AT&T has filed a patent for their newest invention in the file-sharing wars: a new software technology that can detect and block access to any file-sharing activities on a network.
According to TorrentFreak, the new technology labels users on the basis of their network activities, assigning a label of "risk class" to those who visit certain sites. Once labelled as "risk class", further monitoring enables that user's ISP to take action, which could mean being blocked from file-sharing sites completely.
The patent, filed under the absurdly long title of "Methods, devices and computer program products for regulating network activity using a subscriber scoring system", makes the claim that most Iinternet users are simply in over their heads and are unable to avoid certain risks when using the Internet.
The patent's documentation also states that efforts to curtail piracy have proven insufficient, as "millions of downloads may result from just one file that is posted on a sharing network". It has not been announced if AT&T themselves plan to implement this new technology or if they will execute their new strategy through associated firms.