AT&T on the lookout for Web piracy

Phone company agrees to help Hollywood keep illegal file sharing off network, according to published report.

Hollywood studios have enlisted one of the nation's largest Internet Service Providers to help fight illegal file sharing, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

AT&T and the film industry will develop anti-piracy technology that identifies those who download unauthorized copies of films and TV shows, the paper reported Thursday.

Privacy groups worry that the behemoth phone company could emerge as a powerful Internet gatekeeper.

"AT&T is going to act like the copyright police, and that is going to make customers angry," said Gigi Sohn, president of Public Knowledge, a digital rights advocacy group, according to the Times.

San Antonio-based AT&T began working last week with studios and record companies to develop anti-piracy technology that will target the most frequent offenders, the paper reported.