söndag 22 januari 2012

Black March, or It Ain't Over 'til the Fat Lady Sings

While victorious in the battle of SOPA and PIPA, the war is not over yet.

Now, anyone in their right mind would like to protect children against molesters, wouldn't they?

Which is exactly why this act is dangerous — can you imagine a representative or senator who would dare being associated with opposing an act to protect children against child molesters?

The act proposes data retention, much like the EU:s controversial Data Retention Directive. It is basically about storing data about everyone using the internet for a long period of time, typically on the scale of years, for the police to use in later inquiries.

The problems with it include, but are not limited to:
  • Innocent people being troubled by the police (searching private premises for physical evidence, appropriating computers, telephones and anything that may store data)
  • Innocent people can become socially stigmatized by the suspicion of such a horrendous crime
  • The information can leak to unauthorized parties, which may leak it further and, for instance, let employers know that workers have sought health care or psychological care. Or let neighbors know that police have taken interest in persons in relation to investigations of crime. Use your imagination; I'm sure you can see how this could ruin innocent peoples lives.
  • The data is seldom useful anyway. The criminals know how to cover their tracks already, and they won't unlearn this. And this makes the data useful for one purpose only; to harass innocents.
More generally, people are unduly supervised and no longer regarded as innocent until proven guilty, but rather as potential criminals.

Are you put off yet? Well, how about this:

Moreover, the lobbyists have a golden opportunity to actually copy-and-paste SOPA into the PCIPA, and have it done with. Yes they can. Don't think for a second they don't want to.

The PCIPA bill passed the House Judiciary Committee last year, and the next step would be a debate in the House of Representatives.

Steps are now taken to further protest against this imminent threat to the internet and our democracies and freedoms, and the idea is to quite simply not buy any records, movies, or anything such during March, 2012. It is one month, and the idea is that a person could postpone going to the movies, buying CDs, DVDs, BDs, books etc. to April. The idea is that this would make a real dent in the sales the first quarter of 2012, giving the copyright industry a taste of our power.

For my part, this feels like an easy thing to do. I'll just put the money I would otherwise have spent on these things in an envelope, and move it back to the wallet at the end of March. And then we'll see what I actually spend it on.

And, of course, don't let your politicians forget who is their master — you.

Edit 1: If you wish to participate, please also refrain from file sharing, legal or not.
Edit 2: Other sites: in english, swedish