RIAA makes your ISP the judge and jury

So, the RIAA is getting much press about how it has figured out that suing grandmothers, dying children and single mother’s on the poverty line isn’t such a great idea. At least that is how it seems from what is being written up about this newest announcement of theirs. The reality of the matter is that they have only decided not to pursue wholesale lawsuits.

Their new method of attack is to strong arm ISPs to follow the French example of three strikes and you lose your internet connection.

In deals that are being brokered by Andrew Cuomo – the same person who threatened ISPs with public shame if they didn’t censor USNET – the ISPs agree to become RIAA enforcers. Based on information that will be provided by the RIAA our ISPs will issue consumers two warning emails letting them know that they have been caught downloading pirated digital goods.

The third will be to notify the consumer that their access to the Internet is being cut off. After which you could still find yourself being sued by the RIAA who will use your ISP termination as evidence against you.

It doesn’t matter that this will be the same type of questionable information that the RIAA used to sue people with. It doesn’t matter that it is the same information that has resulted in the RIAA losing more and more court cases as people begin to fight back. Unfortunately though when it comes to RIAA backed ISP action we don’t have the same legal recourse that we do when the RIAA sues people.

While a lot of people might want to herald the fact that the RIAA is dropping mass lawsuits as some kind of victory nothing could be further from the truth. The real truth here is that if this type of ISP interference goes ahead consumers will be in an even worse position. First we will have a private corporation deciding whether or not you deserve having an internet connection based of highly suspect information provided to them by the RIAA. Second we have no way to prove our innocence like we would in a court of law.

In other words – if this plan goes ahead we are screwed – royally.

[hat tip to TechWag and Techdirt]