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BBC Worldwide brands Aussie VPN users "suspicious" and calls for ISPs to keep a close eye

BBC Worldwide has poured scorn on virtual private networks [VPNs] by including them in a submission to the Australian government that calls on ISPs to monitor users like never before.

Torrent Freak carries information on the submission that sees the BBC’s Worldwide arm ask for ISPs to treat anyone using a VPN as “suspicious” and to take extra note if they are using high levels of bandwidth

“It is reasonable for ISPs to be placed under an obligation to identify user behaviour that is ‘suspicious’ and indicative of a user engaging in conduct that infringes copyright. Such behaviour may include the illegitimate use by Internet users of IP obfuscation tools in combination with high download volumes,” read the statement.

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The BBC has a vested interest in the case Down Under as it has four subscription TV channels in the country and recently saw a large number of download requests for its Doctor Who premiere that leaked to file sharing sites before it was screened.

Further to the VPN advice, it is also pushing for a warning system to be imposed on persistent infringers similar to the ones present in the UK and US with disconnection very much a last resort.

“ISPs should warn any alleged copyright infringers through a graduated notification system that what they are doing is illegal and, at the same time, educate them about the law, the importance of copyright to funding content and services they enjoy and where they can access the material they want legally. However. if the consumers do not abide by the notifications then more serious action may need to be taken,” the BBC added.

Technology firms, Hollywood studios and ISPs have all made similar submissions to the Australian federal government yet none of them go as far as the BBC in calling for VPN users to be monitored.