Tuesday, July 31, 2012

More Legislation

More legislation that pretends rights don't apply online, that is. SOPA was but one of many, not the first and certainly not the last. The 1994 Telecom law allowed wiretapping, which was expanded to include the entire internet in 2004/5, something the original bill explicitly forbid. That is, network component makers (Cisco, etc) must make back doors into the entire internet, at least the parts made in the USA. Aside from privacy issues, security (backdoors are easily used by criminals as well) this could deter anyone looking to start businesses in the US. Extra costs of infrastructure combined with customer privacy issues can and will drive many out of country.

Followed by the DMCA, a horrific law that allows content industries to sue for $150,000 per work, that makes it illegal to even theoretically find ways to bypass copy protections, that allows end user agreements to prevent you from modifying your devices, etc. The EFF, a wonderful organization dedicated to privacy and fairness online, has to fight just to make it a legal exception to jailbreak iPhones and root Androids. Every year congress passes or tries to pass SOPA like legislation. Usually under the umbrella of "Intellectual Property" protection that ignores consumer rights and assumes guilty until proven otherwise, or as a way to "combat" child porn. While protecting copyrights, patents and trademarks is part of capitalism, the unlimited protection for unlmited times is bad for society as a whole, but that is for another time. Up next is CISPA, an almost direct clone of SOPA. A few in the senate managed to get an amendment that would alleviate some of the worst issues in the bill, although a complete drop would be best, anti-privacy or pro- campaign funded by Sony Universal house members are trying to remove those protections.

Once more, we must fight this until congress understands that not only do we not need more legislation to enable anti-competitive and invasive moves by government and private corporations with poor track records to begin with, but we need to undue the damage done by the DMCA and telecom act.

Go Here.

Logic Priest

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