It really shouldn't be a surprise that execs from AT&T, Microsoft, and NBC and several content filtering companies spent part of a CES panel about piracy talking about filtering at the network level -- it's definitely a tempting solution for Big Content, and one we've already seen Comcast kinda-sorta implement to general hue and cry -- but it's still somewhat disheartening. According to AT&T SVP James Cicconi, current anti-piracy efforts "haven't been working," and "a network-based solution is the optimal way to approach this." Of course, having your ISP monitor every bit that goes down the tubes is pretty damn creepy, but come on -- you know that's not stopping fools like NBC's Rick Cotton from saying that the volume of P2P traffic itself is unacceptable because it's "dominated by copyrighted materials." That's a little ridiculous, but AT&T's Cicconi tried to spin it positively regardless: "Whatever we do has to pass muster with consumers and with policy standards. There is going to be a spotlight on it," he said. Damn straight -- it's called "all of your customers switching to an unfiltered provider."

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AT&T, Microsoft, NBC working on solutions to filter copyrighted material at the ISP level