The head of an internet service provider has hit out at a new illegal downloads alerts programme.
Mike Odysseas, founder of Internet Service Provider (ISP) Odyssey Systems, has declared the new Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme (Vcap) as an invasion of privacy and a revenue-driven exercise by the entertainment and internet industries.
It has been announced that from 2015 ISPs will send “educational” letters, known as “alerts” to customers believed to be downloading content illegally to discourage them from continuing with the activity.
However, Mike Odysseas, whose Teesside-based firm provides ISP services to more than 1,000 customers in the North, is refusing to take part in the scheme and is convinced it will only serve to damage the reputation of ISPs with customers.
he said: “You can’t hold the Royal Mail responsible for the content of the post they handle so why should ISPs be compelled to monitor everything their customers do online? Safeguarding the income of the entertainment industry shouldn’t be down to ISPs.
“This scheme is nothing more than an invasion of people’s privacy and I refuse to be part of it. Customers will become increasingly sceptical of their ISP and think ‘Big Brother’ is watching.
“The only motivation for ISPs to support this scheme is not to eradicate illegal activity, but cut costs by reducing the amount of internet traffic they manage.”