Last week, official at the University of Alaska at Anchorage announced a plan to deter internet piracy in residence halls. Although the university has cooperated with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for previously, this is the first effort to alter service to prevent piracy. The university will slow the speed of internet connections available in dorm rooms in an effort to make piracy more difficult and, officials hope, less prevalent.
Unsurprisingly, many UAA students are unhappy about the service change, claiming it punishes all students, regardless of offense. Others voiced the concern the slowdown could prevent students from using legal resource-heavy sites such as Hulu or Netflix or hinder online academic research. The university feels confident the proposed speed will be generous enough to support all legal sites and academic purposes. The policy has yet to be enacted.
UAA's decision occurs against the backdrop of increased debate on digital copyrights and internet piracy as Congress continues to explore legislative solutions to such downloading. Recently, the heads of major technology companies such as Google, have spoken against the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act, saying it attacks the problem from the wrong angle.
The full text of the House of Representative's bill, Stop Online Piracy Act can be found here.