I have blogged before about how the notion of Internet Service Providers as ‘mere conduits’ or ‘dumb pipes’ is fast becoming an irrelevant concept as the digital age advances: If Google can ‘see’ what you are emailing or accessing online and target (contextual) advertising at you, it hardly can say it’s just a dumb pipe – in fact some see what it does it as a gross invasion of privacy and even ‘wiretapping’. Which is double frustrating when rights owners are faced with the ‘safe harbour’ argument - that there is nothing that ISPs and sites like Google and YouTube can do about infringing content until they receive a take down notice. And even then it’s hard work! But all within the DCMA!
Now Verizon has filed a brief with the USA Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (Verizon v FCC) to enable the ISP to give Internet access and search results according to what it decided was a "priority" – in effect your ISP
would intervene in your searches and "pick favourites" - giving Verizon the"freedom" to edit your Internet. It's doing this by challenging the FCC saying "This appeal challenges the FCC’s second attempt to conjure role for itself with respect to regulation of the Internet—in particular, broadband Internet access.
For what Google is up to see here
And more on Verizon here
And the law suit here