beckerman, PC