ISPs have agreed to institute “mitigation measures” (or, as you and I know them, punishments) based on the collected say-so of copyright holders. These measures begin with the fifth or six alert, and they may include “temporary reductions of Internet speeds, redirection to a landing page until the subscriber contacts the ISP to discuss the matter or reviews and responds to some educational information about copyright, or other measures that the ISP may deem necessary to help resolve the matter.” There is no requirement that ISPs disconnect a user’s Internet connection at any point, and indeed ISPs say they will refuse any measure that might cut off a user’s phone service, e-mail access, “or any security or health service (such as home security or medical monitoring).” But ISPs are free to disconnect users if they wish (as indeed they have always been). As such approaches go, this one sounds fairly sane, and ISPs certainly claim the rights to take such actions in their terms of service. The stated goal is to provide enough “education” that the punishment stick can stay in the shed, but there’s no avoiding the fact that the “mitigation measures” are the result of private, unverified accusations not vetted by a judiciary. Depending on your view of Internet access—is it a human right as some in the UN think?—such private countermeasures on infringement may look problematic. (The French courts also demanded that any tough measures by ISPs come only after judicial scrutiny, though their system is actually administered by the government; this one, run voluntarily, is not.)