Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sopa is Dead, But Not Gone

Sopa is Dead, But Not Gone

Now that we're done patting ourselves on the back for blacking out Wikipedia and causing a slew of other websites to join the cause against internet censorship that SOPA would have brought, how about we move forward and prepare for the next wave. Because by no means think that that's all that they were going to throw at us.

Just look at the next villain. This is HR1981, the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act, which is forging ahead after being approved by a US house committee. surprise, it's authored by the same guy who sponsored SOPA

In the event that you aren't aware what this does, the bill forces ISPs to track and retain every user's name, address, phone number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and temporarily-assigned IP addresses, regardless of whether they have been accused of a crime

I don't know about you, but it sounds like this guy really really hates the internet. Though maybe it makes sense considering his largest single campaign contributor in his last election cycle was Clearchannel. Maybe they're betting that if the internet goes completely dark, then perhaps radio will rule the day once again.

One thing is certain.. well, besides DEATH. It's that the lobbyist sure as fuck are going to make our lives a living hell on this subject.
now that negotiations on ACTA are finished, the next big thing coming down the pipe is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which is (again) being negotiated in secret and contains all sorts of regressive IP legislation. the only information that's been released has been through leaks, and it's not looking good.

three-strike disconnect, triple statutory damages for rights holders, ISPs forced to give up user identities based on allegations alone, criminal liability even in cases with no monetary damage, jail time as a mandatory sentence regardless of context, AND SO ON. this last link is from NZ but i believe the requirements apply everywhere.
It's like these people read 1984 and decided to take it literally. The best part is that this is all being negotiated in secret so we have to figure out what's happening based on leaked scraps
  • new digital lock rules that would increase penalties for circumvention and restrict the ability to create new digital lock exceptions. While Bill C-11 is far more restrictive than necessary to comply with the WIPO Internet treaties, it does include a mechanism to identify new exceptions.
  • new statutory damages provisions that could require the government to reverse the changes found in Bill C-11 that distinguish between commercial and non-commercial infringement.
  • new rights management information rules that would lower the standard for violation and extend the scope of prohibited activities.
  • new enforcement requirements that may require the disclosure of personal information without any privacy safeguards
  • new copyright criminalization requirements even in cases that "have no direct or indirect motivation of financial gain." The criminal provision also cover "aiding and abetting", which may be applied to Internet providers.
also surprise it's basically written by the MPAA/RIAA

It's god damn hilariously bad. Criminal liability and jail time? Well it works for drugs, so I'm sure this will work too. Buy "works" of course I mean, "locks up more minorities and troublemakers". Though I'm sure that racist propaganda says that minorities are too stupid and poor to use computers. So I'm a bit confused on all that.

Then again, the very first person strung up in the courts for millions of dollars in copyright damages, as an example to other downloaders, was a native american single mother of four, So when am I going to ever learn to stop underestimating evil?

But then again, I'm missing for the forest within the trees. If you look at the bill again, it means that ISPs would have to keylog our online access to our banks and usage of our credit cards as well as all those illegal downloads. I haven't read the entire bill yet or digested all of it, at the very least. But that does seem to be the way this is handled.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, who led Democratic opposition to the bill said, "It represents a data bank of every digital act by every American [that would] let us find out where every single American visited Web sites."
I should take a moment to remind everyone that they should probably be trying to ncrypt as much of their net activity as possible to avoid snooping. Wasn't it the supreme court justice who said that computers should be regarded as sort of an extension of the human mind? Because that's really the best path to head down, legally, given what people do on, that is, outside of entertainment, augment their own thought process through google searches and excel files and things, something that becomes an extension of your thought processes clearly deserves serious legal protections.

Not that that will ever happen in a billion years, but it frightens me that as people become more and more dependent on computers, we're approaching the point where there's nearly nothing you think or do that isn't open to warrantless or illegal but accepted monitoring and spying unless you're some CEO.

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